Students are selected for the program based on their scores for a logic and reasoning test as well as a general interest inventory survey. Sixty students are separated out from the group and the top 40 are immediately selected for matriculation into the program and the remaining twenty are placed on a waiting list. Although it is natural for some students to turn down admission to the program due to extenuating circumstances rarely will more than 10 students from the waiting list matriculate into the program.
Magnets (as the students are often referred to) are expected to complete many advanced level courses that mimic the structure of collegiate classes. These courses include, but are not limited to:
Many of the above courses are highly advanced courses not usually seen in high school curriculum. MSTC Calculus I covers AP Calculus BC. The Calculus II course covers Multivariable Calculus, Differential Equations, and Number Theory. Chemistry III includes Analytical Chemistry Lab and Organic Chemistry. In addition, linear algebra and discrete math are offered. Along with their school classes each student is expected to complete a 360 hour research project with the mentorship of an adult in the science community. These projects are often completed in conjunction with professors from the University of Kentucky and at the end of their senior year the graduating class presents their research at a formal symposium.
The director of MSTC is at the same level within the school district as a high school principal, and therefore does not answer to the principal of PLD. The founding director of the MSTC was Walter Koetke. The current director is Beverly Smith. The center's teachers generally divide their time between teaching for MSTC and teaching upper-level courses for Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.
Although housed at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, many MSTC facilities are reserved for that program. The MSTC has its own computer lab, reserved for MSTC students only. It also has a greenhouse and chemistry laboratories which are primarily used by the program, although some non-MSTC students are also able to take advantage of them.