AdmissionS GuidelineS

SCIS strives to foster a diverse school community with a strong blend of international, cultural and linguistic backgrounds. We seek applicants who are well-rounded in their interests and who show a strong commitment and effort toward learning. As a community-centered institution, SCIS values strong and supportive family units. We consider both the parent and student as partners within our learning community. SCIS does not discriminate with regard to race, religion, or culture.

We welcome you to apply for admission to SCIS. We operate on a rolling basis, meaning that we review candidates and offer enrollment throughout the entire school year. Offers of enrollment are subject to space availability and candidate qualifications. As a school operating near or at full capacity in most divisions, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible. Our experienced staff are available year-round to assist you.

Eligibility Requirements

In accordance with the relevant regulations and policies set by the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission (SHMEC), as a private foreign-international school, SCIS is only allowed to offer enrollment to students who qualify within one of the four categories listed below:

Type A – Child of a Foreign Citizen
Type B – Child of PRC Citizens, who meets one of the following conditions:
• B1 – Child with a Foreign Birth Certificate
• B2 – Child Born in Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan
Type C – Child of Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan Residents

See the checklist below to learn more about what supporting documents are required for each category listed above.

To learn more about what supporting documents are required for each eligibility category listed above, please download the Admissions Checklist.

Admissions Criteria

At SCIS, admissions decisions are made by an Admissions Committee consisting of the Director of Admissions, Head of School, and a rotating group of divisional administrators, admissions team members, and other relevant school personnel. Admissions decisions are based on a full review of each candidate’s application and supporting documents, taking into consideration their international mindedness, English language proficiency, demonstrated academic achievement, and developmental, social/emotional, and behavioral background.

Amongst equally qualified candidates, priority consideration (not automatic placement) is given to returning SCIS students, overseas applicants, those with siblings currently attending SCIS, and those with stronger academic English proficiency. Of vital consideration as well is the balance of English language learners and other relevant demographic factors in order for SCIS to realize its mission as a truly international school environment.

See the admissions criteria listed below to learn more about our requirements.

Early Childhood (Nursery-Kindergarten)
  • Students from Preschool and up are required to be toilet-independent and are not allowed to wear diapers during the school day or on the school bus (disposable diapers are allowed during nap time). Students in Nursery are not required to be toilet-independent and are allowed to wear disposable diapers provided from home.
  • Students are not required to have a base foundation in English; however, it is recommended.
  • Parents and child are required (if possible) to arrange a campus tour/meeting before applying for admission.
  • In some cases, the student may be required to attend a trial day as part of the application process.
  • Parents should submit all previous school reports, teacher comments/recommendations, standardized assessments, and any other relevant information that would support the student application.
  • As a community-centered institution, SCIS values strong and supportive family units. We consider the entire family unit as an applicant to the school.
Lower School (Grades 1-5)
  • Students are not required to have a base foundation in English; however, it is highly recommended. Space within the EAL program is limited.

  • Parents and child are required (if possible) to arrange a campus tour/meeting before applying for admission.

  • In some cases, the student may be required to attend a trial day as part of the application process.

  • Parents should submit all previous school reports, teacher comments/recommendations, and any other relevant information that would support the student application.

  • If standardized assessment or English language proficiency assessment results are available, these should be submitted as part of the student application. We prefer NWEA MAP scores (standardized assessment) and WIDA results (English language proficiency assessment), but will accept other formats.

  • As a community-centered institution, SCIS values strong and supportive family units. We consider the entire family unit as an applicant to the school.

Upper School (Grades 6-12)
  • Students are required to have a certain foundational level of English. The required level of English language proficiency is dependent on the grade level applied for. Students applying for grades 11-12 must be proficient in English.

  • Parents and child are required (if possible) to arrange a campus tour/meeting before applying for admission. The applicant may be asked to attend an additional interview.

  • In some cases, the student may be required to take an English language proficiency assessment and/or other standardized assessment.

  • Parents should submit all previous school reports/transcripts, teacher comments/recommendations, and any other relevant information that would support the student application.

