Leaders are selected during spring semester, typically soon after spring break. The call for applications is widely circulated via signage, e-mails, and the COSAM Facebook page. Applicants must be either rising juniors or seniors with at least a 3.0 GPA. After the applications are submitted, there are two rounds of interviews. A subset of applicants from the first-round of interviews is chosen to participate in the second round. The interview teams are composed of current Leaders, faculty, and staff. Successful applicants are those who are poised, articulate, and engaging.
Once selected, a Leader may not serve more than two years and may not begin an academic year as a Leader unless he/she can complete that entire academic year enrolled as a COSAM undergraduate student. Being a COSAM Leader is a significant time commitment, and students should not apply to become a Leader unless they are willing to devote the necessary time to the COSAM Leaders.