Specialized High Schools

Two high school students work on a science experiment together in class while their teacher watches, smiling

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.

One Audition High School—Audition to Apply

You can apply to one specialized high school, 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 eight testing 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

Learn More

Use NYC School Finder 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.


Who Can Apply to the Specialized High Schools?

Everyone who is eligible to apply to high school is also eligible to apply to the specialized high schools—learn more on our High School admissions page:

When you register to audition and/or take the SHSAT and to receive results of your audition or test, you must be both of the following:

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

Visit Specialized High Schools

Visiting a school is the best way to explore if it may be the right place for you. It’s also a great way to see how long the trip is from home. During the school year, contact schools directly to find out if they have special events or student-guided tours. This fall, attend the high school fairs—at these events, you can meet with representatives from different schools on the same day, in the same place.


Register for Auditions and/or the Test


Entering High School in 2018?

The specialized high schools admissions period for the 2018-2019 school year is now closed. However, if you moved to New York City after November 1, 2017, and have not yet auditioned for LaGuardia High School or taken the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT), you can still test or audition this summer. Register with your parent/guardian at a Family Welcome Center between Wednesday, July 18 and Thursday, August 16—find locations and hours on the Family Welcome Centers page:

The SHSAT will take place on Wednesday, August 22 at Stuyvesant High School. LaGuardia High School Auditions will take place on Tuesday, August 28 at LaGuardia High School. Prepare for the test or audition by reading the 2017-2018 Specialized High Schools Student Handbook—email HSEnrollment@schools.nyc.gov to get a copy. The summer SHSAT will follow the format of the Fall 2017 SHSAT, so you can prepare by taking the practice tests in the 2017-2018 Handbook.

Entering High School in 2019?

Register to audition and/or to take the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) by October 11, 2018. You can register one of two ways:

  1. Through your school counselor
  2. At a Family Welcome Center

Subscribe to our specialized high schools email list to get admissions tips and key date reminders:


Prepare for Auditions and/or the Test

  1. Register by October 11, 2018, to audition for LaGuardia High School and/or take the SHSAT.
  2. Get your audition ticket and/or test ticket.
  3. Review your ticket for accuracy. English Language Learners and students with disabilities should check their tickets and make sure they are scheduled for the appropriate accommodations. Let your school counselor know right away if there are any errors on your ticket.
  4. Get a parent or guardian to sign your ticket.
  5. Audition and/or take the SHSAT.

Auditioning for LaGuardia High School

The LaGuardia High School audition ticket will list the studio(s) for which you have signed up to audition. Learn more about auditioning for specific studios on LaGuardia High School's website:

    Taking the SHSAT

    Before the day of the test, you will need to choose which specialized high schools you would like to attend and in what order of preference. You can rank up to eight specialized high schools on your test ticket. On the day of the test, you will copy these choices onto your SHSAT answer sheet.

    Use the following resources to prepare:

    • Specialized High Schools Admissions Test page. Learn more about the most recent test format and see sample test items:
    • NYC Specialized High Schools Student Handbook. Take SHSAT practice tests and learn about audition requirements for LaGuardia's six studios. Make sure any other test preparation materials you may find at a bookstore or local library reference the current year's SHSAT.
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    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 in the links below.

    Find Out More


    Audition and/or Take the Test

    Bring your audition ticket to LaGuardia on the day of your audition and/or your test ticket to your assigned test site on the day of the test.


    Get Your High School Results

    In March, a school counselor will give you your high school results letter. This letter may include an offer from your high school application and any offers from any of the studios at LaGuardia High School or from a testing specialized high school.

    If you get multiple offers, you must choose one. If you do not get an offer, apply in Round 2. Learn more about Round 2 on our High School admissions page:

    Specialized high schools do not participate in Round 2. Also, you cannot appeal to a specialized high school.


    Specialized High Schools Diversity Initiatives

    Our goal is that students in specialized high schools should reflect the diversity of New York City. The Specialized High School Diversity Initiatives aim to increase all of the following for high-potential students in underrepresented communities:

    • Testing rates
    • Acceptance and offer rates
    • Retention

    Visit the DREAM Program page to find out if you're eligible to participate in these programs:

    The admissions period for specialized high schools is currently closed.

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