Magnet Schools


For more than 60 years, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) has been at the forefront of the choice movement in education, having established Henry S. West Laboratory School in 1954, as an experimental school of choice associated with the School of Education at the University of Miami. This initiative was followed in 1963 by the development and implementation of a dual-language program at Coral Way Elementary School. Magnet programs began in M-DCPS in 1973 with the opening of a center for the Expressive Arts in the heart of the inner city at Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School. Since then, M-DCPS has implemented a broad variety of Magnet programs now totaling more than 110 schools with over 380 programs, and more than 1,060 Choice programs (Magnet and non-Magnet) district-wide. As of the 2019-2020 school year, more than 73.7% of Pre-K through 12th grade students in M-DCPS have made an active choice in the school or program in which they are enrolled.

What are Magnet Programs?

The School Choice & Parental Options office of Miami-Dade County Public Schools facilitates a wide variety of Magnet programs that provide unique and enhanced educational opportunities that appeal to students with diverse backgrounds, special talents, and similar interests. These programs offer specialized courses of study that satisfy student educational interest and mandated learning goals while promoting diversity. Some programs accept all interested students; other programs have specific entrance criteria. When the number of eligible students exceeds the number of available seats in non-audition-based or language-tested Magnet programs, a random selection procedure is utilized to admit students. These uniquely designed Magnet programs are categorized under one of the following five themes of study:

  • International Programs
  • Liberal Arts
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & Medical)
  • Virtual Options
  • Visual & Performing Arts

International Programs

International Programs are internationally benchmarked programs offering students a unique opportunity to meet national as well as international diploma requirements. M-DCPS has partnered with the world’s premiere international programs to ensure that M-DCPS students are globally competent and prepared for future educational and career choices world-wide. Educators in these highly rigorous and benchmarked programs are trained and certified to ensure students receive the highest quality of globally competitive education.

International Education (IE) Program
The International Education (IE) Program immerses students in a multicultural education that promotes global competence. Most IE programs also emphasize learning a second language. The IE programs prepare students to be informed citizens of an ever-changing global society and economy.

International Studies (IS) Program
The International Studies (IS) Program is an international dual language acquisition program implemented throughout grades K-12 as a collaborative effort with the Ministries of Education of foreign countries, including Spain, Germany, France, and Italy. This collaboration promotes a rigorous international academic program in which students are immersed in a Modern Language as they learn core subjects in the second language, resulting in a curriculum that emphasizes competency in a foreign language, student-centered learning, and global perspective.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Program
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program is governed by the International Baccalaureate Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. The IB Program provides a balanced and rigorous international curriculum from grades K-12 which links the Humanities, Sciences, Mathematics, Languages, and Community Service, as well as an emphasis on learning a second language. The goal of the IB curriculum is to develop well-rounded, creative, compassionate citizens of a global community.

Cambridge International (CIE) Program
The Cambridge International (CIE) Program is an international curriculum designed and implemented in partnership with England’s renowned University of Cambridge, appealing to academically advanced and motivated students in grades K-12. This engaging, accelerated, academic experience, ensures students are challenged to work at the highest level of international standards in Math, Science, English, and Language Arts.

AP Capstone Program
The AP Capstone Program, designed and monitored by College Board, prepares high achieving high school students for success in college through a rigorous and innovative program that equips students with independent research, collaborative teamwork, and communication skills, which are increasingly valued by colleges and employers world-wide. AP Capstone candidates study topics of global relevance from an interdisciplinary perspective, making connections between these topics and their AP subjects.

Liberal Arts

With an emphasis on Business, Global Studies, Legal Studies, and Service Industries, the Liberal Arts Programs offer students a variety of opportunities to engage as global citizens on an ever-changing world.  A challenging interdisciplinary curriculum focused on the Humanities, Language Arts, and Social Sciences encourages hands-on learning in a technology rich environment.  Academic excellence and commitment to the values of diversity, community, and collaboration, as well as social awareness, distinguish the Liberal Arts Magnet Programs.

S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & Medical)

S.T.E.M. Programs encourage students who have an interest or skill strength in the Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, or Medical fields to explore and develop their talents and to prepare for a future in the fastest-growing career industries world-wide. Included in S.T.E.M. Programs are the Medical Health Services Programs, which offer a broad variety of options for students to explore career opportunities and interest in the health sciences.

Virtual Program

A Virtual Learning Program through Miami-Dade Online (MDO) Academy is available to all students in grades K-12. This accredited on-line virtual public school program offers a student-centered interactive learning environment to independent learners with the support of fully certified educators. Teachers provide students with superior knowledge of subject matter and individualized educational support to encourage critical thinking and to help develop curious minds through a high-quality curriculum.

Miami-Dade Online Academy (MDO) – Miami-Dade Online Academy (MDO) is a tuition-free, full-time, accredited, on-line virtual public school program. It is open to all eligible K-12 students who are residents of Miami-Dade County, Florida.  MDO provides a student-centered virtual-learning environment to a diverse population of learners, encouraging critical thinking skills and the development of curious minds engaged in high quality curriculum.  MDO is an interactive learning environment with fully certified Florida teachers who provide students with superior knowledge of subject matter and care about their success.  

Visual & Performing Arts (VPA)

Visual and Performing Arts Programs provide intellectually stimulating and educationally challenging classes in the Arts or Arts Technology for students who demonstrate a talent in a particular art form or who show a strong interest in the arts.  While some programs require students to audition, other programs invite students with an affinity for the arts to develop their passions in an environment rich in creativity.  Student talents and interests are nurtured through a continuous exchange between student and teachers, with numerous opportunities to showcase talents.

Magnet Schools Catalogs

Below are the Magnet catalogs in three languages available for download.


School Board Policy

2370, Magnet Programs/Schools

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