  • If standardized assessment or English language proficiency assessment results are available, these should be submitted as part of the student application. We prefer NWEA MAP scores (standardized assessment) and WIDA results (English language proficiency assessment), but will accept other formats.

  • As a community-centered institution, SCIS values strong and supportive family units. We consider the entire family unit as an applicant to the school.

English Language Proficiency

SCIS empowers students by providing them with the opportunities to develop as effective communicators and to build confidence in the use of language. We recognize the linguistic diversity of our community and strive to meet the educational needs of all students, including those associated with language acquisition and development.

The primary language of communication and instruction at SCIS is English. With appropriate support, all SCIS students are expected to think, inquire and communicate in English.

SCIS embraces learner diversity; however, we will only enroll students whose educational needs we can meet. Therefore, upon admission, students must meet the English language requirements to ensure academic success. SCIS will provide a variety of instructional strategies to support our English language learners; including but not limited to, support through the English as an Additional Language (EAL) program, in class assistance, and program modifications.

English as an Additional Language (EAL) Services

Upon enrollment, all non-native English-speaking students will be required to take an English language proficiency assessment in order to determine if EAL support is necessary. If a student meets SCIS’s English Learner definition, the student qualifies for EAL services.The English language proficiency assessment results are used to inform EAL program placement. This program is only available to students in grades 1-10, as English language learning is built into the early childhood program and all grade 11-12 students must be proficient in English.

If the school determines that EAL support services are required, a one-time, non-refundable EAL fee will be applied. In most cases, this fee is charged pre-arrival, upon enrollment, and is based on criteria supported through the application materials. In some cases, this fee is charged post-arrival after the student’s English language proficiency is formally assessed. In all cases, students’ English language proficiency will be formally assessed upon arrival. This fee must be paid in full upon enrollment into the EAL program.

Grade Level / Class Placement

Upon enrollment, students are placed in a grade level by our Admissions Committee based on a variety of factors, including their previous academic history, chronological age, and development. For younger students (early childhood & lower school), a greater emphasis is placed on age and developmental appropriateness. In some cases, students may be considered for placement outside of their chronological age group, but only if there is significant justification to do so as determined by the school. In all cases, placements may be reviewed after a period of formal assessments and observations. The divisional administration will make the final decision regarding grade level placement.

Students who apply from schools or educational systems with a different school calendar (like those commonly found in schools in Korea, Japan, Singapore or Australia) will be placed in the grade level that they are currently attending if they are admitted at the start of the new school year. If they are accepted in January, they will be placed in the grade level that they have just completed at their previous school. All students must graduate from Grade 12 before their 20th birthday.

At SCIS, we believe that our collective intelligence increases through diversity. We are intentional about ensuring that each of our homeroom groups is a representation of SCIS’s international community. Therefore, we consider nationality, mother-tongue, English language proficiency, academic status, age and gender in the formation of homeroom groups.To ensure diverse groupings, SCIS is not able to honor parent requests for a particular teacher or homeroom placement.

See our Age/Grade Level Guidelines below in order to determine which grade level your child is eligible for. Applicants must be the designated age (as stated below) on or before October 31 of the academic year for which the applicant is applying.

