The Ultimate Guide to Public Magnet Schools


Imagine sending your daughter to a school that seems tailor-made to fit her fascination with science. Imagine finding a school for your son that sparks his curiosity about music. Imagine an entire school centered around one big theme – a theme that is used as a “hook” to help teach students about every subject.

More than 4,000 of these unique schools exist, all across the U.S. And guess what? They’re not elite private schools. They’re tuition-free public schools. They’re public magnet schools!

What do you need to know about public magnet school choice?

Get a quick rundown.

Magnet schools are free public schools that focus on particular themes, like performing arts or medical science. If you’re interested in learning more, this ultimate guide to public magnet schools is for you. Click on the buttons below to find a magnet school definition, answers to your magnet questions, links to resources in your state, and more. 

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Magnet School FAQ

What is a magnet school?

Magnet schools are free public schools operated by school districts that allow kids to focus on a specific learning track, such as STEM, medical science, or performing arts. At a magnet school, all subjects are taught through the lenses of the school’s specific track. At an arts-focused magnet school, for example, students will learn all required classes (math, English, etc.). But, those required classes may include arts-related projects or discussions, and students will take a variety of arts classes as well. When teachers and students share a common passion for a subject, it can make for a vibrant learning community.

Finding a magnet school definition can be confusing! For example, some traditional public schools have magnet programs that a subset of students opt into. While those schools aren’t magnet schools in the fullest sense, their magnet programs can still offer the benefit of focusing on a particular theme.  

Many of us go to college and we don’t really know what we want to do; we may change our major two or three times. Sometimes having a choice in high school, even elementary school, clarifies that for students. Or, it just exposes them to another area they otherwise wouldn’t see in a traditional school.

Agnes Perry, DeBakey High School for Health Professions

Can anyone attend a magnet school? How do you get in?

Students are rarely, if ever, automatically assigned to magnet schools. Instead, families can choose to apply to a magnet school and, if accepted, attend it rather than their zoned school or the school nearest them. 

Sometimes, magnet schools are so popular that they rely on randomized lotteries to determine acceptance. If this is the case for a magnet school you’re interested in, you can submit an application to the school before its deadline. Then, you will be notified if there is space and your child has been accepted. Families with siblings already attending the school may be prioritized.

In addition, some magnet schools may have eligibility requirements. For instance, a magnet school with a music focus may require students to audition. The steps will be clearly outlined by each individual magnet school or program.


When to apply for magnet schools?

Districts have varying deadlines for magnet school applications, so we recommend you check with your local district! But, in our experience, the magnet application window can happen surprisingly early, especially in places where magnet schools are popular. Often, the application window for the next school year begins as early as November.


How much does a magnet school cost?

Importantly, magnet schools are public schools and thus free to attend for any student. Like all public schools, magnet schools are funded by taxpayers. Since magnet schools are public schools, transportation is typically free and provided as well. You can explore per-pupil spending for public schools, including magnet schools, at Project Nickel.


How long have magnet schools been around?

The history of magnet schools dates back to the 1960s and 1970s. Some of the earliest magnet schools were McCarver Elementary School in Washington, established in 1968, and Skyline High School in Texas, established in 1971.


Why magnet school?  

Magnet schools provide an exciting opportunity for kids to learn in a place where they’re immersed in a subject they love. For instance, Dr. Michael Lofton, founder of a magnet school in South Carolina told us, “[Students] really tend to delve a little bit deeper into study if they enjoy it more and it’s something that they want to relate to.” 

How to Choose a Magnet School

We encourage parents to follow the seven steps outlined in The School Choice Roadmap: 7 Steps to Finding the Right School for Your Childa Foreward Indies award finalist, for all school search matters. This thorough, understandable process is designed to help all families identify learning environments that meet their children’s needs. These steps include:

1.Explore your magnet school options:

Is there a magnet school near you? You can find out using our free Schools Near Me tool. You can also research your options by checking out our state-by-state list of magnet school resources below, or by Googling your school district and “magnet schools” to get recent info about your locality. Remember, since magnet schools hone in on a particular theme, you’ll want to carefully consider what your child’s interests and aptitudes are. 



