Upper School - Application Process - McDonogh School

Upper School


The online application must be submitted no later than December 2, 2022.


Be an Eagle for the Day!

Prospective students can spend the day visiting academic and arts classes as well as eating 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 and begin in the middle of October and run until the middle of January. Visits begin with a brief reception with faculty at 7:45 a.m. and last until 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 him/her 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 at 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.


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, 2023. Therefore, please have your child's teacher or school email the form to admissions@mcdonogh.org


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, 2023.

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.


Applicants should complete the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) or SSAT by January 15, 2023. 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, 2023. 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. 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.

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.