Townsend Harris High School Admissions: How To Get Into Townsend Harris High!



Townsend Harris High School at Queens College is a top-ranked magnet school in Queens, New York, with a strong humanities program. Townsend Harris is ranked consistently in the top 100 High Schools by US News, and its students go on to achieve top SAT scores and have good college placement every year. Read on to find out more about Townsend Harris High School admissions, and discover whether Townsend High is the right school for you.

Townsend Harris High School | School Overview

Townsend Harris was founded in the early 1900s in an old building of Baruch College, but the school was relaunched in 1984 to serve students as a public school in New York City. The school is affiliated with Queens College and uses a building on the Queens College campus for its location.

The school itself has a strong humanities and language component, with an extra year of English/writing courses required after the typical three year Regents-compliant curriculum is completed. Students study Latin or Greek for two years, with modern languages offered for additional language credits and electives. Townsend Harris offers most AP programs and requires students to complete a senior project, which is self-motivated and a great way to get used to college-level requirements.

One great part of the school is its senior bridge year program, which allows Townsend Harris students to take classes at Queens College and get college credits – these courses look strong on any college application and help students prepare for the next stage of their education. For more information, go to the Townsend Harris website.

Townsend Harris High School | Admissions Information

Townsend Harris takes a holistic approach to high school admissions. Unlike the specialized high schools in NYC, which require high scores on the SHSAT as the only admissions point, Townsend Harris considers several different metrics while admitting students. To join in ninth grade, current seventh grade students need to beef up their report cards, have excellent attendance, and achieve top ELA and math scores in their year-end exams.

Specifically, Townsend Harris expects students to have a minimum average of 90%, with higher averages leading to higher admissions chances. On ELA and math exams, students should be in at least the 90th percentile. In addition, Townsend Harris requires near-perfect attendance, which may seem like a lot to ask! However, this admissions approach may be better for students with strong overall performance who do not want to join a specialized high school. Townsend Harris also have appealing offerings such as the Queens College classes and language excellence that not every specialized high school enjoys.

Townsend Harris High School | How to Register and Prepare for Admissions

Seventh grade students need to brush up in each subject for a chance at attending Townsend Harris. The first step is to make an effort to attend every scheduled class, since unexcused absences will count against admissions. Next, it is key to make sure the year-end report card for seventh grade is in excellent shape, because the report card and final exams (specifically ELA and math) are equally weighted toward admissions. Students must have an average at or above 90%, so this coming year might be time to push and work toward that goal. If there are any weak subjects, the summer is a great time to buckle down with extra work and get ready for the school year.

Finally, ELA and math scores at or above the 90th percentile are the last admissions factor. More information on the exams is available on our earlier blog post.

Of course, students with exceptional averages or with top test scores gain a slight edge, but all three categories need to be strong in order to have a good chance at attending. Now is the time to take a deep breath, commit to doing well this school year, and study hard for the opportunity to join Townsend Harris as a ninth-grade student.

This article has provided you with an overview of the Townsend Harris High School admissions process – more details can be found at the Townsend Harris High School website.