Supplemental Application Essays

In addition to the personal essay in the Common Application or the Coalition Application, applicants for first-year admission to Caltech must complete required supplemental short-answer essays. These are questions that the Admissions Committee has devised to get to know you better as a student, scientist, and person, and ascertain who you'll be on our campus. Below are the essay prompts for Caltech's application for first-year admission.

  • Describe three experiences and/or activities that have helped develop your passion for a possible career in a STEM field. (Your response for each experience/activity should range between 10-120 words.)
  • Much like the life of a professional scientist or engineer, the life of a "Techer" relies heavily on collaboration. Knowing this, what do you hope to explore, innovate, or create with your Caltech peers? (Your response should range between 250-400 words.)
  • Caltech students are often known for their sense of humor and creative pranks. What do you like to do for fun? (Your response should range between 250-400 words.)
  • The process of discovery best advances when people from various backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives come together. How do you see yourself contributing to the diversity of Caltech's community? (Your response should range between 250-400 words.)