Where is Caltech Located?

June 23, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Where is Caltech Located?

Where is the Caltech campus?

The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is a renowned science and engineering education and research institution located in Pasadena, California, approximately 18 kilometers northeast of downtown Los Angeles.

Caltech has a high research output and many high-quality facilities, including the NASA-owned Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Caltech Seismological Laboratory, and the International Observatory Network. It is one of a small number of institutes of technology in the United States that focuses primarily on teaching technical arts and applied sciences, and its admissions process ensures that only a small number of the most talented students are admitted.

Amos G. Throop founded the university in 1891 as a preparatory and vocational school with the mission “to expand human knowledge and benefit society through research integrated with education.” It became a major center of scientific research in the United States in the early 20th century and played a crucial role in the war effort of the United States during World War II.

Today, it houses the Einstein Papers Project, which aims to preserve, translate, and publish selected papers from Albert Einstein’s estate. In addition, it has established a center for energy innovation with the goal of discovering revolutionary techniques for producing fuels directly from sunlight.

Students frequently visit Old Town Pasadena and the Pasadena Playhouse District, which are within walking distance of Caltech’s 124-acre campus. There are numerous social activities, clubs, associations, and recreational facilities on campus. The Caltech Beavers (the beaver, nature’s engineer, is the college’s mascot) compete in thirteen intercollegiate sports.

An old building with a fountain near its facade.

Caltech also provides outstanding opportunities for the study and performance of music, theater, and the visual arts, all of which contribute significantly to the Institute’s mission of “educating outstanding students to become creative members of society.” The Athenaeum is a stately building in the heart of the campus where members can hold formal and informal dining events, meetings, rendezvous, and private parties.

The balance between a rigorous academic curriculum and activities that promote personal development at Caltech ensures that students’ time there is both formative and invaluable for their future careers. Caltech is unquestionably one of the best universities in the world, despite lacking the prestige of Ivy League schools or the likes of Oxford and Cambridge. This is reflected in all university rankings, which consistently highlight the school’s academic strengths in technology and engineering.

Is Caltech in California?

Where is Caltech Located? Caltech is a private, coeducational university and research institute in Pasadena, California, United States, with a focus on graduate and undergraduate instruction and research in pure and applied science and engineering.

Fountain near a garden in a school campus.

Six divisions make up the institute: biology; chemistry and chemical engineering; engineering and applied science; geologic and planetary sciences; humanities and social sciences; and physics, mathematics, and astronomy. More than half of the approximately 2,000 students enrolled are graduate students.

What is it like to attend Caltech?

Biology and biological engineering; chemistry and chemical engineering; engineering and applied science; geology and planetary sciences; humanities and social sciences; and physics, mathematics, and astronomy.

The university guarantees housing for all incoming undergraduate and graduate students in their first year. There are eight undergraduate houses, each with its own government and traditions, as opposed to the typical residence halls found at many American universities. The Catalina Apartments on campus are given priority to newly admitted graduate students.

Group of students smiling at the camera.

Approximately 80% of undergraduates at Caltech participate in research during their time there. Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships is a program at the university in which students write research proposals, collaborate with mentors, and present their projects.

There are approximately fifty research institutes and centers at Caltech, including the Resnick Sustainability Institute and the Tectonics Observatory. In addition, the university operates NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a center for robotic solar system exploration staffed by both faculty and students.

The institute guarantees housing for all incoming first-year graduate students and all incoming and second-year undergraduate students. It provides a comprehensive selection of on-campus housing options for undergraduate and graduate students.

There are a mixture of single, double, and triple bedrooms in the nine residence halls for undergraduates. Graduate students may lease off-campus four-bedroom, three-bedroom, two-bedroom, one-bedroom, or studio apartments owned by the institute.

The cost of rented housing for graduate students ranges from $995 to $1,465 per month and is unfurnished, but includes basic amenities such as carpeting, window coverings, refrigerator, and stove. Bed, desk and chair, desk lamp, Wi-Fi, laundry service, common areas, kitchens with a microwave, stove, oven, kettle, and refrigerator, vending machines, washers and dryers, and a study lounge are standard in residence halls and apartments.

Within the first year of their appointment, 55 apartments are available to Postdoctoral candidates. It also provides housing for short-term visitors over the age of 18, including Visiting Special Students and Visiting Student Researchers.

The institute offers 28 undergraduate degree programs and 30 graduate degree programs. There are six academic divisions at the institute. In conjunction with the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, the USC Keck School of Medicine, and the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine, it also offers joint degree programs.

