COSMOS offers a variety of academic clusters that consist of two science and/or math courses, and a science communication course. Courses are taught by active faculty and researchers. Students participate in hands-on labs, field activities, lectures, and discussions. Students also work on a related research project. Cluster sizes vary from 18-24 students and the student to academic staff ratio is typically 5:1. COSMOS is an academic enrichment program and is not meant to replace a yearlong high school course; therefore we do not grant high school or college academic credit.
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.
The UCSD COSMOS Program can only accommodate up to 165 participants so selection is competitive. A typical COSMOS student has an cummulative, unweighted GPA of 3.5 or above. Students must have achieved academic excellence. Only advanced level 8th graders will be admitted, an 8th grader enrolled in geometry is considered advanced. The application will be available online January 21st. The following factors are taken into consideration:
- Grades, especially in Math and Science courses
- Math/Science teacher recommendations
- Participation in math/science activities
- Responses to short-response questions
Fees & Financial Assistance
There is a non refundable application fee of $30. The tuition for the program is $2,950. Full and partial financial assistance is available. (Example: A family of four with a combined yearly income of $70,000 would likely qualify for financial assistance). Additionally, all students qualifying for the Free or Reduced-Price Meals Program automatically qualify for financial assistance. Non-California students pay the unsubsidized fee of $6,000 and are not eligible for financial assistance.
Core partners include UC faculty and their colleagues in CSU, California private colleges and universities, graduate and undergraduate students, master teachers in California's high schools, and business leaders. Talented high school students from the state's 58 counties, parents and counselors complete the teaching and learning community that COSMOS brings together. Beginning in 2005, four campuses serve as hosts: Davis, Irvine, San Diego, and Santa Cruz.