SAS has been around since 1912. We’ve heard a few of these questions before…



How does the application process work?

Once a family has submitted an online application, an SAS Admissions Officer will help them through the remainder of the application process. Applications are reviewed by the Admissions Committee after all required documents are received. 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?

Applications are reviewed by the Admissions Committee after all required documents are received and any relevant or required assessments have been completed. Decisions are made as soon as possible, however, when application volume is heavy, it may take a couple of weeks.

Please note that the first round of decisions for Pre- K3 to Grade 1 will not be made until mid to late February but then continue on a rolling basis.

A decision will be one of the following:

  • An offer of a seat
  • A decline or
  • A wait pool notification (Please see below explanation about the wait pool)

Offers are made on a rolling basis throughout the admission season. An offer of a seat is dependent on admissions qualifications, the volume and strength of the applications received and the availability of seats. An offer is based on best fit, not first-come first-served.

Priority consideration (not automatic placement) amongst equally qualified applicants will be given to returning students, overseas applicants, US passport holders, those with siblings currently attending SAS, and those with stronger academic English proficiency.

What does it mean for a student to be placed in wait pool?

SAS does not have a wait list but instead maintains a wait pool for qualified students. A wait pool system is about best fit, whereas a waitlist is first come first served. A student can be placed in the wait pool only after his/her application has been reviewed and recommended by the Admissions Committee.

A child may be placed initially in wait pool to allow us further time to assess seat availability.

If a child is placed into wait pool, the application will continue to be reviewed with all other applicants in subsequent decision rounds. Exact timing for when a final decision will be made is dependent on demand for seats, strength of the applicant against the pool, and seat availability. The Admissions Office will contact families should a child’s wait pool status change.  

Unfortunately, not all wait pooled applicants are successful in securing a seat in SAS.

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

Families should apply to their campus of preference and may only have one open application per child. However, they may express a change in campus preference to their Admissions Officer before an admission decision has been made.

Admission to SAS is campus specific. Should circumstances arise for a campus transfer, a request can only be submitted after a minimum of one year enrollment and the transfer effected after the completion of two full years. Transfer requests must be reviewed and approved before they are granted. 

Academic Program

What foreign languages do you offer?

Elementary School:
With a few exceptions, all students 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 may be 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 in high school.

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?

SAS is 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 work to address their specific educational needs.

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 admissions 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 Admissions Committee to review.

Failure to completely disclose special needs and intervention documentation during the application process may result in the reversal of any admissions 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 admissions 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 well above world averages. Please download and view our academic profiles for Pudong and Puxi campuses.

Where do your students go after High School graduation?

We say students can go “from here to anywhere” and we mean it: 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 dedicated, highly qualified college counselors to help get them into the school of their choosing and one that is the best fit for them personally.

Please click here to view our college/university acceptance list



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?

There are literally hundreds of ways to get to SAS each school day. We provide morning and afternoon bus transportation that serves students of all grade levels, making over 400 stops 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.

Note: SAS is not obligated to provide service if the housing location is not within existing service routes.

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 dining 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 may be required for both middle school and high school students and can be purchased from the Eagle Shop on both campuses.

How diverse is your student body?

Students from 45 countries have made SAS their home. 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 363 faculty members hail from 25 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. Around 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 exceptional academic program, SAS offers a plethora of after school activities from Elementary School through High School. “Everything from knitting to rugby,” as one of our students described. See our Life at SAS section 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 through strong AP as well as IB programs. 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. 

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

Apply to SAS

Once you’ve ensured that your child is eligible to apply, you can begin your application any time.