If there’s a magnet school that interests you, reach out for more information. You may also want to take a tour! Here are some questions you can ask: When can you can apply? (Magnet schools usually have a specified deadline for applications.) Are there any entrance requirements? (About 75% of magnet schools do not have entrance requirements. But, others do have auditions or special requirements.) What is your approach to education? Is there a lottery to decide which students are accepted? Do you provide transportation? (Most, but not all, magnet schools provide transportation.)



Once your questions have been answered, you can move forward with applying. After completing an application, you are usually notified of your status via email or mail.

If your student is selected, you may need to officially “accept” your seat by a specified deadline. The school will provide you with information regarding what they need prior to you joining the school. 

Your student may receive an “alternate pool” or “waitlist” status. This means that your child may be able to receive a seat if one opens up in coming weeks.

If the magnet school does not have a spot for your child this year, you may need to choose another school. We know this can be disappointing. But, don’t be discouraged from trying again next year if you’re still interested. 


4.Get started:

If your child is accepted into the magnet school, you can let your previous school know that you will be transferring. You can also ask them if there is anything you need to do on their end. As a parent/legal guardian, you can ask the school for a copy of your student’s educational record. If your student has any additional services, such as an intervention plan, Individualized Education Program, 504 plan, or medical response plan, make sure that a copy of this information gets sent to the new school as well!

Magnet School Options in Your State

There are more than 4,000 magnet schools across the country serving about 3.5 million children. In addition, there are thousands of magnet programs within traditional public schools nationwide. Magnet schools, theme-based schools, or magnet programs are permitted in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. In some states, as indicated on the map below, there are no freestanding magnet schools, but there may be magnet programs available in traditional public schools.

Do you have magnet schools? Check out your state’s parent guide or scroll below to learn whether your state has any magnet schools. Again, we also suggest using the Schools Near Me tool to search your zip code, and talking to your local district about magnet options.


Magnet schools are available
Magnet programs are available, but no freestanding magnet schools exist

Source: Magnet Schools of America, 2023; Independent research by NSCW


Alabama has more than 30 magnet schools. For instance, the Mobile County Public School District (Alabama’s largest school district) offers a list of its nine magnet schools. As the district explains, “Our choice schools embody the belief that highly motivated and academically focused students have interests and talents that are better cultivated in a magnet school program. Our magnet schools have focused themes and curricula in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), Fine and Performing Arts, and International Baccalaureate.” In Mobile County, students are accepted into magnet schools based on a lottery system, and must meet entrance criteria. Other Alabama districts with magnet schools include HuntsvilleMontgomery, TuscaloosaPhenix, and Decatur.

Three of Alabama’s magnet schools are statewide schools: Birmingham’s Alabama School of Fine Arts, Mobile’s School of Math and Science, and Huntsville’s School of Cyber Technology and Engineering. Governor Ivey passed a bill establishing the Alabama School of Healthcare Sciences, which will open in west Alabama in 2026.

To learn more, you may want to take a look at U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of magnet high schools in your state.



Alaska has a handful of magnet schools scattered throughout the state. For example, Barnette Magnet School, located in the Fairbanks North Star Borough District, describes its offering this way: “Barnette’s magnet or ‘draw’ is a combination of: small exploration classes, a community-based Friday in Fairbanks Program, and quarterly all-school Exhibit Nights. These are the elements of the school that set it apart from other schools and make the Magnet School experience a rewarding one for both students and parents.”

If you’d like to learn more, you may want to check out U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of magnet high schools in your state.



There are many magnet school options in Arizona. For instance, the Tucson Unified School District in Arizona currently lists twelve magnet schools. These include schools that focus on communication arts, dual language, Montessori, and gifted study.  Meanwhile, in Goodyear, Centerra Mirage STEM Academy is a magnet school focusing on hands-on STEM learning and enrichment. And, Gallego Primary K-3 Fine Arts Magnet School in the Sunnyside Unified School District focuses on art and creativity.



