An image of a galaxy in the cosmos

The Creating Opportunities in Science and Mathematics for Occidental Students (COSMOS) program offers scholarships for the sciences.

COSMOS 2.0, Creating Opportunities in Science and Mathematics for Occidental Students, provides scholarships for students majoring in STEM.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Occidental College $1,000,000 for a grant titled “Creating Opportunities for High-Achieving Students in Science and Mathematics through Scholarships, Research Experiences, Leadership, and Community.” COSMOS 2.0, as we call it, will contribute to the national effort to produce more STEM graduates by providing financial, academic and personal support to academically talented and financially needy students majoring in Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geology, Mathematics and Physics. Over its five-year duration, COSMOS 2.0 will support two annual cohorts, each of about ten students, who are both academically talented and have financial need. There will be scholarship awards of up to $10,000 per student, per year for three years, for a total of at least twenty Occidental College graduates in STEM.

COSMOS 2.0 funds several initiatives: 1) a new first-year, writing-intensive STEM-focused seminar course; 2) a new third-year seminar course for STEM majors centered on scientific communication, career readiness and professional development; 3) guaranteed opportunities for COSMOS scholars to participate in undergraduate research, internship experiences and disciplinary conferences; 4) enhanced advising and strategic mentoring; 5) multiple leadership opportunities involving peer-to-peer mentoring, teaching assistantships and community-based volunteering.


Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions about the program.

COSMOS 2.0 is a program funded by an award of $1,000,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) program run out of NSF’s Division of Undergraduate Education in their Education and Human Resources Directorate. The award was made in 2020 and the grant funding runs through 2025.

Read the official abstract description of the COSMOS 2.0 award from NSF.

Who can participate in COSMOS 2.0?

COSMOS 2.0 is intended to support students who are financially needy and academically talented at the end of their first year who intend to major in Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Cognitive Science, Geology, Mathematics and Physics with up to $10,000 per year for the last three academic years of their college career at Occidental.

What are the eligibility requirements to participate in COSMOS 2.0?

To be eligible to become a COSMOS scholar you must have financial need and be academically talented.

Financial need is determined and verified by the Occidental College Financial Aid office.

Additionally, a COSMOS scholar needs to be eligible to receive federal funds, in other words, they must be a U.S. Citizen, national of the U.S., alien admitted as a refugee, or alien lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence (“green card holder").