Upper School - Application Process - McDonogh School

Upper School


The online application must be submitted no later than December 3, 2021.


Please take the Transcript Release Form to your child’s school and request transcripts to be sent after the first term of the current year.  In addition, families should request transcripts from the whole of the previous school year. Transcripts must be received no later than January 15, 2022. Therefore, please have your child's teacher or school email the form to admissions@mcdonogh.org or fax it to 443-544-7030.  


Two teacher recommendations are required. We prefer one from your child’s current English teacher and one from your child’s current math teacher. Please submit the Common Referral Form to all pertinent teachers after the first term. Completed forms must be received by McDonogh no later than January 15, 2022.

Please be aware that the Common Referral Form is confidential and cannot be shared with parents or students. Therefore, please have your child's teacher or school email the form to admissions@mcdonogh.org, fax to 443-544-7030.


Once your child’s application is submitted, you will have the ability to schedule a Virtual Family Meeting and Interview with a member of the Admissions Team. This meeting typically lasts between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on the number of questions you and your child have and is an opportunity for you to learn more about McDonogh and our LifeReady academic program.  We recommend that you explore our website, particularly our virtual tour, before this virtual meeting.


Applicants should complete the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) or SSAT by January 15, 2022. The ISEE and SSAT may be taken at any school that serves as a test site as well as at a Prometric Test Center location convenient for your family. 

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.



For students applying to Grades 5 through 12, an optional essay is due by January 15, 2022. 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 email by January 15, 2022 to Herb Scott, Director of UpperSchool Admissions, at hscott@mcdonogh.org

Shadow Visit

During the 2021-22 Admissions season, we are offering half-day afternoon shadow visits for Upper School applicants. Guests will arrive to the Admissions Office at 12:35 p.m  and will have the opportunity to visit two academic classes during the afternoon with a student host. Parents/guardians can return at 3:15 p.m. to pick up their visiting student. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the following health and safety guidelines are in place for the 2021-22 Admissions season. All guests wishing to visit classes for an Upper School Shadow Visit will need to show proof of vaccination or provide results of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the visit. Additionally, applicants will complete a health screening and temperature check at the time of arrival. 

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. Due to the nature of our five-day boarding program, students must return home on weekends, and sometimes more frequently due to holidays or weather events.

A student’s primary residence must be within 90 miles of the McDonogh School campus in Owings Mills, Maryland to qualify for boarding. The School is not able to accept any applications for admission or boarding from students who reside outside that distance.