You can find a list of Arkansas’ more than 30 magnet schools and programs at the Arkansas Department of Education Data Center. For example, Apple Glen Elementary School, located in Bentonville County, is a “visible learning” school, meaning that learning centers around the students. The students take responsibility for their education through self-evaluation and student-led activities. Some additional examples include Mary Mae Jones Elementary School and Hot Springs Park Magnet, which both offer International Baccalaureate programs. Districts with magnet schools include Bentonvillle, Hot SpringsMarion, and Texarkana Arkansas School District No.7.



For the 2023 school year, there are about 400 magnet schools or programs in California. Districts with magnet schools include ABC Unified School DistrictGlendale Unified School DistrictLos Angeles Unified School Districtthe Napa Valley Unified School DistrictPasadena Unified School DistrictSan Diego Unified School District, and  Vista Unified School District. A new magnet program advised by George Clooney and other Hollywood influencers opened in downtown Los Angeles in 2022. The school prepares students for jobs in the entertainment industry.

Learn more about how California magnet schools function and are funded at the California Department of Education.



Colorado has more than 20 magnet schools throughout the state. Districts with magnet schools include Denver Public SchoolsMapleton Public Schools, and Douglas County School District. The Aurora Public Schools District is currently in the process of turning seven of its campuses into magnet schools with different specializations for families to choose from. Two of these new magnet schools just opened in 2022: the Charles Burrell Visual and Performing Arts Campus and the Clara Brown Entrepreneurial Academy. And in Pueblo, Corwin International Magnet School recently won its fourth Colorado Trailblazer Schools to Watch award!

We interviewed one Colorado magnet school, New Emerson School at Columbus.



Connecticut has more than 90 magnet schools that families can choose from, more than half of which are interdistrict. An estimated 33,000 Connecticut students attend magnet schools. 

To find your local magnet school, use the complete list of Greater Hartford area magnet schools (there are more than 40!).You may also find frequently asked questions about Connecticut magnet schools and a family guide to school choice in the greater Hartford Region helpful.

For example, Breakthrough Magnet School in Hartford has a unique character education curriculum; the school has been recognized two years in a row for exemplary performance by Magnet Schools of America. Meanwhile, the Bristol Arts and Innovation Magnet School has two fully functional theaters and offers pathways in theater and creative construction. 



Delaware has a few magnet schools scattered throughout the state; this could be a great option if there is one near you and your child learns best by focusing in on a subject they are passionate about. Cab Calloway School of the Arts in the Red Clay Consolidated School District, for instance, allows students to major in dance, digital media, vocal music, theatre arts, and more. Conrad Schools of Science, also in the Red Clay Consolidated School District, offers a life science magnet. In the Indian River School district, Southern Delaware School of the Arts seeks to facilitate student learning through the arts.



Florida has more than 600 magnet schools or programs across the state. Currently, there are 166,500 K-12 students enrolled in magnet schools or programs in Florida. To find out if your district has magnet programs, use the school search option on the Florida Department of Education’s website. Simply select your district and click “Go.” If there are magnet schools or magnet programs in your district, the tool will display them and list their focus. For example, the Miami-Dade County Public Schools District has magnet schools that focus on International Baccalaureate programming, foreign languages, performing arts, STEM, technology, and even criminal justice. Florida even has magnet schools with firefighting programs and drone pilot programs!

Two of the state’s newest magnet programs are a Montessori magnet in Hillsborough County School District and a health and wellness magnet school in the Pinellas County School District that shares a building with a YMCA.



Georgia has more than 10 magnet schools scattered throughout the state. Districts with magnet schools include Bibb County School DistrictRichmond County School SystemSavannah-Chatham Public Schools, DeKalb County School DistrictDougherty County School System, and Muscogee County School District. Additionally, Clayton County Public Schools offers various magnet programs.



