Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions

In 1972, DeBakey opened at Baylor College of Medicine.  Now on its own campus, DeBakey keeps close ties to the Texas Medical Center, giving students the opportunity to experience the Medical Center’s healthcare and research facilities while still in high school.  Debakey’s mission is “to provide a challenging, well-balanced college preparatory program which focuses on educational experiences in science and the health professions and to further an understanding of [a] multicultural community.”

Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions

3100 Shenandoah St., Houston, TX 77021                                                                  Ms. Agnes Bell, Principal

713-741-2410                                                                                                                     D. Rios, Magnet Coordinator


Religious Affiliation

As a public school, DeBakey has no religious affiliation.  According to Houston Independent School District’s policy, every school has a moment of silence each day during which students can pray silently to themselves if they so choose.  Also, absences because of religious holidays do not count toward the student’s total number of absences.  However, the student is still responsible for the makeup work.

Location and Facilities

Currently residing east of the Medical Center, DeBakey is at 3100 Shenandoah St. near Highway 288.  Originally, DeBakey resided in Baylor College of Medicine and was named The High School for Health Professions.  In 1996, the school was renamed to honor the famous cardiac surgeon, Michael DeBakey.  The campus features a three story building with twenty rooms per floor.  The campus also includes a library, auditorium, and separate testing rooms.


The DeBakey admissions process includes an application and a test.  All students must fill out the application and submit the following information with it: 1) Most Recent Report Card 2) Previous Year’s Final Report Card 3) Test Record Card and 4) Proof of HISD Residency.

Once the application is completed and submitted, the parent needs to schedule an admissions test with the Magnet Office (713-746-5205).  Every applicant has to take the test.  DeBakey asks that the students arrive 30 minutes before the test is scheduled and that they bring two #2 pencils and photo identification.

Academic Tracks and Curriculum

DeBakey offers two tracks—On Track and AP.  Pre-AP classes lead to the 15 classes from the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) curriculum.   DeBakey offers these AP courses: AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics, AP Calculus AB/BC, AP Statistics, AP English Language, AP English Literature, AP Economics, AP World History, AP U.S. History, AP Government, AP Spanish Language, and AP French Language.

DeBakey only offers a Distinguished Diploma.  Students must complete 32 credits: English (4), Social Studies (4), Math (5), Science (5), Foreign Language (3), Athletics (1), Health (.5), Speech (.5), Fine Art (1), SAT Prep (.5), Study Skills (.5), Information Systems (1), and Health Science (4).  Students must also complete 100 hours of community service.

Special Needs

If the student meets the admissions requirements for the HISD school, then the student with special needs will be accommodated.   If the parents already have documentation about the student’s special needs, the school will need a copy of that documentation.  After receiving the documentation, the school will set up an annual ARD meeting that the parents, the student, an administrator, a core subject teacher, a special education teacher or 504 representative, and an HISD advocate will attend to discuss the specific modifications necessary for the student and to create an individualized education plan (IEP) for the student.  Every teacher will receive a copy of the modifications for the student after the ARD meeting has determined them.

If the parents want to request modifications for their child, then the special education teacher will give the student’s teachers paperwork to document the student’s behavior and any modifications the teacher uses for the student.  After 6 weeks of documentation, the teachers will turn in the paperwork, and the special education teacher or 504 representative will call a meeting similar to an ARD meeting.  If the meeting determines that the student needs modifications, then the school will have documentation of the student’s special needs and will follow the same procedures as above.

Foreign Languages

DeBakey’s Language Other Than English Department bases their program around a five part objective, called the “Five C’s.”  These objectives are Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities.  DeBakey students must complete three years of a foreign language to graduate.  Instruction in two languages is offered—French and Spanish up to AP Language.


DeBakey students must complete at least one year of a fine art elective to graduate.  The options include art I-II and theatre productions.


DeBakey has four computer labs with approximately twenty to twenty-five computers in each one.   DeBakey offers Business Communication Information Systems and Web Mastering as a part of its career and technical education department.

Extracurricular Activities

DeBakey offers a number of different clubs and activities to its students.  Some examples include: Debate, Yearbook, Student Council, Newspaper, Ceramics/Sculpture, and Community Service.


Since DeBakey’s health science curriculum requires so much after school time, DeBakey does not have any official sports teams.  However, students are allowed to participate at the school’s sports program to which they are zoned.  The student needs to contact DeBakey’s Physical Education teachers or administration to determine what is required to participate in these school’s sports programs.

Parent Involvement

To volunteer, parents should join DeBakey’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA).  The PTA meets a handful of times a year.  Approved HISD volunteers may involve themselves in a number of in-school activities including chaperoning events, provide administrative support in the main office, and support campus initiatives like teacher celebrations and uniform sales.

DeBakey High School Fast Facts

School Type Public/Magnet
Religious Affiliation None
Uniforms Yes
Date Founded 1972
Endowment N/A
Grades Served 9-12
Enrollment 865
     9th Grade 236
     10th Grade 222
     11th Grade 198
     12th Grade 209
Student to Teacher Ratio 15:1
Faculty with Advanced Degrees (#/%) 28/51 %
Minorities in Student Body 92 %
Academic Tracks Offered On Track, AP
Advanced Placement Courses Offered 15
Languages Offered Spanish, French
Calendar (Semester / Trimester / Other) Semester
Interscholastic Sports Programs 0
Graduating Seniors  
National Merit Semi-Finalists (#/%) 10/ 5%
Average SAT Scores (Class of 2012) 1808
     Mathematics 645
     Critical Reading 574
     Writing 589
% Students Admitted to 4 Year University N/A
Public School Stats  
Gifted and Talented Students 39%
Free & Reduced Lunch 48%
AYP (2006-2012) Met AYP
TEA Accountability (2006-2013) Exemplary


Excerpted from General Academic’s publication, “Houston Private & Select Public Schools: Survey, Analysis, and Research, 3rd Edition.”


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