Specialized High Schools

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

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

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

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:

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.

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. 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

Test Dates

Students who registered to take the SHSAT will test on one of the following dates in fall 2019:

Test DateStudents Testing
Saturday, October 26, 2019
  • All current Grade 8 students
Sunday, October 27, 2019
  • All current Grade 8 students
  • All first-time Grade 9 students
Saturday, November 2, 2019
  • Current Grade 8 and first-time Grade 9 students who are English Language Learners or students with disabilities who have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) or 504 Plans that include testing accommodations.
  • Make-up test
Sunday, November 17, 2019
  • Current Grade 8 and first-time Grade 9 students who are English Language Learners or students with disabilities who have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) or 504 Plans that include testing accommodations.
  • Make-up test

Students from 55 schools around the city will take the SHSAT during the school day on Wednesday, October 30th, as part of a pilot program.

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:

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:

Get Your High School Results

All students who submit a high school application 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 specialized high schools results are released together in March. Your results will include your offer from the high school application process and/or 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, you can choose only one.


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