Unfortunately, there are no freestanding public magnet schools currently in operation in Hawaii. There may be magnet programs in traditional public schools, and the law allows for independent magnet schools, so stay tuned in the future! While not technically magnet programs, Hawaii does offer supplementary programs for gifted and talented students.



Idaho has more than 20 magnet schools or schools with magnet programs. You can view a list of these schools on the Idaho State Department of Education website. Idaho’s magnet program locations include Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Hailey, Idaho Falls, Nampa, Ammon, and Coeur d’Alene.

Additionally, through the state’s Advanced Opportunities program, every public school student in Idaho is allocated $4,125 to use in grades 7-12. These funds can be used for dual credits, Advanced Placement Exam fees, professional certifications, workforce training, or other qualified expenses. Public magnet students have access to this program, just like students at traditional neighborhood schools.



There are more than 100 magnet schools in Illinois. Many of these are concentrated in the Chicago Public Schools’ District; you can search for these by using the Chicago Public Schools search tool and filtering for magnet schools. GoCPS is the online application platform for Chicago Public Schools families wanting to choose a school other than their neighborhood school.

Other districts, such as the Champaign Unit School District 4, Elgin Area Schools U-46Evanston/Skokie School District 65Rockford Public Schools and Decatur Public Schools have magnet schools or programs as well. Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA), a residential academy for students in grades 10-12, is an option for students statewide. Students from more than 50 Illinois counties live on IMSA’s campus in Aurora.



Indiana has several magnet schools families can consider. In the Indianapolis Public School district, for example, there are more than 15 magnet elementary and middle schools. Meanwhile, the South Bend Community School Corporation has more than 20 magnet schools or programs, and Fort Wayne Community Schools has five magnet schools



Iowa has several magnet schools scattered throughout the state. In the Cedar Rapids Community School District, for instance, there are five magnet schools, including Johnson STEAM Academy, which has been ranked as one of the best magnet schools in the United States.

In fact, the first magnet high school in Iowa opened in 2023: City View Community High School.



As the Wichita Public School district describes, “Magnet schools are based on the premise that all students do not learn in the same ways, so if there is a unifying theme or a different organizational structure for students of similar interest, those students will learn more in all areas.” In the Wichita district, there are 17 elementary magnet school locations and eight middle, high, and K-8 magnet locations. The deadline for applying to Wichita magnet schools is typically late January for middle and high schools, and early February for elementary schools. 

There are also other magnet schools throughout the state, such as in Hutchinson, Kansas City, and Topeka. For example, Scott Dual Language Magnet Elementary School in Topeka offers instruction in both English and Spanish.



Kentucky has a variety of magnet schools and programs spread throughout the state, including in Mason County School DistrictFayette County Public Schools and Jefferson County Public Schools. Fayette County Public Schools, for instance, describes how it has magnet schools with these focuses: “Biomedical sciences (Frederick Douglass High School); International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (Tates Creek High School); traditional programs (LTMS); individually prescribed education (Dixie); Spanish immersion (Maxwell and Bryan Station middle and high); science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM Academy and Rise STEM Academy for Girls); and curriculum taught through the lens of African-American history and culture (Carter G. Woodson academies).” And, while not a full magnet school, Central High School offers Louisville students a chance to participate in a pre-medical magnet program.



Louisiana has several magnet schools throughout the state. Some Louisiana districts with magnet schools include Caddo Parish Public SchoolsCalcasieu Parish Public SchoolsEast Baton Rouge ParishJefferson Parish Schools, and Tangipahoa Parish School District. The East Baton Rouge Parish School System, for instance, has magnet schools allowing students to focus on pre-law, visual and performing arts, health sciences, business and governmental affairs, or engineering. Meanwhile, South Highlands Elementary Magnet in Shreveport is Louisiana’s first arts-integration school and has been recognized twice as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.



There is currently at least one operating magnet school in Maine. The Maine School of Science and Mathematics was recently ranked the second-best public high school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

In previous years, the state also had a public magnet school geared toward studying marine science, technology, transportation, and engineering: The Maine Ocean School. However, as of 2022, the Maine Ocean School is transitioning into an educational program-based model rather than a full-time magnet school. If you live near Maine’s magnet school, your child may be able to attend it rather than their public neighborhood school.



