Application Forms -

Magnet Application Information for 2023-2024 School Year:

  • PHS will hold a VIRTUAL open house on Thursday, October 26th @ 6 PM for Global Ecology, 6:50 PM for Humanities and 7:35 PM for SMCS.  Zoom link will be posted closer to the event.
  • More information on the programs, eligibility and meetings can be found Here
  • Applications will be available in ParentVUE on (or about) Friday, October 6, 2023.
  • UPDATE: Application deadline has moved to Wednesday, November 8, 2023.
  • Results will be emailed and released to ParentVUE in the first week of February 2024.
  • Deadline to Accept a Program Invitation or Appeal results - February 14, 2024
  • Parents can check the FAQ page to get updated application information. 
  • Curent Grade 8 High School Application Preview
  • Directions for private and home schooled students.  

Other Information: Contact Division of Consortia Choice and Application Program Services by emailing

Magnet Information Meeting (zoom info below)

Zoom information for 2023-2024 VIRTUAL open house to be posted closer to the event.


Application and Testing Information

  • What is a Whole School Magnet?   
  • Who may apply to any of the House Certificate Programs?
  • How do I learn more about the House Certificate Programs?  
  • What is the selection criteria?  
  • What do I need to know about the testing portion of the application?  

What is a Whole School Magnet?

A whole school magnet is organized around instructional “houses” made up of small teams of teachers and students from multiple disciplines, centered around a proven magnet course of studies. Students may choose from three instructional houses: Global Ecology House, Humanities House and Science, Math, Computer Science House. In the Global Ecology House students will pursue rigorous interdisciplinary science and social studies curricula focused on human impact on the natural environment. In the Humanities House students will study humanities through the lens of American History and English to introduce inquiry. In the Science, Math, Computer Science House students will develop and deepen skills in problem-solving, analysis and laboratory investigations. All three houses use an interdisciplinary approach to learning. Classes are linked to provide flexibility and a deeper understanding of each house focus.

In order to earn a certificate in any program, students must be accepted to the program via the application process.

Who may apply to any of the House Certificate Programs?

Students in Grade 8 who are enrolled in at least Algebra I may apply to any of the House Certificate programs for the following school year. Applicants who wish to apply for either the Humanities House or the Science, Math, Computer Science House must reside in one of the following MCPS high school clusters at the time of testing: Clarksburg, Damascus, Gaithersburg, Magruder, Northwest, Poolesville, Quince Orchard, Seneca Valley, or Watkins Mill. Applicants who wish to apply for the Global Ecology House may reside in any MCPS High School Cluster. Students in other high school clusters who are interested in a Science, Math, Computer Science Program can apply to the Montgomery Blair Magnet Program.

How do I learn more about the House Certificate Programs?

Each fall there is an informational meeting about the Magnet programs for interested grade 8 students and their parents/guardians. The meeting is always held in the month of October. Because things seem to be changing all the time, at this time, the meeting will be held virtually. Parents should attend with their children. Please check the exact date under Upcoming Events. We will have one meeting at 6:30 PM for all applicants. The meeting will be held via zoom and the zoom information will be added on our school website as the date approaches. An FAQ sheet can be found here.

What are the selection criteria?

Selection is based on a student's achievement record in mathematics, social studies, science, and English, demonstrated interest in mathematics, science, social studies and computer science. 

What do I need to know about the testing?

Updated October 14,2023

There will not be a CoGAT test admisistered for applicants this year. You can find updated information regarding testing and the application processes on the FAQ sheet.