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How to Apply to Citywide & Criteria-Based Schools (for SY 2022-2023)

2021-22 How to Apply to Citywide & Special Admission Schools

Citywide Admission and Special Admission Schools

Citywide Admission schools and Criteria-Based schools are public and run by the School District of Philadelphia. Unlike neighborhood schools, they are open to any student living in Philadelphia. Some have behavioral, attendance, and academic requirements, while others admit students through a lottery.

Typically, Criteria-Based schools have higher academic, behavior, and attendance requirements than Citywide Admission schools.

Note: All Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs (even those housed in neighborhood high schools), are all citywide admission schools and admit via a lottery. These programs offer a wide range of vocational opportunities for high school students. Learn more here.

Search school profiles for all Citywide Admission and Special Admission schools.

Finding the Right Fit

Requirements for admission vary from school to school, so families should look closely at a school’s requirements and compare them with their student’s academic, attendance, and behavioral records to find schools that are a good match. This is important because the District’s School Selection Application only allows you to choose up to five schools.

For schools listing PSSA percentile requirements, use this key to interpret your student’s raw score.

Some Criteria-Based schools require an interview or audition. When this is required, this may be completed virtually. Updated requirements are available on a school’s profile in the summer.


To apply to any School District of Philadelphia school, you must submit an application online in November the year before you wish to enroll. When the application is available you will find it at the School District’s student enrollment site. Learn more about applying and get tips on maximizing your choices to District schools.

More information

Looking for more information on finding a great school? See all articles.

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List of Citywide and Special Admission Schools

School/Center NameSchool TypeNeighborhood
A. Philip Randolph Career and Technical High SchoolPublic District CitywideNorth Central
Academy at PalumboPublic District Special AdmitBella Vista
Alternative for the Middle Years at James Martin School (AMY)Public District CitywideRichmond
AMY Northwest (Academy for the Middle Years)Public District Special AdmitRoxborough
Arts Academy at Benjamin RushPublic District Special AdmitPennypack Park
Building 21Public District CitywideWest Oak Lane
Central High SchoolPublic District Special AdmitOlney
Constitution High SchoolPublic District CitywideCenter City East
Edwin Fitler Academics Plus SchoolPublic District CitywideEast Germantown
Franklin Learning Center High SchoolPublic District Special AdmitSpring Garden
George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and SciencePublic District Special AdmitNorth Central
Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP)Public District Special AdmitGirard Estates
Hill-Freedman World AcademyPublic District Special AdmitEast Mount Airy
Jules E. Mastbaum Area Vocational High SchoolPublic District CitywideKensington
Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration SchoolPublic District Special AdmitSpring Garden
Lankenau Environmental Science Magnet High SchoolPublic District Special AdmitRoxborough
Middle Years Alternative School for the HumanitiesPublic District CitywideWalnut Hill
Motivation High SchoolPublic District Special AdmitEastwick
Murrell Dobbins Career and Technical Education High SchoolPublic District CitywideAllegheny West
Northeast Medical, Engineering, & Aerospace MagnetPublic District Special AdmitRhawnhurst
Overbrook Educational CenterPublic District CitywideOverbrook
Parkway Center City Middle CollegePublic District Special AdmitCenter City East
Parkway Northwest High School for Peace and Social JusticePublic District Special AdmitWest Oak Lane
Parkway West High SchoolPublic District Special AdmitMill Creek
Paul Robeson High School for Human ServicesPublic District CitywideUniversity City
Philadelphia High School for GirlsPublic District Special AdmitOlney
Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA)Public District Special AdmitSouth Philadelphia
Philadelphia Military Academy At ElversonPublic District CitywideNorth Central
Russell H. Conwell Middle Magnet SchoolPublic District Special AdmitKensington
School of the FuturePublic District CitywideWest Parkside
Science Leadership AcademyPublic District Special AdmitSpring Garden
Science Leadership Academy at Beeber (SLA Beeber)Public District Special AdmitWynnefield
Swenson Arts and Technology High SchoolPublic District CitywideBustleton
The LINC High SchoolPublic District CitywideNorth Central
The U SchoolPublic District CitywideHartranft
The Workshop SchoolPublic District CitywideWalnut Hill
Walter Biddle Saul High School of Agricultural SciencesPublic District Special AdmitRoxborough
Widener Memorial SchoolPublic District CitywideOlney
William W. Bodine High School for International AffairsPublic District Special AdmitNorthern Liberties