Underclassmen Update: COSMOS, SUMaC, and SIMR

Natalie Thompson
Natalie Thompson

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Do you enjoy science or mathematics, and would like a STEM major in college? Great news. There are incredible summer programs to inspire and motivate you. COSMOS, SUMaC, and SIMR are some of the top STEM summer programs in the country. These summer programs offer intensive 4-8 week long experiences that require an application to be admitted as well as commitment to sciences or math.

COSMOS, SUMaC and SIMR do not offer school credit or a grade but can boost you towards a college major at a top tier school. They offer the opportunity to research and learn under the guidance of experts in the field but cost between $4,000 to $6,000. These costs cover materials, activities, instruction and in most cases room and board. As described in a previous blog post, there are wonderful STEM summer programs around the country. However, there are also excellent programs within the state of California.


COSMOS is an exciting 4 week program held at four different University of California campuses, designed to motivate 8-12 graders interested in STEM majors and careers. Held at UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, and UC Santa Cruz, each campus accepts between 160-200 students.

When you apply, you select a cluster for your session. You select from 8-10 clusters at each campus including biomedical science, marine science, and mathematical modeling. You must apply by April 6, 2018 for summer 2018.

If you are accepted, you participate in a well organized program that includes research, games, and interactive activities leading to a larger project. You work with great professors, stay and eat meals on campus, and have fun activities organized by resident assistants. The program runs under a California state advisory board, so it offers lower tuition costs for instate residents.


SUMaC, also known as the Stanford Mathematics Camp offers a unique math experience July 16-August 11, 2018. There are two programs available, Program I: Abstract Algebra and Number Theory or Program II: Topology. Each program accepts 40 students total.

Both programs include research projects, learning skills, recreation, and social activities. The advantage of the Stanford program, held at the Stanford campus, is you work in groups as well as one on one with teaching assistants.

Apply by the March 2018 deadline and if accepted you get to work with math in a unique and exciting way which can help you get into the selective college of your choice.


SIMR, also known as the Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program, is an innovative program in the Bay Area focusing on biological sciences and medicine. This program is an 8 week program immerses you in research and study in one of 8 focuses. Each year, 50-60 high school students are accepted to research in areas such as neurobiology, cardiovascular biology, and genetics and genomics.

SIMR features 40 hour weeks of seminars, lectures, and lab work with experts in the field. The tuition does not include housing and daily meals but instead provides for the materials, facilities, and interaction with great scientists. The detailed application is due by February 24, 2018 for the summer of 2018.

Conclusion: COSMOS, SUMaC, and SIMR

The advantages of these programs is the unique, focused experience, interaction with professionals and your peers in these fields. Students gain confidence, insight, and motivation to do well in college and beyond. Each of these programs offers financial aid to those who qualify. Empowerly can help you fit these programs into your college application.

Questions? Let us know!