Students Say

Beyond arguably one of the most rigorous undergraduate educations in science out there, Caltech is a small, tight-knit community that is “geared towards training tomorrow’s leaders and pioneers in the field of science.” There may be a heavy emphasis on scientific learning and research, but “not to the point where students can do nothing else,” as the core curriculum “exposes each student to a broad range of subjects” beyond the stereotypical fare. At Caltech, passionate researchers “work together to solve the problems of tomorrow, while enjoying great weather.”

Overview

Applicants
6,525
Acceptance Rate
9%

Test Scores

SAT Reading
730 - 800
SAT Math
770 - 800
ACT Composite
34 - 35

Deadlines


Regular
January 3

Other Admission Factors

Academic

Rigor of Secondary School Record

Overall

Students Say

Beyond arguably one of the most rigorous undergraduate educations in science out there, Caltech is a small, tight-knit community that is “geared towards training tomorrow’s leaders and pioneers in the field of science.” There may be a heavy emphasis on scientific learning and research, but “not to the point where students can do nothing else,” as the core curriculum “exposes each student to a broad range of subjects” beyond the stereotypical fare. At Caltech, passionate researchers “work together to solve the problems of tomorrow, while enjoying great weather.” Or to put it in the parlance of collegiate times: “Cross collaboration of ideas and ingenuity leads to epic-ness!” Academics are understandably “intense” at Caltech: “The work can be hell but you’ll love what you learn.” Fortunately, “classes are small and it’s often easy to form tight bonds with the professors.” The quality of teaching can vary— “Just because they’re Nobel Prize winners, does not make them good lecturers”—but the extremely low student to faculty ratio “makes it easier to interact on a personal basis with professors.” “My academic experience here has been an extremely difficult whirlwind of humbling and fascinating knowledge,” says a student. Much learning is done through the homework sets, on which students are encouraged to collaborate. The dedication Caltech has for training the researchers of tomorrow is renowned, and is evident in the accessibility to research for all students, even freshmen. The academic experience isn’t just in the classroom; there are “lots of funding opportunities (for instance, the Housner and the MHF) for projects outside of the classroom.” “One professor took me on for research after freshman year (we formulated an improved way to rank basketball players and teams), and I’m very good friends with him in what is now my junior year,” says a mathematics major. Undergraduate student representation and self-government are happily welcomed here, and the school “really cares about the undergrads and wants to keep us happy.” The school also does “a really good job of keeping students occupied and entertained while at the same time cramming a ridiculous amount of information into our heads.”

Faculty and Class Information

Student/Faculty
3:1
Total Faculty
355
with Terminal Degree
338

275
Men
80
Women
65
Minority
10
International

Most frequent class size
10 - 19
Most frequent lab / sub section size
10 - 19

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
93%
Graduate in 5 years
98%
Graduate in 6 years
92%


Degrees

Bachelor's
Doctoral
Doctoral/Research
Master's
Post-Master's certificate

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
No

Prominent Alumni


Frank Capra
filmaker

Linus Pauling
Nobel Prize - Chemistry, and Nobel Peace Prize

Charles Townes
Nobel Prize - inventor of the maser and laser.

Gordon Moore
semiconductor industry pioneer, cofounder, Intel

Harrison Schmitt
astronaut, U.S.Senator, businessman

Douglas Osheroff
Nobel Prize in physics

David Ho
Time magazine Man of the Year, 1996

Dates

Financial Aid Rating
97
Application Deadlines
Notification Date
Apr 15

Required Forms

Business Farm Supp
FAFSA
Forms CSSProfile
Forms Divorced Parent
School

Bottom Line

In 2013 Caltech’s endowment was over $1.9 billion. It’s no wonder generous financial aid and scholarship packages are commonplace here. Tuition at Caltech is $41,790 annually, plus another $1,500plus in student fees. Once you factor in $12,900-plus for room and board and $1,300 more for books and supplies, the estimated annual cost is more than $57,500 per year. Few students pay the full cost, while everyone benefits from the world-class education, making this school a best buy. Financial aid packages for freshman include a $25,600-plus need-based grant on average.