2018-2019 Age/Grade Level Guideline
Academic Year 2018-2019
Grade Age Date of Birth
Nursery 2 1 Nov. 2015 – 31 Oct. 2016
Pre-S 3 1 Nov. 2014 – 31 Oct. 2015
Pre-K 4 1 Nov. 2013 – 31 Oct. 2014
Kindergarten 5 1 Nov. 2012 – 31 Oct. 2013
Grade 1 6 1 Nov. 2011 – 31 Oct. 2012
Grade 2 7 1 Nov. 2010 – 31 Oct. 2011
Grade 3 8 1 Nov. 2009 – 31 Oct. 2010
Grade 4 9 1 Nov. 2008 – 31 Oct. 2009
Grade 5 10 1 Nov. 2007 – 31 Oct. 2008
Grade 6 11 1 Nov. 2006 – 31 Oct. 2007
Grade 7 12 1 Nov. 2005 – 31 Oct. 2006
Grade 8 13 1 Nov. 2004 – 31 Oct. 2005
Grade 9 14 1 Nov. 2003 – 31 Oct. 2004
Grade 10 15 1 Nov. 2002 – 31 Oct. 2003
Grade 11 16 1 Nov. 2001 – 31 Oct. 2002
Grade 12 17 1 Nov. 2000 – 31 Oct. 2001
2019-2020 Age/Grade Level Guideline
Academic Year 2019-2020
Grade Age Date of Birth
Nursery 2 1 Nov. 2016 – 31 Oct. 2017
Pre-S 3 1 Nov. 2015 – 31 Oct. 2016
Pre-K 4 1 Nov. 2014 – 31 Oct. 2015
Kindergarten 5 1 Nov. 2013 – 31 Oct. 2014
Grade 1 6 1 Nov. 2012 – 31 Oct. 2013
Grade 2 7 1 Nov. 2011 – 31 Oct. 2012
Grade 3 8 1 Nov. 2010 – 31 Oct. 2011
Grade 4 9 1 Nov. 2009 – 31 Oct. 2010
Grade 5 10 1 Nov. 2008 – 31 Oct. 2009
Grade 6 11 1 Nov. 2007 – 31 Oct. 2008
Grade 7 12 1 Nov. 2006 – 31 Oct. 2007
Grade 8 13 1 Nov. 2005 – 31 Oct. 2006
Grade 9 14 1 Nov. 2004 – 31 Oct. 2005
Grade 10 15 1 Nov. 2003 – 31 Oct. 2004
Grade 11 16 1 Nov. 2002 – 31 Oct. 2003
Grade 12 17 1 Nov. 2001 – 31 Oct. 2002

Learning Support

SCIS, as a whole, strives to meet the needs of all students. On all campuses, and within all divisions, students at varying levels of development are supported through our world-class programs and by our highly-qualified educators, support staff, and administrators. SCIS embraces learner diversity; however, we will only enroll students whose educational needs we can meet.

With this in mind, our SCIS Pudong Campus offers a limited-space, comprehensive Learning Support Program (LSP)* to assist students with specific needs. Under the direct supervision of our Director of Student Support, the LSP offers services to a handful of students each year. For more information regarding the LSP, including the application process and fees, please contact the SCIS Admissions Office at admissions@scis-china.org.

*Please note, the LSP is currently only offered at our SCIS Pudong Campus.

Download the SCIS Learning Support Program Brochure  to learn more

Time for Applying

We welcome you to apply for admission to SCIS. Our Admissions Office operates on a rolling basis, meaning that we review candidates and offer enrollment throughout the entire school year. Offers of enrollment are subject to space availability and candidate qualifications. As a school operating near or at full capacity in most divisions, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible. Please make note of our timeline for reviewing new student application:

  • For the Fall Semester, we begin reviewing applications in the preceding March.
  • For the Spring Semester, we begin reviewing applications in the preceding October.

Step-by-Step Application Guide

Step 1
Make an Inquiry
For general inquiries, please submit an Inquiry Form or contact the Admissions Office.

Arrange a Visit
We encourage you to come experience the SCIS community for yourself. Schedule a personalized campus tour here.

Step 2
Submit an Online Application
Create an account and complete our online application here.

Upload all Required Supporting Documents
Submit all required supporting documents through the online portal.

Pay the Application Fee
An application is only considered complete once all required supporting documents have been submitted and the application fee has been paid.
See the Tuition & Fees Pro Forma for more detailed information regarding the application fee and payment instructions.

Step 3
Arrange an Interview / Assessment
After reviewing your application and supporting documents, if necessary, we may request to arrange an additional interview and/or assessment, as well as any other additional information we may need in order to make our admissions decision.

Step 4
Application Review and Admissions Decision
Our Admissions Committee will review and discuss each candidate’s application in full. An admissions decision will be sent by email approximately one week from the date an application was submitted in full. It’s important to note that the timeline to receive an admissions decision may be extended if the Admissions Committee determines that additional steps or requirements are necessary. Admissions decisions include: acceptance, denial, and wait pool. Offers of enrollment are subject to space availability and candidate qualifications.

