Admissions Inquiry

Contact Us

If we can assist you in any way through these transitional times, please feel free to contact us :

  • Email:
  • Pudong Campus:
    ext. 3305
  • Puxi Campus:
    ext. 2152

Frequently Asked Questions


How does the application process work?

Once a family has submitted an online application, an SAS Admission Officer will help them through the remainder of the admission process. Applications are reviewed by the Admission Committee after all of the required documents are received, the applicant has been interviewed by one of our Admission team members, and an English proficiency test has been conducted (where applicable). We will conduct Skype interviews for overseas applicants on an as needed basis. Full disclosure of special needs and intervention documents is required. An application is valid for the applying school year (August – June) only. Applicants interested in the next school year will be asked to reapply.

When can I expect a decision?

Admission decisions occur on a rolling basis and will be communicated as early as possible. Student acceptance is dependent on admission qualifications, the volume of applications received, and the availability of seats. At times seat availability is contingent upon withdrawal of current students.

Selection is not first come first served; instead, it is mission-driven and based on enrolling students the school can best serve.

How can I place my child on your wait list?

SAS does not have a wait list but instead maintains a wait pool for qualified students. A student can be placed in the wait pool only after his/her application has been reviewed and recommended by the Admission Committee. When seats become available, priority consideration (not automatic placement) is given to returning students, overseas applicants, US passport holders, those with siblings currently attending SAS, and those with stronger academic English proficiency. The wait pool is maintained for the applying school year (August – June) only. Applicants interested in the next school year will be asked to reapply.

May we complete applications for the Pudong and Puxi campuses at the same time?

Families should apply to their campus of preference. However, they may express interest in placement at either campus to their Admission Officer.

Academic Program

What foreign languages do you offer?

Elementary School:

All students (except those receiving intensive EAL support) are taught Chinese as a second language. Children are placed in ability groups according to grade level.

Middle and High School:

Students from grades 6 to 12 may choose to study any one foreign language from Chinese, French and Spanish. All three language programs include tracks for students of differing language abilities. High school students may study IB Self-taught Literature as a two-year course, beginning in the junior year. Those who pursue this course as part of their IB Diploma are eligible to graduate with the coveted Bilingual IB Diploma. SAS has supported students studying literature in Arabic, Norwegian, French, Dutch and Korean, to name a few.

Graduation from SAS requires two years of the same foreign language.

What is the Bring Your Own Mac Program?

All students in grades 6 to 12 are required to bring their own MacBook computer and external USB hard disk drive for the purpose of backups. Click here for more information on the hardware and software requirements.

Do you offer a gifted program for advanced students?

We are a school of high expectations and high outcomes, providing individual focus on student learning. If your child is advanced in some areas, our teachers will teach them according to their level.

Do you accept students with special needs?

We admit students who can meet grade level expectations in the curriculum given the support available. We do not offer the full continuum of special education programs as mandated by law for public schools in the United States.

We have limited resources to support students who, due to severe disabilities (i.e. learning, physical, and/or behavioral), require major staffing, curricular or assessment modifications. All decisions regarding admission for students with special needs are made on an individual case-by-case basis.

Parents are required to submit an online application, pay the application fee, and provide all relevant documentation for the Admission Committee to review.

Failure to completely disclose special needs and intervention documentation during the application process may result in the reversal of any admission offer made without previous knowledge of a child’s situation.

Documentation required includes previous testing and/or evaluations other than standardized national-based testing, i.e. NWEA MAP, SSAT, IOWA, etc.:

  • IEP (Individualized Education Program)
  • 504 Plan (modifications and accommodations needed to support a student with special needs)
  • Psycho-educational evaluation/psychiatric evaluation
  • Reading, writing and/or mathematical assessment(s)
  • Speech and language evaluation
  • Neurological testing
  • Occupational therapy assessment

The following are examples of disabilities that may require programs beyond the capabilities of the school:

  • Visual and auditory impairments requiring specialized instruction and equipment
  • Augmentative communications impairments
  • Intellectual or cognitive impairments
  • Serious behavior disorders and/or emotional difficulties
  • Mental health disorders

Are there any additional admission requirements for the International Baccalaureate or Advanced Placement Programs?

