High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College Overview
The High School for Math, Science and Engineering is one of NYC’s 9 specialized high schools. Public and completely free to attend, HSMSE provides students with a first class education in the STEM fields, in addition to a rigorous and well rounded general academic program. The faculty are famous for their quality and dedication to teaching, and the student body (approximately 500) is one of the most diverse in the city, representing all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. In this article, we’ll tell you more about what makes HSMSE special, and what you need to know to get the chance to attend…
Where is HSMSE located?
HSMSE is located on the City College campus in Hamilton Heights, at 240 Convent Avenue, New York, NY. It’s accessible via the 1, A, B, C, and D trains, as well as a variety of bus lines.
What does HSMSE specialize in?
As the name suggests, HSMSE provides a specialized education in math, science, and engineering. All students are required to complete the equivalent of 5 years of math instead of 4, as well as a set of core engineering courses. Sophomore year, students declare a concentration in either math, engineering, or medical research.
In addition to STEM courses, students must take 4 years of English, History, and a minimum of 3 years of a foreign language, either Spanish or German. German, as the language of engineering, is particularly emphasized; the HSMSE German program is partnered with the Goethe-Institut, and students even have the opportunity to study abroad in Germany.
AP and honors courses are the norm at HSMSE, and students are able to benefit from its affiliation with City College by taking CCNY courses to earn college credit. HSMSE also offers a wide array of clubs, sports teams, affinity groups, and internship opportunities.
According to US News, HSMSE is ranked 3rd among New York City Public High Schools, 3rd in New York State, and 28th in National Rankings!
High School for Math, Science and Engineering Admission Requirements
The SHSAT is the only requirement for admission to HSMSE. HSMSE does not look at transcripts (grades), attendance, or writing supplements. There is no interview either – just the SHSAT, which is typically given the last weekend of October. HSMSE has the 4th highest SHSAT cut-off score. Students must score relatively high on the SHSAT compared to other students who took it that year, and have HSMSE highly ranked, in order to be accepted.
HSMSE Acceptance Rate
Because of its small size, the High School for Math, Science and Engineering is very competitive to get into. According to the NYC Department of Education, out of the approximately 28,000 students who take the SHSAT in a typical year, only about 5000 receive an offer from one of the specialized high schools.
High School for Math, Science and Engineering Admission Process
To apply to the High School for Math, Science and Engineering, students must register for and take the SHSAT (Specialized High School Admissions Test). This 3-hour test is open to all New York City Students who are currently in eight grade or ninth grade. Students rank the schools in order of preference, and then must score above a certain cut-off score to be accepted to the school of their choice.
IMPORTANT! If you want to get into HSMSE, you must rank it as your first choice school when registering for the SHSAT. Students are automatically placed in their highest choice school for which they score higher than the cutoff. It is not possible to change your first choice after the test, which means that if you score high enough for HSMSE, but ranked Brooklyn Latin first, you will get into Brooklyn Latin but NOT HSMSE.
Getting Into HSMSE: in 5 Steps!
- Take a diagnostic SHSAT. Mock testing is the best way to assess your strengths and weaknesses, which you can then use as a roadmap for future study. Ivy Tutors Network can both administer the diagnostic and send you a comprehensive score report.
- Start SHSAT Prep. The key to mastering the SHSAT lies in ample and consistent practice. We recommend students start studying for the SHSAT in the second semester of 7th grade if they are taking it as an 8th grader, or the second semester of 8th grade if they are taking it as a 9th grader. Students not only need to become confident in the material covered on the test, they also need to practice time management and concentration.
- Take additional proctored practice tests. Start by filling in content gaps, and then take periodic time proctored practice tests (administered by a parent or tutor), especially in the months leading up to the test date. After each practice test, students should make sure they understand why they got each problem wrong (yes, all of them!) before moving on to more practice. Students should also experiment with different timing and test-taking strategies. It is up to students to decide how they divide their time between sections on the SHSAT, so it can take a while to figure out what the best approach is for them.
- Research HSME and the other specialized high schools. This will help you make a decision on how to rank the schools when you register. You can learn more about all the specialized high schools by visiting their websites. We highly encourage students to attend any tours or information sessions that are available, either in-person or online.
- Register for the SHSAT. In order to take the test, you will also need to register for the SHSAT and rank your schools in order or preference. Students can register through their MySchools account or their school counselor.
Regular SHSAT Tutoring creates the necessary structure and reinforcement students often need to practice consistently and see results. Ivy Tutors Network has helped thousands of students succeed on the SHSAT and get into their top choice school. Our tutors are experts at helping students learn essential test-taking strategies, fill in content gaps, and build confidence.
In addition to individual and semi-private tutoring, we also offer SHSAT Strategies. In this small online workshop, students take a diagnostic test, review content, and learn the best tricks and strategies for excelling on the SHSAT.