County/ Regional Fair Submission Deadline
Alameda Mar 26
Calaveras Mar 19
Contra Costa Mar 19
Fresno Mar 22
Glenn Mar 18
Humboldt Mar 25
Kern Mar 21
Los Angeles Mar 22
Mendocino Mar 25
Merced Mar 19
Monterey Mar 29
Nevada Apr 02
Orange Mar 20
Riverside Mar 18
Sacramento Mar 29
San Benito Mar 22
San Diego Mar 26
San Francisco (Golden Gate) Mar 29
San Joaquin Mar 18
San Mateo Mar 19
Santa Clara Mar 26
Santa Cruz Mar 19
San Bernardino (SIM) Mar 22
Solano Mar 22
Tulare Mar 18
Ventura Mar 29

Application Eligibility

Students who are selected to represent their county or multi-county regional science fair, listed on the right, will have had their name and contact information sent to CSEF by the affiliate. Immediately after each affiliate's lists are received and approved, the following two things will happen:

  1. All qualified students will be added to our list of students who are eligible to participate in CSEF. This includes all members of team projects because every participant must submit their own CSEF application.
  2. Each student named on the above list will be individually sent an email from CSEF (with a Cc: to a parent identified by the affiliated fair) containing a link which will permit them to submit their application. Without that link, there is no way to submit an application.

Important: if you know that you have been qualified by your affiliate to participate as one of their representatives to CSEF but your name is not included on our list of qualified students more than 24 hours after your fair's Awards Ceremony, contact your fair. CSEF has no information about any affiliate's qualified students except what their designated contact sends to us.


There are two separate deadlines for each student:

  1. The deadline by which you must submit your application, and
  2. The deadline by which you must submit your Project Presentation.

Application Submission Deadline

This is the date by which you must submit your application. This deadline depends upon your affiliated fair and is given in the table to the right. This deadline should be easy to satisfy because it takes only a few minutes to complete the entire application once you have been authenticated by the application site as being eligible to submit an application.

Project Presentation Deadline

This deadline is two (2) calendar days after your Application Submission Deadline. This is the date by which you must upload your Project Presentation which will serve as your project display during the fair. This document must be reviewed and approved by the Project Presentation Review (PPR) Committee before you will be eligible to be interviewed during the Fair, so it is in your interest to submit it as soon as you can. If your Project Presentation is disapproved, you will need to revise and resubmit it.

Important: Submitting a revised Project Presentation will reset the clock on your project’s approval because the new document must then also be approved by the PPR Committee. Therefore, you should not submit an updated Project Presentation unless it is absolutely necessary, such as by having your original submission disapproved.

The procedures for qualified projects and for alternates are different.


The Submission Deadline is the date by which you should complete the application located on the Fair’s Web site. Failure to meet this deadline may result in qualified applicants being rejected in favor of alternates from the same affiliate. The Final Submission Deadline is the last date on which applications may be submitted absent explicit instructions otherwise. For 2024 the Final Submission Deadline is Tuesday, April 2.

Submission Deadline

Your Submission Deadline is the date on or before which your Application should be submitted. Your application will be considered submitted when you have completed the final page of the application and pressed its “Submit” button. You will receive confirmation of receipt of your application via e-mail immediately following its submission. Within one working day submitted applications will be acknowledged on the Fair’s Web site. Please note that although your Application must be submitted through the Fair’s Web site, all other forms found in this Application Packet (where required) must be delivered by other means described on those forms.

Applications may continue to be submitted after an affiliate’s Submission Deadline until the Final Submission Deadline, but will only be accepted if the affiliate’s allocation has not already been filled by qualified and alternate projects which were submitted earlier.

Team Projects: While all members of a team must submit their own individual application (and submit their own ancillary materials below), for purposes of determining whether the team’s application was submitted on time or not we will use the earliest Submission Date of any member of the team. Every other member of the team should still meet the Submission Deadline but will not be penalized if his/her application is submitted later.

Ancillary Materials

Immediately after completing online applications, students with qualified projects (N.B., qualified projects only, not alternates) should send all other required materials to the Fair.

Send via US Mail or private delivery service:
Signature Card
Application Fee
Send via email to CSEF.SRC@gmail.com:
Either the CSEF Certification Form or the complete set of ISEF forms. See the Application Packet for the reasons to select which is appropriate for you.

These ancillary materials must be received in order for your application to be considered complete. Students with incomplete applications may be accepted, but will not be allowed to register at the Fair, set-up their project display, or otherwise participate in the Fair until all required materials have been received.

Qualified Projects vs. Alternates

It is likely that many, if not most, alternates will not be accepted. Therefore, even though alternates must meet the same Submission Deadline as qualified projects, alternates should not pay the Application Fee after submitting their application. If accepted, alternates will then be instructed to pay the Application Fee and submit other ancillary materials which must be received before they will be allowed to participate in the Fair.

Acceptance Decisions

Applicants from each affiliated fair whose Project Summaries have passed the PARC (Project Abstract Review Committee) review will be accepted in the following order:

  1. All qualified projects submitted on time will be accepted.
  2. Alternate projects submitted on time will be accepted in the priority order specified by their affiliated fair until the affiliate’s allocation has been filled.
  3. Any projects submitted after the affiliate’s Submission Deadline will be accepted in order of submission without regard to their status as qualified or alternate until the affiliate’s allocation has been filled.

Last updated: Wed Mar 13 21:15:19 PDT 2024
California Science & Engineering Fair / Deadlines 2024 / CSEF@usc.edu