About the Program




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.


Application Requirements

Students can only 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, the curriculum of each program builds on the unique teaching and research expertise of its faculty and host campus. Each campus can only accommodate about 160-200 participants, so selection is competitive. A typical COSMOS student has a GPA of 3.5 or above. Students must have achieved academic excellence. 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