Students may apply to Queens High School for the Sciences at York College (QHSSYC) through a separate and highly-selective admissions process. Eight of the specialized high schools require applicants to take an entrance exam known as the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT). Out of the approximately 25,000 students who take the SHSAT, only around 5,000 seats are open for ninth graders and far fewer for incoming 10th graders.
High school acceptance letters are given to students in March of each year. Starting in 2019, all 8th graders will be matched with one specialized school during the main round. Students who fail to get matched with a school on their applications will be automatically assigned to one by the Department of Education.
When 2020 begins, aside from being matched with one school, students will automatically be waitlisted for schools they ranked higher than the one they are matched to. Specialized schools will offer spots to students on their waitlists once space becomes available.
Overview of the School
Queens High School for the Sciences at York College (QHSSYC or Queens Sci) is dedicated to giving students a rigorous college preparatory curriculum that focuses on mathematics and the sciences. The school operates in collaboration with CUNY/York College.
Established in 2002, Queens Sci is once of the nine New York City specialized high schools which admit students based on scores obtained on the Specialized High School Admissions Examination. For the past five years, the school has been consistently recognized as one of the top 100 students in the country by the US News and World Report.
The school ranked 3rd in New York State and 25th in the country back in 2014. Queens Sci is founded on the belief that students are more likely to succeed in college and their chosen career paths when nurtured on a small learning community that is based on high academic expectations. In line with this philosophy, the school takes in around 100 new students each year.
Although the school puts more emphasis on science, students can also take social science and humanities electives like science fiction and international relations. Students have taken College Now courses as well, under the direction of York College professors in psychology, sociology, and natural sciences.
Since its foundation, QHSSYC continued to grow every year as new students entered. There are roughly 400 students in the school as of this writing. In 2015, Queens Sci was named 3rd in the New York State and 25th in the entire US for best high schools statewide and nationally.
U.S. News & World Report published a list in 2012, ranking QHSSYC as the 52nd best “Gold Medal” high school in the United States. The publication also gave it the 8th best “Gold Medal” high school in New York.
In 2010, QHSSYC was ranked among the best schools in the city based on attendance, Regents test scores, and graduation rate. For its progress report during the same year, it received the highest possible grade of “A” from the DOE.
Aside from its accolades, QHYSSYC is known for its global community. The students come from various countries across the map: Peru, England, India, Guyana, Germany, Nigeria, China, Bangladesh, Poland, England, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Pakistan, and Korea. There are several students who are bilingual, with some students even trilingual.
Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) Cutoff Scores
2019 SHSAT cutoff score: 514 (lowest) and 524 (highest)
2018 SHSAT cutoff score: 538 (lowest) and 542 (highest)
Niche.com and US News Best Public School Ranking
Niche.com 2019 Best Public Schools in New York Rank: 38th
US News 2019 Best Public Schools in New York Rank: 8th
Niche.com 2019 Best Public Schools in USA Rank: 340th
US News 2019 Best Public Schools in USA Rank: 62nd
Student population: 464
Total number of teachers: 26
AP classes offered: AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Chemistry, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Environmental Science, AP French Language and Culture, AP United States Government and Politics, AP Physics B, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Statistics, AP United States History, and AP World History
Graduation rate: 100%
Other Academic Programs/Extracurricular Activities
Due to the school’s collaboration with York College, high school students at QHSSYC can use college facilities like the gymnasium, cafeteria, and library. It can be found on the York College science building’s second floor. As part of its college-preparatory curriculum, Queens Sci places a strong emphasis on the sciences and mathematics.
Students get assistance in developing research projects through internship and mentorship programs. Research advisers help them in math and technology fairs, science, and various symposia throughout the country.
QHSSYC adheres to a Regents-based curriculum. The passing percentages on the state’s Regents exams are considered as the highest in New York. Being under the administration of the New York City Department of Education, the school requires 44 credits to obtain a New York State Regents diploma. The state sets the requirements for the Advanced Regents Diploma.
Beyond academics, students take part in several PSAL sports like tennis, handball, bowling, and swimming. They can also join 22 clubs covering diverse subject areas. One particularly well-known club at QHSSYC is No Place for Hate. Part of the group’s initiative is to inspire students to help end discrimination and bullying and to create school communities that are more inclusive.
Other extracurricular programs in the school include Amnesty International, Arista Honor Society, Art History, Art Portfolio Preparation, Biology, Board Game Club, Book Club, Chemistry and Physics Olympiads, Chess, Chorus, Christian Fellowship, Dance, Digital Photography, Drawing, Film, Intel Science Talent Search, Jazz Ensemble, Key Club, Knitting, Leadership Class, Literary Magazine, Math Competitions, Math Team, Model United Nations (UN), Music, Music Appreciation, Newspaper, Peer Tutoring, Polar Bear Club, Radio Drama, Science, Siemens Science Competition, Sigma Sorority, Student Government, and Volleyball.
News about the School
Two Queens High School for the Sciences at York College Students Compete in STEM Tech Contest (QNS)
Two student finalists from the Queens High School for the Sciences at York College recently celebrated a great tech achievement.
The two students, Shreya Kaveti and Yashaswi Manneru, were invited to compete in the eighth-annual Spellman High Voltage Electronics Clean Tech Competition in July of this year. Their victory marked the first time QHSSYC participated in the said contest.
The competition has grown from 10 to 20 finalists this year. Two categories were also introduced: Resource Preservation and Mitigating the Effects of Climate Change. Kaveti and Manneru’s project is called “Toward a Greener Tomorrow,” which focuses on changing the path of our environmental future. The objective of the students was to provide a solution to a particular problem relating to protecting the world’s resources through clean technology.
The two sophomores competed with other student finalists from Colorado, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California. They also went head to head with teams from abroad representing Zimbabwe, the Philippines, Singapore, and China.