Fun Facts About Caltech

December 13, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Fun Facts About Caltech

Caltech at a glance

A quick look at information regarding Caltech can be helpful for people learning about this school. With all of its information, it is no surprise that there are a lot of fun facts about Caltech that one can learn. The California Institute of Technology is a non-public educational establishment that was established in the year 1891. It is located in a suburban area, and the total land area of the campus is 124 acres. The academic year is divided into four equal parts, known as quarters.

The institution known as Caltech is located in Pasadena, California, approximately 18 kilometers (11 miles) northeast of the city of Los Angeles. The 11 student residences and houses at Caltech are the school’s social and academic life hubs. One of the most cherished traditions at Caltech is that student waiters serve as dinner hosts in the student houses. Housing is guaranteed for first-year students, and most students live on campus throughout all four years of their education.

Caltech campus

The Honor Code is another one of the fun facts about Caltech that is also an essential component of student life at Caltech. According to the Honor Code, “No member of the Caltech community shall take unfair advantage of any other member of the Caltech community.” In addition to its undergraduate programs, Caltech is home to some of the most prestigious graduate schools for engineering and various scientific disciplines, such as biology, chemistry, computer science, earth sciences, mathematics, and physics.

Like Caltech, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is consistently regarded as one of the world’s preeminent institutions of higher education in science and technology. Alumni of Caltech have started numerous successful businesses, including Intel, Compaq, and Hotmail.

Caltech in numbers

In terms of numbers, Caltech has a lot of information to unpack. The California Institute of Technology has the world’s most competitive admissions process, with only a 4% acceptance rate. At the California Institute of Technology, the student-to-faculty ratio is 3 to 1, and the school has 71% of its classes with fewer than 20 students.

At the California Institute of Technology, some of the majors that are particularly well-liked by students are as follows: engineering; computer and information sciences and support services; physical sciences; mathematics and statistics; biological and biomedical sciences; and social sciences. The retention rate for freshmen, which is an indicator of how satisfied students are, is 97% on average.

The California Institute of Technology has a total undergraduate enrollment of 987 students (fall 2021), with 55% male students and 45% female students making up the gender distribution of the student body. At this particular institution, 93% of the student body resides in housing that is either owned or operated by the college, and only 7% of the student body resides off campus.

California Institute of Technology front view

The California Institute of Technology, the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $53,656. Fifty-two percent of full-time undergraduate students receive some form of need-based financial aid at MIT, which is distributed through scholarships and grants.

Facts about Caltech

Some Caltech information can be useful for people trying to learn about the university. As such, most students planning to enter Caltech try to find out more about the fun facts about Caltech.

  • It is one of the more notable fun facts about Caltech is about its founders. The astronomer George Ellery Hale, the physicist Robert Andrews Millikan, and the chemist Arthur Amos Noyes were the founding fathers of Caltech. The three were given the nicknames “Tinker, Thinker, and Stinker” respectively.
  • Beginning in 2007, the campus began holding olive harvest festivals in the fall to collect as much as 2,600 pounds of olives from the trees that line the world-famous Olive Walk. The olives produced an amount of oil that ranged from fifty to one hundred and fifty gallons, depending on the year.
  • Every year at midnight on Halloween, students drop pumpkins frozen in liquid nitrogen from the top of Millikan Library to see if they emit a brief glow as they hit the ground and shatter.
  • Millikan Library is one of the buildings shaken the most frequently in the world because seismologists use it to test earthquake detectors and gather other types of data.
  • The people living in Blacker House are called “moles.” What is interesting about one of these fun facts about Caltech is that some people think of an animal. But in reality, it is named after the unit of measurement.
  • In 1923, Robert Andrews Millikan became the first person affiliated with Caltech to be awarded the Nobel Prize.
  • During finals week, the song “Ride of the Valkyries” is played at an extremely loud volume every morning at precisely 7 a.m.
  • The students at Caltech are rumored to have received the world’s largest In-N-Out burger, prepared by the restaurant chain in question.
  • Every year, in order to commemorate the end of Daylight Savings Time, Georgia Tech students compete to complete a “negative-time Tommy’s run.” This involves driving into the city, eating a burger at the original Tommy’s location, and then making it back to campus before they left.
  • The episode of the Emmy-nominated television series The Big Bang Theory that is set at Caltech was taped on campus, and it featured a cameo appearance by the world-famous astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. The Big Bang Theory has been nominated for an Emmy.
  • The campus began holding fall olive harvest festivals in 2007 to collect as much as 2,600 pounds of olives from the trees that line the famous Olive Walk. The olives produced an amount of oil that ranged from fifty to one hundred fifty gallons, depending on the year.
  • The Caltech Y is an independent organization that is formally affiliated with the California Institute of Technology. The beauty of one of these fun facts about Caltech is that, unlike most independent student-controlled organizations, this one is recognized by Caltech.
  • The Caltech Y is a student-run organization established in 1916 by Caltech students with the mission of fostering student development in community service, leadership, activism, and broadening students’ perspectives of the world. Read on for more information here.
  • Ditch Day is one of the oldest traditions at Caltech, during which seniors are required to leave campus for the day (without sharing the date beforehand).
  • Caltech is the most significant employer in the Pasadena area. During this time, they organize scavenger hunts for the underclassmen called “Stacks.” Although it is only a short distance away from Los Angeles, the city has its claims to fame thanks to the fact that it is the location of many different attractions, including the Rose Bowl and the Norton Simon Museum.

Now that you have an idea about Caltech, your college admissions to that university should be next on your mind. To ensure that you get into Caltech, you can get help with AdmissionSight. With ten years of experience with college admission experts, Admissionsight can help you get into Caltech. You can talk to our experts today to get an initial consultation.


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