Statewide, we offer a variety of academic clusters at four University of California campuses.  Each cluster consists of two science and/or math courses and a science communication course.  Courses are taught by active UC faculty and researchers.  Students participate in hands-on labs, field activities, lectures and discussions.  Students also work on a related research project.  Cluster sizes vary but typically range from 18-24 students and the student-to-faculty ration is commonly 5:1.

UC Irvine is located in Southern California minutes from Newport Beach in Orange County, approx. 40 miles south of Los Angeles.

UC Davis is located in Northern California, about 15 minutes west of the State Capitol, Sacramento.

UC San Diego is located in Southern California along the Southern California Coast.

UC Santa Cruz is located in Northern California, in the Santa Cruz mountains, just minutes from the Pacific Ocean, and approx. an hour south of San Francisco.

"My daughter learned a tremendous amount about her subject, about working in teams, about presenting information and about academics in a college environment. These are skills transferrable to whatever field she chooses to study."
- COSMOS Parent

COSMOS students participate in a selected “cluster”, with each cluster addressing advanced topics in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, ranging from a variety of engineering disciplines, biomedical sciences, computer science, ecology, marine science, materials science, mathematics, physics and astronomy, robotics, game theory, & more.

Below is an overview of clusters offered in 2019.  Refer to the websites of the specific campuses for more information about currently offered clusters and their focus.

UC Davis
  • Cluster 1: Quantum Mechanics and Applications to Nanotechnology 
  • Cluster 2: Physics & Engineering: From the scientific method to technological applications
  • Cluster 3: Introduction to Engineering Mechanics 
  • Cluster 4: Introduction to Astrophysics
  • Cluster 5: Computers in Biophysics & Robotics
  • Cluster 6: Mathematics 
  • Cluster 7: Biomedical Sciences
  • Cluster 8: The Chemistry of Life 
  • Cluster 9: Mathematical Modeling in Molecular Biology
  • Cluster 10: Sustainable Transportation
UC San Diego
  • Cluster 1: Computers in Everyday Life
  • Cluster 2: Engineering Design & Control of Kinetic Sculptures 
  • Cluster 3: Living Oceans and Global Climate Change
  • Cluster 4: When Disaster Strike: Earthquake Engineering 
  • Cluster 5: From Lasers to LCD's: Light at Work 
  • Cluster 6: Biodiesel from Renewable Sources 
  • Cluster 7: Bioengineeing/Mechanical Engineering: The Amazing Red Blood Cell
  • Cluster 8: Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine 
  • Cluster 9: Music & Technology 
  • Cluster 10 - Robot Inventors 
UC Irvine
  • Cluster 1: Engineering for Land, Air, and Space
  • Cluster 2: Reasoning About Luck: Probability, Statistics, and Their Uses in Science
  • Cluster 3: Tissue and Tumor Biology and Mathematical/Computational Modeling
  • Cluster 4: Chemical Biology: Can You Make the Next Billion-Dollar Antibiotic?
  • Cluster 5: Sound for virtual reality: An exploration of 3D sound and movement using mobile devices and wearable sensors.
  • Cluster 6: Biomedical Sciences – Clinical Translational Science: The Next Generation of Biomedical Research
  • Cluster 7: The Big Bang and the Subatomic World
  • Cluster 8: Genes, Genomes, and Biocontrol
  • Cluster 9: Sustainable Civil Infrastructure: Engineering Needed for California's Future
UC Santa Cruz
  • Cluster 1: Number Theory and Discrete Math
  • Cluster 2: Nanochemistry and Nanotechnology
  • Cluster 3: Under the Sea -- Exploring Marine Organisms and Oceanography
  • Cluster 4: California Hazards: Earthquakes and Climate Change
  • Cluster 5: Video Game Design
  • Cluster 6: Computer Networking and Robotics
  • Cluster 7: Astrophysics
  • Cluster 8: Marine Mammals and Oceanography: From Prey to Predators