Specialized High Schools

Two high school students work on a science experiment together in class while their teacher watches, smiling
Welcome to Specialized High Schools admissions! Keep checking this page for all the latest information and updates. Learn where, when, and how to register and audition and/or test to apply to any of the nine Specialized High Schools.

Starting High School in 2020?

View your high school offer letter online with MySchools. It was also mailed to your home address in March. If you participated in Specialized High Schools admissions by taking the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) or auditioning for LaGuardia High School, this letter includes your results, which may include an offer or offers. If you received multiple offers, the deadline to choose between them was May 15.

Don't have a MySchools account or have questions about your results or offer?

  • Email HSEnrollment@schools.nyc.gov.
  • Please note that our Family Welcome Center locations are currently closed, but our staff is available to assist you! Visit here to learn how you can reach us.

FOR NEW STUDENTS ONLY - Summer Testing and Auditions

If you are entering ninth or tenth grade this September and moved to New York City after November 1, 2019, you may be eligible to take the SHSAT and/or audition for LaGuardia High School in August 2020. Summer testing and auditions are only open to students who did not take the SHSAT or audition for LaGuardia High School during fall 2019.

Students who lived in New York City in September or October 2019 are not eligible for the summer 2020 SHSAT or LaGuardia High School auditions. This includes students who were home schooled or attended a charter or non-public school in fall 2019; if you lived in New York City in fall 2019, you are not eligible for the summer 2020 SHSAT or LaGuardia High School auditions.

  • Register to test or audition through a Family Welcome CenterRegistration for summer testing and auditions will open in late July 2020.
  • The City of New York and the Department of Education are continuing to monitor the public health situation to determine what will be safe in August. The public health situation may prevent the SHSAT from being administered, and may prevent auditions for LaGuardia High School from taking place.
  • Prepare for the August 2020 SHSAT and LaGuardia High School auditions by using the information, tips, and practice tests in the 2020 Specialized High Schools Student Handbook (scroll down to the bottom of this page to view or download).

Starting High School in 2021? 

Here’s what you can start doing this summer, all without leaving your home: 

  1. Subscribe to our email lists to get the latest updates on high school admissions 
  2. Learn about high school admissions in our 2021 High School Admissions Guide. Now available online! You can now view and download our PDF and web accessible versions. This book is two guides in one:
    • The High School and Specialized High School Admissions Guide includes everything you need to know about applying to high school in New York City including how to participate in Specialized High Schools admissions. 
    • The Guide to the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT), offers policy, test tips and practice exams. 
  3. Start exploring your high school options online with MySchools. The MySchools 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. 
  4. Watch our new video series – we'll walk you through the steps of applying to high school in New York City. 

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

*Please note that NYC public school buildings are currently closed. During this time, 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.



  • 2020 Specialized High Schools Student Handbook. Use the information, tips, and practice tests in this book to prepare for the summer 2020 SHSAT and LaGuardia High School auditions. Learn more at the top of this page.
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  • 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. 
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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.
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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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