Why Masters?

There’s More to a Masters Mind

Masters provides students from around the globe with the complex skills required to achieve in a complex world. Intellects are honed at the Harkness table; imaginations are flexed in the lab, gym, and studio; and diversity in all forms is celebrated. Becoming a student at Masters means joining a community of people who think—creatively, critically, deeply, differently. Students become masters of thought, of dialogue, of creativity, and of being themselves.

The following highlights the distinctive features of a Masters education and why Masters students are prepared to excel in college, career, and life.

Renowned Teaching Methodology

The Masters School is distinguished by its powerful and transformative approach to education. It combines a challenging academic program delivered in a supportive environment that encourages students to take healthy risks and push themselves to reach their potential.

The principle behind teaching around the Harkness table is to engage students in the learning process by inspiring them to prepare thoroughly, participate daily, solve problems collaboratively, explore divergent ideas, challenge assumptions, and learn to lead class discussions. In this way, students take an active role in and responsibility for their own learning. Masters School students develop outstanding listening skills and the confidence to speak with clarity and nuance. Regardless of college track or professional field, these talents and skills are critical to future achievement and success. 

Skilled & Accessible Faculty

The Masters School faculty has developed a rich and varied curriculum that sets high expectations for independent thought, participatory engagement and careful reflection about the purpose and meaning of student learning. Each discipline is further enhanced by the Harkness method, which requires more faculty and student involvement and commitment than teaching and learning in a traditional classroom.

Masters is proud of its talented faculty with 65% having advanced degrees, an average tenure exceeding eight years and all serving as student advisors. Combined with the fact that 60% of faculty live on campus, Masters teachers are approachable and available. Many faculty members develop supportive, guiding relationships with their students in the classroom or studio, on the athletic field, in co-curricular's, on field trips, and in dorm life.

Vibrant 7-Day Community

Both day and boarding students benefit from the resources, diversity and activities of Masters vibrant seven-day campus, talented faculty and proximity to New York City. Masters students experience a wide range of cultural and learning activities throughout the year. These range from trips to museums and Broadway shows in New York to attending a Yankees or Jets game, dining at ethnic restaurants, school club or athletic activities, ski trips, rock climbing, and much more. Day students are invited to Heads Dinners, Community Weekends, and other residential activities, further enhancing the interaction among day and boarding students.

Research shows that a boarding school environment has distinct advantages including a more positive school experience, a deeper sense of community, and proven successful future outcomes in college and career. 

True Global Diversity

Today’s students will live and compete in a highly competitive global knowledge economy. Building the new skills they will need for college, careers, and citizenship is reinforced by Masters diverse community of students and faculty members. With over 31 countries, 16 states and 72 different local zip codes represented, Masters is a true cultural, socio-economic and geopolitical melting pot. Masters students have 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.”

Commitment to Arts and Athletics

Both arts and athletics thrive at Masters - enhancing the educational experience for all students.  Whether in team sports or dance company, co-curricular athletics or Phoenix drama club, gym class or open art, our students have numerous opportunities to participate at all levels.

Explore our classes, clubs, teams and performances.  Watch our Dobbs 16 a cappella group perform on national TV, see our boys basketball and cross-country teams win FAA championships, see our dance and drama students captivate full houses, watch 75+ students produce, arrange, and perform incredible music in The Great Gig in the Sky, or witness another strong performance by our fencing team.  The dedicated Masters faculty, visiting artists and coaches help give our student performers and athletes opportunities for personal growth, preparation for the next level of performance, and the satisfaction of doing one’s best.

Opportunities Beyond the Classroom

Masters expands on the myriad activities inherent across its active seven-day community through numerous other distinctive offerings. These include student clubs, service learning programs, the Leadership Program, speaker series, semester programs in Colorado and California, a school-year abroad, and signature learning projects. Tutoring at-risk children, participating in the Model United Nations at Princeton or Yale, writing and presenting a scholarly research paper, or taking a school trip to Ireland or Senegal, all help students recognize the context and relevance of what they’re learning and greatly deepens their educational experience.

96-Acre Campus just 12 miles from Manhattan

Our location is the best of both worlds: a beautiful 96-acre campus overlooking the Hudson River just 12 miles north of New York City. There’s only one New York City and there’s only one school for both day and boarding students this close to it. The Masters School takes full advantage of its proximity, tapping into the city’s rich cultural and educational resources. Students utilize the museums, landmarks, universities, and more to expand their educational experience. The School’s performing artists can attend world-class dance and musical performances and even take the stage in some of the city’s prominent venues. There’s simply no limit to what can be learned in this vibrant, thriving metropolis.

Experienced College Counseling Office

The goal of the College Counseling Office is to help students make informed educational choices, be experts on the college search process, and advocate strongly for our students with College Admission Offices. While acceptance at a college or university that matches the student’s educational, social, geographic and financial needs is vital, the Masters College Office takes a very personalized approach that guides students through a process of self-exploration so they may learn more about themselves to help create a positive vision before they move on to the next, more independent phase of their life. All counselors have Master’s degrees in counseling psychology and recognize the importance of helping students to articulate their interests and skills, to examine their personality and aspirations and link these to their choice of colleges and universities.

Our team begins the process in ninth grade and is dedicated to understanding and helping determine each student’s college goals, coupled with knowledgeable advice and attention to detail, in order to ensure a timely—and successful—process. We bring more than 130 college representatives to our campus each year and they will tell you how well prepared Masters students are to achieve in college and beyond.  Reflecting the diversity of our student body, Masters' graduates matriculate at a broad range of colleges and universities, including the most selective institutions in the nation and abroad.  

49 Clinton Avenue
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
(914) 479-6400

There's more to a masters mind

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