About the Program




  • Living on the UCI campus and experiencing the life of a college student
  • Learning from UCI faculty and scientists in exciting areas of science and math
  • Conducting a research project and applying your knowledge and skills
  • Making friends from throughout the State of California
  • Focusing on your goals for higher education and challenging careers
  • Building a foundation for a competitive university application


COSMOS has as its mission to motivate the most creative minds of the new generation of prospective scientists, engineers, and mathematicians who will become leaders for California, the nation, and the world. The program aims to create a community of students who participate in and contribute to an intensive academic experience delivered by distinguished educators and scholars.


The California State Summer School for Math & Science (COSMOS) is made possible by the California State Legislature, through Assembly Bill 2536, Statutes of 1998. COSMOS provides a residential academic experience for our rising generation of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. COSMOS offers an exciting learning experience that features hands-on experimentation.  Students attend from high schools throughout the state, and they go on to graduate from prestigious universities such as the UC campuses and other California institutions such as Stanford and USC, and from other top national institutions including Princeton, MIT, Yale, Cornell, etc.  It is an enrichment program; no credit is given neither are there exams or grades.  UC Irvine’s inaugural program was held in 2000.

Best Practices

COSMOS students are given the unique opportunity to engage with distinguished professors and researchers from UCI during a 4 week program. Small class sizes and advanced content allow students flourish during the program.


UCI Faculty and research scientists are leaders in their fields, conducting leading edge research. They create courses in exciting topics from astrophysics to mathematical modeling to marine ecosystems just for COSMOS. UCI distinguished instructors may collaborate with their colleagues from research institutes, the California public and private colleges and universities, and post doctoral fellows or graduate students from UCI. COSMOS students will have interactive and hands-on experiences in university laboratories and research facilities. They learn from the experts in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and study exciting topics in depth.

Teacher Fellows

High school science and math teachers have the opportunity to participate as COSMOS Teacher Fellows assigned to a particular cluster. The fellowship opens doors to professional development and exposure to current research in higher education. The main responsibility is for a course on technical writing and communication, in which students write a technical/scientific abstract on the required research project and develop a poster presentation. Teacher Fellows review COSMOS course material for content and standards, advise UCI faculty on trends in secondary science education, participate in labs and field trips, and enhance the overall COSMOS student academic experience.