Caltech Acceptance Rate: Admissions Statistics

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Caltech Acceptance Rate: Admissions Statistics

California Institute of Technology, often referred to simply as Caltech, stands as an iconic institution renowned for its contributions to science, technology, and innovation. As you contemplate your higher education options, understanding the intricacies of the admissions process at prestigious institutions like Caltech is paramount. In this post, we’ll delve into the significance of the Caltech acceptance rate, its historical trends, and the key factors that influence your chances of securing a spot at this renowned institution.

What is Caltech’s Acceptance Rate?

Understanding Caltech’s acceptance rate is crucial for prospective students as it offers valuable insights into the competitive nature of the admissions process and the likelihood of gaining admission to this prestigious institution.

What is Caltech’s acceptance rate? While specific acceptance rate figures for the most recent admission cycle, such as the Class of 2027, have not been officially released by Caltech, the admissions office typically notifies a limited number of students of their acceptance.

The last reported Caltech acceptance rate stood at 3.9% for the Class of 2025, which underscores the highly selective nature of Caltech’s admissions. This means that out of the 13,026 applications received, only a small fraction were offered admission.

The acceptance rate matters to prospective students because it provides a realistic assessment of their chances of being admitted to Caltech. It serves as a benchmark to gauge the level of competition and the selectivity of the institution.

Aspiring Caltech students can use this information to evaluate their academic credentials, extracurricular achievements, and overall application strength to determine if they align with the profile of successful applicants.

Early Action and Early Decision

California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has a Restrictive Early Action (REA) policy, which means applicants may not apply to any other private college or university’s Early Action, Early Decision, or any foreign university’s restrictive early plan. The REA applications are due on November 1, and students will be notified of their admissions decision (admit, defer, or deny) by mid-December.

Caltech Acceptance Rate Trends

When it comes to the pursuit of a world-class education, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has consistently ranked among the most sought-after institutions globally. Renowned for its commitment to scientific innovation and academic excellence, Caltech’s admissions process has always been notably competitive.

For the past decade, Caltech’s acceptance rate has remained in the single digits, a testament to the institution’s unwavering commitment to academic rigor and excellence. As we examine the historical data, the trend becomes clear.

Class of Total Applications Received Caltech Acceptance Rate
2018 6,525 9%
2019 6,506 9%
2020 6,855 8%
2021 7,339 8%
2022 8,208 7%
2023 8,367 6%
2024 8,007 7%
2025 13,026 3.90%
2026 16,626 Not reported
2027 Not yet released Not yet released

Notable changes in the Caltech acceptance rate trends over the past decade are indicative of the institution’s commitment to academic excellence. In the Class of 2020, the acceptance rate decreased to 8% from 6,855 applications, marking a trend of heightened selectivity.

This trend continued in the Class of 2022, where it became even more competitive, with a 7% acceptance rate from 8,208 applications. However, the most striking change occurred in the Class of 2025, as the acceptance rate plummeted to a remarkable 3.90% from 13,026 applications. 

Several significant admissions policy changes in recent years have contributed to the fluctuations in Caltech’s acceptance rate. Understanding these changes is essential to comprehending the broader picture:

  1. Test-Blind Policy Extension: One notable policy change was the extension of the test-blind policy for two more years. This means that standardized test scores were not considered in the admissions process, placing greater emphasis on other aspects of an applicant’s profile.
  2. Shift to Restrictive Early Action (REA): Caltech transitioned from Early Action to Restrictive Early Action (REA). This change was prompted by a substantial increase in the number of applications received. REA allows students to apply to Caltech early but restricts them from applying to other private institutions in their early admission rounds.
  3. Financial Aid for International Students: Caltech made a positive move by allowing international students in need of financial aid to apply through Restrictive Early Action. This change aims to make Caltech’s exceptional education more accessible to students from diverse backgrounds.

The drastic drop in the acceptance rate for the Class of 2025 can be attributed to various factors, including the continuation of the test-blind policy and the surge in applications. The unprecedented increase in applications showcases Caltech’s growing popularity as a premier academic institution. The transition to Restrictive Early Action may have also played a role, as it attracted a broader pool of applicants seeking the early advantage.

