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. Please note:

  • The high school application will open the week of January 18, 2021. The deadline to apply is February 23, 2021.


We are working closely with the DOE Enrollment office to solidify our screening process. We will continue to update this page, we appreciate your patience.


Our Selection Criteria 2021

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%

To be considered for admission, students must have:

Have a minimum overall average of 90%.

(Students who have higher scores are more likely to be selected.)

Excellent standardized test scores.

(Students who have higher scores are more likely to be selected. ELA and Math test results will not be the sole, primary or major factor in admissions decisions, consistent with applicable law. Instead, multiple measures, which may include State test results, will be used to make admissions decisions for screened/audition programs)

We use a combination of the criteria above to select the strongest candidates. Students with higher averages and scores are much more likely to be selected.




A little more about our screening process:

Our Screened program evaluates applicants for admission based on the selection criteria above (standardized test scores, and grades), and we assign a ranking number to applicants based on that evaluation. Our ranking process is done in rounds, first we select the top students in each Queens High School Zone, then the top students in the other boroughs, then students in private school. With the goal of having a diversified student body.

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!


For more information, please see attached rubric.