Maryland has several magnet schools throughout the state; for instance, there are more than 30 magnet schools or programs in the Baltimore area. Some of the other districts with magnet schools include Anne Arundel County Public SchoolsWashington County Public Schools, and Prince George’s County Public Schools.

For example, Deer Park Middle Magnet School offers eight creative magnet programs focusing on areas such as dance and mass communications. And recently, Anne Arundel County’s Old Mill Middle School South was named a National Magnet School of Excellence for its dedication to STEM learning and community partnerships.



Massachusetts established one of the nation’s first magnet schools, Trotter Elementary School, in the late 1960s. Today, Massachusetts has several magnet schools, such as Worcester Arts Magnet School, Chandler Magnet SchoolJoseph G. Pyne Arts Magnet SchoolMass Academy of Math and ScienceAlfred G. Zanetti Montessori Magnet School, and Tatnuck Magnet School.



Michigan has several magnet schools throughout the state. The International Academy of Macomb, for instance, is a county-wide International Baccalaureate magnet school that provides opportunities each year for its students to travel the world. Meanwhile, Kalamazoo’s Maple Street Magnet School for the Arts recently expanded its Arabic course offerings. The Lansing School District offers more than 10 magnet schools or programs. Other districts with magnet offerings include Michigan City Area SchoolsDetroit Public SchoolsSaginaw Public Schools, Ann Arbor Public Schools, and more.



Minnesota has more than 75 magnet schools throughout the state. For example, some of the districts with magnet schools or programs include Anoka-Hennepin School District #11Brooklyn Center Community SchoolsBuffalo-Hanover-Montrose SchoolsDistrict 196: Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan, Independent School District 197Minneapolis Public SchoolsNorthwest Suburban Integration District, and Osseo Area Schools ISD 279.

As one example of Minnesota’s magnet school offerings, American Indian Magnet School in St. Paul provides learning rooted in American Indian culture and history. Meanwhile, Salk Middle School in Elk River has a pre-engineering STEM focus, and was recently recognized as a National Magnet School of Excellence.



Mississippi has several magnet schools for families to consider. Some of the districts with magnet schools or programs include the Cleveland School District, the Natchez-Adams School District, the Laurel School District, and Jackson Public SchoolsColumbus Municipal School District even has magnet choices that allow kids to focus on aerospace, international studies, and healthy living.



Missouri has several magnet schools throughout the state. For more information, you can check out a sampling of the magnet elementary schools available in the St. Louis Public School districtKansas City Public Schools and Springfield Public Schools also have magnet schools. In fact, Springfield Public Schools is opening a new magnet program in 2023-2024 called Fly SPS. Students will have the opportunity to study aviation and earn a private pilot’s license while also earning high school and college credit.

Another new magnet school in Springfield is AgAcademy, which opened last year. AgAcademy focuses on the importance of agriculture for Missouri’s economy and is located at Missouri State’s Darr Agricultural Center. 



Magnet schools are permitted in Montana, though we are not currently aware of any active magnet schools. If you know of one, please reach out and let us know!



Nebraska has a handful of magnet schools scattered throughout the state, and these might be a good option if your child learns best by focusing in on a subject they are passionate about. For instance, Omaha Public Schools has both elementary school magnet programs (like Conestoga Elementary School) and high school magnet programs (like Benson Magnet High School).  



Las Vegas Sun article once described magnet schools as “schools within schools.” In other words, they offer specialty tracks within the public school system. Nevada has several magnet schools throughout the state; for instance, there are more than 35 magnet schools or programs in the Clark County School District. One of these, Southeast Career Technical Academy, was voted the best magnet school in America in 2022! The district is opening an additional career-focused magnet school in 2023: Northeast Career and Technical Academy. Besides career tech, the district’s magnet schools have focuses that range from the performing arts to STEM to hospitality and tourism. Another large district with magnet schools is the Washoe County School District.


