At Caltech, we realize the vital role counselors at high schools, and Community Based Organizations play in helping high school students navigate the college exploration and application process. We've provided a list of resources to assist you in advising students interested in Caltech.
What we look for
Students who are a good fit for Caltech are students who demonstrate the following:
- A love for all math and science - Not just one subject. It's simply part of their DNA – it's who they are.
- A deep, somewhat all-consuming passion for STEM - We are not simply looking for students who are good at STEM; we want students who are all sold out for it.
- Perseverance - We expect students to struggle immensely at Caltech and to fail often. How will a student get back up and keep persevering when things get challenging? That answer is important because the hardest scientific questions left to be answered will require failing 1,000 times at every step before the breakthrough comes.
- Academic Preparation - Students must be academically prepared to succeed in core curriculum and have challenged themselves in high school by taking a variety of math and science classes. When possible, they have gone above and beyond the required math and science courses. They have taken courses outside their comfort zones, and shown an authentic passion for STEM.
- A love for exploring the unknown - They seek out every possible opportunity to learn more, research deeper, and soak up knowledge.
We will look for evidence of these traits throughout the application. But we know that evidence won't look exactly the same for every applicant. One of the major questions we ask ourselves when reviewing applicants is this: with the resources available to a student, how did their passion for STEM display itself? For some students, that means engaging in research in their local areas. For many others, that means reading books, asking deep questions, inspiring others around them because their love of STEM is deeper and wider than a typical person.
In the holistic review of applications, evaluating the context of available academic opportunities, and personal paths that have led applicants to where they are today. Through course selection, extracurriculars, teacher evaluations, and admissions essays, we want to see that their passion for STEM has shown up throughout their high school careers. Not every student will be tracked in their high school to take the hardest available STEM courses; in admissions, we understand that. But does this student continue to show immense capacity for STEM? When counselors can describe students who possess deep wells of fortitude and capacity in STEM - that's Caltech.
As you support your students, consider encouraging them to share their STEM engagements at school or in their community within the confines of our application requirements.
|To prepare for core, students must demonstrate mastery in the following subjects:|
|Four years of math, including one year of calculus*|
|One year of physics*|
|One year of chemistry*|
|One year of biology (recommended)|
|Four years of English|
|Two years of history and/or social sciences courses (3+ years recommended)|
Snapshot of the Class of 2027
Total Enrollment: 263
International Enrollment: 18%
First-generation college students: 16%
Pell-eligible students: 21%
QuestBridge students: 13%
*Underrepresented Enrollment: 16%
* Includes students who self-identify as American Indian/Alaska Native, Hispanic/Latinx, and/or Black/African American.
- There are two ways to apply for first-year admissions to Caltech. Applicants should select the option that fits them best.
- $75 application fee or fee waiver.
- Teacher evaluations (1 math or science and 1 humanities or social science). Recommenders are welcome to check out our writing advice.
- School Report: This document provides context about your school that helps the Admissions Committee evaluate student applications holistically. We want the full picture.
- Academic transcripts
Note: Caltech is test-free for the classes entering in Fall 2021-2025. As such, SAT or ACT examinations will not be considered.
Additional requirements for international applicants
- *TOEFL scores, IELTS scores, or Duolingo English Test (DET)
- *Unless their native language is English or English is the primary language of instruction in your secondary school
- English proficiency exam must be taken prior to the application deadline
- International Financial Aid Statement of Intent
- International applicants must confirm their understanding of our financial aid policy and thus confirm their financial aid intent towards Caltech.
- Additional information is available on our International Applicants page
|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|
|Early Action and Regular Decision admit reply deadline||May 1, 2024|
*Restrictive Early Action is a non-binding option available to students. More information on Restrictive Early Action can be found here.
**Students admitted during Regular Decision have until May 1 to confirm attendance. If a student is waitlisted, they will be contacted after May 1 about the next steps in the waitlist process.
Students who are denied in Restrictive Early Action or Regular Decision are not able to appeal their admissions decision; if they so choose, students can re-apply to Caltech the following fall term.