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Our Insights

What’s Special

Abundant variety of classes and extracurricular opportunities

The Downside

High-pressure environment

2020 UPDATE: Seung Yu, the founding principal for the Academy for Software Engineering became the school's principal in August 2020.

2017 REVIEW: The most sought-after of the city's specialized high schools, Stuyvesant High School has an amazingly talented student body and an array of course offerings that rival those of a small college. It has a sparkling, 10-story building with views of the New York harbor and features such amenities as a regulation-size swimming pool. 

More than 28,000 students vie for just over 800 seats in the freshman class. Roughly one-quarter of Stuyvesant's top graduates go to Ivy League or other highly selective colleges such as MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) or Stanford. Students may conduct research with senior scientists, take part in national math competitions or study music at a high level. Immigrants and children of immigrants make up a large proportion of the student body.

The excitement of being enrolled at Stuyvesant comes from being in the company of very bright, engaged students. The school has long been known for its talented students rather than a uniformly strong teaching staff, and kids say the quality of teaching ranges from memorably great to mediocre or worse. The stronger teachers tend to be assigned to the more advanced classes, one mother said. The course selection is vast, including organic chemistry, vertebrate zoology, multivariate and differential calculus, micro- and macro-economics, Western political thought, video-editing and creative nonfiction.

Stuyvesant has a reputation as an ultra-competitive pressure cooker. Eric Contreras, who became principal in 2016, said he is focusing on the emotional needs of students as well. "It's a feverishly intellectual, ambitious environment and kids are excited to explore the possibilities...it's equally important that we provide the right supports when they find it overwhelming," he told the Wall Street Journal shortly after he was appointed in July 2016. Prior to his arrival, the school’s efforts to shift culture towards a more positive, relaxed atmosphere included freshmen transition meetings taught by guidance counselors, new guidance offices that are more central and inviting, and more flexibility around the computer science and drafting requirements for all students. Contreras added an additional guidance counselor and "has kept his word" about providing more supports for students, a counselor told InsideSchools.

Still, Stuyvesant is a hard place for a B student. Most elective and AP courses require a minimum GPA to qualify, though each student has an opportunity to take at least one AP in his or her best subject. There is an informal cap on the number of APs a student may take, to ensure wider access. Freshmen typically have about three hours of a homework a night; upperclassmen taking AP and advanced courses could have up to five hours some nights.  Students who fall behind admit that it’s hard to catch up, especially when juggling the typically heavy load of extra-curriculars. There are tutoring opportunities and teachers who are generous with their time outside of class, but it can be hard for struggling students to get the attention they need. The school works best for kids who are self-starters, self-confident and not afraid to seek out help from adults and other students.

Some classes are taught as seminars, with desks arranged in a circle and plenty of class discussion. But most are traditional, with desks in rows and the teacher at the front doing most of the talking. Science labs are shared by multiple teachers of the same subject, so teachers have no flexibility to divert from the scripted lab notebooks that students fill out like worksheets. This allows for little scientific inquiry by the students, except the 50 or so who qualify to conduct new research with professionals or college faculty as part of the Regeneron Science Talent (formerly INTEL) competition each year. English and social studies offer much greater flexibility for teachers and students to pursue their own interests while still covering core themes and skills. Stuyvesant was founded as a math-science school, but its English and history departments are uniformly strong. In a nod to its roots as a trade school, Contreras opened a maker lab in January 2018.

There are five bands, a jazz combo, a symphony orchestra, a guitar class,  many theatrical productions and a strong debate team. There are dozens of sports offered, including rollerblading, cricket, coed wrestling and kickboxing. After-school clubs serve students interests ranging from Chinese chess to film appreciation.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: In recent years, the school has become more sensitive to students with special needs. At the time of our visit, there was one student who was visually impaired and a number with ADHD. "Now we realize that kids who are very, very strong academically may have learning differences and it is our job to support them," said guidance counselor Harvey Blumm. The administration has assigned a guidance counselor to focus on special education, and a psychologist and a social worker are available for counseling.

COLLEGE ADMISSIONS: The school has 13 full-time guidance counselors and three full-time college counselors. One staff member is dedicated to helping students find internships. Top students are accepted by highly competitive universities such as the University of Chicago and small liberal arts colleges such as Swarthmore, Haverford, Kenyon and Macalester, as well as the Ivy League. A good percentage stay local, attending city and state schools.

ADMISSIONS: Students are selected according to their score on the SHSAT (specialized high school admissions test) administered in October. The school offers an open house for prospective students and their parents in the fall. Check the Stuyvesant website for the dates or for a virtual tour. (Nicole Mader, December 2014; updated December 2017)



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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average


How many students graduate in 4 years?
Average daily attendance
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achieve the goals of their students' IEPs?
From the 2022-23 School Quality Guide and 2022-23 NYC School Survey


Number of students
Citywide Average is 615


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

How many students were suspended?
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
From the 2022-23 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
Years of principal experience at this school
Citywide Average is 7
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
Citywide Average is 191
How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2022-23 NYC School Survey, 2022-23 School Quality Guide, 2021-22 Report on School-Based Staff Demographics, 2023 Guidance Counselor Report, and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Advanced Courses

Which students have access to advanced courses at this school? Learn more



Computer Science




Advanced Foreign Language


AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science


AP/IB Math or Science



From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2021-22 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
How many students who have graduated from this high school stay in college for at least 3 semesters?
From the 2020-21 and 2022-23 School Quality Guide

How many graduates who are eligible received Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funding to attend a NYS college?
This shows how well this school supports low-income students to get funding for college.
How many of those TAP recipients made it through college? Learn more
From unpublished, anonymized student-level data for the class of 2016-17 provided by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) in coordination with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), brought to you by
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
From the 2022-23 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought to you by Visit Understanding FAFSA for help with the FAFSA and financial aid.
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2024 High School Directory

Stuyvesant High School (M89S)

Admissions Method: Test

Program Description:

Admission to this specialized high school is based solely on the score obtained on the Specialized High Schools Admission Test (SHSAT). Students should speak to their school counselor in the Fall to register for the SHSAT.


From the 2024 High School Directory

Language Courses

French, German, Japanese, Latin, Mandarin, Spanish

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


345 Chambers Street
Manhattan NY 10282

Trains: 1 Line, 2 Line, 3 Line to Chambers St; A Line, C Line, E Line to World Trade Center; R Line to City Hall

Buses: BM1, BM2, BM3, BM4, BxM18, M20, M22, M55, M9, QM11, QM25, QM7, QM8, SIM1, SIM15, SIM1C, SIM2, SIM32, SIM33, SIM33C, SIM34, SIM3C, SIM4, SIM4C, SIM4X, SIM7, SIM9, X27, X28


Principal: Seung Yu

Parent Coordinator: Realdina Ingram


Other Details

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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