New Hampshire:

Depending on where you live in New Hampshire, you may be able to consider a magnet school. Maple Street Magnet School is currently the only magnet school we are aware of in New Hampshire. Maple Street Magnet School’s unique focus is on community and sustainability. Students accepted to Maple Street Magnet School through its blind lottery can choose to attend the magnet school rather than their neighborhood school. 


New Jersey:

New Jersey has several magnet schools throughout the state. For instance, you can read about Montclair Public Schools’ approach to magnet schoolsUnion County Vocational-Technical Schools’ offeringsMiddlesex County Vocational and Technical schools, Monmouth County Vocational School District’s options, and Newark Public Schools’ magnet schools. New Jersey Family posted this piece with some additional information on New Jersey’s magnet schools


New Mexico:

New Mexico’s magnet programs include ones that focus on STEM, the International Baccalaureate program, arts curriculum, and more. Most of New Mexico’s magnet schools are concentrated in the Albuquerque Public School District. In the Las Cruces Public School District, there are engineering, art, and multi-media magnet programs. Additionally, Taos Municipal Schools has a blended-learning high-school magnet school, Taos Cyber Magnet School.


New York:

New York has several magnet schools throughout the state. You can easily search magnet schools in New York City at NYC Magnet Schools. The website offers families application info and information about magnet schools in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens. Other districts with magnet schools or programs include the Rochester City School District and the Buffalo School District. You can also search your local district to learn more.


North Carolina:

North Carolina has many magnet schools throughout the state. Districts with magnet schools or programs include Cabarrus County SchoolsCharlotte-Mecklenburg SchoolsDurham Public SchoolsSurry County SchoolsGuilford County Schools, Gaston County Schools, Onslow County Schools, Wake County Public School System, and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

North Carolina’s magnet schools have themes that range from international languages to cosmetology, and from Montessori to digital marketing. In Surry County, one magnet school is even an online school. And in Raleigh, Washington Magnet School was recently named the top magnet elementary school in the nation! The 100-year-old school has a Gifted and Talented theme with about 200 elective choices. 


North Dakota:

Unfortunately, there are no freestanding public magnet schools currently in operation in North Dakota. There may be magnet programs in traditional public schools, and the law allows for independent magnet schools, so stay tuned in the future! 



Ohio has several magnet schools scattered throughout the state. For example, you can read about Cincinnati Public Schools’ more than 20 magnet schools and programs. Meanwhile, Lima City Schools’ magnet schools include one with an arts theme. In Toledo, early college magnet students take electives at the University of Toledo, getting a jumpstart on college. And Reynoldsburg City Schools has state-designated STEM schools open to any child in the district. Contact your district to learn if there are magnet schools near you.



Oklahoma has several magnet schools and programs for you to consider. For example, districts with magnet schools or programs include Oklahoma City Public Schools Muskogee Public Schools, Tulsa Public Schools, and more. You can contact your school district to see if there are any options near you.



There are several magnet schools in Oregon. For example, you can read about Bend La Pine School District’s magnet choicesPortland Public Schools’ choices, and Beaverton Schools’ magnet choices. Oregon’s magnet programs range from community-building to performing arts and more. 



Pennsylvania has several magnet schools throughout the state. For example, Pittsburgh Public SchoolsErie Public Schools, and the School District of Philadelphia have magnet choices, among others. Pennsylvania’s magnet choices range from Mandarin and Spanish programs to pre-engineering and performing arts. You can contact your school district to see if there are any options near you.

Philadelphia families, keep in mind that the district has implemented a new lottery admissions process for the 2023-2024 school year and beyond.


Rhode Island:

Rhode Island has just a couple of magnet schools or programs at present, such as Classical High School in Providence, which focuses on study of the arts, languages, and humanities.  If you live near a magnet school and its theme interests your child, it could be an exciting option to consider. 


