Middle School

Middle school student in classroom

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

Welcome to Middle 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 middle school application is not yet open, and it no longer closes on December 4, 2020. You will have additional time to apply.
  • We appreciate your patience and will update this page with more detailed information and a timeline as soon as we can.
  • Sign up for our middle school admissions email list and we'll notify you when the application opens! You will also get updates, key date reminders, and tips throughout the admissions process.

What You Can Do Now

  • Explore schools and programs with the searchable MySchools middle school directory. You don't need an account to start browsing! 
    • Search. Type any school's name in the search box to learn more about it. Search for schools by features or offerings, such as "debate" or "band."
    • Filter. Use the filter buttons below the search box to narrow down the list of schools based on what is important to you, such as accessibility, location near a specific subway line, sports offered, and more.
  • Learn where your child can apply to middle school. In NYC, students are eligible to apply to middle school in their middle school district (based on their home address) and, when different, in the district where they currently attend elementary school.
    1. Use this map tool to look up your child's school district(s).
    2. Find your middle school district.  Enter your child's home address in the search bar to display their district number and any zoned middle schools they may have. Your child can apply to all middle schools in this district.
    3. Find your elementary school district. Enter the name of your child's current school in the search bar to display its district. If this differs from their middle school district, your child can apply to middle schools in both of these districts.

Questions?

  • Talk with your child's current school counselor
  • We're here to help! Call us at 718-935-2009

Who Can Apply?

All New York City children are guaranteed a seat at a public middle school. Apply to middle school when your child is in their last year of elementary school. Your child must be both of the following to apply:

  • A current New York City resident
  • A current fifth grade student, or a current sixth grade student if their elementary school ends in sixth grade

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

Find Middle Schools

Middle school offers students opportunities to explore their interests, discover new subjects, and learn more about themselves. Apply online to middle schools with your child’s personalized middle school application.

Schools on Your Application

In your child’s personalized online application, you’ll be able to see and explore every middle school program that they’re eligible to apply for and, if they get an offer, to attend. Middle schools have different eligibility criteria:

  • District schools offer a program or programs open only to students in the district where your family is zoned for middle school and, when different, in the district where your child goes to public elementary school.
  • Boroughwide schools offer a program or programs that are open to all students in your borough.
  • Citywide schools offer a program or programs open to all NYC students.

Some schools or programs require an additional test or audition. Learn more on each school’s website or in the NYC Middle School Directory; scroll down to find the directory for your district. You can schedule some of these additional admissions requirements in MySchools, our new online application system.

For Bronx Students and Families. Starting in fall 2019, all Bronx students and residents are eligible to apply to all Bronx middle schools. If your child is a Bronx student or resident, this means:

  • All Bronx middle schools will appear as options for your child's middle school application.
  • All students who live or go to school in a Bronx district will have an admissions priority to attend middle schools in that district or districts.
  • If seats remain, applicants who live and go to school in other Bronx districts will then be considered for admission.

Diversity in Middle School Admissions

Middle schools across the city are participating in an initiative to increase diversity within their programs—learn more on our Diversity in Admissions page.

Charter Schools

Charter schools have a separate admissions process. Contact charter schools directly to learn how to apply.

Your Middle School Choices

  • MySchools. During the application period, use MySchools to learn which district (1-32) your child is zoned to for middle school, find choices for your application, and apply. Learn your child's zoned middle school any time of year by entering your address here.
  • 2020 NYC Middle School Admissions Guide. Use last year's guide to start exploring programs in your district and learn about middle school admissions, including admissions methods and priorities for specific middle schools. For the most up-to-date admissions information, please refer to MySchools.

View Our Open House Calendar

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

Most years, visiting a school can help you learn if it may be the right place for your child. It’s also a great way to see how long the trip is from home. This year, please contact schools directly for the most recent information, such as whether they will hold virtual open houses or information sessions.

How to Apply

Most NYC students apply to middle school during their fifth grade year, or if different, their final year of elementary school. The middle school application period for students applying this year to enter middle school in fall 2021 is not yet open.

In your child's personalized online application, you can see and explore every middle school program that they are eligible to apply for and, if they get an offer, to attend. From these options, you can add up to 12 middle school programs to your child’s application. Add the programs that interest you and your child the most and rank them in your true order of preference in the application.

  • Consider adding the programs where your child has an admissions priority or guarantee, such as their zoned school(s) or continuing school. You do not have to place any of these programs as your first choice to keep your priority.
  • Make an appointment to talk to your child's school counselor. Discuss your child's middle school application choices and how you plan to rank them.
  • Use MySchools to explore your child's middle school options.
  • Read last year's Middle School Admissions Guide—PDF and accessible versions are available below.

During the application period, 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 and ask for an interpreter.

Questions? We're here to help.

Learn How Students Get Offers

Watch the following animations to see how students get offers to DOE public schools—learn why your middle school application choices matter and find out about other factors, such as admissions priorities, admissions methods, and seat availability. 

Please note: 2019-2020 attendance and punctuality will NOT impact applications to middle or high schools for current 5th and 8th graders who will be applying to middle and high school this school year (for fall 2021 admissions).

Get Your Middle School Offer Letter

In the spring, students get their middle school offers. All applicants get a middle school offer; most students get an offer to attend one of the programs ranked on their middle school application, but it is not guaranteed. Your child's offer letter will also include a list of programs where they’ve been waitlisted.

  • Your child is automatically on the waitlist for any program that you listed higher on their application than the program where they received an offer. For example, if your child received an offer to your third-choice program, they are automatically waitlisted at your first-choice and second-choice programs.
  • After initial offers are made and waitlists open, you can add your child to additional waitlists. (However, please note that your child's best chance of getting an offer to any program is to include it as a choice on their original application.)
  • You can also check your child's place on the waitlist for any school, in real time.
  • Waitlist offers are made based on seat availability, as well as the same admissions priorities and admissions methods listed in MySchools and the Middle School Admissions Guides (posted below).
  • Schools will be in touch directly if a seat opens up and they can make your child a waitlist offer. 

Learn more on our Waitlists page and by watching the tutorial that follows:

Plan for High School

Your child will apply to high school during eighth grade.

  • Also consider the nine specialized high schools—these schools are one way that New York City serves the needs of students who excel academically and artistically. The specialized high schools have separate, optional admissions processes and require a test or an audition in a talent area.

Documents

  • View or download last year's Middle School Admissions Guide for your borough to learn about applying to middle school. **Please note that information in this guide was accurate for students applying to middle school in 2019 and entering middle school in 2020; information for students applying in 2020 to start middle school in 2021 may be outdated.**
  • For an accessible experience, read the digitally accessible edition of the 2020 NYC Middle Admissions Guide online. The MySchools Directory also provides a digitally accessible experience for exploring middle school programs.
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