In conclusion, the Caltech acceptance rate trends reflect the institution’s unyielding commitment to academic excellence and innovation. As an applicant, it’s vital to recognize the ever-evolving nature of the admissions process and prepare accordingly.

Caltech’s admissions have remained incredibly competitive, and as we move into the future, the pursuit of a spot at this esteemed institution will undoubtedly continue to be a rewarding yet challenging journey.

Caltech Admissions Statistics

Examining the Caltech admissions statistics for the Class of 2027 provides valuable insights into the institution’s competitive application process and the diverse cohort of students who have joined this academic community.

A total of 263 new students matriculated in the Class of 2027. It’s worth noting that specific data regarding the total number of applications received and the official acceptance rate for this class have not been disclosed by Caltech at this time. 

In the previous admissions cycle, the number of total applications soared to over 16,000, underlining the growing interest in Caltech. Notably, the last reported acceptance rate for the Class of 2025, was below 4%, illustrating the highly competitive nature of Caltech admissions.

While specific statistics for the Class of 2027 are yet to be revealed, these insights provide context for prospective students considering their application to Caltech, showcasing the institution’s continued commitment to academic excellence.

Caltech Demographics

Caltech’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive academic community is illustrated by the demographic composition of its incoming Class of 2027. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the Caltech demographics.

Gender Distribution

  • Female: 41%
  • Male: 59%

Racial and Ethnic Diversity

  • Asian: 37%
  • White: 22%
  • Hispanic of any race: 11%
  • Black or African American: 5%
  • Two or More Races: 5%
  • Native American or Alaskan Native: 0.4%
  • Race/Ethnicity Unknown: 2%
  • Nonresident Alien (International): 17%

Geographical Diversity (School Attended)

    • California: 28%
    • Mid Atlantic: 13%
    • Midwest: 10%
    • New England: 3%
    • South: 10%
    • Southwest: 8%
    • West: 9%
    • International: 18%

Further Insights into Admitted Students

Students admitted to Caltech come from diverse corners of the world, representing 39 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, 31 countries, and six continents (all except Antarctica). This global diversity enriches the Caltech community.

Accepted applicants to Caltech bring a wide spectrum of interests across fields of study, extracurricular activities, and life experiences. However, they all share a common thread—a deep commitment to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Remarkably, over one-third of students submitted portfolios showcasing their creative and maker work, revealing their multidisciplinary talents and passions.

A significant 45% of the class included materials documenting their own past research experiences, emphasizing their dedication to academic exploration and innovation.

The Class of 2027 includes an impressive 20% of scholar-athletes, offering them the unique opportunity to excel both academically and athletically by participating in Caltech’s Division III varsity athletic teams. Furthermore, an inspiring 17% of admitted students are first-generation college students, marking a significant milestone in their educational journeys.

The Class of 2027 embodies the ethos of Caltech—a community of scholars from diverse backgrounds, united by their passion for STEM fields and a shared commitment to pushing the boundaries of knowledge. Their collective experiences and talents promise to enrich the vibrant tapestry of Caltech’s academic landscape, fostering a dynamic and inclusive environment where innovation thrives.

SAT/ACT Scores for Caltech Admits

Caltech’s approach to standardized test scores in the admissions process has evolved significantly in recent years, largely influenced by the global COVID-19 pandemic and a commitment to creating a more equitable application process.

In June 2020, Caltech made a big decision—they became test-free for undergraduate admissions. This means that they will not consider student test scores at all. Students can still choose to submit their scores if they want to, but the scores will not be considered when deciding who gets in. This change is in place for a total of five admission cycles, from Fall 2021 to Fall 2025.

Caltech’s Undergraduate Admissions Office underscored the importance of curriculum and academic preparedness as focal points for assessing applicants. This change emphasized a holistic evaluation, giving prominence to academic achievements, the rigor of coursework, and other components of the application, such as letters of recommendation, essays, extracurricular activities, and personal qualities.

By adopting this test-free approach, Caltech demonstrated its adaptability and dedication to creating a more inclusive and equitable admissions process. This transformative shift embraces a more holistic view of applicants, ensuring that aspiring scientists and scholars are given equal opportunities to shine, regardless of their test scores.

