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Academics

Special Music School is New York City's only K-12 school that teaches music as a core subject.

We are proud of achieving 100% graduation and college acceptance rates in 2017 and 2018!

Students experience rigorous college-prep academics combined with an intensive conservatory-prep music education, where music is an integral part of the daily academic experience. The school prepares students to be critical thinkers, autonomous learners, contributors to intellectual communities and 21st Century musicians.

2017 & 2018 college acceptances include Barnard College, Columbia University, The Juilliard School, McGill University, Tufts University, Bryn Mawr College, Colgate University, New England Conservatory, Oberlin College, Washington University, Wellesley College and many others.

SMS High School is a small student-centered, collaborative, learning community supported by an innovative interdisciplinary curriculum and small class sizes. Small classes afford individualized learning experiences and strong teacher-student relationships. The school’s core curriculum is specific to the creative needs of its students and based on the Common Core Learning Standards and Academic and Personal Behaviors. SMS fosters the habits of mind necessary for ethical and empathic community members and curious, imaginative and resilient learners. SMS graduates enter the world with skills and commitment necessary to participate in life-long inquiry.

One central feature of the SMS experience is the Learning Collective advisory program. Each collective is a small cohort of students is led by an advisor who offers students highly individualized academic guidance and support over four years. The school offers a full range of AP courses including AP Music Theory, AP US History, AP Government, AP Biology, AP Literature & Composition, AP Statistics and AP Calculus. Students explore ideas together through Harkness discussions simulations and debates.