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Bronx High School of Science, The

Staff Pick
75 West 205 Street
Bronx NY 10468
Phone: 718-817-7700

Our Insights

What’s Special

Very advanced math and science courses; on-site Holocaust museum

The Downside

Long commute and fast-paced curriculum might not be for everyone

The Bronx High School of Science, one of the most famous schools in the country, has a proud history of training not only scientists but also authors, business executives and academic leaders. Its graduates have won eight Nobel Prizes and six Pulitzer Prizes.

With a typical class size of around 33 students and a demanding curriculum, Bronx Science is a fast-paced and intense school. Many students have long commutes and take on multiple extracurricular activities on top of their heavy academic load. A lot of students exhaust the extensive Advanced Placement curriculum, so Bronx Science offers several “post-AP” classes like genetics, multivariable calculus and organic chemistry. Other electives include app development, game programming, and a class that prepares students to work in an on-campus Holocaust museum.

In 9th grade, all Bronx Science students take an English course that investigates the notion of identity, and a research literacy course where they design testable experiments and defend their arguments in writing and discussions. Students can participate in a three-year research track that culminates in an independent research project. Some students work with Bronx Science faculty members, while others work with outside experts from the field. Those students who work in labs or field settings throughout the summer often enter their projects into national competitions, where several have won prestigious awards.

Enrollment has ballooned to almost 3,000 students, an increase of nearly 600 students since 2006, and well over the 2,300 the building was designed to accommodate. Students we talked to, however, said there were ways to create smaller communities within the school by joining clubs and teams.

One benefit of Bronx Science's large size is that it offers a wide array of courses. Students may choose from six foreign languages, including Latin, and may take electives such as Spanish narrative and film. Students may take band, orchestra or other music classes as part of their schedule as well. There are dozens of clubs and after-school activities, including one of the top debate teams in the country. To draw more female students into the robotics club, the school established an all-girls team called the Iron Maidens.

While its size may be intimidating, the school offers special seminar-style after-school classes called “small group instruction,” or SGI, to give students a chance to review material and get to know their teachers. Struggling students are mandated to attend these SGI periods, but many others choose to go just to get additional help and foster personal relationships with faculty. The student-led National Honor Society has also organized a peer-to-peer tutoring system. Also meaningful is the “Big Siblings” program, where every freshman advisory is paired with upperclassmen to support the transition to high school.

Jean Donahue became principal in 2013. She said that in the years since she took over, the curriculum has shifted toward more applied learning activities to hook students into the abstract concepts they are studying. In every science class we saw on our visit, students were engaged in hands-on activities, working in groups to solve real-world challenges such as building prototypes for a collapsible wall to shield combat troops. Math, English and social studies classes, too, had built-in time for working in pairs or teams, though at the time of our visit, discussions in most classes were still largely teacher-driven.

Enabling this “change in culture” means more time built into the daily schedule for teachers of the same subject to plan lessons together, Donahue said. As an alumna of the school, parent of a recent graduate, and former teacher at Bronx Science, she knows the school well. She has a PhD and a background in cancer research, which she put to use as the head of Bronx Science’s three-year research program prior to becoming principal.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The building is wheelchair accessible. Just about 1 percent of students receive Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS), and approximately 3 percent of students have IEPs or 504 plans.

COLLEGE ADMISSIONS: The guidance office has grown in recent years, now up to 12 counselors, some of whom double as college advisors. Additionally, there are two staff members who serve only as college advisors. The college office hosts admissions officers on campus and brings Bronx Science alumni in to conduct practice interviews with seniors. Students attend a range of top-tier private colleges—Yale, Tufts, Wesleyan and Barnard, to name a few—as well as CUNY and SUNY schools.

ADMISSIONS: Admission is based on the Specialized Science High School Admissions test (SHSAT). (Nicole Mader, October 2014; updated by Isabel Corpus and Katharine Safter, June 2018)


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School Stats

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

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2018-19 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
86% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
37% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
80% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
2% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
76% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students graduate in 4 years?
82% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
48% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
41% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
67% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2019-20 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
87% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
38% Citywide Average

For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2021 High School Directory

The Bronx High School of Science
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 counselors in the Fall to register for the SHSAT.


Language Courses

French, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Mandarin, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Biology, AP Chinese Language and Culture, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Comparative Government and Politics, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP World History: Modern, AP Environmental Science, AP Japanese Language and Culture, AP Spanish Literature and Culture, AP Calculus AB, AP English Language and Composition, AP United States History, AP Macroeconomics, AP Physics 1, AP Physics C: Mechanics, AP Calculus BC, AP Microeconomics, AP Physics 2, AP Statistics, AP Art History, AP Chemistry, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Latin, AP Psychology, AP French Language and Culture, AP Computer Science A, AP European History


Boys PSAL teams

Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Fencing, Gymnastics, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Fencing, Flag Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Coed PSAL teams

Cricket, Golf

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools
NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


Kingsbridge (District 10)
Trains: 4 Line to Bedford Park Blvd-Lehman College
Buses: Bx1, Bx10, Bx16, Bx2, Bx22, Bx26, Bx28, Bx3, Bx30, Bx38, BxM3, BxM4


Marian Hoyle
Parent Coordinator
Cynthia Golan

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?

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