A diverse student body enjoys life at HSMSE!

The students of HSMSE make high expectations possible

HSMSE brochure
The High School for Math, Science and Engineering (HSMSE) at The City College of New York is a specialized high school combining a rigorous program in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics with an ambitious humanities curriculum. Our collaborative approach to education fosters a supportive community which raises the performance level of each individual. In our labs and classrooms, and in internships at Mount Sinai Medical School and CCNY’s Grove School of Engineering, students learn by doing. Our skilled and committed faculty teach with rigor, with passion for their subjects, and with genuine affection for their students. HSMSE’s teachers set the bar high, and their dedication helps students meet high expectations – and even exceed them.

HSMSE attracts a diverse group of talented students who approach learning with excitement, dedication, and a sense of fun, whether they’re tackling calculus problems, reading Shakespeare, puzzling out drosophila genetics, designing circuits, debating the medieval court system, or conjugating German verbs. Smart, curious, and hard working, HSMSE students form a community of learners who support and challenge one another. They’re also the nicest teenagers you will ever meet.

Our students are drawn from all five boroughs, from public and private middle schools, and from diverse ethnic backgrounds. When they graduate they are prepared for college and for life beyond by HSMSE’s in-depth approach to learning. It is one of the Specialized High Schools of the New York City Department of Education and admission is based solely on scores on the Specialized High School Admission Test (SHSAT). Housed in Baskerville Hall, a dedicated building on CCNY campus, HSMSE gives students an early taste of college life as they eat in the college cafeteria and study in the college library. Newly built science and engineering labs offer up-to-date equipment, and all classrooms have internet access and computers or laptop carts.

A rigorous academic program with depth and breadth

All HSMSE courses are taught at the honors, college, or AP level. Core classes meet every other day for ninety minutes, allowing time for complex activities and in-depth discussions. There is a 45-minute elective enrichment course and a 45-minute lunch period everyday. HSMSE maintains an extended day schedule: all students are in school from 8:00 am to 3:35 pm daily until 12th grade.

All students take a minimum of five years of math, including at least one year of calculus for most students. Students also take a core set of engineering courses, preparing for life in a technological world whether or not they plan to become professional engineers. Students take laboratory sciences each year, as well as history and English. Study of a language other than English is also required for at least three years. Both German and Spanish are offered, with most students taking German, the language of engineering. Elective offerings [link to pdf] are shaped by the interests of teachers and students, and include courses in art, music, robotics, and gastronomy. Many students participate in academic teams, including Math Team, Euro Challenge, Fed Challenge, Junior Statesmen of America, and Model UN.

In the spring of 10th grade, students choose from concentrations in engineering, mathematics, and biomedical research (in partnership with Mount Sinai School of Medicine). Concentrations offer students additional depth in their selected fields.

Academic partnerships create unique opportunities

HSMSE students benefit from groundbreaking programs made possible by our academic partnerships. The City College of New York offers college credit for many HSMSE courses, as well access to a major research library, internships in labs, and use of the college’s athletic facilities. Partnerships with the Goethe-Institut and the American Association of Teachers of German support HSMSE’s German program, the largest high school German program in the United States, and fund travel-study to Germany for several HSMSE students each summer. Our core engineering curriculum was designed by Project Lead the Way. Upperclass students in the biomedical concentration spend half of the school day in research labs and clinical rotations at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

A community of learners for four years, a community of friends for life

Though their studies and internships take students around the CCNY campus, around the city and around the world, HSMSE students are part of a close-knit community. They work hard together, but they laugh a lot together, too. Baskerville Hall faces the CCNY quad, giving students grassy space in which to eat lunch, play tag, and relax on sunny days. School-sponsored events such as the annual Talent Show, Multicultural Night, and Intergrade Olympics give students opportunities to share their talents and their experiences with the larger school community. Eight HSMSE teams compete in the Public School Athletic League (PSAL), and students participate in a wide range of clubs and other extracurricular activities, including Junior Statesmen of America, Key Club, Model UN, cheerleading, dance team, and photography.

By offering a challenging program rich with opportunities, HSMSE prepares students to succeed in college and beyond. HSMSE graduates are equipped to become the next generation of leaders, critical thinkers and innovators in our society.


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