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Manhattan / Hunter Science High School

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick Staff Pick for Special Ed

Our Insights

What’s Special

Strong academics with a novel approach to college prep

The Downside

Windowless classrooms

Manhattan/Hunter Science High School has become one of the most sought-after schools in the city, with strong teaching, demanding academics and an innovative approach to preparing students for college. Students are prepared not only for college-level academics, but also for the freedom and responsibility of college life.

Students come from all five boroughs and represent the city’s racial and ethnic diversity. Many qualify for free or reduced lunch and there’s a higher proportion of students with disabilities than at most other selective schools.

“You have kids whose parents are doctors and lawyers and you have kids whose parents are new immigrants driving taxicabs,” said Hazel Branche, the school social worker.

Students spend their first three years in classes on the top floor the Martin Luther King (MLK) Educational Complex. Seniors spend their entire year of high school on the Hunter College campus on the Upper East Side, taking a mix of high school and college-level courses. Each student will graduate with four college classes, most of which will transfer to any college. When the students graduate from high school, they may attend Hunter College full-time—for free.

While lots of New York City high schools offer students the chance to take college courses, what makes Manhattan/Hunter different is the level of support the students receive. While the students take college courses in math and science, the high school English and social studies teachers offer extra support for all the subjects. This mix of high school and college courses serves as a transition year and increases the chances that students are successful once they begin college full-time. Senior schedules mimic a college schedule. Students practice time management, and learn how to ask for help. Staff check in on them during the first period and at the end of the day. Mindfulness breathing sessions are also part of the daily schedule.

Manhattan/Hunter shares the MLK Educational Complex with five other schools. The building is oddly constructed: corridors on the exterior of the building have windows with stunning views of the skyline, but the classrooms on the building interior have no windows. Still a sunny library on the ground floor, shared by all the schools in the building, is noteworthy for its large windows, and the corridors have a spiffy paint job.

The building has metal detectors, and teens must leave their cellphones in plastic pouches, collected by school staff and returned to them at the end of the day. 

Class size is about 27, considerably smaller than typical New York City high schools. Students wear Manhattan/Hunter t-shirts and black trousers or skirts. The schools in the building share facilities such as the gym and campus-wide sports teams. (Boys and girls soccer teams are particularly strong.)

Many graduates (up to 40 percent) take advantage of free tuition at Hunter College, but the college counselor also encourages students to consider other colleges and universities. Graduates have been admitted to extremely selective schools such as the University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Teachers accommodate students with special needs in a flexible way. For example, a student with autism may be allowed to listen to music with headphones to help with concentration. Other students receive one-on-one help writing their essays. The school offers ICT (integrated collaborative teaching) classes, with two teachers in a class, one of whom is certified in special education as well as the subject area, such as math or English. (Clara Hemphill, May 2018; updated via interview, 2024)


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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?
How many students with disabilities 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 2021-22 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 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 2020-21 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 157

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2021-22 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 Report on School-Based Staff Demographics, 2021 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

Not offered in 2019-20



Advanced Foreign Language

Not offered in 2019-20

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 2021-22 School Quality Guide
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 you by
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

Manhattan/Hunter Science High School (M55A)

Admissions Method: Screened With Assessment


  • Average Course Grades - 70%
  • Essay - 30%

Program Description:

Early College program in which students complete college coursework at Hunter College prior to graduation. Students spend 12th grade on the Hunter campus. Strong accelerated academic programs, four years of rigorous math and science credit. Ability to earn additional college credits while at the high school. Visit https://www.mhshs.org for information about how to complete the essay.


From the 2024 High School Directory

Language Courses


Advanced Courses

Algebra II (Advanced Math), AP Biology, AP English Language and Composition, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP United States Government and Politics, AP United States History, AP World History: Modern, Arts (College Course [Credited]), Biology (College Course [Credited]), Calculus (College Course [Credited]), Chemistry (Advanced Science), Chemistry (College Course [Credited]), Comp Sci/Math Tech (College Course [Credited]), Econ/Gov (College Course [Credited]), ELA (College Course [Credited]), Math (College Course [Credited]), Physics (Advanced Science), Science (College Course [Credited]), Social Studies (College Course [Credited]), World Languages (Advanced World Languages), World Languages (College Course [Credited])

Boys PSAL teams

Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Handball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Volleyball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Flag Football, Handball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball, Wrestling

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

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


122 Amsterdam Avenue
Manhattan NY 10023

Trains: 1 Line to 66th St-Lincoln Center; 2 Line, 3 Line to 72nd St; A Line, B Line, C Line, D Line to 59th St-Columbus Circle

Buses: BxM2, M10, M104, M11, M12, M20, M31, M5, M57, M66, M7, M72


Principal: Kevin Froner

Parent Coordinator: Kimani Calnek


Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the Martin Luther King, Jr. Educational Campus with four other schools

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? Yes

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