What Caltech Looks For

Caltech’s admission process is rigorously designed to identify students who can thrive in its unique academic environment, contributing to the notably low Caltech acceptance rate. This selectivity underscores the high standards Caltech upholds and highlights what the institute looks for in its prospective students.

Here’s a glimpse of what Caltech looks for in applicants:

A Love of Math

At Caltech, math is the cornerstone of every course. A strong affinity for math and a willingness to delve deep into abstract thinking and problem-solving are essential qualities.

A Passion for Chemistry and Physics

Many groundbreaking discoveries incorporate these sciences. Caltech’s core curriculum immerses students in these subjects, providing a solid foundation.

An Appreciation for Humanities and Social Sciences

Caltech believes in a well-rounded education. Students engage in writing, analysis, and humanities and social science courses to enhance critical thinking and communication skills.


In the face of challenging problems, Caltech looks for students who persevere and demonstrate the determination to overcome obstacles and continue their pursuit of knowledge.

Collaborative Spirit

While individuality is valued, Caltech emphasizes teamwork. All majors at Caltech and the overall experience involve collaboration, as students often work together in small groups.


Caltech fosters curiosity and creativity. Students are encouraged to explore new paths and reach for their North Star in innovative ways.

Single-Minded Determination

Caltech seeks students who pursue their goals relentlessly. These students are driven to change the world, even if it means sacrificing an easier path.

An Outlet

Beyond academics, Caltech recognizes the importance of self-care and diverse interests. Whether in athletics, arts, or other pursuits, students are encouraged to maintain a balanced lifestyle.

In addition to these attributes, Caltech considers recommendation letters and personal statements to gain deeper insights into an applicant’s character and potential fit with the institution’s STEM-focused curriculum. Collectively, these elements help Caltech identify students who will thrive in their challenging academic environment while contributing to the institution’s culture of curiosity and innovation.

How Hard Is It to Get Into Caltech?

California Institute of Technology is renowned for its extreme competitiveness when it comes to admissions. With a consistently low acceptance rate over the years, gaining entry into this prestigious institution is an achievement in itself.

So, how hard is it to get into Caltech? Caltech’s Class of 2025 witnessed a mere 3.90% acceptance rate, making it one of the most selective institutions globally. To provide valuable context, let’s look at the acceptance rates of some other esteemed universities for the same class:

These figures reveal that the Caltech acceptance rate is on par with some of the most prestigious institutions in the world. This alignment underscores Caltech’s unwavering commitment to admitting a community of exceptionally talented and motivated individuals.

The Admissions Review Process

Caltech’s admissions process is as comprehensive as it is rigorous. Multiple admissions officers and faculty committee members carefully evaluate and discuss the most competitive applications.

Each application undergoes a two-step review process. First, it is assessed by two admissions officers, one of whom considers the applicant’s profile within the context of their high school and region. These officers submit their recommendations, and the most competitive applicants proceed to a faculty review.

Caltech distinguishes itself by involving faculty members deeply in the admissions process, ensuring that academic rigor and excellence are at the forefront of their considerations.

The final stage of how to get into Caltech involves a Committee, where the regional counselor summarizes all recommendations and presents the applicant to the entire admissions committee, which comprises admissions officers and members of the first-year faculty admissions committee.

In conclusion, gaining admission to Caltech is a remarkable achievement due to its exceptional selectivity. As the institution continues to receive an increasing number of applications, the downward trend in Caltech acceptance rates persists. However, the students who do secure a spot at Caltech become part of an elite community of scholars and researchers, contributing to the institution’s legacy of groundbreaking discoveries and innovation.

Caltech Application Requirements

When applying to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), it’s important to know what’s expected in your application. We’ll break down the essential elements you need to include to ensure your Caltech application requirements are complete and ready for review.

1. Application Platform

Caltech offers two options for applying – the Common Application and the QuestBridge Application. Caltech doesn’t have a preference between them, and both are valid ways to apply.

2. Application Fee or Fee Waiver

There’s a $75 application fee, but if this cost is a concern, Caltech provides fee waivers for eligible students.

