COSMOS is an intensive four-week Summer Residential Pre-College program for students who have demonstrated an aptitude for academic and professional careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. Talented and motivated students completing grades 8-12 have the opportunity to be mentored by renowned faculty, researchers, and scientists in state-of-the-art facilities while exploring advanced STEM topics far beyond the courses usually offered in California high schools. Through challenging hands-on and lab-intensive curricula, COSMOS fosters its students' interests, skills, and awareness of educational and career options in STEM fields.

Students apply to one of the four University of California's COSMOS campuses — UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, and UC Santa Cruz. While each campus employs the best practices in STEM education, each program's curriculum builds on the unique teaching and research expertise of its faculty and host campus. Each campus can only accommodate about 160-200 participants, so the selection is competitive. A typical COSMOS student has a GPA of 3.5 or above. In addition, students must have achieved academic excellence. Students are REQUIRED to live on campus for the duration of the program to receive the completed diploma and be considered COSMOS Alumni.

In making admission decisions, we consider the following factors:

  • Grades, especially in math and science courses

  • Math/science teacher recommendations

  • Response to one personal essay question

Financial assistance is available for tuition.  This amount is credited toward the tuition and is not covered by financial aid unless otherwise stated. Students who reside in California and attend school in California may apply for financial assistance. Students are evaluated for financial assistance based on family size, income, and funding availability.