Among others, Caltech offers degrees in Applied and Computational Mathematics, Geology, Applied Physics, Astrophysics, Bioengineering, Computational and Neural Systems, Computer Science, and Engineering and Applied Science.

Admission to the California Institute of Technology is extremely competitive, with a 7% acceptance rate. Half of the admitted students at California Institute of Technology have SAT scores between 1530 and 1580 or ACT scores between 35 and 36. However, one-fourth of admitted applicants scored above these ranges, and one-fourth scored below them. The application deadline at California Institute of Technology is January 3, and the application fee is $75.

How do I get to Caltech Campus?

Both the Harbor/Pasadena Freeway (110), southwest of campus, and the Foothill Freeway (210), north of campus, provide convenient access to Caltech.

Inform the driver of your car or shuttle service that you are traveling to Caltech. Wilson Avenue and California Boulevard (southwest), South Hill Avenue and California Boulevard (southeast), South Hill Avenue and Del Mar Boulevard (northeast), and Wilson Avenue and Del Mar Boulevard (northwest) are the four corners of campus (northwest).

From Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), proceed as follows:

  • Follow Sepulveda Boulevard south to the Century Freeway (105).
  • Take the 105 east to the Harbor/Pasadena Freeway (110).
  • Travel north on 110 until it terminates at the Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena.
  • Continue north on Arroyo Parkway until reaching California Boulevard.
  • To travel east on California Boulevard, turn right.

From the Downtown Los Angeles area:

  • Take the Harbor/Pasadena Freeway (110) north until it terminates at Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena.
  • Continue north on Arroyo Parkway until reaching California Boulevard.
  • To travel east on California Boulevard, turn right.

From Bob Hope International Airport (BUR) to Glendale:

  • After leaving the airport, follow the signs to the Golden State Freeway (5).
  • Follow Route 5 south to the Ventura Freeway (134).
  • Take the 134 east to the Foothill Freeway (210).
  • Stay on the 210 eastbound until the Hill Avenue exit.
  • Turn right onto Hill Avenue and travel south to the campus.

From West Los Angeles:

  • Take the Santa Monica Freeway (10) to the Harbor/Pasadena Freeway heading eastbound (110).
  • Take the 110 north until it terminates at Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena.
  • Follow the Arroyo Parkway north to California Boulevard.
  • To travel east on California Boulevard, turn right.

From Ontario International Airport (ONT):

  • After leaving the airport, follow the signs to the San Bernardino Freeway (10).
  • Take the 10 westbound toward Los Angeles to the Orange Freeway (57).
  • Take the 57 north to the Foothill Freeway (210).
  • Follow the 210 west to Pasadena.
  • Exit at Hill Avenue.
  • Turn left onto Hill Avenue and proceed south to the campus.
  • Orange County and San Gabriel Valley
  • Use the San Gabriel River Freeway (605) to reach the Foothill Freeway heading north (210).
  • Travel west on the 210 and exit at Hill Avenue.
  • Turn left onto Hill Avenue and travel south to the campus.

Is Caltech a Private University?

The California Institute of Technology, also known as Caltech, is a private, highly prestigious research university located in Pasadena, California. Caltech was founded in 1891 and focuses on science, engineering, and technology.

What is it like to study at Caltech?

As a student at Caltech, you will take 45–51 credits per 10-week term. That may seem excessive, but if you consider that a typical course consists of three hours of class time and six hours of homework per week, then that is a nine-credit course.

Participate in one of Caltech’s organized athletic programs, student-run clubs, or numerous performing arts organizations to hone your skills and interests and make memories that will last a lifetime (music or theater). The Caltech Center for Inclusion & Diversity also offers a variety of cultural and awareness events, diversity workshops, and support groups. The Caltech Y provides opportunities for outdoor activities, community service, and more.

Caltech signage in the entrance of a school.

The Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation at Caltech is dedicated to the well-being of the whole student, combining physical, social, and emotional skill development to promote the growth of a healthy mind and body.

Individual and group options for participation in intercollegiate, club, intramural, and physical education sports are provided by the athletics department. Caltech is a founding member of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and participates in 20 NCAA Division III varsity sports (SCIAC).

Students at Caltech exhibit a wide variety of backgrounds, skills, and interests. Many of our students are also student leaders, musicians, artists, dancers, chess champions, and athletes, while all of our students are scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. There is probably a group of Techies who share your interest. If not, you are welcome to attempt to form your own group!

