Caltech is at the leading edge of science, so we strive to enroll a student body that includes the brightest students from around the world.
How does Caltech define an international applicant?
Caltech defines international applicants as students who are non-U.S. citizens or permanent residents attending secondary school outside of the United States. If you are in the U.S. as an asylee, refugee, or undocumented student, you are a domestic applicant.
Other than financial need consideration for international students, the application and review processes are the same for all applicants, and we offer need-based financial aid that meets 100% of your demonstrated financial need. Regardless of where you live or attend school, we will review your application in the context of your school.
We will not review your application if any part is not translated in English.
Caltech will challenge you to think in new and innovative ways and we expect you to prepare for that challenge by taking a strong curriculum in secondary school.
|To prepare for core, students must demonstrate mastery in the following subjects:|
|Four years of math, including one year of calculus 1, 2|
|One year of physics 1|
|One year of chemistry 1|
|One year of biology (recommended)|
|Four years of English 3|
|Two years of history and/or social sciences courses (3+ years recommended)|
- If a student is unable to take a calculus, chemistry, and/or physics course in secondary school because it is not available to them or they experience unresolvable course conflicts, Caltech will accept examination scores or certification showing proof of knowledge in the subject in lieu of an academic course requirement, provided both the student and their counselor document the underlying unresolvable issue(s). Learn more about our Academic Requirements.
- For students in the IB curriculum, we require Higher Level Math. For students in the GCE A-Level curriculum, we require A-Level Maths. Students in India must complete both year X and XII state board or CBSE examinations. For further questions, reach out to [email protected].
- If a student is only taking STEM classes in the final two years of secondary school, e.g., A-Level students, the requirement will be two English and two social studies classes during their first two years of secondary education.
When to Apply
Students apply to U.S. colleges/universities during their final year of high school. We admit students to start in the fall term, and our application deadlines are during U.S. fall and winter. We know that some applicants will not have final grades available at that point, and we will consider the most recent grades on your transcript in our application review. You may apply for Restrictive Early Action or Regular Decision.
If you have already enrolled at another university, you may only apply for transfer admission to Caltech. We may grant exceptions for students in the southern hemisphere who begin their college education while applying to U.S. universities.
|Restrictive Early Action deadline||November 1, 2023|
|Restrictive Early Action decision notifications||Mid-December, 2023|
|Regular Decision deadline||January 3, 2024|
|Regular Decision notifications||Mid-March, 2024|
|Restrictive Early Action and Regular Decision admit reply deadline||May 1, 2024|
Transcripts and Teacher Evaluations
We require official documents (transcripts) that note your class titles, grades, and predicted grades/scores (if applicable); the transcript must be sent to us directly from your school. If the language of instruction in your school is not English, we require the original document and an English translation. Consider asking an English teacher or school official to translate the document. Caltech admissions officers are trained to understand your education system, so there is no need to translate or convert grades to the American system.
We require teacher evaluations from two secondary school teachers:
- One from a math or science teacher;
- One from a humanities or social science teacher.
If you have not taken a humanities/social science course in your final two years of secondary school, e.g., A-level students, international applicants can substitute the required teacher evaluation from a humanities/social science with another letter from a teacher in a different core subject. Our preferences are teacher evaluations from your final two years of secondary school.
If you are applying for financial aid and the application fee presents a hardship for your family, we offer fee waivers.
Caltech is committed to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of all admitted students. We are need-aware for international students because the total amount of financial aid funds for international students is limited. This limitation may result in financial need being a factor in the Institute's admissions decisions for international applicants. Approximately 50% of international students admitted to Caltech each year have financial need.
If you are an international applicant and plan to apply for financial aid at any time during your undergraduate career here, you must apply for it at the time that you apply for admission. If Caltech offers you financial aid for the first year, you may reapply for aid in subsequent years. If you do not apply for or receive financial aid for you first year, you may not apply for aid for any other academic period. We may make exceptions for citizens of Canada and Mexico. Our International Financial Aid Statement of Intent has additional details.
You may apply either Restrictive Early Action or Regular Decision. Financial aid covers the full cost of attendance, including tuition, housing, dining, books, fees, and personal expenses.
English Proficiency Exams
Caltech will challenge your English skills, and we want to make sure that you will thrive in our classrooms and community. English Proficiency Exam scores are required of all international applicants unless 1) your native language is English or 2) English is the primary language of instruction in your secondary school. We accept the Duolingo English Test (DET), IELTS, or the TOEFL.
The English proficiency exam must be taken prior to the application deadline.
|Duolingo English Test||130|
At Caltech, you will be called upon regularly to engage with leading professors and classmates who will challenge you. As a result, international students are encouraged to provide us with an InitialView conversation and writing sample. If the cost of InitialView is prohibitive for you, fee waivers are available. Please contact InitialView with any questions.
InitialView Questions and Answers
No, InitialView is not graded and it is not a test. It does not replace the English proficiency exam requirement. English proficiency scores are required of all international applicants unless 1) your native language is English or 2) English is the primary language of instruction in your secondary school. We accept the Duolingo English Test (DET), IELTS, or the TOEFL. English proficiency exams must be taken prior to the application deadline.
InitialView is recommended but not required for international students. You are welcome to provide supplemental materials that you believe will help our admissions committee learn more about you. Submit your external portfolio through the Beaver Breakroom, the application portal.
Your InitialView should be recorded by the application deadline.
We recommend InitialView for all international applicants. InitialView unscripted conversations and writing samples are recorded and give Admissions Officers insight into how you communicate and think. InitialView's interview experts are trained to engage you in conversation - no two experiences will ever be the same!
Global Student Haven Initiative
Caltech has joined the Global Student Haven Initiative (GSHI), a new consortium that aims to support more effectively student refugees from around the world. The consortium aims to lower the educational barriers some student refugees face in the midst of crisis, and also to equip and prepare these scholars and researchers for eventual return to their home nation.