TJHSST Freshman Application Process

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) Admissions


Established in 1985, TJHSST offers a comprehensive college preparatory program emphasizing the science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The admissions process for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) utilizes a holistic review. Current 8th grade students from participating jurisdictions will apply for admissions to 9th grade. 

A holistic review will be done of students whose applications demonstrate enhanced merit; 550 seats will then be offered to the highest-evaluated students. Students will be evaluated on their grade point average (GPA); a student portrait sheet where they will be asked to demonstrate Portrait of a Graduate attributes and 21st century skills; a problem-solving essay; and experience factors, including students who are economically disadvantaged, English language learners, special education students, or students who are currently attending underrepresented middle schools.

Eligibility Requirements

Am I eligible to apply to TJHSST?
  • If eligible to apply, complete the TJHSST Admissions Online Application when the application becomes available (see link below). 


Application Components: 

  • Complete the Student Portrait Sheet
    • Students will demonstrate Portrait of a Graduate attributes and 21st Century Skills
      • Collaborator
      • Communicator
      • Creative and Critical Thinker
      • Ethical/Global Citizen
      • Goal-Directed & Resilient Individual
      • Innovator
      • Leader
      • Problem Solver
    • Additional information about Portrait of a Graduate
      • Note: The Student Portrait Sheet will evaluate applicants on the broad skills listed above and not each listed bullet on the link below. However, the link below provides deeper information and resources to better understand the skills listed above.
  • Complete the Problem-Solving Essay
    • Math and/or Science content 
    • Topic will include multiple variables/steps 
    • Applicant response will include solution along with explanation of process to solve problem.
    • Written in essay format

Calendar for 2020-2021 Freshman Round (Updated 01/22/21)

  • Monday, February 1 - Application Available Online - 8:00 am
    • Wednesday, February 24 - Application Start DEADLINE - 4:00 pm 
  • Friday, February 26 - Application Submission Deadline - 4:00 pm
  • Monday, March 15 - Student Portrait Sheet and Essay (Virtual Timed Administration)
  • Monday, April 12 - Student Portrait Sheet and Essay (Virtual Timed Administration)
    • Accommodations & Make-Up (Sick) Date Only
  • June - Anticipated Decision Release

Steps to Complete the Application

1.  The applicant must access the Log-In Screen prior to the parent and complete the initial log-in process that includes entry of a parent name and email address.

2.  Parent receives an auto-generated email containing the "link" for them to log-in and create the parent account. This link does expire so parents are encouraged to log in as soon as possible.

3.  TJ Liaison Counselor from the applicant's school verifies math course. (Allow 24 hours, minimum, for this verification to be completed.) Auto-generated email is sent to applicant and parent after verification advising them they may complete the application.

4.  Applicant and parent must both electronically sign 

5.  Submit the application. 

6.  An auto-generated email will be sent to the applicant and parent advising them that the application has been submitted. 

TJHSST Class of 2025 (2020-2021 Applicants)

Selection Process

The selection process focuses on a proprietary holistic review of the following components of the application; GPA, responses to the Student Portrait Sheet, response to the problem-solving essay and experience factors. All applicants will receive a decision to their application; Offer, Waitpool or No Offer. Applicants will need to meet minimum holistic review standards to receive an Offer of admissions or a Waitpool offer. 

  • Offered - Applicants can accept or decline the offer. Accepting the offer means the applicant is choosing to attend TJHSST for 2021-2022 school year (deferrals are not provided). Those students that accept the offer will go through the registration process. Declining the offer means the applicant has decided not to attend TJHSST. The decision to decline the offer is final, and applicants will not be provided with an option to receive the offer at a later date.
    • Allocated Seats - Our selection process will ensure seats are allocated to all public schools based on 1.5% of their 8th grade student population. Students with the strongest evaluated applications will be offered admissions up to the number allocated to each public school. All remaining eligible students will compete for unallocated seats and/or be placed in the waitpool. In the event a school does not have enough students to fill the allocated seats, the remaining unfilled seats will be included in the unallocated selection process. The 1.5% is designed to provide more proportional opportunities from each of our public middle schools. 
    • Unallocated Seats - Our selection process includes unallocated seats that are not assigned to any specific public middle school. These seats are offered to the highest evaluated applicants who were not offered an allocated seat at the student's school. 
  • Waitpool - A waitpool of students will be created for the purposes of offering additional students an opportunity to attend TJHSST in the event an applicant(s) declines the offer of admission. Offers of admissions to students who have accepted to stay in the waitpool will be provided to the highest evaluated students remaining in the waitpool. This selection will occur by evaluating the allocated seats to the public school to ensure each school maintains the allocations. If a school has unfilled allocated seats, the offer will first be provided to waitpool students for the specific school and continue to be offered to those students until all remaining students have been offered. Once this occurs, then the seat will be offered to the highest evaluated students remaining in the waitpool. Waitpool offers will continue to take place until all seats have been filled or the beginning of the school year. 
  •  No Offer - Applicants who have not met the minimum holistic review standards will not receive an offer to attend or be included in the waitpool. No Offer applicants are eligible to re-apply for the Sophomore Round of Admissions the following year contingent they maintain eligibility.