schools that look like hogwarts
The Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle light projection show at Universal Studios Hollywood. Source: Amanda Edwards/AFP

Harry Potter may be British but there are many Hogwarts look-alike boarding schools in the US that capture that essence of magic that sold more than 500 million books worldwide. Although these schools don’t teach spells and potions, they have similar traits to the “School of Witchcraft and Wizardry” featured in the seven fantasy novels about “The Boy Who Lived.”

Some of those traits include exclusive admittance, a focus on team sports, being centuries old, and dress codes. Below we take a look at five boarding schools in the US that have what it takes to be compared to the enchanting Hogwarts:

Trinity-Pawling School, New York

Although Trinity-Pawling is an all-boys school, you’ll find some features that resemble the magical Hogwarts campus within its large 230-acre campus overlooking the scenic Hudson River Valley. It boasts a large 400-seat theatre contemporary arts centre, a large common dining hall — the Scully Dining Hall — and an outstanding farm and greenhouse.

There’s also a large field for football, soccer, and lacrosse, and with a little imagination, you can picture a game of Quidditch. The traditional Christmas service, aptly named Candlelight, takes place every December in the chapel on campus. It has all the ethos of the “Great Hall” of Hogwarts, but instead of the candles floating in the air, here students hold them safely in their hands.

Emma Willard School, New York

Although Emma Willard School wasn’t used for Harry Potter, this historic women’s school appeared in “Scent of a Woman” starring Al Pacino in 1992. Similarities to Hogwarts? Its Gothic architecture and gargoyles, except the gargoyles don’t come to life quite as much as they do as in Harry Potter. 

The Hill School, Pennsylvania

With a campus spanning more than 200 acres, the Hill School has two artificial turf fields and several faculty homes. The nearest town is Pottstown, the home to 22,000 residents, which easily compares to Hogsmeade near Hogwarts where young wizards and witches got their fill of butterbeer. 


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The community spirit is strong here, as are teacher-pupil relations, comparable to those of Hogwarts. Seated meals in the dining hall, a dress code, and sixth form tea are some of the traditions here. Now all it needs is a Divinations class where your fortune is read in your tea leaves for the full Hogwarts social vibes.

Masters School, New York

Located on a majestic 96-acre campus, the Masters School is just 19 kilometres away from Manhattan and offers many extracurricular societies, just like Hogwarts does — sans the dragons and Hippogrifs, of course. This coeducational college institution has over 60 sports teams with 26 at varsity level, which shows you how competitive and accomplished students here can be. 

Lawrenceville School, New Jersey

Houses at Hogwarts were both the living and learning communities for its students, and produced outstanding wizards and witches. It’s the same at the Lawrenceville School, each House is divided by levels. Each house differs in degrees of freedom and supervision but all foster pride, responsibility, and a great sense of leadership