Magnet Application Process

Quick Guide for Parents/Legal Guardians

Application Period: October 1st – January 15th


Research Programss

  • Contact individual school(s)
  • Attend school open house events and tours
  • Explore school materials, brochures, websites, etc.
  • Inquire about additional requirements/eligibility criteria, required testing or auditions



  • Log in to the M-DCPS Parent Portal
  • Click on “Magnet Application”
  • Enter/Complete and verify information on the Magnet application
  • Upload the required documentation to your Magnet application
  • Check your application for completion, including verification of student and parent information, sibling status (if applicable), uploaded accurate transcripts, uploaded virtual school documentation (if applicable), uploaded documentation specific to each selected program requirements (if applicable)
  • Schedule an audition or testing appointment (for Visual and Performing Arts and International Language programs only)
  • Submit the completed Magnet application by the January 15TH deadline


Application Instructions

  • Select up to 5 schools (Only one program per school).
  • Active military parents or legal guardians must provide active-duty documents to be considered for military status.
  • For those seeking veteran status consideration, veteran parents must provide documentation of their honorable discharge.
  • Twins who are applying to the same school must indicate their twin status on each of their applications. An application must be submitted separately for each student.
  • When applying to a school where an older sibling is already attending, enter the older sibling’s information (except for Visual & Performing Arts programs or select international programs, where this doesn’t apply).
  • Auditions for Visual & Performing Arts programs and language proficiency testing for select International programs must be scheduled prior to application submission by January 15th.
  • Review the application, agree to the Terms and Conditions, sign, and submit by January 15th at 11:59p.m.




  • Parents/legal guardians must set up an appointment for Visual & Performing Arts auditions or language proficiency testing, if applicable.
  • Attend the scheduled audition or testing appointment; failure to attend the scheduled audition or testing appointment will result in ineligibility for the selected program.


Random Selection

  • A third-party computer system is used to conduct the random selection process for the Magnet programs. This system considers the specific eligibility criteria for each program, as well as factors like sibling pairings and other school or district-specific selection criteria. Based on this information, the system generates waiting lists for each program, ensuring a fair and transparent process for student admission.


Notification Period

On March 15th, parents/legal guardians will receive an email with the placement results for their child.

  • IF ACCEPTED: Please log back into the Magnet application system to confirm acceptance of the chosen school. Afterward, contact the school directly to complete the registration/enrollment process. Keep in mind that once a school/program is selected, all other offers of acceptance to different schools will be declined. The student will remain on the waitlist for any schools they are currently waitlisted for. To secure the seat, parents/legal guardians must accept the offer by the deadline within 2 weeks after March 15th. If the acceptance is not confirmed by the deadline, the seat will be forfeited, and it will be offered to the next student on the waiting list.
  • IF WAIT-LISTED: Students will be considered for selection from the random selection waitlist as seats become available. If your child’s status changes from Wait-Listed to Accepted, you may switch the acceptance to the preferred program. Please note that school wait lists may change until the beginning of the following school year.
  • IF NOT ACCEPTED: The student did not meet the entrance requirements, did not pass the audition, or didn’t take/pass the proficiency test. Any inquiries or appeals regarding non-acceptance should be directed to the individual school(s) directly.
  • NO SHOW (NOT ACCEPTED) NOTE: This applies ONLY to Visual & Performing Arts or select international program students who did not schedule, attend an audition, or take the language proficiency assessment.


Declaration of Program

  • Parents/legal guardians must declare their program acceptance by the specified deadline date through the online Magnet Application system.Parents/legal guardians may change acceptance to another program only if their child’s status changes from “Wait Listed” to “Accepted”.



  • Register with the selected school.

Additional Option:

Off-Cycle Application Period (April 15 – September 1)

If schools exhaust their waiting lists, and seats become available, they will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Acceptance may be provisional and contingent upon the individual school’s eligibility requirements and/or the successful completion of exams, courses, etc.

Program Search

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