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Considering New York City’s Specialized High Schools next year?

Earlier this fall, the 2023 NYC high school application opened to City families with students in grades 8 (or 9 for the first time) who are seeking fall 2023 placement into any of the 400+ NYC public high schools located across the five boroughs.

But did you know that the City’s nine Specialized High Schools do not use our standard application for student admissions?

New York City’s Specialized High Schools are among the program options available to support the educational needs of City students who excel academically and/or artistically, including English language learners, students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), and/or 504 plans. Eight of the City’s nine Specialized High Schools, including schools like Stuyvesant, Bronx H.S. of Science, Brooklyn Technical H.S., and Staten Island Technical H.S., use the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) to determine which students get placed into their schools. The non-SHSAT school, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, instead requires applicants to participate in a separate portfolio/audition process for placement into one of the school’s six different programs.

Want to watch the rest of the videos in our Specialized High Schools Admissions Video Series? Visit our Specialized High Schools admissions webpage.

Who Can Apply to Specialized High Schools?

Everyone eligible to apply to City high schools is also eligible to apply to our Specialized High Schools. To register for auditions and/or to schedule your SHSAT test, a student must be both of the following:

  • An NYC resident
  • A current eighth grade student or first-time ninth grade student (someone who hasn’t repeated the ninth grade).

To register for the SHSAT, participate in LaGuardia H.S.’s portfolio/audition process, and view info pages about every City high school, including Specialized High Schools, log onto your MySchools account to get started.

Don’t have a MySchools account? Check out our “How to Create a MySchools Account” video, or speak with your counselor or parent coordinator about accessing your MySchools account and applying to City high schools. You can also stop by a Family Welcome Center for assistance.

Registering for and Taking the SHSAT

From now until Friday, November 4, 2022, current NYC residents who are students in eighth grade or are first-time ninth graders can register on MySchools to take the SHSAT in November or December 2022 for admission to one of the eight testing Specialized High Schools.

To register for an SHSAT testing date and location, log into your MySchools account and click the “SHSAT” tab. You may also register through your (or your child’s) current school counselor or through a Family Welcome Center.

Please note that students with disabilities who have IEPs or approved 504 Accommodation Plans, as well as English language learners, are eligible for SHSAT supports and accommodations. Please speak with your child’s school counselor to confirm these arrangements on your child’s behalf.

For more information about the SHSAT, including details about what is on the test, sample tests and practice questions, scoring information, and preparation strategies before testing day, visit our Specialized High School Admissions Test webpage.

Young middle school-aged student receiving piano lesson.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk. Used under Creative Commons license. Original can be found on Pexels.

Applying to Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts

From now until December 1, 2022, current City students who are eligible to apply to NYC high schools can apply to any or all of the six arts programs at Fiorello H. LaGuardia H.S. by submitting separate application and virtual audition/portfolio materials through MySchools. You may also apply to LaGuardia H.S. through your (or your child’s) current school counselor or through a Family Welcome Center.

The six programs students can apply for are:

  • Fine and Visual Art
  • Vocal Music
  • Instrumental Music
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Technical Theater

In addition to audition and portfolio materials, LaGuardia High School also considers students’ academic records when making placement decisions. To learn more about LaGuardia’s admissions process and the school itself, visit LaGuardia’s website, and check out our “High School Auditions” page to learn more about this year’s audition requirements.

For further details about this year’s Specialized High Schools admissions process, visit our official Specialized High Schools page.

Questions? You can:

Remember: the last day to register for the SHSAT is November 4, 2022, and the last day to apply for LaGuardia H.S. is December 1, 2022. So mark your calendars, and submit your applications TODAY.

On behalf of the NYC Department of Education, we wish all of this year’s high school applicants a smooth admissions process!

Photo by Yan Krukov. Used under Creative Commons license. Original can be found on Pexels.

Official blog for the NYC Department of Education, home of a million students across 1,800+ schools

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