Apply to IMSA

The Application for the 2021 School Year is now open! 

What academic qualifications are necessary for admission?

The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy offers a uniquely challenging and advanced education for Illinois students talented in mathematics and science. Admission to IMSA is determined by a competitive process in which all applicants are required to submit a specific set of materials (listed below). Although the process is highly competitive, there are no minimum scores required to apply. Those students who present the strongest combination of academic achievement, passion for STEM, and the ability to thrive in a residential school are invited to attend.

In order to determine this, IMSA utilizes a holistic selection process that incorporates classroom performance, participation in extracurricular activities, and leadership history with more traditional indicators of talent such as test scores and grades. For this reason, students with the highest test scores may not necessarily emerge as the strongest applicants. Geographic and demographic variables are also considered to promote a diverse student population and enhance the learning of all students. You can find more information about our Admissions Process in our official Admissions Policy.

In order to be eligible, applicants must:

  1. Be an Illinois resident: Illinois primary residency must be established by the first day of semester 2 or the first day of trimester 2 of the year of application.
  2. Must be enrolled in or have completed the equivalent of Algebra 1 and a high school equivalent science course: Applicants in eighth-grade must submit documentation of having completed an academic program comparable to ninth grade-level work in mathematics and science at the time of application. This must include a minimum of one year of algebra and one year of high school level science. Online algebra and science courses can be used to meet the algebra and science requirements.
  3. Not be enrolled beyond the 9th grade: Current tenth through twelfth-grade students are not eligible for admission.
  4. Have a completed application file: Including online application form, SAT testing information, official grade reports, teacher evaluations, and counselor form.

How to Apply

All eligible applicants must submit a completed online application to be considered for admission. Only students in the 8th or 9th grade can apply to IMSA. Students who are admitted after their 8th-grade year would start IMSA as 10th graders as IMSA does not have a 9th-grade class. There is no fee to apply.

¡NUEVO! La Oficina de Admisiones presenta la guía de solicitud de la Academia 2019-2020 en español. Familias pueden usar este documento descargable para seguir junto con la solicitud en línea de su estudiante. No será aceptado este documento como aplicación a la Academia. Los futuros estudiantes deben presentar la solicitud en línea.

Solicitud de la Academia Residencial

Application Checklist

Applicants must create a profile to begin our application process. You can create a profile and start your application here. Please make sure to remember your username and password, as those will be needed every time you log in to edit, submit, or view your application. The following components must be submitted via the online application by the due date in order to be eligible for consideration:

  • Demographic and School Information
  • Four Essays
  • List of STEM Activities and Achievements
  • Math Teacher Evaluation Form
  • Science Teacher Evaluation Form
  • English Teacher Evaluation Form
  • School Counselor Form
  • Last 2.5 years of Official Grade Reports
  • Official SAT Test Scores for admitted IMSA students (For 2020 applicants please see COVID-19 Considerations below regarding the SAT Test)

There is also an opportunity to provide two optional pieces of information. The “Optional Evaluation” can be submitted by a teacher or adult who can speak to a student’s ability to succeed at IMSA. The “Optional Statement” can be utilized to provide additional clarity on any part of the application or include information that you feel would be important for you or your child’s success at IMSA.

Students enrolled in homeschool programs will need to provide additional documentation explaining the curriculum, evaluation process, and texts used. Evaluations must be completed by non-family members who know the student’s work well. You can find more information about our homeschool student expectations in our official Admissions Policy.

SAT Test

The SAT test is required for all admitted IMSA students (Math and Evidenced-Based Reading & Writing sections). The Essay is not required for admission to IMSA. The SAT test is administered nationally by College Board. To register, visit their website. When registering, please use IMSA’s SAT school code #3027 to ensure that we receive a copy of your test results. Applicants can take the test multiple times. Rather than only looking at an applicant’s scores from one particular date, IMSA will take your highest Math score and highest Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score to form the highest possible composite score, also known as a “Superscore.”

Covid-19 considerations: Equity and accessibility to education are of the utmost importance to our mission at IMSA. To ensure our equity standards continue to be met in the application process, due to testing center locations and seating limitations, we will be unable to consider SAT scores during the selection process. While the SAT will still be required to attend IMSA, applicants are not required to submit their scores at the time of application submission. There is still a space on the application for testing information and the process for submitting scores will continue to be the same as in previous years.