How We Review
At Caltech, holistic review is the cornerstone of our admissions process. No two students have had the same life experiences, attributes, or academic opportunities and we seek to learn more about who you are and how you can contribute to the rich Caltech community.
Diversity of Experiences
At Caltech, we know there is strength in a diversity of experiences and ideas – and there is no singular "type" of Caltech student. Our admissions review process is student-centered and designed to give individual attention to each applicant. To you. We practice Committee-Based Evaluation (CBE) to assure every application is reviewed in its entirety using the applicant's unique educational and personal background as context.
To form a more complete picture of each student, we use the context of their individual circumstances—where they live, what type of high school they attend, what extracurricular opportunities are available to them, and what resources they have access to. It is important for us to understand the factors that shape each student's experience to thoughtfully assess their prior attainment and potential.
The Admissions Review Process
Our comprehensive admissions review process allows multiple admissions officers and faculty committee members to read and discuss the most competitive applications. Each application is first reviewed by two admissions officers, one of whom will be the regional officer who considers the application within the context of the applicant's high school and region. These two officers submit their recommendation and the most competitive applicants move forward for a faculty review.
A faculty review? Yes. At Caltech, faculty are deeply engaged in every aspect of the experience undergraduates have and that begins before a student even arrives at Caltech.
Lastly, the most competitive applicants are sent to Committee, where the regional counselor summarizes all recommendations and presents the applicant to the entire admissions committee, comprised of the admissions officers and members of the first-year faculty admissions committee.
The applicant is carefully discussed as a whole person, and a final admissions decision is made.
We pride ourselves on always considering students within the context of the opportunities available to them.
Additionally, we understand that every student's road to college looks different and no two Caltech applications will look the same.
We respect the stories that student's share about who they are and who they hope to be.
We are honored to play a small part in finding the most incredible students on Earth with the potential to do the kind of science that will change the world.
We trust you to present yourself authentically throughout your application.
In return, you can trust us to review your application fairly.