3. Key Documents

You’ll need to include several crucial documents in your application:

  • School Report: Your high school counselor will send this document to Caltech. It provides important information about your school and includes a letter of recommendation from your counselor.
  • Teacher Evaluations: You’ll need to ask your teachers for evaluations as part of your application. These evaluations help Caltech understand your academic abilities and character.
  • Official Transcripts: Caltech requires official transcripts from your secondary school, covering grades 9-11 (or an equivalent if you’re from an international curriculum). If you’ve taken college classes during high school, provide your college transcript as well. These transcripts must be submitted by a school official. You’ll also need to send a Mid-Year Report when your first-term senior grades are available.

International Applicants

If you’re an international applicant, there are some specific requirements:

  • English Proficiency Exam Scores: If English isn’t your native language or the primary language of instruction at your secondary school, you’ll need to provide English Proficiency Exam scores. Caltech accepts the Duolingo English Test (DET), IELTS, or the TOEFL. Make sure to get these scores before the application deadline.
  • International Financial Aid Statement of Intent: When you apply, you must confirm that you understand Caltech’s financial aid policy and express your financial aid intent. Keep in mind that Caltech considers financial need for international applicants due to limited funds.
  • Translation of Documents: If any of your application materials were originally in a language other than English, you must provide both the original document and an English translation.

Supplemental Materials

Caltech welcomes extra materials that can help the admissions committee get to know you better. These might include a research paper, maker portfolio, visual art, or a description of an internship. You’ll receive instructions for submitting these through the Caltech application portal, Beaver Breakroom, after the application deadline.

If you submit a research paper, you’ll need an additional recommendation from someone who can speak to your research experience. This letter can come from a supervisor, mentor, collaborator, or administrator.

Academic Requirements

In addition to these requirements, Caltech places a strong emphasis on academic readiness for its core curriculum. To prepare for Caltech’s core, students should engage in advanced and rigorous coursework in high school, including the following subjects:

  • Math (4 years, including 1 year of calculus)
  • Physics (1 year)
  • Chemistry (1 year)
  • Biology (1 year – recommended)
  • English (4 years)
  • History and/or social sciences courses (2 to 3+ years)

Caltech understands that students may face challenges in fulfilling specific course requirements due to various reasons. In such cases, alternative options for demonstrating knowledge in calculus, chemistry, and physics through examinations and certifications are accepted. These include achieving high scores on AP exams, IB examinations, or certifications from Schoolhouse.world.

Understanding Caltech’s application requirements is vital as your application to this prestigious institution. Follow these guidelines to ensure your application is complete and stands out during the review process. Remember, each element of your application plays a crucial role in showcasing your potential.

Caltech Application Deadlines

Starting in the Fall 2022, Caltech has introduced two decision plans to cater to applicants’ preferences: Restrictive Early Action (REA) and Regular Decision.

Restrictive Early Action

  • Application Deadline: November 1, 2023
  • Decision Notifications: Mid-December 2023
  • Admit Reply Deadline: May 1, 2024
  • Financial Aid Application Deadline: December 11, 2023

For those keen on the Restrictive Early Action plan, the application deadline falls on November. This option is ideal for students who have a strong commitment to Caltech as their top choice and want an early response. It’s important to note that REA is non-binding, allowing admitted students the freedom to compare financial aid options and explore other institutions during the Regular Decision process.

In the case of REA, students must be prepared to submit their most competitive application by the November 1 deadline. This includes all required materials, such as letters of recommendation and necessary coursework for admission.

The three possible outcomes for REA applicants notified in mid-December are as follows: admit, defer to Regular Decision, or deny. Deferment to Regular Decision is a strategic choice for students Caltech is particularly interested in learning more about.

Regular Decision

  • Application Deadline: January 3, 2024
  • Decision Notifications: Mid-March 2024
  • Admit Reply Deadline: May 1, 2024
  • Financial Aid Application Deadline: March 16, 2024

For Regular Decision applicants, the deadline falls on January of the next year. This is the most common admissions process at Caltech, and the majority of admitted students typically apply in this round. By mid-March, Regular Decision applicants anticipate their admissions decisions—either admit, waitlist, or deny. 

Waitlisted students will have until mid-April to opt in for reconsideration if space becomes available in the class. It’s essential to remember that all denied decisions are final, but students are welcome to reapply for the following fall entry term if they wish. Caltech does not use a ranking system for the waitlist, and waitlist activity typically concludes by mid-July.

