** COSMOS is planning for a full residential in-person 2024 program. In case of sudden circumstances that prevent in-person instruction of the planned curriculum, COSMOS may decide to change the instructional format, temporarily or for the remaining duration of the program to, e.g., remote instruction to complete the program for the affected students **



What if I receive different information from different COSMOS sources?

Immediately contact the COSMOS Statewide office.  While COSMOS strives to provide precise, accurate, and updated information, the program communicates from several sites across the state and through various media.  All these sources may not be updated or informed at the same time.  The COSMOS Statewide office is the final arbiter and issuer of superseding information in cases of inconsistency or uncertainty, and it is the COSMOS Statewide office that will resolve the matter. 



COSMOS is limited to California High School Students only. Please review the program policy for additional information. If you have questions, please get in touch with Statewide directly.



Can I apply to multiple campuses?
No. You may only apply to one campus and select one first-choice cluster and one second-choice cluster.

Will SAT or ACT test scores be used for admission?
No. COSMOS will not consider SAT or ACT test scores when making admission decisions or awarding financial aid.

Can I apply if I have attended COSMOS before?

What is a CASSID?
This is your California student identification number. Please ask your school registrar or counselor if you don't know this number.CASSID does not apply to out-of-state or international students, 

How do I know if my high school class meets the cluster prerequisites?
Admissions decisions and clusters are administered at the campus level. Don't hesitate to contact the campus directly if you have any questions regarding 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, submit their electronic signature (and submit optional financial aid information).

I applied 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 yearly, but you may log in with the same account.

If admitted, do I have to live on campus?
Yes, The residential experience is an integral part of the program, and all students are required to live on the campus they are admitted to.

Is the application fee refundable?
No, the $42 application fee is a non-refundable administrative fee. Please review the program policy page for additional information. 

Is the program cost refundable?
No, all COSMOS payments are non-refundable after the due deadline. Please review the program policy page for additional information. 



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 received will render your application incomplete and 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 and speak with your teachers and transcript officials early to avoid school closures. Unfortunately, we do not accept late materials.



What should I write in my application essay?
The essay is your statement about yourself. 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.  Please review the financial aid page for additional information. 

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?
COSMOS Statewide will evaluate financial aid 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. COSMOS is not responsible for lost, held, or damaged mail. COSMOS is not responsible for delivery errors via carrier or incorrect shipping info. PLEASE CHECK YOUR INFORMATION, and do not request receiving a signature upon delivery. COSMOS strongly recommends registered or certified mail with tracking.



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

What information will I need to request 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 be an optional text box for additional comments, but there is no requirement for a formal 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 checklist.  

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 teacher recommendations due?
All references must be submitted by the application deadline.



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

Does COSMOS have a waitlist?

If not admitted, can I apply again?
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 sent by the deadline indicated by your acceptance email. The best option is to email the official transcript to the campus you will be attending. Please see below.

What are official transcripts?
Official versions are often sent directly by your high school counselor or registrar through regular mail to the COSMOS program you are applying to (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; it must remain sealed to be considered official.

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

UC Davis UC Irvine UC San Diego UC Santa Cruz UC Los Angeles
cdirect@ucdavis.edu cosmos@uci.edu cosmos@ucsd.edu cosmos@ucsc.edu uclacosmos@ucla.edu
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 whether your school uses this service. If not, you must order them directly from the high school registrar or counselor. Plan to order these early in the application process or even before. Transcripts sent after the deadline stated in your admission email will not be accepted.

What does "postmarked" mean?
Official transcripts (see above) and check payments must be at the post office, stamped, and mailed by the deadline. 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 must be uploaded to the application as a PDF before submission. They must be generated after the date the application opens.

Will I be required to show proof of vaccination to attend?
Students must comply with the local campus vaccine policies while attending COSMOS. For details:

UC Davis:  https://campusready.ucdavis.edu/covid-vaccination

UC Irvine: https://shc.uci.edu/immunization-requirements/exemptions

UC Los Angeles: https://covid-19.ucla.edu/ucla-covid-protocols/

UC San Diego:  https://returntolearn.ucsd.edu/vaccination/vaccination/index.html

UC Santa Cruz: https://healthcenter.ucsc.edu/services/immunizations.html


Can I apply to COSMOS if I am not a California resident and/or an international student?
No. COSMOS is limited to California students only. If your circumstances are unclear, don't hesitate to contact the COSMOS statewide office.

Are international students allowed to apply? 
 No. Please refer to the answer above regarding non-California residents.

* COSMOS is limited to California High School Students ONLY * (please refer to program policy page for additional information)



For all credit card payments, a 2.5% transaction fee for each transaction applies. The transaction fee is charged by the third-party processor, not COSMOS, and is not refundable even if the payment to which it relates is canceled, refunded, credited, or charged back.

University banking policy dictates that we assess this charge separately from the program cost payments. Thus, you will be asked to submit multiple payments: 1) program cost payments and 2) transactions related to service fees.

If you choose to pay by credit card, you must submit both the payment and the service fee before the stated deadlines for your admission to be complete. Alternatively, you may choose to avoid the service charge by mailing a check or money order, postmarked by the stated deadline, to: 

Cashier's Office
University of California
PO Box 989062
West Sacramento, CA  95798-9062

Make check or money order payable to "UC Regents" (not COSMOS).
Please note on the check which campus you are applying to, i.e., COSMOS UCD, and include the applicant's name.

DISCLAIMER:   COSMOS is not responsible for lost, held, or damaged mail. COSMOS is not responsible for delivery errors via carrier or incorrect shipping info. PLEASE CHECK YOUR INFORMATION, and do not request receiving a signature upon delivery. Registered mail is recommended.