Specialized High Schools

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

Come to a High School Admissions Fair!

Plan for the fall! Mark your calendar now for the high school fairs. At these events, you can meet with representatives from high schools—including the specialized high schools—and DOE admissions specialists. Fairs will be held in each borough on one or both of the following weekends: September 21-22 and October 5-6. Stay tuned for more information on specific event locations and times.

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

Students 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
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Summer SHSAT - For Students Entering High School in September 2019

If you moved to New York City after November 1, 2018 and are entering high school this fall, you can take the SHSAT in August. The test is only open to students who meet all three of the following requirements:

  1. You entered eighth grade (or ninth grade for the first time) in September 2018, and
  2. You moved to New York City after November 1, 2018, and
  3. You did not take the SHSAT in fall 2018.

How to Register

  • Come to a Family Welcome Center to register.
  • Register between Monday, July 15 and Friday, August 9, 2019.
  • Bring the following when you register:
    • Proof of your age
    • Your latest report card/transcript
    • Two documents verifying proof of current address

    Find lists of accepted documents here:

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  • For students who attended a non-public (private or parochial) school during the 2017-2018 school year - Bring a signed letter on school letterhead confirming the date of your admission to that school during the 2017-2018 school year.
  • For students who move to NYC from another place in the U.S. - Bring a discharge letter from the school you attended during the 2017-2018 school year.
  • For students who moved to NYC from another country - Bring the following:
    • A stamped passport or a dated letter from the Office of Refugee Resettlement, and
    • A discharge letter or educational record from the school you attended during the 2017-2018 school year.

You'll receive your test ticket when you register. Bring your ticket to your test.

The Summer SHSAT test will be held on Thursday, August 15 at Stuyvesant High School.

Preparing for the Summer SHSAT

The summer 2019 SHSAT follows the format of the fall 2018 SHSAT.

  • The summer 2019 SHSAT will not include the changes to the fall 2019 SHSAT, so students taking the SHSAT this summer should not use the new 2019-2020 Specialized High Schools Student Handbook to prepare.
  • Instead, summer 2019 SHSAT testers can refer to the practice tests in the 2018-2019 Specialized High Schools Student Handbook.

The 2018-2019 handbook is available at the following links in these languages: English, Arabic, Bangla/Bengali, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu.

For Students Entering High School in September 2020

  • Register in Fall 2019 to test for the testing specialized high schools and audition for LaGuardia.
  • Students registered to take the SHSAT will test on one of the following dates: October 26, October 27, November 2, or November 17.

Learn More

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.

Stay Connected

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

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. Learn more:

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:

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 ninth grade student

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Learn How Students Get Offers

Watch this video to learn how students get offers to screened high schools and the specialized high schools. The section on specialized high schools starts at 08:20.

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 what your commute would be like. During the school year, you can contact schools directly to find out if they have special events or student-guided tours. You can also find open house dates in the calendar below:

Register for Auditions and/or the Test

Registration to audition or test for these schools is now closed—the deadline was October 11, 2018. If you registered, your audition or test tickets are now available to print or to pick up at your current school.

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:

    • Specialized High Schools Admissions Test page. Learn more about the most recent test format and see sample test items:
    • 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.

    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:

    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.

    Find Out More

    Get Your High School Results

    All students who apply in Round 1 will get a high school offer. Whenever possible, students will get an offer to the highest possible choice from their application; when not, they will get an offer to a program close to their home and (if possible) reflecting their interests based on their application choices.

    High school offers and results are released together in March. Your results will include your offer from the high school application process and your results from the specialized high schools process (if you participated). These results may also include offers from any of the studios at LaGuardia High School or an offer from a testing specialized high school. If you get multiple offers in Round 1, you can choose only one.

    Discovery Program

    In the spring, 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:

    Round 2—Optional 

    There is a Round 2 of high school admissions; anyone eligible for Round 1 can participate in Round 2. If you prefer programs available in Round 2 over your Round 1 offer(s), submit a Round 2 application. During Round 2 admissions, use MySchools to explore programs with Round 2 availability. 

    If you apply in Round 2, you will get your Round 2 results in May. If you get a Round 2 offer, it will replace your Round 1 offer—you cannot choose between these offers. If you do not get a new offer in Round 2 and your Round 1 offer presents a hardship, you may appeal.

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

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