Understanding the Caltech application deadlines and decision options is crucial for prospective applicants to plan their college application process effectively and make the most informed choices.

Caltech Tuition for 2023-2024

When planning for higher education, understanding the cost of tuition and associated expenses is crucial. This consideration is especially important when looking at institutions like Caltech, where the competitive Caltech acceptance rate reflects not only the academic rigor but also the significant investment in a quality education.

Let’s break down the Caltech tuition for 2023-2024, along with various expenses students may encounter.

Category Living On Campus Living Off Campus Living with Parents
Tuition $60,816 $60,816 $60,816
Fees 2,439 2,439 2,439
Housing/Room 11,247 12,960 N/A
Food/Meals 8,256 6,471 N/A
Books and Supplies 1,428 1,428 1,428
Living Expenses N/A N/A 10,125
Estimated Personal Expenses 2,700 4,428 3,609
Estimated Transportation (local) 0 1,764 1,611
Total Estimated Cost of Attendance $86,886 $90,306 $80,028

It’s important to note that these costs do not include the Caltech Student Health Insurance Plan, which is priced at $4,998 for the 2023-24 school year ($1,666 per Insurance Term). While purchasing this plan is not mandatory, students must have coverage through a comparable plan.

These figures provide an overview of the estimated costs, and actual expenses may vary based on individual circumstances and choices. Additionally, financial aid options, including grants and scholarships, can significantly help students offset these costs.

Understanding the cost of attending Caltech is a crucial step in the college application process. It allows prospective students and their families to make informed decisions and explore available financial aid opportunities. Caltech is committed to providing access to its exceptional education, ensuring that the cost of tuition does not deter talented individuals from pursuing their academic dreams.

Caltech Scholarships

When prospective students consider California Institute of Technology (Caltech), understanding the avenues for funding their education becomes crucial. Caltech is dedicated to ensuring that financial constraints don’t hinder your pursuit of knowledge.

Caltech holds a steadfast commitment to addressing the financial needs of its students, with 51% of them receiving financial aid for the Class of 2027. The institution guarantees to cover 100% of the demonstrated financial need through a combination of grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and loans. 

Notably, Caltech’s admission process is need-blind for domestic students, including undocumented and DACA students who have graduated from U.S. high schools. This means that Caltech assesses applications without taking into account the applicant’s financial background, ensuring that all eligible students have equal opportunities.

Caltech operates on a need-based scholarship model, ensuring that financial assistance is allocated based on students’ demonstrated financial need rather than solely on academic merit. Students who complete the financial aid application are automatically considered for scholarships and grants, which may originate from Caltech’s own funds or federal sources.

Types of Scholarships

1. Caltech Scholarships

Caltech Scholarships constitute a substantial component of the financial aid package offered to students. These scholarships are funded by Caltech and are designed to alleviate the financial burden of attending the institution. 

The amount of Caltech Scholarships you receive is not fixed; it is determined by your level of demonstrated financial need. Importantly, these scholarships can be renewed each year, although the exact amount may vary depending on your family’s financial circumstances.

2. Named Scholarships

Caltech benefits from the generosity of individuals who provide financial support to students, often leading to the establishment of named scholarships. While the majority of these scholarships are also need-based, some incorporate a merit component. If you meet the eligibility criteria and demonstrate sufficient financial need, you will be automatically considered for named scholarships.

If you are awarded a named scholarship, it will replace a portion of your Caltech Scholarships, thereby reducing your financial responsibility. In certain cases, you may be requested to express your gratitude by writing a thank-you letter to the donor. Many of these donors maintain a deep connection with Caltech and greatly appreciate hearing about the experiences of current students.

In conclusion, Caltech remains unwavering in its commitment to making higher education accessible. As you contemplate joining the Caltech community, rest assured that multiple avenues exist to ease the financial burden, allowing you to concentrate on your academic journey and the exceptional experiences that await.

Best Majors at Caltech

With its strong focus on academic excellence and advancing knowledge, Caltech offers a range of outstanding majors that stand out in the academic world. This commitment to high-quality education is a contributing factor to the low Caltech acceptance rate, as the institute consistently attracts and selects only the most dedicated and capable students.

