General FAQs

Please click on the questions below to reveal the answers.

Q: What is the faculty-to-student ratio?

A: The faculty-to-student ratio is 1:8. Every student has a "front row seat" around the Harkness table, which fosters interaction between the teacher and every student in the class. In addition, a majority of faculty members live on campus and interact with students outside the classroom as dorm parents, coaches, weekend team members, club advisors and chaperones on school trips. 

Q: Does Masters have a dress code?

A: The Masters School allows a range of styles as long as the clothing worn does not detract from our educational mission. Such a range of styles is appropriate for our diverse student body and inclusive spirit and permits students to respectfully express their individuality within the limits of good taste. Student dress must be neat, clean, in good repair at all times, and appropriate for the occasion.

Q: What is Masters most well-known for as a school?

A: Our local students and families would probably mention the Harkness teaching method first, then our school’s close-knit community, vibrant seven-day campus and dedicated faculty. This is what we hear most often from our families, both in person and through our annual surveys. 

If one were to ask our international and domestic boarding families from outside the tri-state area, you would also likely hear about how Masters is the closest college preparatory boarding school to New York City. This proximity to New York City allows for more meaningful enrichment outside the classroom, with partnerships and access to other institutions and programs as well as an abundant array of weekend activities. Newe York City and its three airports and train access make it a convenient location for families looking to visit their student throughout the school year. To learn more about why families choose Masters, click here

Q: Are students assigned an advisor? How many students work with an individual advisor?

A: Yes, every student is assigned an academic advisor with each advisor having five to seven advisees. Typically, 9th graders are in groups of five or six with one or two new students joining the group in 10th or 11th grade. To aid in tracking and fostering a student's development, the group stays together all four years. Though rare, students can request a new advisor at the end of the year. 

Q: Is Masters a diverse community?

A: Masters boasts a diverse community of students and faculty members. With 36 countries, 12 states and 80 different local zip codes represented, Masters is a cultural, socio-economic and geo-political melting pot. Diversity is celebrated at Masters with students having different interests, passions, and ideas; no two students fit the same mold or are obligated to follow the same path. A community of scholars, athletes, and artists; thinkers, collaborators, and doers; Masters is enriched by the unique tapestry of learners and educators who call our Harkness tables, playing fields, studios and campus “home."

Q: Are students required to play sports?

A: Yes.
Upper School: Students who enter the Upper School in 9th grade are required to complete three seasons of interscholastic sports by the end of their 10th grade year (three out of a possible six seasons). Incoming 10th graders are required to participate in one season of interscholastic sports during their sophomore year. Dance Tech III and the Winter Musical also count as a team sport. 

Middle School: Athletics play an important part of the Masters Middle School experience. We believe that the benefits of physical education are incalculable, and many of them last a lifetime. Certainly, middle school children need an outlet for their abundant energy, but a strong sports program also teaches teamwork, strategy, self-control, and good sportsmanship. Students get better at the game of life—and have fun along the way.

FIFTH AND SIXTH GRADE: Physical education class is required for all fifth and sixth grade students and is included during the school day. The students participate in a variety of games and physical activities to develop basic athletic skills and to experience the joy of playing. 

SEVENTH AND EIGHTH GRADE: Interscholastic team sports begin in grades seven and eight. Practices are held during the school day and games are played after school. Students may also take dance to satisfy the athletic requirement.

Q: What type of extracurricular activities are offered? Are any required?

A: When students are not playing on a team, they can choose from the many co-curricular programs that also take place in the fall, winter or spring season. We call them co-curriculars, not extra-curriculars, because we consider them essential elements of our curriculum. Students act in theatrical productions, dance, volunteer for community service programs, or work on the numerous school publications. Read more about the Arts, and Service Learning

Q: What are the most significant differences between Masters and its local crossover schools such as Hackley, Riverdale and Rye Country Day?

A: The two most significant differences would be our commitment to teaching and learning using the Harkness methodology and our diverse and vibrant seven-day campus, which results in a powerful and tranformative educational experience.

Q: Which colleges do students attend after Masters?

A: Most Commonly Attended Universities (2011-2016): 
New York University (40)
George Washington University (19)
Boston University (13)
Oberlin College (13)
Bates College (11)
Emory University (10)
Johns Hopkins University (9)
Fordham University (9)
Broen University (7)
Hobart and William Smith Colleges (7)
Northeastern University (7)

For a complete list and more on college counseling, click here.

Q: What courses are offered at Masters?

A: Masters offers its students a rigorous college preparatory curriculum. Core courses provide a solid foundation in critical thinking, and electives offer multiple opportunities for students to explore individual interests. Advanced Placement (AP) courses are offered in each department. In all, 15 AP courses are available to Masters students. Honors sections are offered throughout the science and mathematics curricula, and accelerated classes are offered in French, Latin and Spanish.  For a complete list of courses and course descriptions, please review our Curriculum Guide. 

Q: Does Masters provide transportation?

A: For an overview of transportation options, including details on district busing, private busing, MetroNorth and car pooling, please click here.

Q: Do day students at Masters miss out on any programs, activities and/or social opportunities afforded to its boarding students?

A: One of the advantages of being a student at Masters, boarding or day, is the ability to be on campus with your peers and the faculty seven days a week. Rarely do we have activities on campus where the day students aren’t invited or included. The only significant difference between the two would be the experience of living in the dorm and having a roommate before heading off to college, forging sibling-like relationships with peers in the dorm, and having four-to-six faculty dorm parents who really get to know each student and look out for their best interests throughout the year.

From Australia to Rwanda, Turkey to Taiwan, and Wisconsin to Westchester—every student brings something invaluable to The Masters School. The student body is both diverse and cohesive, with no dichotomy between day and boarding students. On the contrary, everyone here is so engaged with school activities—on both weekdays and weekends—that it feels like a seven-day school for our day students.

Q: Where do most Masters students come from?

A: Currently, Masters has students from 12 States, 36 countries, and more than 80 local zip codes. There are several towns, cities and schools in which we see a large number of applicants every year. Some of these towns include Greenwich, Scarsdale, New York City, Hartsdale, Larchmont, Bronxville, Piermont, Pelham, Katonah, Chappaqua, Mount Kisco, Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley and Garrison. District busing from local towns, private busing from New York and Southern Connecticut, as well as the numerous towns along MetroNorth’s Hudson Line make Masters a convenient commute for many of our families.
49 Clinton Avenue
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
(914) 479-6400

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