Admissions Criteria

All public, charter and independent school students must apply to Columbia Secondary School through the online NYCDOE application process. This is most often handled by a guidance counselor at your current school.
Once the applications are submitted, invitations to the entrance exam for middle school, or to an interview for high school, are based on a composite score formulated from a combination of core class grade averages, state test scores, and attendance. We do not request letters of recommendation nor do we review them if they are submitted. Please make sure that, if you have applied to CSS, your school’s guidance counselor has entered your course grades, attendance, lateness and test scores in the application system.
Once the middle school entrance exam has taken place, the score determines the order of ranking within each district for middle school. For high school applicants, the interview score is added to the other scores and the final composite score determines the order of ranking. There are no district restrictions for high school applicants.
For students with disabilities, in accordance with the Chancellor’s Initiative on Special Education Reform, a percentage of seats in each incoming class is reserved for students whose designation is SWD. If there is an insufficient number of qualified candidates who meet the general admissions criteria following the process, above, then the seats are filled through a separate ranking process designated by the NYCDOE. In this case, attendance, interviews and the entrance exam or interview may not be necessary, and the student is admitted based on a composite score formulated from state test scores and core course grades.
There are 96 seats available in the middle school, and, typically, 25-30 available in the high school for incoming students.
If you have any questions, please contact our Admissions Director, Roxana Bosch, at