University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI)

Frequently Asked Questions

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Who is eligible to apply to the UPCI International Academy?

We accept applications primarily from rising seniors in high school (local, regional, national) who are in good academic standing and have no academic or school suspensions on their records. Occasionally, we accept rising juniors who have an exceptional academic record.

What are the application requirements?

Applicants are required to submit online an application form, two letters of recommendation from a teacher or guidance counselor (submitted directly by recommender), a personal essay, an official high school transcript (to be mailed), and current resume.

Are there fees or tuition required to participate in the program?

There are no registration fees or tuition costs associated with the program.

Does the program offer credit courses?

At this time, the UPCI International Academy does not offer credit for its courses, but scholars may be eligible to receive volunteer hours for their participation in the program.

How are scholars chosen for the five different program sites?

Applicants are given an option for their top interests in the five program sites:

  1. Biology of Cancer (BoC)
  2. Computer Sciences, Biological Sciences and Biomedical Informatics (CoSBBI)
  3. Drug Discovery, Systems and Computational Biology (DiSCoBio)
  4. Cancer Immunology (CI)
  5. Women’s Cancer (WCRC)

Based on applicants’ responses to the essays and other application information, we do the best we can to place scholars in one of their top two program options.

Do students reside on campus or commute each day?

Local and regional scholars may commute to campus each day. Scholars who come from out-of-state or another region may choose to stay in a University of Pittsburgh dormitory for the summer. Supervision and direction are provided by qualified Resident Advisors.

Is there a dress code?

Generally, dress is informal unless noted otherwise for special occasions and field trips. For off-site field trips and opening and closing receptions, business casual dress is required. Scholars working in wet labs are required to wear closed-toed shoes and pants for lab work.

What kinds of social events and activities are available to
scholars in the program?

Scholars are encouraged to engage in the rich cultural life of the region during the summer and should plan to participate in organized social events, outings, movie nights, and other activities.

Does the UPCI International Academy provide transportation to campus?

The program does not provide transportation. Scholars must make personal arrangements to travel to and from campus and other activities.

What school supplies should students bring?

Scholars should plan on bringing a notebook or binder, pens, and pencils. Textbooks and other assigned reading materials are provided by the program.

Who can parents contact with questions?

For all academic and programmatic issues, please contact the UPCI International Academy program administrator at 412-623-5977, Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm.

Is a laptop computer required?

A laptop computer is not required, and all scholars will have access to computers and network privileges.

How do students find out where their classes meet?

Program calendars and class information will be posted online for accepted scholars to view prior to the start of the International Academy.

Do students receive any form of identification?

All scholars will receive UPMC/Pitt ID badges, which function as ID and access cards (at no charge). These badges are temporary and must be returned to the program administrator at the completion of the program.

What is the schedule like for the programs?

The daily schedule at all program sites is Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm (although the end time each day can vary slightly depending on the individual laboratory)

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