We have developed a novel experimental technique for accurately determining band offsets in semiconductor quantum wells (QW). It is based on the fact that the ground state heavy- hole (HH) band energy is more sensitive to the depth of the valence band well than the light-hole (LH) band energy. Further, it is well known that as a function of the well width, Lz, the energy difference between the LH and HH excitons in a lattice matched, unstrained QW system experiences a maximum. Calculations show that the position, and more importantly, the magnitude of this maximum is a sensitive function of the valence band offset, Qy, which determines the depth of the valence band well. By fitting experimentally measured LH-HH splittings as a function of Lz, an accurate determination of band offsets can be derived. We further reduce the experimental uncertainty by plotting LH-HH as a function of HH energy (which is a function of Lz ) rather than Lz itself, since then all of the relevant parameters can be precisely determined from absorption spectroscopy alone. Using this technique, we have derived the conduction band offsets for several material systems and, where a consensus has developed, have obtained values in good agreement with other determinations.