Students attending high school in California are considered in-state applicants; this includes high school students who have AB540 or DACA status.  Additionally, students attending boarding school outside of California but who have permanent residence (parents/guardians pay CA taxes) can be considered in-state.  Due to the complexity of this issue, if you have questions please contact Statewide directly.



Can I apply to multiple campuses?
No, you may only apply to one campus, but you may select one or two cluster options.

Can I apply if I have attended COSMOS before?

What is a CASSID?
This is your California student identification number.  If you don't know this number, please ask you school registrar or counselor.  If you are an out-of-state or international student, you will not be asked for this number.

How do I know if my high school class meets the cluster prerequisites?
Since admissions decisions and clusters are administered at the campus level, please contact the campus directly if you have any questions about prerequisites.  Please carefully review cluster information on the campus websites.

How to submit the application fee?
The application fee is payable only in the Parent/Guardian Portal.  Parents will be notified by email that they can create a login and password.  They can then make payments and submit their electronic signature (and submit optional financial aid information).

I submitted an application last year, can I use my same login ID?
Yes. You will need to create a new application each year, as the application may vary year to year, but you may login with the same account.

Is the application fee refunded for incomplete or non-admitted applications?
No, the $30 application fee is a non-refundable administrative fee.



Can I send late application materials?
Due to the competitive nature of our program, and to create a fair application process for all, we do not accept late materials or payments.  Materials must be submitted by the posted deadline for application review.  Late materials will not be received and will render your application incomplete and will not be reviewed for admission.

What if my school is on holiday during the week of the deadline?
As many schools have holiday schedules during January, plan ahead and speak with your teachers and transcript officials early as to avoid school closures.  We do not accept late materials.



What should I write in my application essay?
The essay is your personal statement about you. You tell us what you want us to know about you, simple as that.

Is there a word limit to the essay?
Yes, it is given by the text box in the application.

Is there a word limit to the cluster choice essay(s)?
Yes, it is given by the text box in the application.



Does applying for financial aid affect the admissions decision?
No. The reviews of admission and financial aid are done separately.

Does financial aid cover application fee and deposit?
No.  Financial aid is only available to in-state students based an individual need, but will not cover the application fee or the $200 deposit for accepting admission.

When will I know if I've received financial aid?
Financial aid notification will come with your admission decision.

Where do I send my financial aid application and supporting materials?
Since financial aid is decided by COSMOS Statewide upon admissions recommendations of the faculty, all financial aid documentation must be sent directly to the Statewide Office.  Please see here for the mailing address.



Do the recommendations need to come from a STEM teacher?
Yes — one MUST be a STEM teacher; Counselors or other individuals that can speak to your academic achievement are acceptable as a SECOND (non-required) recommendation.

What information will I need for requesting teacher recommendations?
1) Your teachers' names; and 2) their work email addresses. 
Upon completing the reference portion of your application, teachers will be notified that they have been requested to submit a recommendation on your behalf.

Will teachers be asked to submit or upload a letter?
Teachers will be asked to answer several questions about the applicants' performance and abilities in STEM related topics, and rank them in relation to their peers.  There will an optional text box for additional comments, but there is no requirement of a traditional letter of recommendation requirement.

Will I know when my teachers have submitted a recommendation on my behalf?
Yes, you can see if a recommendation has been submitted on your login check list.  

My teacher didn't get an email to upload their recommendation.
Some school districts mark certain emails as spam. Please have your teacher request the school or district IT staff to whitelist our email



When are admissions decisions available?
See our Dates and Deadlines page for more information.

Does COSMOS have a waitlist?
Some programs have a waitlist, while others do not.  See our Dates and Deadlines page for more information.

If I'm denied, can I apply again?
Yes, if you meet the 8-12th grade criteria, you may apply again if you've been denied.  Your denial will not impact future applications to COSMOS.

Do I need to send official transcripts?
Official transcripts will be required of students who are admitted to the program.  They will need to be postmakred by the acceptance deadline.

What are official transcripts?
Official versions are most often sent directly by your high school counselor or registrar, through regular mail directly to the COSMOS program to which you are applying (details provided in the application). Your school may also give you an official version of your transcript inside a sealed envelope for you to send yourself. If so, do not open this envelope, as it must remain sealed in order to be considered official.

Where do I mail the transcripts?
You must send transcripts directly to the COSMOS program to which you are applying.  Official transcripts will be accepted via e-mail but must be sent by a school offical from their school e-mail address to the correct campus address listed below.

UC Davis UC Irvine UC San Diego UC Santa Cruz
Attention: COSMOS 
1204 Mathematical Sciences Building
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

Attention: COSMOS
120 Theory, Suite 150
Irvine, CA 92697-2505

Attention: COSMOS
9500 Gilman Dr., MC 0429
Jacobs Hall, Room 1205
La Jolla, CA 92093
Attention: COSMOS
Educational Partnership Center
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Do you accept electronic transcripts?
Some schools use an online service like Parchment to send transcripts.  These online transcripts are accepted as official if sent from your school to COSMOS.  The Parchment site will let you know if your school uses this service or not.  If not, you will need to order them directly from high school registrar or counselor.  Plan to order these early in the application process or even before.  Late transcripts are not accepted.

What does "postmarked" mean?
Official transcripts (see above) and check payments must be at the post office, stamped and mailed by the deadline.  This means that the post office (not necessarily COSMOS) must receive the materials by the deadline. Check your local post office for business hours.

Can I use Unofficial transcripts?
Unofficial transcripts will need to be uploaded to the application as a PDF prior to submission.  They must be generated after the application opens on January 6th, 2020 unless they are report card copies.


Can I apply to COSMOS if I am not a California resident?
Yes, however, due to our legislation, COSMOS is limited to admit 20 students from out-of-state ("5 percent of the total pupil population of the summer school, whichever is less"), thus admission to COSMOS each year varies for out-of-state students, but each year is very competitive.  Additionally, COSMOS is unable to offer financial aid to students who attend high school outside of California and are not California residents.  If your circumstances are unclear, please contact COSMOS by email at