Bang For Your Buck

Caltech is extremely affordable, while the school’s immense reputation and plethora of opportunities ensure a bright future in research or academia for Caltech graduates. Caltech operates needblind admissions for all U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Every year, financial aid awards meet 100 percent of demonstrated student need. Of particular note, the school makes every effort to limit a student’s debt, awarding aid packages with little work-study or loans. Across the board, the maximum loan expectation for Caltech students is just around $4,000 annually, and the average loan debt for Caltech students is just over $15,000 for all four years. The school also offers substantial need-based packages for international students, a rarity among private institutions. Caltech scholarships are awarded based on demonstrated financial need.

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$40,060

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$37,557

Average Need-Based Loan
$4,624

Average amount of loan debt per graduate
$12,104

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program
30%

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package
$26,164

Financial aid provided to international students
Yes

Expenses per Academic Year

Tuition
$43,710
Required Fees
$1,680
Average Cost for Books and Supplies
$1,323

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
No
Board for Commuters
$4,770
Transportation for Commuters
$1,125

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodoloy
Federal and Institutional

Scholarships and Grants

Need-Based
 

Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
College/university loans from institutional funds
Federal Perkins Loans

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)
Yes

Direct Lender
Yes

Overall

Students Say

“Everyone knows each other” at this “beautiful, small campus,” and there’s “no way around it”: students here are “smart” and “nerdier than average,” but “there is a wide range in personality within the student body.” Most everyone has “an odd sense of humor and a serious hobby, whether it be MineCraft, building lasers, or rock climbing.” There is “complete trust within the student body” at Caltech, and the house system provides “a family-like support network for students,” which is a welcome respite from “extreme academic pressures.”

Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
983
Out of State
63%

International
Foreign Countries Represented
32

Demographics

63% are out of state
100% are full time
0% are part time

Overview

Students Say

Modeled after the Oxford college system (and “very similar to Harry Potter”), the Caltech house system is the basis for undergraduate life, offering both a place to live and a social center for students. Freshmen are placed into one of eight houses after the first week of school, and “immediately are integrated into a close social network/safety net. Basically each student automatically gets ~100 friends.” Each house has “a slightly different culture, and most people find that they identify strongly with at least one of the cultures”; as one student says, “My house has a tool room and turned down the housing office’s offer to buy us a TV,” says a senior electrical engineering major. In keeping with the one big happy family vibe, “undergraduates and grad students play Frisbee together, students and faculty play together in music groups, grad students go to undergraduate parties…and the students have a lot of unexploited trust from the faculty because of the Honor Code.” Caltech has lots of fun traditions such as Halloween, when students “freeze pumpkins in liquid nitrogen and drop them off of Millikan library as a ‘pumpkin-drop experiment.’” However, some feel that some of the new administrators “are trying to circumvent various student traditions and freedoms.” The cherry on top of the Caltech sundae is “the fantastic SoCal weather, which is hard to beat anywhere in the world.” Time is at a premium, but students “take trips to the beach and LA over the weekend; during the week, “[problem] sets and extracurriculars keep us pretty close to campus.”

Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
85%
Help finding off-campus housing
Yes

Quality of life rating
83
First-Year Students living on campus
100%

Campus Environment
Large Urban
Fire safety rating
65

Housing Options

Apartment Married
Apartment Single
Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
Other

Special Needs Admissions


College Entrance Tests Required
No

Interview Required
No

Special Need Services Offered


Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
113
Number of Honor Societies
2

Number of Social Sororities
0
Number of Religious Organizations
7

Sports

Athletic Division
Division III

Men's Sports (Beavers)
10 Sports

Baseball
Basketball
Cross Country
Diving
Fencing
Soccer
Swimming
Tennis
Track Field Outdoor
Water Polo
Women's Sports (Beavers)
9 Sports

Basketball
Cross Country
Diving
Fencing
Swimming
Tennis
Track Field Outdoor
Volleyball
Water Polo

Student Services

Health
Womens Center
LGBT Support Groups: The Caltech Center for Diversity supports activities that enhance the inclusion of underrepresented, underserved and minorities (URM), women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) students in all aspects of campus life. https://diversitycenter.caltech.edu/. PRISM is also a support organization for interested students, faculty and staff http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~prism/

Minority Support Groups: The Caltech Center for Diversity supports activities that enhance the inclusion of underrepresented, underserved and minorities (URM), women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) students in all aspects of campus life. https://diversitycenter.caltech.edu/

Army ROTC Offered at cooperating institutions: USC
Air Force ROTC Offered at cooperating institutions: USC

