Welcome to the Marin School of Environmental Leadership (MarinSEL)

As you search for the school that will be the right match, we invite you to learn more about our progressive learning community at Terra Linda High School in San Rafael, California. At MarinSEL, we strive to provide students with an exemplary college preparatory experience combining rigorous project-based learning in the context of solving real-world problems related to the environment. MarinSEL students will develop what have been identified as critical competencies for the 21st century including critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration for future success in college, careers, and life. MarinSEL offers both a small school community (where everyone knows each other and people are valued for their contributions) and participation in Terra Linda High School (offering a wealth of electives, Advanced Placement classes, and extracurricular activities). Importantly, MarinSEL embraces a partnership with parents, which is vital to the success of each student and the overall MarinSEL experience.

Who Should Apply to MarinSEL?

MarinSEL students will be expected to maintain a rigorous academic schedule and should be committed to completing all four years of this intellectually challenging program while maintaining a 3.0 GPA. The MarinSEL admissions process seeks to identify talented, committed students based on a range of factors including academic record, leadership, collaboration skills and commitment to the program. Students should be interested in exploring their relationship with the natural world as environmental stewardship is integrated into the core curriculum. In addition, applicants should demonstrate a desire to contribute to the lives of others. Please Note: Only students residing within San Rafael City Schools District may apply at this time, as per the District of Choice law limitations. Please contact your district office if you have further questions regarding the District of Choice law.

Application Timeline

Before Applying

Explore our website and connect to our related Facebook page and/or Twitter account to familiarize yourself with all aspects of MarinSEL.

October 2019 (following 8th Grade Parent Night at TLHS on October 28th)

Attend the Open House: Parents and students are invited to attend MarinSEL’s Open House. Meeting with students, parents, and MarinSEL leadership is the best way to learn more about our program.

By January 11, 2020

Submit your MarinSEL Application (including student application/questionnaire, parent/guardian questionnaire, teacher assessment form and your preferred date for Exploration Day). The online application is available here.

February 8, 2020


February 9, 2020

Attend one Exploration Day. Exploration day preference is indicated on the application and will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis.

February 2020 (approx.) Enroll In Terra Linda High School. Counselors will visit Venetia Valley, Davidson and Miller Creek Middle School during the month of February to schedule students individually.  Incoming 9th-grade students from other middle schools should register through the SRCS District
March 2020

Offers of admission will be made in March 2020.


Shadow Days

A limited number of Shadow Days will be offered during the fall. Information about Shadow Days is posted here. The Shadow Days are as follows: 

September 16th
September 23rd
October 7th
October 14th
October 28th
November 4th
November 18th
December 2nd

Open House

Eight grade parents and students are invited to attend the MarinSEL Open House, after 8th Grade Parent Night at Terra Linda High School on October 28th. During the Open House, parents and students will learn about the program, tour the school, and meet teachers and students in the MarinSEL program. This is a great opportunity to ask questions regarding the school and this fall's application process. Please note: while the TLHS Open House from 6:00m - 7:00pm is a parents only event, students are encouraged to attend the MarinSEL Open House beginning at 7.

Exploration Day

Exploration Day is an important part and mandatory of the MarinSEL application process, typically held in late in early February. Applicants will have a chance to explore and demonstrate their interest in the MarinSEL program through a variety of group activities, as well as a writing assignment and an oral interview. After submitting the formal MarinSEL application, we will confirm your date for Exploration Day; we will make every effort to choose the date based on your stated preference in your MarinSEL application.

Enroll in Terra Linda High School

If you are a local resident, follow the normal registration procedures for enrollment to Terra Linda High School in case your student is not accepted to MarinSEL or decides not to attend. Counselors will visit Venetia Valley, Davidson and Miller Creek Middle School during the month of February to schedule students individually.  Incoming 9th-grade students from other middle schools should register through the SRCS District. If you are outside of the San Rafael district, please contact MarinSEL for information on how to proceed.

Admissions Decisions

Acceptance to MarinSEL is determined by the MarinSEL Admissions Committee based on the submitted application materials and the written and participation efforts during Exploration Day. The Admissions Committee looks for an expressed commitment to the four-year program by the student and parent(s), and a strong interest in rigorous, team-based project learning focusing on our environment.


MarinSEL Alumni


American University, Cal Poly Pomona, CSU Long Beach, CSU Monterey Bay, Hampshire College, Humboldt State University, Sacramento State University, San Francisco State University, Santa Monica College, Santa Rosa Junior College, Seattle University, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, UC Riverside, University of British Columbia, University Hawaii at Manoa, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of New Haven, University of New Mexico, University of Pennsylvania, University of Puget Sound, Pitzer College, and more!


Arcadia University, Boston University, CSU Channel Islands, CSU Chico, CSU San Marcos, CSU Sonoma, Denver University, DePaul University, Dominican University, Eastern Oregon University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Evergreen State College, Hofstra University, Loyola University Chicago, Nevada University (Reno), New Mexico State University, Northeastern University, Northern Arizona University, Northwestern University, Pace University, Portland State University, San Diego State University, San Jose State University, Sonoma State University, Southern Oregon University, St. Edward's University, Stephens College, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Los Angeles, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Portland, University of San Francisco, University of Texas at Austin, University of the Pacific, University of Victoria, University of Virginia, Washington College, Western Washington University, Whittier College, and more!