California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA

Get to know California Institute of Technology

School Profile

Suburban campus setting

982 undergraduate students

1,419 graduate students

263 first-year students

16% first-generation students


Review class profile details

Through Fall 2025: Caltech is test-free and does not consider SAT and/or ACT 


Core curriculum emphasizes learning across disciplines

37 academic options

3:1 undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio 

70% of classes have fewer than 19 enrolled students

Introduction to California Institute of Technology

Go from dream to do.

The California Institute of Technology, or Caltech for short, is a world-renowned hub for science and engineering brilliance! Caltech marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions and pressing societal challenges. Caltech is split into 6 academic divisions. Caltech’s extraordinary faculty and students are all about pushing boundaries and making breakthroughs. They’re out there, exploring the universe and inventing the technologies of the future, with research interests from quantum science and engineering to bioinformatics and the nature of life itself, from human behavior and economics to energy and sustainability.

Your journey begins with Caltech’s core curriculum where you’ll receive an interdisciplinary education that teaches both the technical and communication skills that you will need in any field you pursue. Because science crosses boundaries and multiple perspectives are key to success, every Techer (Caltech lingo for students), no matter their discipline, gets to explore various classes in the basic sciences, humanities, and social sciences. Caltech's math classes will test your resolve. Brace yourself for problem sets (aka homework) that will challenge you like never before! These problem sets will push your limits and build both your academic and personal resilience. You'll emerge as a stronger, more confident problem solver! 

Caltech's humanities and social science classes will challenge you to think critically and communicate clearly. They will give you a broader understanding of society and the world. Also, they will open incredible opportunities at the intersection of fields. From brain science to climate change, many of today’s research frontiers cross disciplines. Students declare an academic option, or major, at the end of their first-year.

When you come to Caltech, you are treated as a scientist from day one. With over 50 research centers and institutes on campus, including 5 NASA facilities, Techers spend a lot of time in the lab. In fact, Caltech students conduct research with Nobel Prize winners. Research is an integral part of who they are and what they do – and that includes you. Over 90% of undergraduate students do research, and about half get involved in their first year. The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program introduces students to research under the guidance of seasoned research mentors at Caltech and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

But hold on, it's not all lab coats and test tubes! While Techers excel in STEM, they exhibit a diverse range of interests beyond the classroom. Caltech students are not just scientists, they are athletes, actors, musicians, artists, and more. With over 100 official student-led clubs and organizations, you’ll have endless opportunities to explore and connect with like-minded souls. If you don't find something that interests you, you can start your own club. Caltech’s Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation gives you the chance to enhance your physical, mental, and social development through movement and exercise. About 25% of Caltech students compete in NCAA III sports.

Caltech students understand that science itself is an art form, and they have a strong appreciation of the fine arts. Their Performing & Visual Arts department engages students in a deeper appreciation of music, theater, and visual arts. Caltech students can take classes and get involved with performances to connect with their creativity outside of the lab. If you’re looking to find community and explore your own identity, the Caltech Center for Inclusion & Diversity (CCID) is a safe space to connect with others who share your identities and to learn about ways you can advocate for yourself and those around you.

Fun Fact: Did you know…Ditch Day is tomorrow! Ditch Day is an annual undergraduate challenge and one of our oldest traditions.

Most students decide to live on campus all four years. There are eight traditional undergraduate Houses, as well as three unaffiliated (non-House) halls. Each carries its own unique traditions and activities.

 97% of students attending graduate school were accepted into one of their top choice schools.

Hear from a Scholar
“When I found out I was matched, I was overjoyed, to say the least. I finally saw all of my ambitions and aspirations come to fruition at my dream school.”
Maya K.'s Story
Hemet, CA
California Institute of Technology

Explore California Institute of Technology through photos

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