South Carolina:

South Carolina has many magnet choices throughout the state, and these might be a good option if your child learns best by focusing in on a subject they are passionate about. For instance, districts with magnet choices include Fairfield County School District, Florence County School District Three, Lexington-Richland School District Five, Pickens County School District, Richland County School District One, and Richland School District Two. Meanwhile, Georgetown County School District is in the process of transforming five schools into magnet schools.

A full directory of magnet schools and programs in the state can be found at the South Carolina Department of Education. These magnet schools have focuses that range from business and law to STEAM to the arts.


South Dakota:

South Dakota is one of five states that does not currently have any magnet schools. There may be magnet programs in traditional public schools, and the law allows for independent magnet schools, so stay tuned in the future! 



Tennessee has several magnet schools. For example, the Hamilton County School DistrictKnox County School DistrictMetropolitan Nashville Public School DistrictRutherford County School District, and Shelby County School District all offer magnet choices, among others. 

Tennessee’s magnet options allow students to focus on topics such as fine arts, the liberal arts, STEM, and even design technology. 



Texas has many magnet schools. For example, Aldine ISD, Dallas ISD, DeSoto ISD, Galveston ISD, Houston ISD, and Richardson ISD all offer magnet choices. These schools have themes ranging from linguistics to applied technology. One of the state’s newest magnet school programs is the Space and Engineering Technologies Academy (SETA), opening in North East ISD in 2023.

You may also be interested in checking out U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of Texas’ magnet high schools. Please note that the list may not be exhaustive and you should check with your local district about options near you.



Utah currently has just a few magnet schools or programs. The Ogden School District’s public schools have some magnet programs, such as a gifted and talented program and a space science program. Salt Lake City School District also offers some magnet extended learning programs. Plus, Washington County School District recently launched a new magnet high school for career and technical education.



Currently, Vermont has at least two magnet schools. Sustainability Academy focuses on social, environmental, and economic justice for communities. Integrated Arts Academy, meanwhile, focuses on music, drama, movement, and visual arts. Both of these magnet choices are in the Burlington School District.



Virginia has several magnet school options, including the well-ranked Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. School districts with magnet schools include Fairfax County Public SchoolsNewport News Public SchoolsYork County School DivisionHampton City Schools, and more. Virginia magnet choices range from marine science to global studies and creative arts.



Washington established one of the nation’s very first magnet schools in 1968. Today, Washington has several magnet schools and programs throughout the state. For instance, Lake Washington School District has launched Tesla STEM High School, and any rising 6th grader in the district is welcome to apply to the International Community School or the Environmental and Adventure School. The Bellevue School District offers a Mandarin magnet, and Vancouver Public Schools offers the STEM-focused Vancouver iTech Preperatory. Look to your local district to see if there are any magnet choices available to you.


West Virginia:

West Virginia has a handful of magnet schools scattered throughout the state. For example, you can read about some of the magnet choices in the Kanawha County Schools. And in Berkeley County Schools, Howe Hall Arts Infused Magnet School offers students learning through the arts. You can contact your school district to see if there are any magnet choices near you.



Wisconsin has several magnet schools scattered throughout the state. You can view some of these magnet programs, for instance, on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website. As just one example of Wisconsin’s magnet choices, Spring Harbor Middle School in Madison has an environmental studies magnet.



Unfortunately, there are no freestanding public magnet schools currently in operation in Wyoming. There may be magnet programs in traditional public schools, and the law allows for independent magnet schools, so stay tuned in the future! 

Washington, D.C.

D.C. has a handful of public magnet schools or magnet programs. Duke Ellington School of the Arts, for instance, offers a unique dual enrollment curriculum where students receive professional arts training as well as academic preparation. 

Shareable Facts about Magnet Schools

Magnet schools in USA

The information in this guide to magnet schools is designed to help families who are considering magnet schools in their decision-making process. Our mission is to provide families with the information they need about all the school options available – traditional public, public charter, public magnet, private, online, and at home – so they can choose the right fit for their child. Read more guides about choosing other types of schools.