Specialized High Schools

Watch our video series to learn about Specialized High Schools admissions! Scroll down to learn more about these schools and get the latest information.

Happening Next

Current eighth and ninth grade students who live in NYC can participate in Specialized High Schools admissions during the 2021-2022 school year.

  • Read this page and watch our video playlist to learn more about this admissions process . For more in-depth information, read last year's digital High School and Specialized High Schools Admissions Guide. Please be aware that some information may change for 2022 admissions. 
  • Sign up for our high school admissions email list: we'll send you updates on what to do, when, to participate in high school and Specialized High Schools admissions.
  • Learn about the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) on the SHSAT webpage. Use the 2022 practice materials to help prepare for test day.
  • Learn how to prepare for auditions at laguardiahs.org


New to NYC Public Schools and 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. To register to audition and/or schedule the SHSAT and to get your audition or test results, a student must be both of the following:

  • A NYC resident
  • A current eighth grade student or first-time (not repeating the grade) ninth grade student 

One Audition High School—Audition to Apply

During the registration and submission periods, 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

During the registration and testing periods, 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 computer or phone.

Learn About Schools

Learn about admissions.
  • Watch our Specialized High Schools Videos! Scroll 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 last year's digital High School and Specialized High Schools Admissions Guide.
  • Use the digital Guide to the SHSAT for 2022 Admissions and the print SHSAT - Practice Test for 2022 Admissions (available from your current middle school) 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.
  • Visit our High School Auditions page to learn about the common requirements for each arts discipline that were used last year for audition programs, including for LaGuardia High School programs. This information was provided to help students prepare their auditions and/or portfolios. During the submission period, this page is where you can find the most up-to-date links and information on how to audition.

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.

Register for LaGuardia Auditions and/or the SHSAT

Please note that Specialized High Schools registration is currently closed. What follows is the process followed during the 2020-2021 school year for applicants entering high school in fall 2021:

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 during the registration period, then submitting audition materials during the submission period. The SHSAT is not used for admission to LaGuardia.

  1. Register for Your Audition(s). During the registration period, you can 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 for students entering high school should be submitted by the deadline.

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. During the registration period, 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. Your test ticket will include specific information about when and where you will take the test, including your arrival time at the test site. During times when the SHSAT is being administered, this page will include more information about where and when certain groups of students will take the test.

2021-2022 School Year SHSAT - Practice Test and Materials

Entering high school in 2022 and taking the SHSAT during the 2021-2022 school year?

To Prepare for the SHSAT:

  • Important note: Make sure any other test preparation materials you may find at a bookstore or local library reference the current year's SHSAT.

2022 SHSAT Practice Test Sections

For your convenience, these practice test sections are also available as stand-alone documents to view and download.

Get Your Results

High school and Specialized High Schools results are released in the spring as part of the high school offer letter.

  • Once released, offer letters and information are available to view in your MySchools account.
  • Don't have a MySchools account? You can also get a copy of your offer letter or other offer information from your child's school counselor or a Family Welcome Center

Offer Letters

Your high school offer letter will include up to one offer from the high school application process, as well as any Specialized High Schools results and/or offers for the testing Specialized High Schools and/or LaGuardia High School. 

High School Application Results Include

  • Up to one offer to a program from the high school application process
  • Detailed information about the waitlist process, including a list of programs where you are automatically waitlisted, if applicable—learn more in your offer letter or on our Waitlists page. All high school programs (except for the Specialized High Schools) have waitlists.

Specialized High Schools Results (If Applicable) Include

  • Audition Specialized High School Results. If you auditioned for any programs at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, up to one offer to each program you auditioned for.
  • Testing Specialized High Schools Results. If you took the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT), your SHSAT score and up to one offer to a testing Specialized High School. Remember: Getting an offer to a testing Specialized High School is not a guarantee. In a typical year, approximately 28,000 students take the SHSAT, and about 5,000 of those students receive an offer.

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

Information For Students Entering High School in 2021

  • Test results and any offers for students who took the SHSAT during the 2020-2021 school year were first shared in late April 2021.
  • High school offer letters with results and offer information from all high school processes were released in mid-May 2021. 
  • Students who got more than one offer in their offer letter (such as an offer to a testing Specialized High School and an offer to a school from the high school application) were given a little over a month (until late June 2021) to choose between these offers.
  • As in previous years, the nine Specialized High Schools did NOT use waitlists.
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