Step 5
Secure your Enrollment
If offered enrollment, follow the steps within the acceptance email in order to secure your enrollment according to the posted deadlines, including submitting the Enrollment Contract and making the appropriate Seat Guarantee Deposit or tuition payment.

Wait Pool

SCIS operates at or near full capacity in most divisions. In the event a grade level is at capacity, qualified applicants will enter into a Wait Pool. Applicants within the wait pool are considered for admission once an opening becomes available. In this case, applicants are not considered chronologically, but rather according to our normal admissions decision making criteria.

SCIS strives to achieve a balance in all areas of diversity, including nationality, mother-tongue, English language proficiency, academic status, age and gender. When an opening becomes available, the Admissions Committee will choose a candidate that best fits our community and the candidate’s family will be notified immediately.

Applicants will remain in the wait pool for the entirety of the school year in which they originally applied. If no space becomes available, wait pool applicants will be rolled-over for consideration for the following school year. Wait pool applicants will only be rolled-over for consideration once, after which they will be exited from the wait pool and be required to reapply for further consideration.

Bus Service

SCIS offers free, door-to-door bus transportation for all currently-enrolled students. Bus service includes transportation to and from school during normal academic hours. Bus service for after school activities is only available at our Pudong Campus (Please note, given the central, downtown location of our Hongqiao Campuses, there is no bus service available for after school activities).

As you consider your timeline for applying to SCIS, please be aware that due to regulations imposed by the Shanghai Transportation Commission, international schools in Shanghai are required to apply for a permit to add new buses, bus routes, and/or bus stops. If you miss our transportation application deadlines, this application process can take anywhere from one month to a full semester to complete; during which time, SCIS will not be able to provide transportation services.

To learn more about these deadline, or to apply for transportation services, please see more information below:

Bus Service Deadlines / Application

In accordance with the regulations set by the Shanghai Transportation Commission, SCIS has set the following deadlines to apply for transportation service:
• For the Fall Semester, you must apply by July 1
• For the Spring Semester, you must apply by December 1

If you already have a current home address in Shanghai and will require bus service for your student, please fill out the Transportation Application as soon as possible.

If you do not yet have a local address, please be aware of the deadlines and regulations stated above as you consider your timeline and decision-making process. We fully understand that you may not know your local address too far in advance of your transition to Shanghai. In this case, we encourage you to contact our transportation coordinators, who will be able to answer any questions that you may have. Please find the campus-specific contact information below:

Hongqiao ECE Campus
Angela Hu
Transportation Coordinator
hq-ece-transportation@scis-china.org
+86 (21) 6295-1222 Ext. 7003
Hongqiao Main Campus
Elaine Huang
Transportation Coordinator
hq-transportation@scis-china.org
+86 (21) 6261-4338 Ext. 3151
Pudong Campus
Stu Ren
Transportation Coordinator
pd-transportation@scis-china.org
+86 (21) 5812-9888 Ext. 6002

Hongqiao ECE Campus

2212 Hongqiao Road, Changning,
Shanghai, China 200336
Tel: 86-21-6295-1222
Fax: 86-21-6261-4639

Hongqiao Campus

1161 Hongqiao Road, Changning,
Shanghai, China 200051
Tel: 86-21-6261-4338
Fax: 86-21-6261-4639

Pudong Campus

198 Hengqiao Road, Zhoupu,
Pudong, Shanghai, China 201315
Tel: 86-21-5812-9888
Fax: 86-21-6261-4639

Hongqiao ECE Campus

2212 Hongqiao Road, Changning,
Shanghai, China 200336
Tel: 86-21-6295-1222
Fax: 86-21-6261-4639

Hongqiao Campus

1161 Hongqiao Road, Changning,
Shanghai, China 200051
Tel: 86-21-6261-4338
Fax: 86-21-6261-4639

Pudong Campus

198 Hengqiao Road, Zhoupu,
Pudong, Shanghai, China 201315
Tel: 86-21-5812-9888
Fax: 86-21-6261-4639