Specialized High Schools

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Welcome to Specialized High Schools 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 participate in Specialized High Schools and high school admissions once the registration and application periods open. Please note:

  • 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.
  • The high school application is not yet open, and no longer closes on December 4, 2020. You will have additional time to apply.
  • 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.

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 for students interested in applying to any/all of the eight testing Specialized High Schools.

**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.**

  • Start exploring your high school options online with MySchools. The searchable MySchools high school directory contains the most up-to-date, detailed information on all NYC public high schools and programs. Save or print the pages of your favorite programs to browse offline. 
  • Watch our new video series! We'll walk you through the steps of applying to high school in New York City. Videos focused on Specialized High Schools admissions are coming soon.

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 current NYC resident
  • 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.

Sign up for our specialized high schools email list to get admissions tips and key date reminders.

Visit Specialized High Schools

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

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

  1. Register to audition for LaGuardia High School and/or schedule 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’ve registered to audition. Bring your audition ticket to LaGuardia on the day of your audition. Learn more about auditioning for specific studios on LaGuardia High School's website.

Taking the SHSAT

Before the day of the test, consider 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 bubble in these choices on your SHSAT answer sheet. Bring your test ticket to your assigned test site on the day of the test.

Use the following resources to prepare:

Get Your Specialized High Schools Results

High school offers and specialized high schools results are released together in March.

  • 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. Use this guide to learn more about high school and Specialized High Schools admissions and see schools listed by borough. Also read the Guide to the SHSAT for 2021 Admissions to learn about the exam and take sample tests.
    • For a digitally accessible experience, read the accessible edition of this guide.
    • MySchools also provides a digitally accessible experience for learning about high school programs.
    • Please note that the information in this guide was accurate at the time of publication in Spring 2020 but is subject to change. Refer to our website for the most up-to-date information on application and registration deadlines, events, and admissions information.
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  • Guide to The Specialized High Schools Admissions Test for 2021 Admissions. Use this guide to prepare for the SHSAT and take sample tests.
    • Also read the 2021 High School and Specialized High Schools Admissions Guide to learn about all public high school options, including how to participate in Specialized High Schools admissions.
    • Please note that the information in this guide was accurate at the time of publication in Spring 2020 but is subject to change. Refer to our website for the most up-to-date information.
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  • 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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