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Frequently Asked Questions

About getting into Pioneer
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What is the acceptance rate for applicants?
We accept approximately 30% of applicants worldwide.

What qualifications do I need to be accepted?
Successful applicants will have strong academic records. They will be able to express themselves articulately and intelligently. They must also demonstrate intellectual curiosity and motivation to explore a specific field of study through their application essays, interviews with Pioneer admissions staff, and sometime through their past experiences.


About the time commitment for Pioneer
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How long is the program?
Our 25-week spring program starts in February and finishes up in August. The 12-week summer program starts in June and finishes in September.

How much time will I have to spend every week?
Students spend between 60 and 90 minutes with their professor each session and are expected to spend four to 10 hours of preparation and research between class sessions.

Can I do this in addition to all my schoolwork, exams, and other activities?
Pioneer students generally have no problem finding time to work on their research projects alongside their schoolwork and other activities. We also endeavor to make the course schedules fit students’ school calendars and exam schedules so they have enough time to meet all their commitments.


About the research experience
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How does the Pioneer Research Program differ from the research opportunities offered by many high schools?
The Pioneer Research Program is much more challenging and demanding than high school-level research projects. Most final projects in Pioneer are between 20-30 pages in length. Additionally, students are mentored and evaluated by distinguished professors who compare Pioneer students to undergraduates at their own institutions.

What if I don’t know what I want to research?
When applying to Pioneer, students need to select an area and showcase their knowledge of and interest in this area. Professors will guide students on how to narrow a broad area of interest to a suitable research topic. .

What if I’ve never written a research paper before?
Pioneer does not require research experience for application to the program. The Pioneer academic support staff and program professors guide students on the fundamentals of research. The program also provides additional writing and research training so that students learn basic research skills, such as thesis formation, citation, and how to utilize online resources. Find more information on our Support page.


About online learning
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How are the classes conducted online?
All online sessions are conducted with video-conferencing software that has advanced features specially customized for Pioneer. It provides an experience similar to a face-to-face seminar by providing the means for students and professors to see, speak, and text chat with each other online. It also allows professors to share computer screen content with students so they can view PowerPoint presentations, videos, and other multimedia tools during the lesson.


About the professor and classmates
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Who will my professor be?
Pioneer admissions staff pair students with professors who teach the subjects that match the students’ preferred choices on their application. In order to encourage genuine enthusiasm and pursuit of a subject, Pioneer does not disclose the professors’ area of expertise or the institutions at which they teach during the application process.

All professors working with Pioneer students are full-time, tenured, or graduate-level faculty members at their respective institutions.

Who will my classmates be?
Pioneer accepts students who hail from around the world. In 2014, nine countries were represented in the program. As each class has up to four students and the selection is based on students’ qualifications and their chosen subject list, classmates may all be from different parts of the world or from the same high school.


About the benefits of the program
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In what ways does this program benefit me?
Students who complete a Pioneer research project gain experience doing the kind of high-level research that can only be done working with professors from the most distinguished American institutions. Also, professors send student evaluations directly to colleges and universities to which they apply as a supplement to a student’s application. For a full explanation of the program’s benefits, go to Program Benefits .


About the costs of the program
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How much is the tuition?
Since Pioneer has initiated a new model for personalized learning from the world’s best experts, we want to ensure that you understand the costs and program detail. Please contact a Pioneer representative for cost info.

How did you find out about Pioneer Academics?


1. from a Pioneer representative
2. from a past or present Pioneer scholar
3. from a school counselor/teacher
4. from a web search
5. from other sources
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