• What is Horizon Academic?

    Horizon Academic (HARP) is a trimester-long online research program for extraordinary high school students to refine their interest in an academic subject. Students will develop a college-level research project under the individualized guidance of a professor from a globally renowned university.


    Horizon scholars choose their own field of inquiry and work with their professor to develop a unique research proposal. After a trimester of reading, writing, and exploring, Horizon scholars finish their final projects, most often a 20-25 page research paper, that represents their very best work. All Horizon scholars receive an assessment from their professor. Students who complete exemplary work are eligible to receive a letter of recommendation from their professor, T.A., or Horizon advisor.

  • Program Timeline










  • High School Student Academic Research Project Success Story

    Tamia | Summer 2017

    Liaoning Experimental High School 11th


    “My biggest gain was mastering English writing and analysis. It will undoubtedly help me to study at overseas universities.”












  • What Makes Horizon Unique


    Learning Beyond Borders

    Horizon scholars may participate in the program from anywhere in the world, as long as they have a computer and a reliable internet connection.


    Academic Freedom

    Our students are free to choose any research topic they would like that's relevant to the course they are taking.



    Unrivaled Faculty Attention

    With a 2:1 staff-to-student ratio, Horizon Academic supports its scholars with the guidance of a professor, a teaching assistant, and a program coordinator.




    College Admissions Advantages

    While every university is unique, most value students who are invested in their studies and who pursue challenging work outside the traditional school day. Horizon students stand out in the college application process because it's rare for a high school student to complete a 20-25 page long paper in school, much less outside the classroom during free time.

    Scholarship with Purpose

    Horizon challenges students to develop projects that address global public policy issues. Whether they choose to analyze theories of economic development or examine the collapse of a local ecosystem in their country, our scholars are encouraged to consider the policy implications of their findings.

    An Early Start

    Adapting to university life can be challenging be challenging for many students, and professors hold students to high standards in their academic writing. Students who do college-level writing early on are better prepared for the challenges of college life.

  • Student Sample Projects

    Horizon Scholars Research Paper Excerpts



    High School Student Research Project College Admission

    Esme | Fall 2017

    Nansha College Preparatory Academy 11th


    Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), You are Welcomed

    "There are three main reasons why regional members should actively support the creation and operation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Firstly, infrastructure construction is crucial to economic growth in most developing countries; secondly, alleviating Asia’s huge infrastructure gap requires mobilizing a variety of public and private sources of financing, as well as engaging with new sources of long-term development which supranational projects like the AIIB can provide; and thirdly, in the AIIB, developing member countries wield more power than they do in other international organizations such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank."

    High School Student Research Project Admitted to Georgetown University

    Cindy | Summer 2017

    Harbin No.3 High School 11th


    Economic Growth and Democratization: The Case of South Korea

    "This paper will test the relationship, if any, between economic development and democratization through the case of South Korea’s transition from authoritarian rule to democracy. South Korea is a recent example of a country that experienced miraculous economic development followed by a period of democratization. There are many intriguing questions that need to be looked at within this case. For instance, what kind of relationship exists between economic development and democratization in South Korea? Which major theories in political economy come closest to the case of South Korea? Is economic development the only factor in the process of democratization, or do other factors matter as well?"

  • Can Britain Benefit From Brexit


    The outcome of the “Brexit” referendum on June 23, 2016 came as a shock to observers and Britons around the world: the U.K. had decided to become the first European Union member state to leave the Union. This paper argues that the U.K. is very unlikely to benefit from exiting the European Union. Many of the jobs lost to foreign competition are unlikely to return after Brexit, and many more jobs are likely to go after the U.K. loses its membership in the European Common Market. A less open U.K. is less attractive for tourists who flock to London and Scotland. Finally, foreign students who study in the U.K. value the country’s connectivity with Europe and the corresponding economic opportunities after graduation. Unless the U.K. is able to negotiate miraculously favorable terms for Brexit, the U.K.’s departure from the E.U. is likely to trigger a recession in the U.K. and possibly a political crisis.

    The Republic: An Analysis of Socrates’ and Plato’s Rhetorical Skills


    Rhetoric has the power to convince people, to inspire change, or even to galvanize revolutions. Many modern writers and thinkers unknowingly use rhetorical techniques originally developed by ancient Greek philosophers. This paper explores three key rhetorical devices used in Plato’s Republic that have gone on to color discourse for more than two millennia. Both Socrates and Plato appeal to their audience’s desires, adopted guided dialogues to illustrate and to persuade step by step, and used deliberately crafted thought experiments to form ideal situations in support of their claims. By carefully analyzing these rhetorical devices, we not only gain insight into the thought processes of Plato and Socrates, but we also gain a deeper appreciation of the origin of rhetorical techniques that are ubiquitous in the modern world.


    The Impact of China on ASEAN


    This paper focuses on the relationship between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. I first analyze various positive and negative impacts that China has had on various ASEAN member states. I conclude that, overall, China exerts a positive influence on ASEAN member states. Competition from Chinese firms drives down prices for consumers in ASEAN countries, while China’s growing economy offers a large market for ASEAN nation exports. As a result of China’s growing presence in ASEAN economies, ASEAN firms may struggle to compete with Chinese firms, and the economic gains of Sino-ASEAN cooperation will likely be uneven, increasing inequality. I contend that these short-term challenges can be mitigated by well-crafted policies and the long-term economic benefits of free market competition.

    Why Is the Black Male Incarceration Rate in America So Disproportionately High?


    The disproportionate incarceration rate for black males in the U.S. undermines the core values of American democracy and equality before the law. In 2008, black people composed 13% of the US population but 40% of the prison and jail population; black males are estimated to be six times more likely to be incarcerated than white males. No other country in the world has such a racially skewed incarceration rate. Several hypotheses might explain this disturbing phenomenon. This paper finds that the black incarceration rate is attributable to a confluence of social factors that produce poverty and disenfranchisement among black males, decreasing the number of available legitimate opportunities and driving black males towards crime. These forces include the intergenerational effects of incarceration, a failing education system, and the enduring legacy of slavery and Jim Crow-era racial discrimination.

    Loving the Enigma: Giorgio de Chirico and Metaphysical Painting


    For nearly a century, the Giorgio de Chirico’s early work has befuddled conventional art historians who have attempted to glean some coherent message from the mysterious paintings. One can hardly blame these analysts: De Chirico’s early work proved colossally important for Italian art and European culture, not only because it gave rise to metaphysical painting, a brief yet fascinating moment in Italian art, but also because of its pivotal role in inspiring Surrealism and Dada. While attempting to logically deduce a coherent message from De Chirico’s early works would miss the point of metaphysical art, the works are not mere random depictions. If one closely examines The Disquieting Muses and The Song of Love, one can discern a few important themes, such as mystery, the unconscious, classical architecture, and the bare urban industrial landscape. These depictions of the bare urban industrial landscape make sense in the historical context of turn of the century Italian attempts to promote industrialization and modern infrastructure. De Chirico’s admiration of Friedrich Nietzsche’s work also helps to explain his interest in the mysterious and the unconscious, particularly if one examines Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy and his conception of the Apolline dream world.

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