Admissions » Admissions Criteria

Admissions Criteria

Welcome to High School Admissions

COVID-19 has had a profound impact across every aspect of our school system, including the admissions process. As a result, NYC is updating our pre-pandemic admissions timeline to ensure ample time for families to explore schools and apply once the application launches.

  • The high school application will open late January 2022. The deadline to apply will be early March 2022 (the week of February 28, 2022)

2022 criteria for screened programs

High school programs that use the screened admissions method will use multiple measures as their screening criteria. These measures will include submission of a work sample from last year (such as essays, reports, etc)and first semester grades from this school year. This year, due to the absence of reliable or current state exam results, state test scores will not be used. 


The evaluation of students' applications to screened schools will happen centrally instead of at the school level. Students often apply to multiple screened schools and moving this process centrally will allow one team to evaluate a submission even if the student applies to multiple schools. This will also lead to a more consistent scoring process as one centrally-designed rubric will be used for all submissions. 


We will be sharing more details about the screening process, as well as the audition process, in the coming weeks.


The High School Admissions Team

Office of Student Enrollment

We will continue to update this page, we appreciate your patience.


Our Selection Criteria 2021

Admission to THHS Video


Townsend Harris students are life-long achievers. Their dedication to personal development and academic discipline begins long before they reach our school and continues long after.

Students from all five boroughs of New York City are eligible to apply to Townsend Harris and are selected through a competitive screening process rather than by a single entrance exam. Admission for entering ninth-grade students is based on 6th-grade standardized-test scores, final report card grades, and 7th grade marking period grades. Admission for entering tenth-grade students is based on 7th-grade standardized-test scores, final report card grades, and 8th grade marking period grades.

9th Grade Admission Percentage   10th Grade Admission Percentage
6th Grade ELA/Math State Test Scores 40%   7th Grade ELA/Math State Test Scores 40%
6th Grade Final Grades 50%   7th Grade Final Grades 50%
7th Grade Marking Period Grades 10%   8th Grade Marking Period Grades 10%


All applicants will be ranked according to their composite rubric score, as follows:


Rank of 1 = 91 - 100%

Rank of 2 = 86 - 90%

Rank of 3 = 81 - 85%

Rank of 4 = 76 - 80%

Rank of 5 =  71 - 75%

Rank of 6 = 66 - 70%

Rank of 7 = Below 66%


Among all applicants with the same rank, starting with the rank of 1, low-income applicants (students who qualify for Free or Reduced Lunch) are considered equally and randomly for the first 50% of offers. 


Then, the remaining applicants with the same rank (both low-income and non-low-income) are considered equally and randomly for the remaining 50% of offers. This is done separately for general education students and students with IEPs.


How to Apply

Students apply to Townsend Harris through their home school, whether it is public or private. For more information on the admission process, see your current counselor and/or use this link:


NYCDOE Tip: For a more detailed look at how offers are made to screened and audition programs, watch the video "How Students Get Offers to Screened Schools and the Specialized High Schools" on our website.


Check out our Virtual Open House Page!