Caltech Graduate School

September 19, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Caltech Graduate School

The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is a private research institution that was founded in 1891. Since its inception, Caltech has been able to solidify its position as one of the most prestigious technological universities in the entire globe. In the fields of engineering and natural sciences, it is a force to be reckoned with, and it is consistently listed among the top 10 universities in the entire globe.

There are 73 Nobel Prize winners among the faculty, graduates, and researchers affiliated with this university. In the QS World University Rankings 2021, the California Institute of Technology came in position number four.

The professor, research and administrative staff, as well as the student body of Caltech, is comprised of some of the most brilliant and creative minds in the world because of the school’s reputation.

Two students using a laptop.

The academic programs offered by the Caltech Graduate School place an emphasis on PhD studies and are predominately focused on the scientific, technological, engineering, and mathematical domains.

The mission of the Caltech Graduate School is to cultivate an atmosphere that values many points of view by recruiting great people who come from a diverse range of backgrounds and have had a variety of life experiences.

As a result, the graduate program thrives on great people who come from a varied spectrum of backgrounds and experiences. The Caltech Graduate School encourages members of underserved and underrepresented populations in STEM fields to apply to the program.

In most cases, the application period for admission runs from November 15th to January 1st of the following year, with enrollment beginning the following fall semester. However, there may be exceptions to this rule.

It is strongly recommended that applicants send in their applications as soon as they can, and it is the responsibility of the applicants to ensure that all supporting documents are sent in by the date that has been announced.

The admissions committees at each institution examine each application in its entirety before making a decision. In the process of selecting applicants, we do not need a certain minimum grade point average or utilize any other kind of quantitative criteria.

All of the applicant’s credentials, including their personal statement, transcripts, and letters of recommendation, are taken into account.

How to get into Caltech Graduate School?

How to get into Caltech Graduate School? Before beginning their studies at the graduate level, applicants are required to have earned a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. Applicants who already have a doctorate will be disqualified from further consideration for a second doctorate degree.

A transcript from each college or university that the applicant has attended, three letters of recommendation, a curriculum vitae (CV), and a statement of purpose written by the applicant are all required components of the application and are given careful and equal consideration during the evaluation process.

The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), both the general test and the advanced subject test, are not required for admission, and scores from these exams will not be evaluated in most cases. All applicants are expected to be fluent in reading, writing, speaking, and understanding the English language.

It is crucial for applicants whose native language is not English or who have not gotten a degree from a university or college where English is the predominant language of instruction to demonstrate a high competency in English, even though this is not a requirement for admission.

Self-reporting of scores from the Educational Testing Service’s Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic), the Cambridge Examinations and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or any other services that provide a certified English-language proficiency examination are all viable options for accomplishing this goal.

In addition to its Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees, Caltech also provides a limited number of Bachelor of Engineering and non-degree programs.

Master of Science

The Master of Science degree is a professional degree that can prepare a student for teaching, additional graduate study, or more advanced work in the industry. This degree can be earned in one to two years.

The prerequisites for the Master of Science degree can often be satisfied in a single calendar year of study under typical conditions. Some programs do not offer direct admission for the Master of Science degree; nonetheless, the Master of Science degree may be awarded as part of the Ph.D. program or as a terminal degree in certain circumstances.

Engineer’s Degree

There is a narrow scope for the application of engineering degrees. The work that is done to earn a degree in engineering needs to consist of advanced studies and research on the topic that is relevant to the degree that is wanted.

Doctor of Philosophy

Systematic studies of an advanced kind, primarily in science or engineering, are required to make up the bulk of a Ph.D. program, together with research and the creation of a thesis that describes that study. Students who already have a Ph.D. from another university will not be permitted to continue their education at Caltech in the graduate program to obtain a second Ph.D. degree.

It is not possible for the Institute to confer two Ph.D. degrees on the same student. The completion of at least twelve terms, which is equivalent to three academic years, is necessary for the Ph.D. degree.

Part-Time Degree Programs

Graduate students who are unable to devote themselves to their studies full-time may be eligible to pursue their studies at the graduate level on a part-time basis if it is recommended by the academic option.

In most cases, part-time students are not permitted to register for classes unless they have made prior arrangements with a sponsoring organization. In these cases, the students must abide by the following regulations:

  • Individuals interested in enrolling in the program on a part-time basis are required to submit a standard application form along with a comprehensive study schedule.
  • Any research effort that is completed to earn academic credit must be overseen by a professorial faculty member of Caltech.
  • In general, students who are admitted to the part-time program are needed to enroll in a minimum of 27 units for a maximum of eight terms to fulfill the requirements of the program.

Caltech Graduate School Requirements

What are the needed Caltech Graduate School requirements for admission? The application and any supporting documentation must be uploaded to the website within the allotted time before the deadline is considered complete.

You will not be able to make any changes to the accompanying documents once the application has been submitted; thus, please check over your materials carefully one more time before sending them in.

Students lounging in the school grounds.

You are required to do the following to successfully finish the online application process:

Statement of Purpose

You are to provide a brief paragraph outlining your scientific interests as well as your professional goals and aspirations. Include a description of your past achievements that are not obvious from an assessment of the other documents that have been supplied.

If there is any research currently being conducted, please report on it. The applicant is responsible for writing the statement, and it must be done so in English. It is not allowed for the document to be created in another language and then translated into the applicant’s native tongue by a third party.

Recommendation Letters

Every applicant is required to provide three letters of recommendation written by people who are familiar with the applicant’s academic and/or professional performance.

The Caltech Graduate School strongly recommends that you make use of the capabilities provided by the system to register your reference writer and adhere to the guidelines provided online.

College students gathered around a table while talking.