Sustainability

Caltech has become renowned for its academic brilliance—it boasts more than thirty Nobel Laureates and close ties to NASA—so it’s not difficult to take its quickly growing devotion to the green movement seriously. Though a relatively small private institution, Caltech is already a giant in sustainability. A proud Founding Circle member of the Billion Dollar Green Challenge, an effort aimed at funding energy-efficient upgrades at campuses across the country, Caltech pioneered the use of self-managed green revolving funds. The campus features the second largest rooftop solar installation among U.S. universities. Amazingly, the university’s energy-efficiency projects have worked to the tune of an annual energy savings of 8.3 million kilowatt hours and a reduction in greenhouse emissions by more than 6,000 metric tons! Nowadays, the awards and recognition keep pouring in. Caltech’s Annenberg Center for Information Science and Technology and Schlinger Laboratory for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering were honored at the inaugural Sustainable Innovation Awards during the Green Gala in 2011, and the institute’s contributions to cleaner air earned it the award for Model Community Achievement as part of the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s annual Clean Air Awards. Even amidst all its institutional accolades, Caltech hasn’t forgotten the importance of green education. Students can take sustainability-related classes in departments such as environmental science and engineering, while also participating in sustainability-focused research through the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, the Linde Center for Global Environmental Science, and the Resnick Sustainability Institute.

Green Rating
94
School Has Formal Sustainability Committee
Yes

School employs a sustainability officer
Yes

Public GHG inventory plan
Yes

Available Transportation Alternatives

Bike Share
Yes

Car Sharing Program
Yes

Carpool/Vanpool Matching Program
Yes

Condensed Work Week Option For Employees
Yes

Incentives Or Programs To Encourage Employees To Live Close To Campus
Yes

Indoor And Secure Bike Storage, Shower Facilities, And Lockers For Bicycle Commuters
Yes

School Adopted A Policy Prohibiting Idling
Yes

School Developed Bicycle Plan
Yes

School Offers A Telecommute Program For Employees
Yes
Data provided by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS®, as of February, 2014.

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources: http://www.princetonreview.com/safety

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education: http://ope.ed.gov/security


Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network
Yes

Email and Web Access Available
Yes

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet
100

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms
10

Average Number of PC's per Lab
14

Network Access in Dorm Rooms
Yes

Network Access in Dorm Lounges
Yes

Fee for Network Use
No

Student Web Pages Permitted
Yes

Student Web Pages Provided
No

Partnerships with Technology Companies
Yes

Online Class Registration Available
Yes

Personal computer included in tuition for each student
No

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers
No

Undergraduates that Own Computers
100%

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors
Yes

Description
Apple, Dell, Gateway, Compaq/HP

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses
Yes

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations
No

Campus Visits Contact

Address
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
1200 E. California Boulevard; M/C 10-90
Pasadena, CA 91125

Phone
626-395-6341

Email
ugadmissions@caltech.edu

Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Caltech Bookstore
Moore Laboratory
Mead Chemistry Laboratory
Broad Center for the Biological Sciences
Red Door Cafe

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Old Towne Pasadena
South Lake Avenue Shopping District
Huntington Library
Norton-Simon Museum
L.A. County Museum of Art
Santa Monica Pier Venice Beach Disneyland Universal Studios

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday-Friday
8am-5pm
626-395-6341

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: Varies
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews
No

Information Sessions
Available

Times
Monday - Friday 11:00-12:00

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Year-round

Arrangements
Contact Coach Directly

Advance Notice
1 week

Contact Email Address for Visit
coaches@caltech.edu

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Varies

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Not Available

Limitations
N/A

Transportation

Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Los Angeles International Airport is less than 30 miles away. Shuttle vans, taxis, and rental cars are available at the airport; contact the airport to make arrangements. Burbank Airport is 20 minutes from Caltech. Amtrak trains and Greyhound/Trailways buses serve Los Angeles.

Driving Instructions to Campus
Take the 210 Freeway to the Hill Ave. off-ramp. Turn south on Hill Ave. Turn right into the parking behind our office at 383 S Hill or use street parking.

Local Accommodations
Courtyard by Marriott 626.403.7600 Pasadena Hilton 626.577.1000 Saga Motor Hotel 626.795.0431 Sheraton Pasadena Hotel 626.449.4000 Vagabond Inn 626.449.3170 Westin Hotel Pasadena 626.792.2727