Theater is also thriving at Caltech, thanks to the California Institute of Technology’s Theater Arts program (TACIT). This group of student, staff, and even faculty thespians produces three productions per academic year, ranging from one-acts to musical theater to original plays.

If you are more of a patron of the arts and entertainment than a performer, you can take advantage of the world-class events, performances, and lecture series organized by Caltech Public Events each year. Numerous campus events are free and do not require tickets, and as a student, you have access to preferred seating frequently. When an admission fee is required, Caltech students pay a nominal fee.

What is the library at Caltech called?

The Caltech Library System was established in 1891 and currently employs 61 people. The library’s holdings consist of 550,325 book titles and bound periodicals, 543,000 microforms, and a specialized depository for U.S. Government publications.

The library consists of two main buildings: (1) the Millikan Library, which houses the Millikan collections and Library Administration, Circulation, Document Delivery Services, and Technical Processing; and (2) the Sherman Fairchild Library of Engineering and Applied Science, which houses the engineering collections, the Library Information Technology group, and the Digital Media Center.

Inaugurated in January 1997, the Sherman Fairchild Library has a director, three librarians, and three support staff who serve 85 faculty members, 400 graduate students, and 325 undergraduates. In addition, the Sherman Fairchild Library houses the entire library system’s five information technology employees.

Additionally, the library director is responsible for all science and mathematics library services and personnel in other campus locations. The library system includes five branch libraries in addition to Millikan and Sherman Fairchild: Astrophysics, Geology, Public Affairs, Earthquake Engineering, and Management.

The Sherman Fairchild Library was established with a gift of $9.6 million from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation to meet a demand for increasingly complex and costly electronic resources, as perceived by both faculty and library staff.

Caltech library with shelves of books and lounge chairs.

The engineering collections were comfortably housed in a number of departments; they were, in essence, department libraries. However, in order to offer the most cost-effective electronic resources to users, it was necessary to consolidate the libraries.

Before the groundbreaking ceremony in March 1995, planning began for the library. In 1988, the head of Caltech’s library committee and the librarian realized that the university’s collections needed to be consolidated in order to provide more information resources. When the Sherman Fairchild Foundation expressed interest in making a donation (continuing a long tradition of donations to Caltech), the proposal for the new library was presented and accepted.

A planning committee composed of engineering faculty and librarians was formed, and together they determined the objectives of the library. Brad Sturtevant, Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and committee chairman, directed a consulting process that relied heavily on the input of the computing center staff. In the end, the recommendations persuaded six academic departments to consolidate their resources and abandon the convenience of their local libraries.

Staff members of the library described Sturtevant as the impetus behind the creation of the Sherman Fairchild. From their comments and those of faculty members, it was evident that a shared vision of what the Sherman Fairchild could do for the work of Caltech, a vision that Sturtevant ably and zealously promoted among all constituents, was crucial to his success.

The planning committee took a broad view of the library’s requirements, as opposed to focusing solely on the applied sciences. A crucial decision during the planning process was to develop plans for the library that Caltech required, despite the fact that the estimated cost exceeded the amount that the Foundation was willing to donate. The Foundation ultimately provided full funding after being persuaded by the vision for the new library and the planning process.

Art Museums Near Caltech

Beckman Room Exhibit of the Caltech Science Museum is located at 131 Beckman Institute on the Caltech campus.

In the 1910s and 1920s, Caltech underwent a dramatic reinvention, transforming from a manual arts academy to an engineering school and then into a research institute. The university began construction on its current campus, recruited renowned faculty, built sophisticated laboratories, educated students to become leading researchers, and forged new ties with industry and government.

The trustees of the Institute changed the name of the institution from Throop College of Technology to California Institute of Technology on February 10, 1920.

After a century, the Caltech Archives present “Becoming Caltech: Building the Research Community, 1910–1930.” It tells the story of Caltech’s early development through three sections of historical documents, objects, photographs, and film.

Caltech’s development is traced in “Becoming” through the reformation initiated by George Ellery Hale and accelerated by World War I. “Building Research” is a history of science, engineering, and the humanities at Caltech, from the core activities of the 1910s (electrical engineering, chemistry, and physics) to the new fields of the 1920s (genetics, seismology, and aeronautics), as well as the architecture and construction of the buildings that housed this research. “Community” examines the lives and culture of the Institute’s students, faculty, and staff, including athletics, clubs, the Athenaeum, and the T carved by students into the side of Mt. Wilson.

Arnold O. Beckman (1900-2004), chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1964 to 1974, and alumnus of Caltech, is commemorated in the Beckman Institute lobby by two display cases (PhD, chemistry, 1928).

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