A challenging curriculum on a college campus; research opportunities
Students are stressed
The Queens High School for the Sciences at York College combines the intimacy of a small school with the course offerings and facilities of a college campus. Students have a remarkable opportunity to conduct research with York College professors.
One of three specialized high schools housed on a CUNY campus, Queens Sci is a place where “teachers know their students,” Assistant Principal Darlene Dobbs said. On a tour for prospective parents, we saw teachers tutoring small groups of three students. A student in an art class said that students of different ages tend to help one another out.
Dobbs said one student completed research with a math professor at York College and went on to participate in the Intel Science Talent Search (currently known as the Regeneron Science Talent Search).
Students have access to the college’s library, science and computer labs, theater, cafeteria, physical education building and pool. The high school itself, however, is quite small, occupying just one floor comprised of some classrooms, science labs, computer labs and offices.
Even though there is a focus on science, the school offers humanities and social science electives such as international relations and science fiction. Students have taken College Now courses, taught by York College professors, not only in the natural sciences but also in sociology and psychology.
A downside: Students are stressed, and the school doesn’t always have the guidance staff to fully address students’ “social-emotional issues,” according to the school’s Comprehensive Education Plan (CEP). The school is working to address this. For example, guidance counselors spoke about healthy relationships and plan to give presentations on suicide prevention, according to a parent newsletter. ThriveNYC, a citywide mental health initiative started by Chirlane McCray, brings speakers to the school to discuss students’ emotional well-being.
Outside of academics, students participate in 22 clubs and a handful of PSAL sports like bowling, swimming, handball and tennis. Dobbs highlighted one particularly popular club called No Place for Hate, part of an initiative to encourage students to fight bullying and discrimination and to foster more inclusive school communities.
Ana De Jesus became principal in 2016. Previously, she had served as principal at the Bronx High School of Business and assistant principal at Herbert H. Lehman High School. De Jesus is the third principal to run the school in just five years.
The school has three counselors that are responsible for providing all students socio-emotional support as well as guidance throughout the college process, explained guidance counselor Yvette Talley. Graduates go to Ivy League schools, highly competitive small liberal arts schools, SUNYs and CUNYs, and local colleges and universities, she said.
The school is located right off the E, J, and Z trains in Jamaica, Queens. The majority of students are from Queens, however some travel from Brooklyn and one student from the Bronx. Students hail from Bangladesh, Korea, China, Pakistan, Poland, Nigeria, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Germany, England and India. Many students are bilingual, some even trilingual.
(Katharine Safter, May 2018)
Safety & Vibe
Faculty & Staff
Advanced Foreign Language
AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science
AP/IB Math or Science
Programs & AdmissionsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Queens High School for the Sciences at York College
Admission to this Specialized High School is based solely on the score earned on the Specialized High Schools Admission Test (SHSAT). Students should speak to their school counselors in the Fall to register for the SHSAT.
OfferingsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP English Language and Composition, AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, AP Computer Science Principles, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Chinese Language and Culture, AP World History: Modern, AP Chemistry, AP Psychology, AP Human Geography, AP Physics C: Mechanics, AP United States History, AP Statistics
Boys PSAL teams
Bowling, Handball, Swimming, Tennis
Girls PSAL teams
Contact & Location
94-50 159th Street
Jamaica NY 11433
Trains: , , to Parsons Blvd-Archer Av - Jamaica Center
Buses: Q1, Q110, Q111, Q112, Q113, Q114, Q17, Q2, Q20A, Q20B, Q24, Q25, Q3, Q30, Q31, Q34, Q36, Q4, Q40, Q41, Q42, Q43, Q44-SBS, Q5, Q54, Q56, Q6, Q60, Q65, Q76, Q8, Q83, Q84, Q85, Q9, X64
This school is in its own building.