No. Once admitted to the school, both of the programs are available to all students within the high school. For more information about the IB Program policies please view our IB Program Policy Manual.

What are your AP and IB test scores?

We consistently perform above world averages. Please click here to download and view our academic profiles for both campuses.

Where do your students go after High School graduation?

The academic rigor at SAS is strong enough to send our students to top tier universities around the world. Students have one-on-one support with highly qualified college counselors to help get them into the school of their choosing and one that is the best fit for them personally.

To view our matriculation, please click here to download our academic profiles for both campuses.

Student Life

What are your school hours?

Students attend school Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 3:00pm. Students in Pre-K3 and Pre-K4 attend a program from 8:00am to 1:00pm with optional extension hours from 1:00pm to 3:00pm that includes rest time, snacks, Chinese and other activities.

What is your class capacity for each grade level?

We aim to limit our numbers to:

Pre-Kindergarten: 12-14 students
Kindergarten: 15 students
Grade 1: 16 students
Grade 2: 17 students
Grades 3 to 12: 18 students
Pre-K to Grade 1 – Every classroom has a teacher assistant to assist the class teacher at all times.
Grade 2 to Grade 5 – Teachers share one or more teacher assistants between each grade level.

Do you provide school bus service to and from your campuses?

We provide morning and afternoon bus transportation that serves students of all grade levels in most areas within Shanghai. Bus transportation is also provided for students participating in after school activities. Please visit the transportation page for more information. The transportation fee is not included in the tuition fee.

Do you provide lunch?

We offer hot lunches daily, with Western, Asian, and vegetarian choices available. Lunch is optional and is not included in the tuition fee. Please visit our food services page for more information. Microwave ovens are available to use for students who bring their own lunch.

Do students wear uniforms?

Our students do not wear uniforms. However students should choose clothes that are appropriate for school and that show they have respect for themselves and for everyone else in the SAS community. PE uniforms are required for both middle school and high school students and can be purchased from the Eagle Shop on both our campuses.

How diverse is your student body?

Over 44 nationalities make up our student body. On average, of the approximately 2800 students on both of our campuses 55% are US or Canadian citizens. The remaining 45% represent countries from all over the world.

Where do your teachers come from and what are their qualifications?

Our teachers represent more than 20 countries, with 70% from North America (US and Canada). We also have teachers from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and other European countries. Most of our foreign language teachers are from their native countries. Over 70% of our teachers have earned their master’s or doctoral degrees.

How do you select my child’s teacher?

Elementary School (Pre-K through grade 5):

Our counselors work together with principals and current teachers to create balanced classrooms. Students are placed into class groups based on their learning personalities, gender, former teacher recommendations, individual strengths, and diversity of the class. Counselors and principals make the final decisions regarding classroom assignments in order to create the best learning environment for all children.

Middle and High School (grades 6 -12):

All Middle and High School students will have a different teacher assigned for each subject. Placement is based on level, schedule and/or the student makeup of classrooms.

What amount of homework should my child expect?

The amount of homework varies by grade levels and gradually increases to the heavier academic load of our college preparatory program. The amount of time a child spends each night on homework depends upon his or her academic background, study skills, maturity level, and organizational skills.

What after school activities do you offer?

In addition to our fine academic program, we offer a variety of after school activities from Elementary School through High School. The choices change seasonally. Please click here for more information.

What is the difference between your Puxi and Pudong campuses?

Both campuses excel academically. Both campuses offer a plethora of clubs, activities, and sports teams. And both campuses have reputations for helping students reach some of the top universities in the world. In short, it's not the campus. It’s the school.

Do you have a boarding program?

We do not have a boarding program. As per Shanghai Government Regulations, all our students must reside with at least one parent in Shanghai and must hold a proper visa.

Does your school monitor the air quality?

We monitor the Air Quality Index (US standard) continually throughout the day. If the air is deemed unhealthy for sensitive groups or worse, school staff are notified to modify outdoor activities or (in some instances) to keep students inside entirely. We also have a state-of-the-art indoor air filtration system.

The AQI guidelines at Shanghai American School can be found here.

Couldn’t find an answer to your question? Let us know!

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