Specialized High Schools

Watch our new video series to learn about Specialized High Schools admissions! Scroll down for the latest information. 

Register Now

The Specialized High Schools registration period is currently open. Here's how to participate:

For the 8 Testing Specialized High Schools

Apply to any/all of these schools by registering for, then taking the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT):

  • Step 1. Register to take the SHSAT. **Missed the January 15 deadline? You can still register through January 28 to take the test!** Log in to your MySchools account and click “Get Started.” Then click the “SHSAT” tab. Here, list any/all of these schools in your true preference order, starting with your top choice as #1. After taking the SHSAT, your child will be considered for admission to the schools you list on this page, in the order listed. Submit your registration for the test.
  • Step 2. Take the SHSAT. Testing will begin on January 27. Learn when groups of students are taking the test in the "Prepare for Auditions and/or the Test" section of this page.

For the One Audition Specialized High School

Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, apply by registering to audition, then submitting audition materials. Please note that the SHSAT is not used for admission to LaGuardia.

  • Step 1. Register by February 23, 2021 to audition. Log in to your MySchools account and click "Get Started.” Then click the “LaGuardia” tab. Here, indicate which programs your child wants to audition for. There are six programs at LaGuardia High School, and students can audition for just one program, all six, or anything in between. Be sure to submit your registration.
  • Step 2. Submit your audition by March 1. All high school auditions this year—including for LaGuardia High School—will take place virtually. Applicants will submit audition files through a new Virtual Audition Submission Tool; this tool is not yet open, and we will notify schools and families when you can access it. Updated requirements for audition programs are available on our High School Auditions page and will be posted in the MySchools directory soon. 

Questions? Need help setting up your MySchools account or registering? Watch the "How to Create Your MySchools Account" video in the playlist above or talk to your school counselor. If your child attends a private or parochial school or is currently homeschooled, contact a Family Welcome Center

Attend Virtual High School Admissions Events

  • In mid-January, we hosted Virtual Admissions Information Sessions for high school applicants. We'll be posting a captioned video of our presentation on this page in the coming weeks.
  • Interested in applying to audition programs? In late January and early February, join us for the Virtual Arts High School Fairs! Learn more in the "Attend Virtual Admissions Events" section of this page, and register here, where you can find specific dates, times, and interpretation details.

Admissions Updates

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

What Are the Specialized High Schools?

The nine specialized high schools are one way that New York City supports the educational needs of students who excel academically and/or artistically, including English Language Learners and students with an IEP or 504 Plan.

Who Can Apply?

Everyone eligible to apply to high school is also eligible to apply to the specialized high schools. When you register to audition and/or schedule the SHSAT and to get your audition or test results, you must be both of the following:

  • A NYC resident (this includes students who have temporarily moved out of New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic)
  • A current eighth grade student or first-time (not repeating the grade) ninth grade student 

One Audition High School—Audition to Apply

You can apply to Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts by submitting a portfolio and auditioning in a talent area for up to six different studios:

  • Fine & Visual Art
  • Vocal Music
  • Instrumental Music
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Technical Theater

LaGuardia High School also considers students' academic records.

Eight Testing High Schools—Take the SHSAT to Apply

You can apply to the other eight specialized high schools by taking the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT). These schools are:

  • The Bronx High School of Science
  • The Brooklyn Latin School
  • Brooklyn Technical High School
  • High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering at City College of New York
  • High School of American Studies at Lehman College
  • Queens High School for the Sciences at York College
  • Staten Island Technical High School
  • Stuyvesant High School

Use MySchools to learn more about each of the specialized high schools, as well as other public high school options. Search for schools by interest, location, and more from your desktop or mobile device.

Learn About Schools

  • Check to see if schools are hosting any virtual events, or if they have resources for prospective applicants. For the most up-to-date information, contact schools directly.
Learn about admissions.
  • Watch our Specialized High Schools Videos! Scroll up to the top of this page to view them in the player. Also watch our High School Admissions Video Series: we'll walk you through the steps of applying to high school in New York City.
  • Read the updated digital version of the High School and Specialized High Schools Admissions Guide. **If you refer to the PDF version (scroll down to the "Documents" section of this page) or print version of this guide, please note that some policies and school information, as well as all dates and locations, formats for events, test dates, and process for auditions—while accurate when published in spring 2020—have changed and are no longer current in the PDF or print versions.
  • Use the Guide to the SHSAT for 2021 Admissions (scroll down to the "Documents" section of this page) to find test tips and practice exams for students interested in applying to any/all of the eight testing Specialized High Schools. The practice tests and test tips are current and reflect the kinds of questions that will appear on the test.
  • Refer to our High School Auditions page to learn about the common requirements for each arts discipline; this will help you prepare for your audition. It is also where you'll find the link to the Virtual Admissions Submission Tool.

Attend Virtual Admissions Events

There are two types of virtual events. Register here to attend any future sessions.

