COSMOS offers high school students a unique opportunity to develop skills for success in a college-like residential learning community.

COSMOS provides students with a residential life experience that introduces them to the college culture of a UC campus. While residing at one of the UC COSMOS campuses, students are introduced to the resources, classrooms, and laboratories of the University of California. They also have access to university services, including libraries, computer labs, and recreational and cultural facilities. Living on campus allows COSMOS students to meet, work, and socialize with like-minded peers who share their enthusiasm for mathematics and science. Becoming active in the COSMOS learning community enables students to connect with their intellectual peers and be challenged in a positive and nurturing environment. The residential program model at COSMOS cultivates a sense of joint purpose and promotes supportive teamwork through small class sizes, integrative and collaborative learning, group projects, research presentations, and alumni programs.

Students are REQUIRED to live on campus for the duration of the program. Living on campus allows students ample opportunities to form lasting friendships with like-minded peers who share the same interests in mathematics and science. On weekends, students may attend additional recreational field trips.

Residence hall food is served cafeteria-style three times a day, with a wide selection of food, including fresh fruit, an array of salads, and several choices for entrees, daily soups, and a sandwich bar. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are available at every meal. Reasonable accommodations may be made for other special dietary needs.

Residential advisors (RAs) organize and help conduct activities in the residence halls. COSMOS offers a variety of fun activities, such as team sports (basketball, volleyball, soccer, and flag football), social events (dance lessons, karaoke, and movie night), and special events (COSMOS Olympics, casino night, and talent show). In addition, there will be weekend trips to local sites of interest. There is something for everyone.

The COSMOS staff at each campus includes a Residential staff, teaching staff, and UC undergraduate Residential Assistants. Before COSMOS starts, all staff undergo extensive training and are CPR/First Aid certified.

COSMOS policies are implemented to keep the students safe at all times. Please refer to the specific campus program for policies and procedures regarding safety.

The COSMOS policies were designed to help us ensure each student’s safety and manage a large group of teenagers on campus. There is one set of rules for all students, regardless of their age or "freedom" allowed at home. Older students or students used to operating more independently should consider this before coming to COSMOS.