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High Schools

  • In New York City, early each Fall semester, all eighth grade students enrolled in NYC schools and their families begin the process of choosing a high school.
  • Notices and related materials about the high school application process are distributed to all 8th grade students in public middle, intermediate, and junior high schools. Students enrolled in parochial and private schools are eligible to apply as well.
  • Families may also secure materials on-line or at any School District Office.
  • Every eligible student is assured entrance into one of the New York City public high schools.
  • Additional details about the high school admissions process are available under Evaluating High Schools

NYC's Specialized Public High Schools

Motivated students with strong academic records may want to consider applying to and being screened for one of NYC's Specialized Public High Schools. Nine schools are designate as specialized public high schools in New York City: three located are in Manhattan, two in the Bronx, two in Brooklyn, on in Queens, and one in Staten Island.





Staten Island

The Qualifying Examination or Audition

A single written examination is given for all of the specialized high schools with the exception of LaGuardia which requires an audition. At the time of the test, students must indicate in order their preference for school admission. The results on the written examination determine acceptance into one of the specialized high schools: the score on the exam as well as the student's placement preference(s) determines if the student will be offered a seat and in which school.

Students interested in admission to LaGuardia High School are required to audition for one of the performance studios - dance, drama, instrumental and vocal music, and technical theatre - or present a portfolio for admission to the art program. The student's audition or presentation and a brief interview, combined with their academic record are taken into consideration when determining whether the student will be offered a seat. Advanced Placement classes are offered in all academic subject areas.

New York City Residence Required

Only NYC residents in the 8th and 9th grade are eligible to compete for the specialized high schools. Individuals who relocate to NYC after the date of the exam, or students who were scheduled for the exam but were ill or otherwise unable to take the test during the Fall, will have an opportunity to test or audition for the schools just before the beginning of the academic year. Documentation of eligibility is required. The actual date of the exam/audition is typically available in June from the NYC Department of Education.

For additional information, request a copy of the Specialized High Schools Student Handbook: Admissions Information and Sample Examinations from your child's middle school guidance counselor or download it from the NYC Department of Education website.