  • High School Admissions Information Sessions. In mid-January, we hosted virtual admissions information sessions for high school applicants. We'll be posting a captioned video of our presentation on this page in the coming weeks.
  • Virtual Arts High School Fairs. Interested in applying to audition programs? At these online events you can learn about audition requirements for each discipline, the audition process for this year, and how to use MySchools and the Virtual Audition Submission Tool (VAST). Additionally, this is a chance to meet representatives from NYC’s audition schools, including LaGuardia High School. At the end of the event, school and DOE staff will respond to your questions. Please note that schools from different boroughs will showcase their programs on different days:
    • January 21, 1pm to 3pm, featuring Manhattan and Bronx audition programs | Interpretation will be provided in: Spanish, Mandarin
    • January 25, 5pm to 7pm, featuring Brooklyn and Staten Island audition programs | Interpretation will be provided in: Spanish, Mandarin, Russian
    • February 2, 4pm to 6pmfeaturing Queens audition programs | Interpretation will be provided in: Spanish, Mandarin, Bangla 
    • February 4, 6pm to 8pm, featuring Manhattan and Bronx audition programs | Interpretation will be provided in: Spanish, Bangla, French

The day before the event, you’ll receive a confirmation email with the link to the virtual event(s) you registered for—when the event starts, you'll click that link to join. Can’t attend, or want to learn more? You can also watch our High School Admissions Video Series and find the most up-to-date admissions information on this page, at schools.nyc.gov/High, and at schools.nyc.gov/HSGuide.

Diversity Initiatives

Our goal is that students in Specialized High Schools reflect the diversity of New York City. The Specialized High Schools Diversity Initiatives aim to increase testing, offer, and acceptance rates for high-potential students in underrepresented communities.

DREAM Program

DREAM (Determination, Resiliency, Enthusiasm, Ambition, Motivation) is an extracurricular academic program that prepares eligible New York City public school students for the SHSAT. Learn if you might be eligible to participate.

Discovery Program

In the spring after you take the test, we will contact you if you’re eligible to participate in a Discovery program. Discovery programs are for rising ninth grade students who take the SHSAT and score right below the cutoff score. Learn more about this program and eligibility requirements in the Specialized High Schools section of our Diversity in Admissions page.

Test Supports and Accommodations

Students with disabilities who have IEPs or approved 504 Accommodation Plans and English Language Learners are eligible for test supports and accommodations. ELL accommodations are available for students up to two years after they reach proficiency on the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT). Work with your school counselor to confirm accommodations for your audition and/or test. Learn more about special education in NYC and tests for English Language Learners.

Prepare for Auditions and/or the Test

For LaGuardia High School Programs

Apply to any/all of the programs at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts by registering to audition, then submitting audition materials. Please note that the SHSAT is not used for admission to LaGuardia. 

  1. Register for Your Audition(s). Log in to your MySchools account and click "Get Started.” Then click the “LaGuardia” tab. Here, indicate which program(s) your child wants to audition for. There are six programs at LaGuardia High School, and students can audition for just one program, all six, or anything in between. Now submit your registration to audition. 
  2. Audition. All high school auditions this year—including for LaGuardia High School—will take place virtually.
    • Applicants will submit audition files through a new Virtual Audition Submission Tool. This tool is not yet open; we will notify schools and families when you can access it.
    • Updated requirements for audition programs are available here; these will be posted in the MySchools directory in the coming weeks. 

For the Testing Specialized High Schools 

Apply to any/all of these schools by registering for, then taking the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT).

  1. Register and Submit Your School Preferences. Log in to your MySchools account and click “Get Started”. Then click the “SHSAT” tab. Here, list any/all of these schools in your true preference order, starting with your top choice as #1. After taking the SHSAT, your child will be considered for admission to the Specialized High Schools you list on this page, in the order listed. Now submit your registration for the test.
  2. Take the SHSAT. Testing will begin in late January. 8th grade public school students will take the SHSAT at their current school; all other students will take the SHSAT at DOE locations. Please see the dates below to learn when students are taking the test:
Who?Test DateLocation

8th graders at DOE schools who register before the January 27 test

January 27Your current school
8th graders at DOE schools who register after the January 27 testJanuary 30 or February 7Central DOE location

9th graders at DOE schools

January 30 or February 7Central DOE location

All private/parochial/home-schooled 8th and 9th graders

January 30 or February 7Central DOE location

All charter 8th and 9th graders

January 30 or February 7Central DOE location

Use the following resources to prepare for the SHSAT:

Get Your Specialized High Schools Results

More information on a timeline for 2021 high school offers and Specialized High Schools results will be available soon.

  • Your high school offer letter includes an offer from the high school application process and/or your results from the Specialized High Schools admissions process (if you participated).
  • It may also include an offer or offers from LaGuardia High School's studios and/or one offer from a testing specialized high school.
  • You can only accept one offer. If you get multiple offers, you must choose between them.

You can learn more about high school offers and waitlists on our High School page. Please note that the Specialized High Schools do NOT have waitlists.

Documents

  • 2021 High School and Specialized High Schools Admissions Guide. 
    • DISCLAIMER: Please note that a number of the policies, admissions priorities, admissions methods, and selection criteria, as well as all key dates and deadlines in the print/PDF guides linked to below—while accurate when published in spring 2020—are no longer current.
    • Please refer to the NEWLY UPDATED and fully accessible digital edition of this admissions guide.
    • MySchools also provides a digitally accessible experience for learning about high school programs.
  • Guide to The Specialized High Schools Admissions Test for 2021 Admissions. Use this guide to prepare for the SHSAT and take sample tests.
    • DISCLAIMER: Please note that a number of the policies, admissions priorities, admissions methods, and selection criteria, as well as all key dates and deadlines in the guides linked to below—while accurate when published in spring 2020—are no longer current.
    • For dates, deadlines, processes, and more, please refer to the NEWLY UPDATED and fully accessible digital edition of this admissions guide.
    • The SHSAT sample tests and test prep guidance is still current; you can use the links below to prepare for the test.
    • Auditioning for LaGuardia? Use our High School Auditions page to prepare and learn how to register and submit your audition virtually. 
    • MySchools also provides a digitally accessible experience for learning about high school programs.
  • SHSAT Test Prep Sections. For your convenience, these test prep sections (also included in the larger guide above) are also available as stand-alone documents to view and download:
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