After you have registered your reference writer, an email containing instructions on how to upload a letter on your behalf will be sent immediately to that person’s email address. Applicants can see the online checklist to see which letters have been received.

In your letters of recommendation, make sure to address the following information:

  • How well known is the candidate, and in what capacity is their reputation established?
  • Does the candidate possess the intellectual capacity, experimental skill, foundational training, creative potential, and motivation necessary to be successful as a student at Caltech?
  • If the applicant were accepted, would they be encouraged to participate in doctorate research under the direction of the recommender?
  • If English is not the applicant’s first language, what is their level of proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking the language?
  • How does the applicant stack up in comparison to any of the other students who have completed their graduate study at Caltech in the past?


It is necessary to provide transcripts from any and all schools and universities that were attended. You can have your transcripts sent directly to you from the Registrar of the school that you attended, or you can have them issued directly to you, in which case they should be clearly marked as such.

Either type of transcript is acceptable, and it can be submitted online by following the electronic submission process. If you attended Caltech as an undergraduate student, you are required to submit a request to the Office of the Registrar for an official transcript. There is no way for the Caltech Graduate School to acquire one on your behalf.

You are also required to provide an explanation of any grading methods that are not standard. All international transcripts or records of courses, seminars, and tests, including grades, scores, grading systems, and conferrals of degrees, must be written in English.

This applies to both international and domestic students. It is required that all translations be fully comprehensive renditions of the source records. Before applying to the graduate program at the Caltech Graduate School, prospective students are required to present an official transcript that documents the receipt of an undergraduate degree.

Resume or Curriculum Vitae

Note, if applicable, the following information on your curriculum vitae or resume:

  • Prior experience in the educational, professional, and industrial sectors (include military service, but omit summer or part-time work not relevant to your professional goals)
  • Experience with conducting research
  • Notable academic accomplishments, awards, and accolades, as well as membership in scholarly, professional, and honorary societies
  • Activities related to one’s profession
  • Significant extracurricular activities
  • Conference presentations
  • Titles of publications, key papers, or theses that the individual has created or co-authored; if the work has been published, a reference should be included. Do not upload the whole paper because the admissions committee likely will not have the time to read through a huge file if it is uploaded. It is highly recommended that you either mention the publications or provide links, as well as a URL, so that they may be found.

Application Fee

There is a non-refundable application cost of one hundred dollars (USD). There will be a small number of students who are able to establish that they are in need of financial assistance, or who are linked with organizations that have made special arrangements with our office, who will be eligible to get fee waivers.

Please note that in order to make a request for a fee waiver, you will need to fill out the online fee waiver form that is contained inside the graduate application and then submit it using the online admissions system.

What is a Good GRE Score?

What is a Good GRE Score? The fact that standardized examinations can have a substantial influence on your life can make taking them a stressful experience. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is essential since it helps determine which graduate programs you may be accepted into. Although, The Graduate Record Examinations (both the general exam and the advanced subject test) are not necessary for admission into the Caltech Graduate School, nor are they required for entry into the majority of other schools.

Students answering a test in a room

Students will not be penalized in any way if they choose not to include test scores as part of their application, despite the fact that several departments offer applicants the opportunity to submit their own self-reported scores. However, If you don’t do well on the GRE, you might have to settle for a program that you’re not as enthusiastic about as an alternative if you want to get into the school that you want to attend.

Most standardized examinations, including the GRE, do not employ the letter grading scale or the scale ranging from 0% to 100% which is common practice among students. Because of this, it may be difficult to determine whether or not your score is satisfactory.

Because of the odd nature of the grading structure, it can be difficult to determine what constitutes a decent score on the GRE. On a standard exam, a score of 130, along with any additional credit earned, would be considered excellent performance. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) has a minimum score requirement of 130.

You are in luck because ETS occasionally publishes data that includes average test scores in addition to scoring percentiles, both of which you can use to evaluate how well you have performed.

The GRE was taken by approximately 1.64 million persons between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2019, inclusive. The following is the typical score on the GRE:

  • The score for verbal reasoning was 150.37.
  • The numerical reasoning score is 153.39.
  • Critical Thinking in Writing: 3.58

If you achieve a score that is higher than these values, you can have a degree of confidence in the fact that you have outperformed the average score on the GRE.

However, if you have your sights set on enrolling in a prestigious graduate school, you could get the impression that you need to do more than just outperform the other applicants.

Researching the programs that interest you will give you an idea of the goal GRE score that you should strive to get. Many educational institutions provide information about the average GRE score of their incoming class on their websites. Although receiving a score that is higher than the program’s average will not ensure that you will be accepted into the program of your choice, it certainly won’t hinder your chances either.

What is the minimum GPA?

What is the minimum GPA to be considered at Caltech Graduate School? Caltech does not have a minimum GPA requirement. On the other hand, the majority of successful applicants have a grade point average in the United States that is at least 3.5 on a scale of 4.0 and/or rank in the top 5 to 10% of their class.

During your time at Caltech Graduate School, if you are involved in scholarly research, you will want to compile proof of that research. This evidence could take the form of publications, presentations, or research collaborations. In addition to your grade point average, they will be of utmost significance if you intend to pursue a career in academia by applying for a professorship.

GPAs are considered by certain businesses to be indicators of employee performance and potential in some cases. Are you unsure whether or not it should be included in an application? If they specifically ask for it, you should include it.

If this is not the case, speak to a contact at the organization or a professor who has knowledge in the sector to determine whether or not it is anticipated. It is important to keep in mind that grade point averages should only be provided for schools that are located within the United States.

It is not appropriate to use the typical grade point average in the United States for converting international GPAs or rankings.

Want to learn more about getting into Caltech Graduate School? You’ve come to the right place. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process, including our athletic recruitment program.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.