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Calif. State Summer School for Math & Science (COSMOS)

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Summer Camps & School Breaks > Calif. State Summer School for Math & Science (COSMOS)

Jan 2012

I'm looking for information on the cosmos summer program for my (currently) 11th grader. Is it difficult to get into and is it worthwhile, etc.? thanks, Eric

Cosmos: highly recommended for a kid who is into science or math. my son went to Cosmos at UCSD in the summer of his sophomore year. He had the time of his life ( his first away from home experience) , learned a lot, and got some extra points for his UC application . Lynn
Our daughter attended the COSMOS pre-med program at Davis last summer and loved it. It was competitive to get into. They said they had over 700 applicants and they accepted 200. They had a lot of hands on experience with labs. The instructors were great. It was a great experience for the kids to learn advanced math and science subjects. She also made great friendships, she didn't know anyone before she left. They have a lot of organized fun activities too. They did have homework at night, but not too much. It was the subject of some of her essays for college applications this year, so I think it was worth it. Angie
I hope someone with recent experience will respond, but here is our experience some years ago: we had two kids (one boy,one girl) who attended, three years apart. Our kids each found it a great experience, although each was open minded but a little skeptical about how fun it would be at the beginning. The program included lots of hands on experiments and projects, that were generally more interesting/sophisticated than what they had been exposed to in high school. The professors/instructors were passionate and enthusiastic about their areas. My kids liked living in the dorms at the campus, and enjoyed the residential assistants and all the extra curricular activities they organized (eg, ''spontaneous'' sports, games, ice cream parties). It is was a month-long residential program, so there was some homesickness , but nothing extraordinary. former COSMOS mom
My daughter attended cosmos a few years ago and loved it. Loved every bit if it. Not hard to get in. Just pay the bucks. Looks good on a college app. sean
My son went to UC COSMOS at UCSC the summer after he completed 10th grade. There is plenty of information about COSMOS at, as well as separate COSMOS websites at UCD, UCI, UCSC and UCSD. Each campus has its own program specialties - my son loved the oceanographic emphasis at UCSC.

Admission to COSMOS is very competitive. My son was able to attend because he won a full scholarship to COSMOS from Intel at the Synopsys science fair (he also won the independent research grant from Intel). COSMOS was of great benefit to him. While not the *highest* achiever academically (3.5GPA), his COSMOS experience led directly to other opportunities - an internship in physics at UCSC the following summer, a NASA internship after graduating high school and a scholarship to UC from COSMOS. He also still has friends from COSMOS.

If your child is passionate about science and wants a real taste of the UC on-campus experience, then COSMOS is ideal. It is very economic - 4 weeks on campus for $2810. But it is intended for students who *already* are involved deeply in science. For ''learn about science'' summer camps, there are many other private camps at Stanford, Berkeley, etc (, and more). Good Luck

Feb 2005

Can anyone share info about their teens' experience in the UC Cosmos program? My son is going to apply. thanks grateful mom

My son went to COSMOS at UC Santa Cruz three years ago, after grade 8. They've moved it up to grade 9 now, which is probably not a bad idea, as he was a bit young socially. He had a fabulous time in the astrophysics and logic track, still talks about things he learned, like the 24 hours they spent proving that 1+1=2. It was a good experience spending time with kids who found that equally fascinating, and I think he's still in touch with a few. By the way, he received full financial aid, without which he couldn't have done it. Hope this program doesn't get cut, for it really meant a lot to him. Dana
Dear Parents and Teachers, For former student and parent testimonials about the summer UC COSMOS experience, a math and science residential summer academic program for high school students, please check the student and parent pages at the website: and

There are also pages with UC faculty and participating high school teachers' comments about the program. Deadline to apply is March 15th!

Fees for this summer reduced to $1273/four weeks. Students may also apply for financial aid to cover the program cost.

irene bronston

Feb 2001

Three UC campuses---Davis, Irvine, and Santa Cruz will be enrolling high achieving high school students who excel in mathematics and science in 4-week residential programs for this summer. We are accepting applications now until the March 15 deadline. All the information and applications are available via this central web site, which also links you to the three campus-specific COSMOS programs and contacts.

Financial aid covering part or all of the tuition is available to any student with documented need, and all application forms and the financial aid application are available on the web page. The COSMOS website ( ) has all the necessary contact names and direct numbers for the three campuses (UC DAVIS, Irvine and Santa Cruz) as well as the application forms, financial aid forms, and teacher recommendations forms downloadable at the website. Deadline to apply is March 15 for the summer session.

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this page was last updated: Apr 14, 2012

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