Academic Cluster Overview

COSMOS students enroll in one course “cluster” for the duration of the four-week program. Each cluster focuses on a different science, mathematics, or engineering topic and will enroll 20 to 25 students. The courses are designed and instructed by UCSC faculty, lecturers, researchers and graduate students. 

Each cluster is comprised of two science, math and/or engineering courses and one transferable skills course. Please read the description below to learn more about the content covered in the transferable skills course, then click on the cluster icons below to read about the two additional specific courses contained within each cluster.

Transferable Skills: Tools for Success

It may or may not surprise you that being a university researcher requires a whole host of skills outside of the specific scientific knowledge required of your chosen discipline or specialty. It requires communication skills such as the ability to present your work in writing and orally. It requires competencies in the realm of information technology including the ability to find and judge (the validity of) information and use a variety of hardware and software tools (e.g. spreadsheets, databases, statistics software, other data manipulation tools). It requires all of those skills to effectively conduct research such as data collection, analysis and interpretation, critical thinking and problem solving as well as the ability to conduct laboratory and/or field work. And, of course, a baseline competency in English, science, mathematics and computers is critical.

The governing mission of the UCSC COSMOS Transferable Skills course is to promote students’ future academic (and professional) success through the exploration and development of transferable skills: i.e. those competencies that students develop while in school which facilitate academic achievement, the eventual transition into the work- force and which are applicable in many other life situations.