Application Information


Selection is competitive but if you don’t apply, you’ll never know! The program will serve up to 160 students in 8 different STEM subject areas. Some courses have prerequisites to ensure success in the program. UCI faculty teaching for COSMOS will review all applications. Admission is based upon:

  • 3.0 gpa* minimum; official transcripts; emphasis on science/math grades (Do not send test scores, student resume, certificates of achievement of other affidavits of merit; these items will not be considered)
  • Two recommendations from math/science teachers are required. Plan to ask your teachers well in advance if they would complete a COMSOS recommendation on your behalf, supporting your application.
  • The applicant’s interest, motivation, leadership and school or community involvement
  • Participant and achievement in science and math project and/or competitions
  • APPLICATION TIP: your essays are a key component of the application. Use good grammar and punctuation (texting language is inappropriate). Invest time in your essay answers! Proofread!

*Most admitted students have a 3.5 gpa or higher.

SPECIAL NOTE FOR 8TH GRADE STUDENTS: Only graduating 8th graders achieving academic excellence in science or math courses BEYOND the typical 8th grade level will be considered for admission. These students must be mature enough to participate in a four-week residential program away from home and live independently and responsibly. Only a small percentage of 8th grade applicants are admitted to COSMOS each year. Parents should consider if they are ready to have their son or daughter be away from home. Regardless of student age or grade level, parents are not permitted to visit the program.

RETURNING STUDENT POLICY: Due to the high demand for participation in COSMOS, students who have already attended COSMOS are not eligible to apply at this time.