Frequently Asked Questions

FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS, WRITTEN BY CURRENT STUDENTS

List of 16 items.

  • Brearley is known for its rich humanities program, but what STEM opportunities does the School offer?

    Brearley has a very robust STEM program. Starting in Class V, students take science classes relating to a particular field in the subject, and in Classes XI or XII, students are able to double up in science classes if they choose. The same is true with our math program, as students have the option to pursue two math Classes XI or XII by coupling their mandatory math class with statistics. Students also have the option to take Computer Science as an elective in Classes XI and XII.

    In addition to offering a wide array of classes, Brearley also has many after school/club opportunities to engage in STEM. For students in Class X who wish to pursue their own science research, students can apply to be in the Advanced Science Research Seminar, which spans three years. Other clubs include Math Team, Robotics Team, Medical Science Club, Science Club, and the Brearley Environmental Action Committee (BEAC).
  • How would you describe the extracurricular schedule in the Upper School?

    Brearley’s extracurricular schedule makes it possible for students to participate in a wide range of activities. Sports and Drama all happen on an after school basis on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, while Music happens during the Day on Day 5 and after school on Thursdays. All of our specifically student-run clubs happen during the day at Break on Day 1, Day 3, and Day 6. Because of the flexibility the schedule affords,  a student can play a sport, do tech for a mainstage drama production, play in the orchestra, sign in the chorus, and being an active member of two-three clubs all in the same trimester (although we do not recommend you do this if you want to have some time in your schedule to just relax).
  • If I am having difficulty with a particular subject, what steps can I take to better understand the material?

    At Brearley, we have a system called “Floats.” A Float is a one-on-one meeting students can schedule with teachers when they have questions, need to catch up on concepts they missed when they were absent, would like to talk through and edit essays, and are interested in practicing for upcoming assessments. Floats are super easy to arrange and are not stigmatized at all, as the majority of students take advantage of the float system quite frequently and teachers are available pretty much whenever. Floats also allow you to strengthen your relationship with your teacher and can even serve as a space to check-in about your non-academic life.
  • What is the student:teacher ratio at Brearley, and why is that important?

    Brearley’s student:teacher ratio is 6:1. This small ratio allows for personal attention to be given to every student, wider participation in the classroom, and more meaningful relationships to be built between our students and our faculty members.
  • What opportunities are there to interact with schools other than Brearley?

    Brearley is a member of the Interschool, a consortium of eight Manhattan independent schools, which offer programming at various times throughout the year. These schools include: The Brearley School, The Browning School, Chapin, Collegiate School, The Dalton School, Nightingale Bamford School, Spence School, and Trinity School. 

    Here is a list of events/activities:

    • Brearley-Collegiate Service Day: Starting in 9th Grade, Brearley and Collegiate students partner for an annual event called Service Day. Each year, students engage with an organization to make a lasting impact and learn from both local and non-local communities. 
    • Frost Valley: In 10th Grade, sophomores from Brearley, Chapin, Spence, Nightingale, Collegiate, and Browning travel to YMCA’s Frost Valley camp for three days of bonding, learning, and growing. In fact, seniors from each school can even apply for a peer leadership role to support students from sophomore classes.
    • Interschool Events: These exciting events include coffeehouses, plays, dances, among others.
    • Interschool Classes: Interschool offers game theory class and driver’s education.
    • Chapin-Brearley Brooklyn Bus: Brooklyn families from both The Brearley School and Chapin can pay for their student to take a private bus to school. 
  • What student clubs does Brearley offer?

    To view a comprehensive list of our Upper School clubs, please click here.
  • What opportunities are there to learn outside of the classroom?

    At Brearley, we recognize that students will gain just as much knowledge, if not more, from learning and implementing concepts outside of the classroom as they will inside. Here are a few out-of-school learning opportunities that students can pursue:

    • Travel Study: We offer both language specific, non-language specific, and interest based trips to places such as China, Quebec, Peru, India, and Alabama every year. Students can apply for financial assistance if the cost poses as a  barrier with the goal of making travel study as accessible as possible. 
    • Subject Specific Day Trips: Different classes will sometimes take day trips to places in NYC as it relates to the subject they are studying. Some of these destinations include the following: The MET, The Natural History Museum, Broadway Shows, Lincoln Center, and Chinatown.
    • Class Overnight Trips: Our DC Trip for Classes IX  and X enables students to deepen their exploration of World History and US History with visits to museums, famous monuments, and new stations and meetings with prominent Washington figures, such as Ruth Bader Ginsberg and various Senators.
    • After School: Brearley also offers many after school activities geared towards diving deeper into certain subjects. Our most popular academic based extracurricular is Science Research Seminar, where students develop innovative research projects and solutions with guidance from our science department. If you would like to learn more about this program, please click here.
  • Brearley is a small school, but what are some of its biggest traditions?

