Acceptance Rate

Test Scores

SAT Reading
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
730 - 800
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
770 - 800
SAT Writing
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
730 - 790
ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
34 - 35


Early Action
November 1

January 3

Other Admission Factors


Rigor of Secondary School Record
Standardized Test Scores
Application Essay

Character / Personal Qualities

Selectivity Rating

Faculty and Class Information

Total Faculty
with Terminal Degree


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

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years


  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, General
  • Neuroscience

  • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services

  • Business/Managerial Economics

  • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services

  • Computer and Information Sciences, General

  • Engineering

  • Biomedical/Medical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering
  • Engineering Physics
  • Engineering, General
  • Materials Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

  • English Language and Literature/Letters

  • English Language and Literature, General

  • History

  • History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
  • History, General

  • Mathematics and Statistics

  • Computational Mathematics
  • Mathematics, General

  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other

  • Philosophy and Religious Studies

  • Philosophy

  • Physical Sciences

  • Astrophysics
  • Chemistry, General
  • Geological and Earth Sciences/Geosciences
  • Physics, General
  • Planetary Astronomy and Science

  • Social Sciences

  • Economics, General
  • Political Science and Government, General

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.”


Post-Master's certificate

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Notable Faculty

Prominent Alumni

Frank Capra

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

Academic Rating

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

ROI & Outcomes

Information from PayScale:

Starting Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)

Starting Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)

Percent High Job Meaning

Percent STEM

Students Say

We’ll get right to the point—Caltech students do very well for themselves. In fact, according to PayScale.com, the average starting salary for recent graduates is $74,800. Certainly, the school’s Career Development Center should take some of the credit for this success. After all, the office provides some stellar career counseling. It also hosts a number of workshops covering an array of topics such as connecting with recruiters, projecting confidence in interviews and social media networking. Undergrads also have access to the TECHERlink which connects them with job, internship and work study opportunities as well as the career center’s activities. Perhaps most importantly, the office hosts two big career fairs each year (one in the fall, one in the winter). Finally, companies that frequently hire Caltech grads include Google, Inc., National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Oracle Corp.

Colleges that Create Futures


Application Deadlines
Notification Date
Apr 15

Required Forms

Business Farm Supp
Forms CSSProfile
Forms Divorced Parent
State Aid

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 $43,710 annually, plus another $1,600plus in student fees. Once you factor in $13,370-plus for room and board and $1,300 more for books and supplies, the estimated annual cost is more than $58,680 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 $37,550-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 need-blind 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

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Need-Based Loan

Average amount of loan debt per graduate

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package

Financial aid provided to international students

Expenses per Academic Year

Required Fees
Average Cost for Books and Supplies

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters

On-Campus Room and Board
Comprehensive Fee

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology
Federal and Institutional

Scholarships and Grants


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)

Direct Lender

Financial Aid Rating


Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
Out of State

Foreign Countries Represented


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

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.”


Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
Help finding off-campus housing

First-Year Students living on campus

Campus Environment
Large Urban

Housing Options

Apartment Married
Apartment Single
Disabled Student
Dorms Coed

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.”

Special Needs Admissions

College Entrance Tests Required

Interview Required

Special Need Services Offered

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
Number of Honor Societies

Number of Social Sororities
Number of Religious Organizations


Athletic Division
Division III

Men's Sports (Beavers)
9 Sports

Cross Country
Track Field Outdoor
Women's Sports (Beavers)
8 Sports

Cross Country
Track Field Outdoor

Student Services

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


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.

School Has Formal Sustainability Committee

School employs a sustainability officer

Public GHG inventory plan

Available Transportation Alternatives

Bike Share

Car Sharing Program

Carpool/Vanpool Matching Program

Condensed Work Week Option For Employees

Free Or Reduced Price Transit Passes And/Or Free Campus Shuttle

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

Reduced Parking Fees For Car And Van Poolers

School Developed Bicycle Plan

School Offers A Telecommute Program For Employees
Data provided by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS®, as of February, 2015.

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

Email and Web Access Available

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms

Average Number of PC's per Lab

Network Access in Dorm Rooms

Network Access in Dorm Lounges

Fee for Network Use

Student Web Pages Permitted

Student Web Pages Provided

Partnerships with Technology Companies

Online Class Registration Available

Personal computer included in tuition for each student

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers

Undergraduates that Own Computers

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors

Apple, Dell, Gateway, Compaq/HP

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations

Campus Visits Contact

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



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

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

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions

Monday - Friday 11:00-12:00

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available

Contact Coach Directly

Advance Notice
1 week

Contact Email Address for Visit

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available

Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Not Available



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