Among the best majors at Caltech, Computer Science remains on top. This program strikes a balance between theoretical foundations and practical applications. Caltech’s commitment to research and innovation in computer science is evident through its cutting-edge projects and collaborations with leading tech companies.

Caltech’s expertise in engineering is widely acknowledged and is ranked 5th in the Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs according to U.S. News & World Report’s recent ranking. With an emphasis on interdisciplinary learning and access to world-class faculty and facilities, students in this program are well-prepared to tackle real-world engineering challenges.

Caltech’s engineering majors, including Mechanical, Bioengineering and Biomedical, Electrical, and Chemical Engineering, also enjoy a prominent position in the academic world.

Another standout major at Caltech is its Physics program. This program has a long history of conducting groundbreaking research and offers students the unique opportunity to learn from Nobel laureates and pioneers in various physics subfields. The program’s emphasis on hands-on experimentation provides students with incredible opportunities to explore the mysteries of the universe.

For those with a passion for the life sciences, Caltech’s Biology program offers an outstanding learning environment. With a faculty at the forefront of biological research, students engage in groundbreaking projects that advance our understanding of life’s complexities. The program’s integration of biology with other scientific fields promotes a well-rounded approach to life sciences.

Caltech’s best majors not only offer academic rigor but also cultivate a culture of collaboration, innovation, and exploration, preparing students to make significant contributions to their fields and society as a whole.

Student Life at Caltech

While Caltech is known for its rigorous admissions process and competitive acceptance rate, the student life on campus presents a stark contrast. Beyond the academic challenges, Caltech offers a vibrant and engaging student life, rich with traditions and unique experiences. This lively and dynamic aspect of Caltech ensures that students not only excel academically but also enjoy a fulfilling and well-rounded college experience.

The institution guarantees housing for students and requires them to live on campus for the first two years, fostering a strong sense of community. There are 11 residence halls on campus, offering various living arrangements, from singles to suite-style living. 

In these halls, students from diverse backgrounds and class years live together, creating a supportive and inclusive environment. Each residence hall has dedicated support systems, including health advocates, peer advisors, and advocates, ensuring that students have access to assistance when needed.

One of the standout features of student life at Caltech is the strong emphasis on traditions. These traditions are deeply rooted in the institution’s identity and culture, offering students unique opportunities for exploration and collaboration. 

For instance, Pi Day, celebrated on March 14th (3/14), involves a pie-eating celebration at precisely 1:59 a.m., featuring 26 different types of pies. The Pumpkin Drop, a Halloween tradition, sees liquid-nitrogen-frozen pumpkins dropped from a nine-story height, creating a spectacular display.

Ditch Day, a century-old tradition, has evolved into a day filled with themed puzzles and challenges that require students’ intelligence and teamwork. The Caltech Space Challenge is another exciting event where students design entire space missions within a week. These traditions exemplify Caltech’s commitment to fostering creativity and problem-solving skills.

Moreover, Caltech’s ME72 Engineering Design Laboratory offers a unique learning experience. Students design and build rugged robots, which then compete in a battle royale-style final exam. The challenges in this course encourage hands-on learning and innovative thinking.

Caltech’s house system adds another layer of uniqueness to student life. Students can choose to join one of the eight undergraduate houses, each with its own customs and traditions. These houses host family-style dinners, interhouse parties, and even create impressive engineering feats for events.

Pranks are also a common practice at Caltech, often involving friendly rivalries between student houses. These lighthearted antics contribute to the vibrant and close-knit community on campus.

In summary, Caltech’s student life is filled with diverse experiences, from engaging traditions to hands-on learning opportunities. The institution’s commitment to fostering a supportive and inclusive environment makes it an exciting place for students to learn, grow, and innovate.

Academics at Caltech

Caltech stands out for its rigorous academic programs and extensive research opportunities. With more than 1,000 undergraduate students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 3:1, Caltech provides an intimate learning environment where students receive personalized attention. 

Students can choose from 28 majors across six academic divisions, emphasizing not only expertise in a core area of study but also a broad exposure to basic sciences, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. This interdisciplinary approach prepares students for the complexities of contemporary research, business, and society, fostering the ability to connect across disciplines.

