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Caltech Summer Preview: Women in STEM


The application for next year's program will be available in Spring 2024. If you'd like to know more information about WiSTEM 2024 as soon as it becomes available, complete this form.

Caltech's Women in STEM (WiSTEM) program took place August 2-4, 2023.

  • Are you a female, non-binary, and/or gender expansive student graduating in 2024 or 2025 interested in taking your passion for STEM to the next level?
  • Does the prospect of solving the world's toughest scientific challenges motivate you?
  • Are you interested in learning what makes Caltech a place uniquely designed to produce the world's best and brightest innovators and researchers?

Women in STEM (WiSTEM) 2023 is free and open to all students graduating in 2024 or 2025. The program will focus on the experiences of students whose gender identity has been historically underrepresented in STEM, particularly those who identify as female, non-binary, and/or gender expansive. We recognize that our students' lived experiences and gender identities may intersect with their race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, geography, immigration status, and more.

WiSTEM is not connected in any way to Caltech's undergraduate admissions. WiSTEM has very different acceptance criteria than Caltech. Acceptance or non-acceptance to WiSTEM has no bearing whatsoever on a student's chances of future acceptance by Caltech.

Ultimately, we hope students learn what Caltech can offer and leave with an increased understanding of whether it is a place they can see themselves learning and growing through their college years. We will also showcase the exciting frontiers that Caltech women are exploring in the STEM fields, such as this year's keynote speaker, Dr. Katherine L. (Katie) Bouman, whose research recently helped generate the first image of a black hole at the center of our galaxy.

Katie Bouman smiling

Dr. Bouman is a Rosenberg Scholar and Assistant Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences (CMS) at Caltech. Prior to starting at Caltech, Dr. Bouman was a postdoctoral fellow with the Event Horizon Telescope project which published the first picture of a black hole in April of 2019. Her research focuses on computational imaging, which allows researchers to observe phenomena that have been traditionally difficult or impossible to detect. Dr. Bouman's research group also reflects the interdisciplinary nature of science at Caltech, with experts in signal processing, computer vision, machine learning, and physics all working together to achieve new scientific breakthroughs and technological innovations. 

WiSTEM is designed to provide prospective students with information about the undergraduate experience. Registrants will be exposed to the depth and breadth of opportunities for students who identify as female, non-binary, and/or gender expansive at Caltech through panels, mock lectures, information sessions, and more that touch upon academic offerings, residential life, career opportunities, and research. All guests will be equipped with in-depth information about the application and financial aid processes. Students will learn more about Caltech's competitive application process, and connect with the Admissions Counselors who will read submitted applications in the fall.

Students will gain:

  • Insight into the multitude of STEM opportunities available to Caltech undergraduates
  • Information about Caltech's competitive application process
  • Knowledge of Caltech's academic offerings through panels and mock lectures
  • Connection with various Caltech community members, including faculty and current students

Parents will gain:

  • Insight into the admissions process and how you can help your student prepare a strong application
  • Information about our rigorous financial aid program
  • Knowledge of student support services available at Caltech


Each registrant is allowed to register only one adult guest.


A tentative schedule of events/activities is below.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

If multiple descriptions are listed, attendees must choose to participate in one activity
Start Time End Time Description Audience
7:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. Check In & Light Breakfast All attendees
8:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. Optional: Campus tour All attendees
9:15 a.m. 10:30 a.m. Keynote address and WiSTEM begins All attendees
10:45 a.m. 11:45 a.m. Optional activities: Campus tour Students
10:45 a.m. 11:45 a.m. Optional activities: How Do Students Claim Space at Caltech?; Intersectionality within STEM; First-Gen in STEM; Queer in STEM Students
10:45 a.m. 11:45 a.m. Guest Track: Student Success at Caltech Guests
12:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. Mixer and Lunch with Faculty All attendees
1:15 p.m. 2:00 p.m. Optional: Finding STEM Mentorship; How to Write about your STEM Passions; Faculty Teaching at Caltech; Pursuing your Passion for Humanities and Social Sciences at a STEM School Students
1:15 p.m. 2:00 p.m. Optional: Affording Caltech All attendees
1:15 p.m. 2:00 p.m. Optional: Residential Life at Caltech Guests
2:15 p.m. 3:15 p.m. Optional: Exploring your STEM Passion Students (Seniors)
2:15 p.m. 3:15 p.m. Optional: Beyond Extracurriculars in the Application Students
2:15 p.m. 3:15 p.m. Optional: Caltech & The Future of Sustainability All attendees
2:15 p.m. 3:15 p.m. Guest Track: Why is a Caltech Education Worth It? Guests
3:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m. What is Research at Caltech? Research Symposium & Demonstrations Students
3:30 p.m. 4:45 p.m. Optional: Campus Tours; Free Time & Chat with Admissions Officers Guests
4:15 p.m. 5:00 p.m. Guest Track: Supporting Your Student through the Application Process Guests
5:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. Dinner All attendees
6:15 p.m. 8:00 p.m. Speed Friending & Ice Cream with Current Students Students
6:15 p.m. 8:00 p.m. Real Talk & Affinity Groups Students

Friday, August 4, 2023

Start Time End Time Description Audience
8:00 a.m. 8:45 a.m. Breakfast All attendees
9:00 a.m. 9:45 a.m. What Makes Caltech Different? All attendees
10:00 a.m. 10:45 a.m. Junior Year and Preparing to Apply Students (Juniors)
10:00 a.m. 10:45 a.m. Building a Strong Application Students (Seniors) & Guests
10:45 a.m. 11:00 a.m. Closing of WiSTEM 2023 All attendees

WiSTEM has different acceptance criteria than Caltech undergraduate admissions. Acceptance or non-acceptance to WiSTEM has no bearing on a student's chances of future acceptance by Caltech.

If you have any questions about WiSTEM, please contact the Office of Admissions at [email protected].