High School

High School student smiling in classroom

Need a high school now? Learn what to do on our New Students page.

Welcome to High School Admissions

COVID-19 has had a profound impact across every aspect of our school system, including the admissions process. As a result, we’re updating our pre-pandemic admissions timeline to ensure ample time for families to explore schools and apply once the application launches. Please note:

  • The high school application is not yet open, and no longer closes on December 4, 2020. You will have additional time to apply.
  • Registration for Specialized High Schools admissions is not yet open, and no longer closes on October 21, 2020. You will have additional time to register.
  • Dates and locations for the high school fairs, the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT), and LaGuardia High School auditions—as listed in the 2021 NYC High School and Specialized High Schools Admissions Guide—will also change.

We appreciate your patience and will update this page with more detailed information and timelines as soon as we can.

  • Sign up for our high school admissions email list and we'll notify you when the high school application and Specialized High Schools registration opens! You will also get updates, key date reminders, and tips throughout the admissions process.

What You Can Do Now

  • Read the 2021 NYC High School Admissions Guide. Scroll down to the Documents section of this page to view or download. This book is really two guides in one: 
    • The High School and Specialized High School Admissions Guide covers how to apply to any DOE public high schools in New York City, including the nine Specialized High Schools; it also provides maps and school listings by borough. 
    • The Guide to the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) offers test tips and practice exams.

**Please note that the information in these guides was accurate at the time of publication in Spring 2020 but is subject to change. Stay tuned for any updates to application deadlines, event information, and admissions information.**

Who Can Apply

To apply to high school, you must be both of the following:

  • A current NYC resident
  • A current eighth grade or first-time ninth grade student

All of the following students are welcome to apply: Current public district and charter school students, private or parochial school students, students with disabilities, students with accessibility needs, students learning English, students from immigrant families, students in temporary housing, LGBTQ and gender nonconforming students, and students with children.

Find High Schools

When you apply to high school in New York City, you have a wide range of choices. We offer more than 700 programs at over 400 high schools. There are two paths to high school admissions.

These resources can help you find schools for your high school application:

  1. MySchools. Explore NYC public schools and programs, find choices for your application, and apply—all in one place. Use MySchools or contact schools directly to find the most up-to-date information about schools' academic offerings, activities, sports, and more.
  2. NYC High School and Specialized High Schools Admissions Guide. Find high schools and programs by borough. Understand how programs make offers, and learn how to choose 12 programs for your application . Additionally, find out how to test and/or audition to apply for the nine Specialized High Schools. Scroll to the Documents section of this page to view or download this guide.
  3. NYC Guide to the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT). Learn all about the SHSAT and take practice exams. Scroll to the Documents section of this page to view or download this guide.
  4. Diversity in Our Schools. Learn about diversity initiatives that high schools across the city are participating in to increase diversity within their schools.

View Our Open House Calendar

*Due to the ongoing pandemic, we encourage you to visit schools' websites or inquire about virtual opportunities to learn more about them.*

During most years, visiting a school is a helpful way to explore if it may be the right place for you. It’s also a good way to see how long the trip is from home. Open house dates may appear in the calendar below, but please contact schools directly for the most recent information, such as whether they will hold virtual open houses or information sessions.

View the calendar below.

How to Apply

During the application period, this is how to apply:

  • Use MySchools to explore high school options, and talk with your school counselor to decide which 12 programs to include on your application. Applying to 12 programs, all of which you'd be happy to attend, makes it more likely that you'll get an offer to a program of your choice!
  • Submit your high school application online with MySchools.
    • Need language support? You can apply in English, Spanish, Chinese, Bengali, Russian, Arabic, Urdu, Haitian Creole, Korean, or French in MySchools. If you would like to apply using another language, call us at 718-935-2009, or contact a Family Welcome Center and ask for an interpreter.
    • Questions? We're here to help: Talk to your school counselor or contact a Family Welcome Center.

Learn How Students Get Offers

*Please note: 2019-2020 attendance and punctuality will NOT impact applications to middle or high schools for students entering high school in fall 2021.

Watch these animations to find out why your high school application choices matter and to learn about other factors, such as admissions priorities, admissions methods, and seat availability. (Since the making of this animation, we've made some changes to improve the high school admissions process. There is now only one round of high school admissions. Learn about waitlists on our Waitlists page.)

Get Your Offer Letter

In the spring, all New York City eighth grade students (and all ninth grade applicants) get a high school offer letter. This letter includes any high school and/or Specialized High Schools offer(s) and results. Whenever possible, students will get an offer to the highest possible choice from their high school application.


Your offer letter will also include information about any programs where you have been waitlisted—learn more on our Waitlists page.

  • You are automatically on the waitlist for any program(s) listed higher on your application than the program where you received an offer.
  • You can also add yourself to waitlists. However, please note that your best chance of getting an offer to any program is to include it as a choice on your original application. 
  • You’ll be able to check your place on the waitlist for any school.
  • Waitlist offers will be made based on seat availability, admissions priorities, and admissions methods.
  • Schools will be in touch directly if a seat opens up and they can make you an offer from their waitlist. You will have one week to accept or decline a waitlist offer.

Please note that the Specialized High Schools do NOT have waitlists.

Watch this video to learn how to use MySchools to get information about your offer and waitlists, add yourself to additional waitlists, see where you are on any waitlist, accept or decline offers, and more:

Offers and Waitlists MySchools Tutorial Video

Plan for College and Careers

Learn now how to start preparing for life after high school. Use the following resources to help you on your journey to college or careers.

  • Graduation Requirements. Learn about New York State's high school graduation requirements, which may differ depending on the year you started ninth grade. If you are 16-21 years old, under-credited, and need a high school diploma, learn about other ways to graduate.
  • The College Board. Begin thinking about college now. Find step-by-step action plans for high school students.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook. Start thinking about your future work life now. Learn about the salaries, education requirements, and training opportunities for hundreds of professions, from massage therapists to lawyers to electricians.


  • 2021 High School and Specialized High Schools Admissions Guide. Use this guide to learn more about high school and Specialized High Schools admissions and see schools listed by borough.
  • Guide to The Specialized High Schools Admissions Test for 2021 Admissions. Use this guide to learn how to prepare for the SHSAT and take sample tests. 
    • Information is subject to change. For the most up-to-date admissions information and to learn about deadlines, key dates, and more, check this website and the Specialized High Schools page.
    • Also read the 2021 High School and Specialized High Schools Admissions Guide, which contains admissions information for all your high school options, including how to participate in Specialized High Schools admissions.
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