Sammer Marzouk
College: Harvard University
High School: University of Chicago Laboratory High Schools, United States
Pioneer Research Paper: The impact of Emotions, Ambiguity, and Apathy on Decision Making in Individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease: A Proposal to Facilitate Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease

“Pioneer is the only online research program in the world to confer undergraduate coursework credits to students who complete the program.”


It is the rigorous academic system that qualifies Pioneer to grant college credit through collaboration with Oberlin College.

2018-2019 Admission Statistics

Pioneer Journal

Online Information Session

Learn more about our program and how to apply at our weekly online information sessions

Pioneer is known as selective and is respected by top universities.

From the former Associate Director of Admissions - University of Pennsylvania & Wharton

Here you can listen directly to a former veteran admissions officer of Penn & Wharton about his insight of Pioneer Scholars when he read their applications to Penn.

Important Dates

Pioneer accepts applications for both the Spring-through-Summer and Summer-only terms starting in August of the previous year. Please click the below links to learn about the ultimate deadline for each term.

It is important to be aware that Pioneer balances the limited availability of positions in each discipline and the volume of the applications received. Submitting applications earlier can improve one’s chances of getting selected into the program.

Click here to register for an information session to learn more about Pioneer.

How To Apply

1Info Session

Attend an info session online or at school.

2Application Submission

Submit your application online. The application consists of the following sections:
– Basic Info
– Interest Areas
– Short Essays
– Long Essay

3Initial Screening

Admitted Pioneer students will go through three rounds of reviews to reach a final admission decision. Initial screening kicks off the process. Applications are screened to determine which applicants will move on to the interview round. Application components considered include:

– Transcript
– Standardized Test Scores (if available)
– Short Essays
– Long Essay

4Required Interview

After the initial screening, you may be invited to a required interview, consisting of:
– Video conference
– Timed writing

5Application Under Review

Your entire application will be reviewed holistically:
– School counselor / teacher feedback
– Official transcript
– Application materials
– Interview

Pioneer has a rigorous admission process. The admission cycle is typically 6-8 weeks long. We appreciate your patience.

Decision Outcomes

Pioneer Admissions Principle

Pioneer’s founding board insisted that Pioneer commit to a professor-blind policy during the application process, ensuring that applicants have authentic field interest and a correct priority. As a result, no information about professors is released before admission to the program. This policy is much appreciated and respected by universities.

Pioneer Admission System

High Caliber: The standard of the transcript scores

  • Applicants are recommended by counselors as top in their classes

Real Interviewee: Pioneer applicants must bring their school ID to their interview

Real School Grades: School counselor feedback and verification

  • All applicants need to submit school feedback
  • All school counselors outside of Pioneer academic network are verified by Pioneer’s admission staff

True Writing Ability: Proctored essay writing application component

  • Applicants’ SAT and TOEFL scores are cross-checked.

Authentic Interests: Professor-blind policy when applying to Pioneer

  • Pioneer does NOT release the professor’s information to applicants before they are admitted to ensure applicants’ authentic interests in studies

Need-based Scholarship

As part of its social mission, Pioneer Academics dedicates funds every year to need-based scholarships for students to participate in the Pioneer Research Program. These funds are very limited and their use is restricted to cases in which the need of the student’s family can be reliably accredited. Students are eligible for these scholarships in countries where need can be assessed or if they are part of a non-profit organization or an educational institution that can assess need.

In this difficult time, our hearts go out to everyone impacted. Pioneer appreciates each applicant. Your determination to take on the highest level of academic challenge by choosing the most rigorous program means a great deal to us. To ensure maximized attention to each application during this unusual time, Pioneer admissions has made the following adjustments for the summer-only 2020 applications:read more
  • Considering students have significantly fewer options for their summer enrichment, Pioneer adjusted the cohort size from maximum 5 to maximum 6 so that we can offer the opportunity to more students. Please be aware that Pioneer will only expand cohorts which we feel sure will not be compromised in any way by a slight increase in participation. Some areas, therefore, may stay at a maximum of 5 because the nature of the course requires heavier coaching.


  • Pioneer admissions still requires the same application materials, but we may adjust the timing in response to current realities. If you can work with your counselor to collect your official transcript and counselor evaluation and submit them soon after you submit your application, it will speed up the process. Pioneer admissions requires an official transcript and counselor evaluation to process applications for the final round. If these items won't be available during the process due to COVID-19, applicants must submit evidence that the school's counseling office is closed. Pioneer admissions will then decide what adjustment shall be granted.

Dear educator friend,

In the critical process of preparing students to transition to college, you are key. The
ramifications of your guidance are far-reaching.

The Pioneer Research Program believes that it, too, has a role to play in preparing students of special potential and passion for learning. This is a role we trust you will appreciate knowing about. Our mission is to offer a deep and otherwise unavailable opportunity to exceptionally motivated young scholars who want to learn and research at the college level and to explore their potential for innovation.

What makes Pioneer a unique deep-dive learning experience is not just the mentorship of distinguished professors. It is the rigorous quality controls developed conjointly by Pioneer and Oberlin College. Professors (must) adhere to rubrics for

1) setting learning goals;

2) syllabus development;

3) oversight, feedback and evaluation, and

4) grading standardization.

This rigorous academic system is supported by thorough admission process and a high-minded ethics code. The combination gives students an exceptional learning experience that is brought to fruition in a college-level research paper documenting their findings.

You can follow this link Pioneer’s concrete academic system to learn more about the academic system. Academic quality control and academic oversight assure Pioneer’s focus is on learning and learners, and therefore all of our practices were built upon the following principles:

No conflict of interests Pioneer’s academic ethical standards
Because of its high academic and ethical standards, the Pioneer program has earned the trust of college admissions departments and formed the basis for the ground-breaking collaboration with Oberlin College. Pioneer scholars get two college credits upon completing their Pioneer research.

Click to learn about Pioneer and Oberlin College's groundbreaking academic collaboration.

Pioneer has a rigorous admission process. Students who have genuine academic interests and are highly motivated are a good fit with Pioneer’s values. Pioneer’s founding board insisted that Pioneer commit to a professor-blind policy during the application process, ensuring that applicants have authentic field interest and correct priorities. Consequently, no information about professors is released before admission to the program. This policy is much appreciated and respected by universities. Professor-blind admission policy
On this page is the critical information needed to meet your needs.

If you have additional questions, feel free to let us know how we can help you by emailing or calling 855-572-8863.


Matthew Jaskol

Founder & Program Director