Caltech Grading Scale: How it Works and What You Need to Know

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

One of the walkways in Caltech campus

Caltech Grading Scale: How it Works and What You Need to Know

What is the Caltech grading scale?

What exactly is the grading system used at Caltech? The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) utilizes a grading scale that ranges from A to F, with plus (+) and minus (-) scores for A through C grades.

The following table shows how the letter grades correspond to the grade point values:




















In addition, certain classes at Caltech are graded using the  P/NR grading system. In this system, a “P” represents a passing grade, and an “NR” signifies that there is no record of a grade.

This method is generally applied to classes that are taken on a pass/fail basis as well as specific classes that are not graded.  The P/NR system does not factor into a student’s grade point average.

How does Caltech’s grading scale work?

How exactly does the grading system at Caltech work? Evaluation of student work and computation of grade point averages at Caltech are accomplished with the Caltech grading scale.

To get a student’s grade point average (GPA), first, multiply the grade point value of each course by the number of units for that course, then add up the total grade points, and finally, divide the sum by the total number of units that were attempted.

Three students using a laptop in a table.

For instance, if a student completes a 4-unit class and receives an A, they will be awarded 4 times 4.0, which equals 16 grade points for that class.

Employers, graduate schools, and other types of institutions frequently look at a student’s grade point average when deciding whether or not to admit them. This is because the GPA is a measurement of academic success.

At Caltech, students must maintain a grade point average of at least 2.0 in order to graduate; however, several programs and grants have higher GPA requirements.

The members of the Caltech faculty are the ones in charge of assigning grades to students based on their performance in the course, which may include a variety of different assessments like exams, assignments, and so on.

After each semester, the students are required to provide their grade reports to the office of the registrar, where they are then entered onto the student’s transcript.

With the student portal at Caltech, students mcanlso view an online version of their grade report.

What is the importance of academic excellence at Caltech?

Why is it so important for students at Caltech to achieve academic excellence? At Caltech, academic success is crucial for a number of different reasons, including the following:


The successes of both the teaching staff and the students at Caltech have contributed to the institute’s standing as one of the world’s premier research institutions.

The greatest and brightest students, faculty, and research partners can continue to be drawn to Caltech as long as the institute upholds its reputation for academic excellence and maintains its high standards.


A number of the significant advancements and discoveries that have originated from Caltech are the direct outcome of the institute’s dedication to achieving academic excellence.

Caltech contributes to the development of science and engineering by expanding the frontiers of what is currently known and creating new bodies of knowledge and technological advancements.

Career Opportunities

Opportunities for future work can be found in the fact that graduates of Caltech are in great demand by both employers and graduate schools thanks to the academic success they have achieved and the research experience they have gained.

Group of students signing up for internship.

Excellence in one’s studies at Caltech can pave the way to a number of other career paths in academia, industry, and even the public sector.

Personal Growth

Seeking academic greatness may be personally fulfilling for students because it enables them to build their critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills, all of which are important for professional and personal success.

Students who have a strong interest in the subject matter they are studying often find that this leads to a sense of personal fulfillment and contentment.

In general, academic performance is crucial to sustaining Caltech’s status as a leader in the instruction and research of science and engineering; it is also essential to preparing students for successful jobs and learning that will continue throughout their lives.

How to succeed at Caltech?

What is the key to academic achievement at Caltech? To be successful at Caltech, you need to be willing to put in a lot of effort, be dedicated, and not be afraid of taking on difficult tasks.

The following are some tips that will assist you in being successful at Caltech:

Establish productive study routines

Given the difficulty level of the coursework at Caltech, it is critical to establish productive study routines as early as possible. Set aside specific time to study, be sure you attend classes and office hours, and consistently put in the effort to complete tasks.

Multiracial students sitting on a bench.

Seek out research opportunities

You should look for opportunities to participate in research because Caltech is famous for its research programs.

Participating in research can help you improve your talents and interests while also providing you with valuable experience. Speak to your instructors, participate in research groups, and take advantage of research opportunities.

Take advantage of resources

Make use of the resources that are available to you. Caltech provides a wide range of resources to assist students in achieving their goals, including academic advising, tutoring programs, and career counseling.

Get involved in extracurricular activities

Participate in one of the many extracurricular activities that are available at Caltech. These activities vary from athletics to clubs to opportunities to serve in the community.

Participating in activities that interest you can introduce you to new people, help you learn new skills, and put you in touch with a feeling of community.

Prioritize your mental and physical health

It is crucial to put your mental and physical health first if you want to be successful at Caltech, which may be a stressful environment.

Make time in your schedule for activities of self-care, such as exercising, meditating, or engaging in hobbies, and don’t be embarrassed to seek out services related to mental health if you feel the need to.

Set realistic goals

Make sure that the goals you establish for yourself are reasonable. Do not attempt to tackle everything at once; rather, zero in on a few important areas in which you wish to demonstrate your expertise. Honor your accomplishments along the way, and don’t be hesitant to ask for assistance when you find yourself in a bind.

In conclusion, the Caltech grading scale plays a significant part in evaluating student performance as well as sustaining the high standards of academic achievement that are required by the institution.

Moreover, the admissions process at Caltech takes into account a variety of elements in addition to standardized test scores, letters of reference, and extracurricular activities.

Caltech attracts and supports the brightest students from across the world and prepare them for successful careers in science, engineering, and other fields because it maintains a grading scale that is rigorous and clear.

Aspiring Caltech students should be aware of the university’s stringent academic requirements and prepare accordingly, striving for academic success in order to maximize their chances of admission to this prestigious institution.

In this regard, AdmissionSight has you covered. We have over a decade of expertise guiding students through the admissions process of top universities. Get in touch with us so we can set up your initial appointment.




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