Caltech is also celebrated for its groundbreaking research and scientific contributions. The institution boasts over 50 research centers and institutes on campus, including five NASA facilities, providing students with ample opportunities for hands-on research.

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program, in collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, allows students to engage in research mentored by experienced professionals, immersing them in real-world scientific projects.

Caltech also encourages international exposure through exchange programs. The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships Exchange Programs broaden students’ horizons by allowing them to live in different cultures and conduct research in diverse academic environments.

Additionally, Caltech students have the opportunity to study abroad in locations like Cambridge, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, London, Paris, and Melbourne, further enhancing their global perspective.

Academics at Caltech are highlighted by its commitment to academic excellence and research innovation, making it a top choice for students seeking a challenging and rewarding educational experience.

Extracurriculars at Caltech

At Caltech, the commitment to fostering a holistic learning environment extends beyond the classroom. One unique aspect of student life at Caltech is the daily schedule. Between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., there are no scheduled classes, creating a perfect window of opportunity for students to engage in extracurricular pursuits.

Whether it’s practicing for one of Caltech’s 16 NCAA Division III athletic teams, attending a club meeting, participating in an activity, or rehearsing for a music or theater performance, students have ample time to explore their interests and passions outside of academics.

For those looking to delve into the world of clubs and organizations, Caltech boasts over 100 official student-led clubs, catering to a wide range of interests and activities. Here are just a few examples:

Academic Clubs

  • Caltech Debate Society
  • Caltech Math Meet
  • Caltech Quizbowl
  • Undergraduate Computer Science (UGCS)
  • Caltech Amateur Astronomy Club

Performing Arts

  • Caltech Dance Club
  • Ballet Club
  • Caltech Glee Club
  • Caltech Film, Art, Comedy & Theatre (FACT) Club
  • Asian Music Band

Cultural Organizations

  • Vietnamese Student Association
  • Hellenic Students’ Association (HSA) of Caltech
  • Caltech Black Student Union
  • Caltech Hispanic and Latino Association (CHLA)
  • Caltech Turkish Student Association


Approximately 80% of undergraduates at Caltech engage in organized athletics, ranging from intramural sports to varsity teams. Moreover, around 25% of students participate in NCAA III sports, proudly representing the Caltech Beavers in baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer, tennis, and other sports. 

The athletics department provides state-of-the-art facilities, including athletic centers, fields, tennis courts, and pools, ensuring that students have the resources they need to stay active and healthy.

Greek Life

It’s important to note that Caltech doesn’t have traditional Greek life in the way many universities do. Instead, Caltech has its unique housing system, which sets it apart from the typical college experience.

Extracurriculars at Caltech are not just a pastime; they are an integral part of the student experience, promoting personal growth, teamwork, leadership, and a sense of community. Whether you’re passionate about academics, the performing arts, cultural exploration, or athletics, Caltech offers a diverse array of opportunities to pursue your interests and make the most of your college journey.

Student Wellness at Caltech

Student wellness at Caltech is a top priority, and the institution offers a range of support and wellness services designed to ensure the well-being of its students. These services are tailored to meet the unique needs of Caltech students, and they cover a wide spectrum of health and wellness areas.

Health Services

Caltech’s Health Services is dedicated to providing high-quality, compassionate, and cost-effective healthcare and health promotion services for all eligible enrolled students. These services are available to students regardless of their enrollment in any insurance plan. From allergy shots to LGBTQIA+ care, Health Services offers a comprehensive range of healthcare services.

Whether students need primary care, laboratory testing, referrals to specialists, or travel consultations, Caltech’s Health Services has them covered. They also provide preventative care, vaccines (including flu shots), and even pharmacy prescriptions and medications.

Counseling Services

Caltech understands the importance of mental health and its impact on academic success and overall well-being. Counseling Services at Caltech is dedicated to supporting and promoting the mental health of students. They offer individual therapy sessions to provide personalized support.

Group therapy and workshops are also available, providing students with opportunities to connect with their peers and learn valuable coping strategies. Additionally, students can seek consultation services to address their unique needs.

a student on a counseling session

Occupational Therapy Services

Caltech’s Occupational Therapy Services focus on enhancing students’ daily routines and habits to improve their overall well-being. Through individual meetings, students can explore their concerns and goals while identifying strategies for reaching those goals. Follow-up visits ensure that students continue to receive the support they need.

