Application Information


    Admission to Horizon Academic is competitive, and our admissions team considers a variety of criteria in our decision to accept, waitlist, or decline a candidate. We evaluate including the applicant's demonstrated interest in the subject they wish to study, accomplishments outside of the classroom (eg. extracurricular activities, internships, or service work), performance in traditional school coursework, personal statement, writing samples, and performance oral interview. View more about our application process on this page, or click the button below to get the process started.

  • Application Procedure


    Go to Apply Now and fill out the Horizon Academic application form. Once the online form is submitted, our admissions committee will review your application and invite a select few for an interview. Horizon staff will contact you within seven days after the submission of your application.


    Interviews may be conducted over Zoom, Skype, Facetime, or Wechat. We will inform you if you have been admitted to the program within seven days of the interview.


    If necessary, an interview will be conducted with your prospective professor.

    *Not all professors require a secondary interview following the interview with Horizon staff.​


    Students receive an offer of admission with the relevant details of their research area and professor.


    If accepted, students are given 10 days to consider whether to enroll in the program.

  • Program Costs and Requirements

    Program Requirements

    Horizon Academic has the following admissions requirements:

    • Students must be enrolled in high school at the time of application (defined as grades 9-12). Most accepted students are in grades 10 and 11.
    • Students must have a strong GPA and demonstrate meaningful interest or achievement in their subject field. We do not maintain a hard minimum GPA, but most successful applicants have at least a 3.67 unweighted GPA.
    • Students must have an average of 10 hours each week of free time to dedicate to the program.
    • Students must be punctual and have excellent time management skills.
    • Students must have reliable access to an internet connection, a microphone, and headphones.

    Program Costs

    At Horizon Academic, it’s important for us that applicants fully understand the program's details and costs. Please contact a Horizon representative for more complete program information. Needs-based financial aid is offered for some of our courses.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Is Horizon Academic a selective program?

    The rate of acceptance at Horizon Academic is generally about 30%. When evaluating applications, we look for strong grades, good time management skills, a demonstrated interest in the course topic, and excellent communication skills.

    What is the expected time commitment?

    The total time commitment for Horizon Academic is about 100 hours. On a weekly basis, students can expect 8-10 total hours of reading, writing, homework, and class time. 

    How long does the program last?

    The program's Fall and Spring trimesters span 15 weeks. The Summer trimester follows a compacted schedule of 10 weeks In order to accommodate different summer holidays across the world.

    Does Horizon require prior research experience?

    Horizon does not require that students have prior research experience. Our faculty, as well as our writing advisors, work closely with students on learning the fundamentals of academic research and writing.

    How does Horizon schedule classes?

    Since our professors and students are located around the world, and we strive to ensure that classes are scheduled at flexible and mutually convenient times and dates. Students around the world are divided up into cohorts based on their times and dates of availability.

    How are online classes conducted?

    All online sessions are conducted using advanced video-conferencing software that offers scholars an experience similar to a small seminar or face-to-face meeting. Students and faculty can see, hear, talk, and text chat with each other. Our platform also allows for screen-sharing so that students can view texts, videos, PowerPoint presentations, and other visual aids.

    How do you choose course dates?

    We select our program dates with the schedules of busy high school students in mind and time the ending of each trimester to avoid conflicts with final exams.

    How do you choose course times?

    Because our instructors and students are based in many different time zones across the world, each class time is carefully considered in order to maximize the convenience of all students. The timing of each course cohort is different, so please reach out to us if you are curious about what time during the day or evening a particular class will be offered.

    What does a student gain from completing the program?

    By completing a 20-25 page long research paper with a professor, students can pursue an academic passion in a structured extracurricular environment. All students receive detailed feedback, an assessment, and a letter grade from their professor. Students who cultivate a positive relationship with program staff can request a letter of recommendation for college admission or for their future academic careers. Students may also pursue independant publication at a conference, an academic journal, or an essay competition. Finally, students have a much deeper understanding and appreciation for what college level work in their field looks like, helping them to decide what to select as a major in university and to demonstrate a commitment to this subject before they apply to university.

    Are there any costs involved?

    Yes. Horizon Academic provides extensive support to students as they complete their projects and offers a low staff-to-student ratio. Please contact us for more information regarding tuition and questions about need-based financial aid.

    Do students own the rights and intellectual property for their work?

    Yes. Students retain all intellectual property and authorship rights on the work that they complete.

    What age or grade level should a student be to consider Horizon?

    Horizon Academic welcomes all high school students as well as students who are taking a gap year between high school and college. The majority of our students are sophomores and juniors (meaning that, from the time that they enroll in the program, they expect to graduate high school in 1-2 years).


    Are there any physical classroom or laboratory spaces for students?

    Horizon Academic is a completely online research program for high school students to do a college level research paper after school or during the weekends or the summer. It is rare that any students in the same class live in the same state or even the same country, so in the interest of fairness to all of our students, there is no physical lab space for student use. Even for our more STEM-related topics like environmental engineering and machine learning and biotechnology, most quantitate research projects use desktop research methods utilizing publicly available data sets. Our students sometimes independently find local university lab resources, utilize citizen lab spaces, or gather original data in the field (for example, through surveys or through collecting water or soil samples).

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