• Rising 8th graders (will be in 9th grade in Fall 2022) through rising 11th graders (will be in 12th grade in Fall 2022).
  • Students who are not residents of California may apply, but COSMOS can admit at most 20 out-of-state students each summer.   
  • FOR SUMMER 2021 ONLY __ Due to special circumstances, only students that physically reside in the United States during the 2021 activities are eligible to attend COSMOS 2021. 
  • Please contact the Statewide COSMOS office with questions about student residency status for application purposes.


  • Completed online application, including one personal statement;
  • Two teacher recommendations (one required, second recommendation suggested) **STEM teachers preferred, others accepted
  • Official high school transcript(s) (9th graders must also submit a copy of their 8th-grade report card)
  • Parent/guardian e-Signature(s) in the parent portal
  • Application fee ($30)--payable online with a credit card or check

Dates & Deadlines (2021)

  • Opening Day 2021: Tuesday, July 6, 2021
  • Closing Day 2021: Saturday, July 31, 2021


  • Online Application Opens: January 20, 2021, at 8:00 AM (PST)
  • Online Application Closes: February 19, 2021 at 5:00 PM (PST) - continues unsupported until 11:59pm
  • Completed online application, parent/guardian signature(s), application fee ($30), financial aid application must be submitted electronically by Feb 19, 2021


  • Admissions Notifications for the COSMOS Program: APRIL 9, 2021 at 5:00 PM (PDT):
  • Offer Acceptance or Decline (no response is considered decline) to COSMOS due April 16, 2021, by 5:00 PM (PDT)
  • If you ACCEPT your offer, a non-refundable $200 deposit must be paid by April 16, 2021, by 11:59 PM (PDT).  This deposit will go toward tuition and be deducted from the tuition balance. ** Note that this non-refundable $200 deposit is not covered by awarded financial aid. **


  • In case the student is admitted from a wait-list later than April TBA, a one-week period will be given to take action on acceptance and payment of the non-refundable deposit.

PAYMENTS (times specific to credit card payments, checks must be postmarked by the date noted)

  • $30 Application fee due by February 19, 2021, at 5:00 PM (PST)
  • $200 Non-refundable deposit due by April 16, 2021, at 5:00 PM (PDT)
  • Remaining tuition due by May 7, 2021, at 11:59 PM (PDT)
  • Credit card payments available. Please note that a 2.5% service fee will be added to ALL online payments.
  • For information on refund requests, see our Refund Policy.
  • See our Application and Payment Basics page for information on making payments.


*All refunds exclude the $200 non-refundable deposit*

  • Cancellation request received on or before May 14, 2021, by 5:00 PM (PDT): 100% of remaining tuition paid
  • Cancellation request received on or before May 21, 2021, by 5:00 PM (PDT): 50% of remaining tuition paid
  • Cancellation request received after 5:00 PM (PDT) on May 21, 2021: NO REFUND
  • Dismissal or voluntary departure from COSMOS program at any time: NO REFUND


Can I apply to multiple campuses?
No, you may only apply to one campus, but you may select one or two cluster options.

Can I apply if I have attended COSMOS before?

How do I know if my high school class meets the cluster prerequisites?
Since admissions decisions and clusters are administered at the campus level, please contact the campus directly for any questions about prerequisites. 

How to submit the application fee?
The application fee is payable only in the Parent/Guardian Portal ONLY.  Parents will be notified by email to create a login and password.  They can then make payments and submit their electronic signature (and submit optional financial aid information).

I submitted an application last year, can I use my same login ID?
Yes. You will need to create a new application each year, as the application may vary year to year, but you may log in with the same account.

Is the application fee refunded for incomplete or non-admitted applications?
No, the $30 application fee is non-refundable.