Specialized High Schools

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

Happening Next

Specialized High Schools registration and application periods are currently closed. Registration for the summer SHSAT and summer LaGuardia High School auditions will be open from July 21-August 6; please note that only new students or students who could not test during the 2020-2021 school year can participate—learn more below.

For Students Entering High School in 2021


You can view your high school offer information, including any Specialized High Schools results, in your MySchools account. Check schools' websites or contact them directly to learn about any open houses or orientations. You can read about specific schools and programs, including the Specialized High Schools, on their MySchools pages. 

Questions about your offer? Talk to your school counselor, contact a Family Welcome Center, or call 718-935-2009.


Who Can Participate?

If you meet all the following criteria, you may be eligible to take the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) and/or audition for Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (LaGuardia High School) in August 2021.

  • You are entering 9th or 10th grade in fall 2021, and you are not repeating 9th grade 
  • You currently live in New York City
  • You were unable to take the SHSAT and/or audition for LaGuardia High School during the 2020-2021 school year (for example, you moved to New York City after February 2021).

How to Participate

1. Register to test and/or audition between Wednesday, July 21, and Friday, August 6. You can register through a Family Welcome Center—learn how to contact us at schools.nyc.gov/FWC. If you have questions about Specialized High Schools admissions, including eligibility, contact a Family Welcome Center or email HSEnrollment@schools.nyc.gov

2. Prepare

3. Audition and/or take the SHSAT 

  • Auditions for LaGuardia High School will be held virtually. The deadline to submit any auditions is 11:59pm on Wednesday, August 11, 2021. Information about where to submit your audition will be provided upon registration.
  • The SHSAT will be administered on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, at Stuyvesant High School, 345 Chambers St, New York, NY. Families who register will receive their ticket in August via email.

For Students Entering High School in 2022

Interested in applying to the Specialized High Schools?

  • Read this page and watch the video playlist above.
  • Prepare for the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) by learning about the exam and taking the 2022 practice test.
  • Learn more about taking the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) by going to the SHSAT page


High School Admissions Events 

For Students Entering High School in Fall 2022

Will your child be entering high school in fall 2022? If so, you’ll be applying to high school this fall! Soon we will be posting a recording from one of our events for you to learn more about high school and Specialized High Schools admissions and options 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. 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 (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

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 desktop or mobile device.

Learn About Schools

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 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 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; this information was provided to help students prepare for their audition. During the submission period, this is where you can find the most up-to-date links and information on how to submit your audition materials.

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.

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.

2021 Summer SHSAT - Practice Materials

  • Entering high school in 2021 and taking the SHSAT this summer? Learn about eligibility requirements at the top of this page. Use this guide to prepare for the SHSAT and take sample tests.
    • Please note that a number of policies, dates, and deadlines in the guide linked to below—while accurate when published in spring 2020—are no longer current. For updated coverage of 2021 admissions, please refer to the fully accessible digital edition of the High School and Specialized High Schools Admissions GuideMySchools also provides a digitally accessible experience for learning about high school programs.
    • The SHSAT sample tests and test prep guidance in this guide is still current; you can use the links below to prepare for the test.

2021 SHSAT Practice Test Sections

For your convenience, these practice test sections (also included in the larger guide below) are also available as stand-alone documents to view and download.

Get Your Results

  • Entering high school in 2021? View your results, including any offers, in your high school offer letter. This letter is available in your MySchools account. You can also ask your school counselor or a Family Welcome Center for a copy.
  • Test results and any 2021 offers for students who took the SHSAT were first shared in late April.
  • 2021 high school offer letters were released in mid-May. These letters include any Specialized High Schools results and/or offers for the testing Specialized High Schools and/or LaGuardia High School, as well as up to one offer from the high school application process.
  • Students who get 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) have until June 25 to choose between them.
  • Please note that all high school programs EXCEPT for the nine Specialized High Schools have waitlists.

High school offers, including any Specialized High Schools results, are here—view your offer letter now in MySchools. Families without MySchools accounts will receive your child's offer letter by mail in June. You can also request a copy of your offer letter from your school counselor or a Family Welcome Center.

Your offer letter includes:

Any Specialized High Schools 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
  • If you took the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT), your SHSAT score and up to one offer to a testing Specialized High School. These same results were previously mailed and/or emailed to you in late April; they are now also available to view in MySchools. Reminder: 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.

High School Application Results

  • 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.
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