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California Institute of Technology Admissions Information

California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, California (map)


Since its inception in 1891, Caltech has been dedicated to research and education in science, mathematics and engineering. In fact, the university’s mascot is a beaver, nature’s engineer. Located in Pasadena, just outside of Los Angeles, students experience both the comfort of residential college life and the fast pace of an urban environment. Unlike many universities, on-campus housing is guaranteed for all undergraduates and nearly 95% of students choose to stay on-campus for their entire time at Caltech. The campus even houses five Nobel Prize winning faculty members who live in the undergraduate residence halls. These houses serve as centers for intellectual and social engagement for students.

With fewer than 1000 undergraduates, the community at Caltech is close-knit, fostering intellectual engagement between students and world-renowned faculty. In fact, the student to faculty ratio is consistently lower than 3:1, one of the lowest of all universities. With such a heavy faculty presence, students can easily contact professors and work with them on research projects. The school’s academic rivalry with MIT serves as one of the nation’s oldest and, surely, most intellectual. As evidenced by Caltech’s mission statement, research is a fundamental aspect of the university. Over 80% of undergraduates get involved with research in some form. The most common ways include a senior honor’s thesis or independent work with a faculty member during the academic year, paid employment at on and off-campus facilities such as NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and the Palomar Observatory, or through the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships that Caltech offers students.



Basic Info

Main Address: 1200 East California Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91125
Phone Number: (626) 395-6811  
Website: www.caltech.edu  


Type of school: Private, Four-year  
Type of school: Coed  
Setting: Suburban setting, Small city; Residential campus  
Athletics: Division III, Intercollegiate, Club, Intramural  
Degrees offered: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral  
Size of undergraduate student body: 951  
Percent out-of-state: 65%  
Percent international: 11%  
Female to Male ratio: 42:58  

Academic Life

Student to Professor ratio: 2.7:1  
Most popular majors: Mathematics, General
Mechanical Engineering
Physics, General
Physics, General
Special study programs: Cross-Registration
Double Major
Independent Study
Liberal Arts/Career Combination
ROTC, Air Force
ROTC, Army
Student-Designed Major
Study Abroad
Visiting/Exchange Student Program

Campus Life

Housing options:
Coed Housing
Apartments For Single Students

First-time first-year students allowed to have car
Apartments For Married Students
Special Housing For Disabled Students
Pets allowed in dorm rooms
Choral groups
Film society
Jazz band
Music ensembles
Student government
Symphony orchestra
Concert band
International students
Literary magazine
Musical theater
Pep band
Student newspaper
Television station

Fun Facts

  • #16 Great Financial Aid
  • 32 Nobel prizes have been awarded to Caltech faculty and alumni.
  • The most popular course at Caltech is "Cooking Basics".
  • #4 Students Study the Most
  • Linus Pauling's discovery of the nature of the chemical bond, Carl Anderson's discovery of the positron (existence of anti-matter) and many other scientific milestones occurred at Caltech.

Admissions Information

Although academics at Caltech is science-based, the school's admissions website ensures that there are no formulas or cut-offs used to determine admission. Each application is read by the counselor assigned to that particular geographic region and is considered in the context of the applicant's background and resources. These counselors evaluate academic ability (including transcripts and standardized test scores), extracurricular activities and recommendations. Once the admissions counselor determines whether or not a particular applicant is a competitive candidate, the application is passed on to a faculty member and (highly trained) current student for further review. Once each application has been fully assessed, discussion regarding the final decision begins.

Caltech is considered a very selective university with an acceptance rate of 15%. Furthermore, 98% of the current freshman class graduated in the top 10% of their high school class. For a prospective student to see the best chances for admission, it is important that he or she takes time to carefully construct a strong application, highlighting strengths, potential and abilities.

Admissions address: Admission Office
383 South Hill Avenue, Mail Code 10-90
Pasadena, CA 91125
Phone number: (626) 395-6341  
Fax number: (626) 683-3026  
Admissions Website: admissions.caltech.edu  
Email: ugadmissions@caltech.edu  
Contact Person: Jarrid Whitney, Director of Admissions  
Number of first-year applications received: 3,957  
Percent of applicants admitted: 15%  

Application Information

Regular application deadline: January 3  
Early decision/action deadline: November 1 (Early Action)  
Accepts the Common Application? Yes  
Admission requirements: Common Application with Supplemental Caltech Forms
Standardized tests
2 Academic Teacher Evaluations
School Report (with transcript)
Mid Year Report
Final Report

Application Information

Standardized test scores required? SAT or ACT
SAT II Subject Tests: Mathematics Level 2 and one of the following Subject Tests: Biology (Ecological), Biology (Molecular), Chemistry, or Physics

If applicable: TOEFL
Policy regarding SAT score-use: Strongly recommends that students submit all SAT and SAT Subject test scores.  
Middle 50% Scores



% Who Submitted Scores
SAT Critical Reading
SAT Math
SAT Writing
ACT Composite

College Board code: 4034  
ACT code: 0182  
Learn more about other Top Technology schools:
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute   Worcester Polytechnic Institute   Georgia Tech   Massachusetts Institute of Technology  

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