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Frequently Asked Questions


Why St. Sebastian's?

St. Sebastian's draws its identity from both the Independent and the Catholic School traditions, fostering an environment where faith and reason join forces in the search for truth. While smaller than most Catholic and parochial schools, both in total enrollment (375) and average class size (11), the School is committed to providing an academic environment where Gospel values play a leading role in understanding the truth about God's plan for us. As an Independent School, St. Sebastian's makes a strong commitment to pursuing the highest level of intellectual inquiry and academic rigor. All students gain admission to four-year colleges and universities. All students are afforded the opportunity to participate in competitive athletics and first-rate art programs. No other boys' school in New England embraces both traditions as wholeheartedly.

What kind of student does St. Sebastian's seek to enroll?

St. Sebastian's seeks to enroll students who possess both the motivation and the ability to succeed in a rigorous academic curriculum while fully immersed in the religious and extracurricular life of the School. Admission is highly competitive, and the Admissions Committee carefully considers a number of academic and personal factors in its deliberations.

How do we apply?

What is the tuition and is financial assistance available?


How central a role does religion play in the daily life of the School?

St. Sebastian's is, by tradition and choice, a Catholic independent school. Religion plays a vitally important role in the advancement of the School's mission.

How does the School celebrate its Catholic heritage?

The School celebrates its Catholic heritage in a number of ways. Students take religion courses, attend Mass regularly, participate in retreats, and have numerous opportunities to perform community service.

Are there any non-Catholic students enrolled?

Absolutely. While the majority of students come from the Catholic faith tradition, the School is enriched by the presence of students from diverse faith traditions. To the fullest extent possible, the School is committed to helping each student to grow and develop in his own particular faith.

Is community service a required component of the School's religious mission?

Definitely. Students take advantage of numerous opportunities to perform service both within School walls and in the community at large. Each student's exposure to service at St. Sebastian's culminates with Senior Service - a five-week intensive community service immersion completed just prior to graduation.

Visit our Service Page

Is the School affiliated with a particular religious order?

The School was founded in 1941 by William Cardinal O'Connell, Archbishop of Boston. Though the School continues to maintain an affiliation with the Archdiocese, it claims an almost entirely lay faculty and does not affiliate with any particular religious order.


How is a student's academic schedule determined?

Each year every student at St. Sebastian’s is offered an academic schedule that is specifically matched to his skills, achievement, and prior learning.In consultation with teachers and parents, The Dean of Studies creates the most challenging, appropriate schedule for each student.

Are students grouped by ability?

Virtually all grouping in the Middle School is heterogeneous. In the Upper School, most courses are available at standard, honors, and AP levels.

What are the student/faculty ratio and average class size?

The student/faculty ratio is 7 to 1. The average class size is 11. The School graduates about 65 students per year.

What is the School's educational philosophy?

The School subscribes to a classical educational philosophy that aims to provide each student with a deep grounding in the skills necessary to find success and fulfillment in life. Central among these skills are writing and speaking, necessary elements of the critical thought process. To that end, the School's writing program ensures that each student achieves both the competence and the confidence to use the written word as an effective tool throughout his life. Through a variety of public speaking opportunities, each student also develops the poise necessary to convey his thoughts in the most persuasive and articulate manner.

Are there any distinctive aspects of your curriculum?

Though the School aspires to help its students achieve excellence in all areas, special emphasis is placed on writing and public speaking. These critically important skills cross all academic disciplines. All freshmen are required to take a daily course in writing that complements their traditional English literature course (which also demands much writing). Additionally, each student in the School is required to deliver a public speech each year before his peers in their weekly Chapel meeting. Underclassmen speak before their individual grade level; seniors address the entire School community. Learn more about the Writing Program and Chapel Speaking Program.


What sports are offered?

As a member of the highly competitive Independent School League (ISL), the Arrows teams compete inter-scholastically in 13 different sports, including football, soccer, cross country, hockey, basketball, wrestling, swimming, skiing, squash, lacrosse, tennis, baseball, and golf.

Is there an athletic requirement?

Though students are not required to play sports, virtually all students participate in at least one competitive sport. Many students play two or three. St. Sebastian's makes it possible for every student to be actively involved in athletics, offering as many as four of five different teams in some sports.

Are students ever awarded athletic scholarships or merit?

No. All scholarships are purely need-based.

With what other schools does St. Sebastian's compete?

St. Sebastian's competes in the Independent School League (ISL). See list of schools in the ISL.

Are there any other athletic opportunities?

Yes. Students have organized active clubs in sports such as ultimate frisbee, squash, mountain biking, and weightlifting.


What non-athletic activities are offered?

What specific opportunities are available in the fine arts?

In additional to an extensive offering of fine arts courses, the School’s fine arts program offers numerous after-school opportunities in drama, musical performance, painting & drawing, photography, ceramics and film editing. In recent years, students have been routinely recognized in the Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards competition. A number of alumni are currently pursuing professional opportunities as actors and writers.

Is there an extracurricular requirement?

Though students are not formally required to participate in extracurricular activities, virtually all students remain on campus well after the formal end of the school day, taking advantage of the numerous school-sponsored activities available to them.

Can a student play a sport and participate in an extracurricular activity simultaneously?

Absolutely. In fact, the School works hard to ensure that major club activities and athletics are scheduled not to conflict.

Are activities ever scheduled with other schools?

All the time. The School regularly sponsors dances and trips with a number of other schools. The School's three annual plays are staged with the participation of girls from neighboring schools.

What role do students play in the formation and organization of extracurricular groups?

The student council plays an active role in the organization of activities and the promotion of School spirit. New clubs are formed regularly as student interest warrants. Finance Academy and the Garden Club are examples of active, successful clubs which students initially proposed.