About Us » Admissions



The High School for Math, Science and Engineering (HSMSE) is one of eight highly selective specialized high schools established and run by the New York City Department of Education to serve the needs of academically gifted students. 
The High School for American Studies at Lehman College, The Queens High School for The Sciences at York College, The Bronx High School of Science, Brooklyn Technical High School, The Brooklyn Latin School, Staten Island Technical High School, Stuyvesant High School and HSMSE awards admission to those students who earn the highest scores on the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT). Specialized high schools do not consider grades, state test scores or attendance records. Acceptance is based only on the SHSAT score.


The SHSAT is offered to all eighth and ninth grade students residing within the five boroughs of New York City who wish to attend one of the eight specialized high schools. The same examination is given for all eight schools. The tests are graded and arranged in order of rank, from the highest score to the lowest score. The qualifying score for each school changes year to year and depends upon the number of seats available and the scores of all the candidates. Seats are filled starting with the highest test scores.
Students who miss the cutoff of their first-choice school may be assigned to their second-choice school if their score is above the cutoff for that school. This procedure continues until all seats in all eight schools have been filled.
Students take the exam at the designated school in their borough. Exam tickets are requested through the middle school guidance counselor in eighth grade. The SHSAT date is set by the DOE and is administered late in October. Accepted students are notified at the same time they receive their main round school notification. 
Test dates and additional information about the SHSAT can be found on the New York City Dept. of Education website


HSMSE offers an Open House in the fall. Our open house includes an information session and presentation from Principal Dolcy and the opportunity to speak with teachers and students on the quad. The Open House date is published each year in the Specialized High School Handbook.
Accepted students, and their parents, are invited to visit HSMSE in the spring before final high school decisions are due. Students will be able to tour classrooms, meet teachers and students and ask questions.


Our Humanities Department is incredibly competitive on a national stage. HSMSE students win recognition for their work in the fields of History, Language, Literature, and Art. Our students rank in the High School Fed and Euro Challenges. They secure scholarships to study abroad in Germany. Their work is selected in the CCNY Annual Poetry Contest. They literally paint the walls of our school with talent and beauty. The strength of our Humanities department is a vital, rigorous, respected part of our school.
The strength of our school lies in its small size and the dedication of our teachers. We get to know each student and we make ourselves available for tutoring no matter the subject area. We work with students to help them not only meet requirements but excel at them. Our grade advisors monitor the progress of all students throughout each semester and through our advisory program, teachers are paired with a small group of kids for their four years at HSMSE.
Our engineering and architecture program distinguish it from all other high schools. Courses are all taught by teachers with extensive professional experience. We are in a unique position to direct students towards extracurricular opportunities, internships, books, and web resources relevant to these fields. Having been educated and having worked in our fields, we have an unmatched understanding of colleges, degree programs and careers in their field of interest. HSMSE engineering classes give students early exposure to the types of technical and design problems they will face as well as a chance to develop the skills and methods of their chosen fields.
The required engineering courses at HSMSE should not be confused with university courses for engineering majors. Our courses serve the school’s mission to broadly prepare students for life in a highly technological society and a world of work where critical thinking and clear communication are essential skills. Our classes are designed to develop problem-solving skills, promote effective group work on long-term projects, make persuasive presentations, communicate ideas, and carefully document research, design decisions, and results.
Students should expect between two and four hours of homework each night. While homework varies by discipline, some examples of homework are reading and annotations, essays, project-based work, problem-based assignments and lab reports. Students who manage their time well can take advantage of the A Day/ B Day schedule to pace their workload.
Students who have both taken the course and passed the exam, will move onto the next level of math. If one of these components is missing, the student will be enrolled in the class. Freshman who have taken an Algebra course and passed the Regents exam will be placed into Foundations of Mathematics.
HSMSE offers Spanish to students who take the Spanish proficiency exam and passes with at least a 65. These students are placed into Spanish 3. All other students take German Level 1.
German opens doors in global business; Germany is the largest market in Europe and the fifth largest trading partner of the US. German is an important scientific language and Engineering internships at German companies are easier to find with a connection to the language. Studying German also levels the playing field – each student begins at the same point and has equal chances for success. German is spoken by over 100 million people. Students can take AP German in their fourth year of study.
Teachers have tutoring hours either before or after school.  Peer tutoring is also available.
Students will receive college credits for HSMSE courses which are taught by our teachers who are dually certified by the DOE and as CCNY Faculty. Students may also take College Now courses starting in their sophomore year. Students will receive free books and metro cards when they sign up for College Now.
Students must fulfill 200 hours of community service. There are opportunities for students to volunteer here at HSMSE (school-wide activities, teaching assistants) which will help students meet these requirements.
We strongly encourage students to consider the commute time and how it may impact their ability to arrive at school on time and to manage the workload. Some of our most successful students also had the longest commute; a past valedictorian hailed from Staten Island! It’s absolutely doable, but fully committing to four years of a long commute is an important consideration.
CCNY is a bustling college campus where students, staff, and faculty walk to and from subways all hours of the day. CCNY offers a shuttle bus service that HSMSE students can take advantage of. As with many colleges, there is security on our campus 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For more details about the shuttle service please visit: http://www.ccny.cuny.edu/safety/subway.cfm
HSMSE students have many options for meals. Students can bring lunch, buy lunch at the NAC Food Court, or take advantage of the free lunch that is offered to all NYC students. On nice days our students often eat outside on the quad, on not so nice days, there is room in the NAC for everyone.