Upper School - Application Process - McDonogh School

Upper School


The online application must be submitted no later than December 6, 2024.


Be an Eagle for the Day!

Prospective students can spend the day visiting academic and arts classes and enjoying lunch with an Upper School Guide to experience McDonogh on a first-hand basis. All students are hosted in their current grade except ninth-grade applicants who will visit with the ninth grade. Visit dates are held several times a week from October to the middle of January. Visits begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at 3:15 p.m. Shadow Day visit registration can be completed upon submission of the initial online application form.

If your child is spending the day with us, we will set up their admissions interview during a non-academic class during the visit day. It is important to us that we get to know your child and give them the opportunity to ask questions of us regarding McDonogh School. Parent interviews are not required but are welcomed and can be arranged for the day of the shadow visit or virtually over Zoom on a date after the shadow visit.

Shadow Day visits are an optional piece of the application process. If you choose not to attend a shadow visit day, please call our office to arrange an interview appointment for your child as the interview is a required piece of the application process.


Following the submission of the application, parents can electronically request transcripts and school records to be sent to McDonogh School via their parent portal. Please request transcripts to be sent after the first term of the current school year. Transcripts must be received no later than January 15, 2025.


Two teacher recommendations are required. We prefer one from your child’s current English teacher and one from your child’s current math teacher.

Following the submission of the application, parents can electronically request common referral/teacher recommendation forms to be sent to McDonogh School via their parent portal. Please submit this request to all pertinent teachers after the first term. Completed forms must be received by McDonogh no later than January 15, 2025.


Applicants should complete the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) or SSAT by January 15, 2025. The ISEE and SSAT may be taken at any school that serves as a test site.

At-home computer-based testing options are also permitted; simply request that the results be forwarded to McDonogh School. Our school code for the ISEE is 210750 and for the SSAT is 4757. You may register online at www.iseetest.org or https://www.ssat.org

We encourage students to take the test in November or December as winter weather can cause test cancellations.


  • Essay
    For students applying to Grades 5 through 12, an optional essay is due by January 15, 2025. Students can access the essay prompts by signing into their admissions profile page and clicking on the student essay link. There they may choose one of several prompts and respond in 200-400 words.
  • Additional Student Materials
    We are also eager to have your child submit additional materials to help us better understand their community efforts or unique talents. These can be creative writing samples, artwork, or links to videos of musical or artistic performances. Materials can be shared via a secure online portal.

Five-Day Boarding

Our Five-Day Boarding program is designed for students that reside within a 90-mile radius of our campus in Owings Mills, Maryland. 

Please note: To qualify for boarding, a student’s primary residence must be within 90 miles of the McDonogh School campus in Owings Mills, Maryland. Exemptions may be made if the applicant has a relative (by blood or marriage ) within the 90-mile radius and that family member agrees to serve as a local host family on weekends and in cases of emergency. Due to the nature of our five-day boarding program, students must return home on weekends, and sometimes more frequently due to holidays, weather events, or illness. To learn more about the exemption application process, please contact the Director of Enrollment Management.