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, or special education students.

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). 


New Calendar 2024-2025 Freshman Round*  

Mon, Oct 21              Applications Available - 4:00 pm

Wed, Nov 13             Last Day to Begin Application - 4:00 pm

Fri, Nov  15               Application Submission Deadline - 4:00 pm

                                         (including Accommodation & Alternate Test Day requests)  

Wed, Dec 11            Notification to Applicants who do not meet minimum Honors and GPA - 6:00 pm

Sat, Feb 8                 SPS/Essay Writing Administration 

Sat, Feb 22               Inclement Weather Date for February 8

Fri, Feb 14                 Accommodations, Make-Up SPS/Essay Writing Administration  

Fri, Feb 27                 Inclement Weather Date for February 14

Wed, April 30            Final Notifications Released on or Before (Per Regulation)

* Dates on calendar above may be subject to change

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
  • GPA (Core)
  • Experience Factors
    • Economically Disadvantaged
    • English Language Learners
    • Special Education

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 (Page 1 of the application) 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 to 48 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. 

7. Be sure to check the calendar listed above for "What is next after submission of the application?"

TJHSST Class of 2029 (2024-2025 Applicants)

Seat Allocation Process

Each public school within Fairfax County and each cooperating school division will be presumptively allocated a number of seats equal to 1.5% of that school’s 8th grade student population (“Allocated Seats”). The remainder of seats will not be allocated to any specific public school (“Unallocated Seats”). In the event a school has fewer eligible applicants than its number of Allocated Seats, the difference will be treated as Unallocated Seats

  • Allocated Seats - Applicants attending public school will be first evaluated against other applicants from the same school, and students with the strongest evaluated applications from that school will be offered admission.

  • Unallocated Seats - All remaining public school applicants and applicants who do not attend public school in Fairfax County or in a cooperating division will be considered for the Unallocated Seats, which will be offered to the highest evaluated applicants in that group.

Admissions Decisions

All applicants will receive a decision on their application; Offer, Waitpool or No Offer.

  • Offer: Applicants offered admission for the upcoming Fall (9th grade) year must accept or decline by the stated deadline. Accepting the offer means the applicant is choosing to attend TJHSST the next school year. No deferrals are permitted. Students who 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.
  • Waitpool: A waitpool of students will be created to offer additional students an opportunity to attend TJHSST when admitted applicants decline 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. Waitpool offers will continue to be made until all seats have been filled or until the beginning of the school year, which occurs first.
  • No Offer: Some applicants 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.

For more information see Regulation 3355