    Brearley is a school with rich traditions, but without a very stuffy “vibe.” Some of our favorite US and MS traditions include the following:
    • Mountain Day: A day in October in which Brearley buses the whole Middle and Upper School to Bear Mountain for a day of fun outdoor activities organized by the senior class.
    • Homecoming: A day in the fall when  our fall sports teams compete against our sister school, Chapin, and the whole community (staff, faculty, families, and alumnae) show up to  support them. Some of the most memorable parts of homecoming are the barbecues, a performance by our a cappella group, lots of school spirit through our cheers, and of course, photo-ops with our beloved mascot, Bev the Beaver. 
    • Spoons: An Upper School wide game of tag sponsored by Self-Government that lasts for a month in the fall. Students receive a spoon with the name of another student on it and must try to eliminate them from the game by tagging them with their spoon.
  • How “rigorous” are the academics at Brearley? Will I still be able to hang out with friends?

    Brearley prides itself on being an academically challenging environment, but one to which any motivated student can adapt. The School's 6-day rotating schedule includes assorted free periods, which enable students to get a head start on homework, schedule extra help sessions with teachers, and pursue many different clubs. The majority of students often find the work becomes more manageable once they discover a routine that works best for them. So yes, you will still be able to hang out with your friends on weekends and even at school during the week. If you would like to read more specifically about Brearley’s homework policy, please click here!
  • What is there to do in the East End area?

    Although this community is primarily residential, there are still so many places to go to, especially on York Avenue! 

    A few local coffee shops that students tend to visit more frequently:
    • Yura (81st and East End Avenue)
    • Eat Pretty (83rd and York Avenue)
    • Black Star Cafe (84th and York Avenue)
    • Starbucks (80th and York Avenue, 85th and First Avenue)
    • Dunkin' Donuts (83rd and First Avenue)
    A few restaurants students enjoy:
    • Sushi Suki (84th and York Avenue)
    • Moduwa (84th and York Avenue)
    • Bagel Bob’s (86th and York Avenue)
    • The Mansion (86th and York Avenue)
    A couple of areas to take a stroll:
    • Carl Schurz Park
    • The Promenade
  • What forms of transportation do students use to get to Brearley?

    Brearley students commute to school in a variety of ways from over 96 zip codes. While families living in the Yorkville area have a short walk, the majority of students have a somewhat longer commute, which involves many different forms of public transportation. Some students in Classes K-VI use the DOE bus service, and others commute to school with an adult. Every student in Classes VII-XII receives a MTA metrocard to commute to and from school.
  • Brearley has a competitive admission process, but does the School maintain a wait list?

    Brearley does have a small wait list of qualified candidates, which the Admission Office will contact if space becomes available.
  • Does Brearley host an Open House?

    Brearley will be hosting a Virtual Open House this year on October 19. More details about this event will be announced in the coming weeks.
  • Is there a parent legacy or sibling policy for Middle or Upper School applicants?

    While Brearley celebrates its alumnae and sibling applicant families, the School does not have a parent legacy nor sibling policy at the Middle and Upper School level.
  • How can I schedule a campus tour?

    Brearley will contact applicant families directly after their application has been submitted to schedule a virtual campus tour and interview.
  • What is the best way to contact the Office of Admission and Financial Assistance?

    For questions regarding our program, please refer to the “speak with an Upper School Student Ambassador page. For questions regarding the status of or assistance with your application, please contact admission@brearley.org, and a member of the Admission Office will be in touch with you.
The Brearley School is a K-XII independent day school for girls in New York City. Empowering girls of adventurous intellect to think critically and creatively.
610 East 83rd Street
New York, NY 10028
(212) 744-8582 

590 East 83rd Street
New York, NY 10028
(212) 744-8582