Workshops are another valuable resource, offering insights and strategies on topics such as time management, sleep improvement, and financial literacy.

Caltech’s commitment to student wellness extends beyond academics, providing a holistic support system to ensure that students thrive both inside and outside the classroom. With these comprehensive wellness services in place, students can confidently pursue their academic and personal goals while knowing that their well-being is a top priority.

Caltech Notable Alumni

Caltech’s history of producing successful and influential alumni in various fields highlights the quality of its education. Its alumni network includes leaders in science, technology, and business, showing the impact of a Caltech degree. This track record of excellence contributes to the low Caltech acceptance rate, as the school looks for students who are likely to continue this legacy of success.

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the Caltech notable alumni, categorized across their respective fields:

Science and Research

  • Linus Pauling: A graduate in mathematical physics and physical chemistry, Pauling was an esteemed chemist and biochemist. His scientific prowess earned him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1954) and the Nobel Peace Prize (1962), making him one of the few to win Nobel Prizes in different fields.
  • Ahmed Zewail: An Egyptian-American chemist, Zewail was a pioneer in femtochemistry. He was awarded the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, becoming the first Egyptian scientific Nobel laureate.
  • Thomas Hunt Morgan: Renowned for his work in genetics, Morgan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1933 for his groundbreaking discoveries on the role of chromosomes in heredity.

Technology and Engineering

  • Kip S. Thorne: An astrophysicist and Nobel laureate in Physics (2017), Thorne is celebrated for his contributions to gravitational physics and astrophysics, particularly in the study of gravitational waves.
  • Benoit Mandelbrot: A Polish-born French-American mathematician, Mandelbrot made significant contributions to fractal geometry, coining the term “fractal” and pioneering a theory of roughness in nature.
  • Frank Borman: A retired United States Air Force colonel, aeronautical engineer, NASA astronaut, and businessman. He commanded Apollo 8, the first mission to fly around the Moon, and is one of the first 24 humans to do so. Borman was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

Business and Finance

  • Howard Hughes: An illustrious aerospace engineer, film producer, and philanthropist, was one of the richest people of his time. Hughes left a lasting legacy in both the aviation and entertainment industries
  • Charlie Munger: Munger has made a name for himself in business and investment as the vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. He currently serves as chairman of the Daily Journal Corporation and a director at Costco Wholesale Corporation.
  • Gordon E. Moore: Co-founder of Intel Corporation and originator of “Moore’s Law,” Moore’s vision and contributions have been pivotal in the exponential growth and advancement of computing technology.

Arts and Literature

  • Frank Capra: An iconic film director and producer, Capra’s work in the Golden Age of Hollywood earned him three Academy Awards and a legacy as one of America’s most influential filmmakers.
  • David Brin: A renowned science fiction author, Brin’s works, such as “The Postman” and the “Uplift” series, have received multiple Hugo and Nebula awards, blending scientific rigor with creative storytelling.
  • Harry Turtledove: An expert in Byzantine history, Turtledove is acclaimed for his historical fiction and science fiction novels, such as “How Few Remain” and the “Opening of the World” series.

These are just a few examples of the remarkable individuals who have graduated from Caltech and gone on to make a lasting impact on their respective fields. Caltech’s commitment to academic excellence and innovation continues to produce influential alumni who shape the world through their contributions to science, technology, business, and the arts.

Science technology concept. Studying asian girl

The Caltech acceptance rate underscores the institute’s highly selective and competitive nature. Prospective students should be aware that gaining admission into Caltech requires not only exceptional academic achievements but also a strong display of potential for innovation and research.

As you prepare for your application, it’s crucial to thoroughly research and understand the unique aspects of Caltech’s programs and culture. A well-prepared application showcases your passion for science and technology, along with your extracurricular pursuits and personal achievements.

In this competitive environment, AdmissionSight offers crucial support. Our team’s expertise in the college admissions process can help fine-tune your application, ensuring it aligns with Caltech’s high standards and showcases your unique strengths.

With AdmissionSight’s guidance, you can navigate the application process more confidently, enhancing your chances of gaining admission to this esteemed institution.


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