Caltech is the California Institute of Technology. It is a private science, engineering, and research university in California and one of the most prestigious schools in the world. Using some of the brightest minds and innovative tools, the school conducts life-changing scientific and societal research. If you’re wondering how to get into Caltech, this article is for you.
Getting into this reputable college is difficult, and this article offers information on how to make the process easier. If you are a science or engineering student who wants a fulfilling academic career path, Caltech should be on your list of colleges to apply to. In this article, you will learn how to get accepted into Caltech, Caltech’s requirements, and even Caltech’s acceptance rate.
All About Caltech Admissions
The admissions process of Caltech is highly competitive but pretty straightforward. Simply follow the short application steps, and you’re done. It may seem simple, but the high level of competition makes it challenging. Since the school receives more applications than it can accommodate, the acceptance rate is very low.
Caltech Acceptance Rate
The acceptance rate of Caltech based on the number of accepted students in the class of 2025 is two percent. The school had a total number of 13,026 applicants and accepted just 270 students. Caltech doesn’t publish its acceptance rate because the number of applicants has grown considerably over the years in comparison to the number of students it can admit.
Caltech does not have a minimum GPA requirement for admission. However, you should still have a GPA of at least 3.5 to be competitive. Caltech’s average admitted student has a GPA of 4.19, so you should aim for a GPA close to that number.
Caltech Total Enrollment
Caltech has a total number of 2,397 students, including 987 undergraduate students and 1,410 graduate students. Of that number, 45 percent of undergraduates are female, while 55 percent are male. Among the graduate students, 33 percent are female, and 67 percent are male.
- Application Fee. The Caltech application process requires an application fee of $75 or a fee waiver for students who can’t afford to pay.
- Common or Coalition Application. The Caltech application process can be completed through the Common Application, Coalition Application, or Questbridge National College Match.
- Academic Transcripts. Your high school transcripts or transcripts from other colleges or universities you have attended must be submitted.
- Secondary School Report. This document is sent by your high school counselor to the school to help the admissions board determine if you are a good fit for the school.
- Teacher Evaluations. Instead of letters of recommendation, Caltech requires two letters of evaluation from major subject teachers. One from a math or science teacher and the other from a humanities or social science teacher. Therefore, it is recommended that these letters come from teachers who have taught you and evaluated you in their classrooms.
- Application Essays. The first-year application requirements state that writing supplemental essays is part of the application process to help the admissions committee get to know them better as students, scientists, and people. It’s also to see if they are a good fit for the school.
- TOEFL Scores. This is a requirement for all international students except for those who speak English as a native language or went to a school for two years where English is the language of instruction. TOEFL is an English proficiency test that Caltech accepts.
- International Financial Aid Statement of Intent. This is an application requirement for international students because Caltech wants to know that they understand their financial policy and confirm their financial assistance.
Is It Hard to Get Into Caltech?
It is tough to get into Caltech. As one of the leading science and research universities globally, the school receives many applications, which reduces its acceptance rate every year. To get accepted into the school, you must be exceptional and among the top five to 10 percent in your class.
The odds of getting a favorable decision are low without this. However, you can increase your chances of getting accepted by perfecting your application. According to Caltech’s class profile, over 8,000 freshman applicants applied to Caltech’s recent class, but only 244 were accepted. The competition is fierce, and only the best are accepted.
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How to Prepare for a Caltech Interview
Caltech doesn’t hold an admissions interview for its students. Its application process is pretty straightforward as it prioritizes the online application through Common Application, Coalition Application, or QuestBridge National College Match. The application involves several processes that students need to complete before being finalized.
10 Tips for Getting Into Caltech
Below are a few tips to help you ensure that you are one of the more competitive applicants and get accepted into one of the top schools in the world. These tips will assist you from the start to the end of your application and include useful information for high school students. Follow these tips and you are sure to impress Caltech’s admissions officers.
1. Get a High GPA
Caltech requires you to be at the top of your class for consideration. Although there is no minimum GPA requirement, previously accepted students had a minimum GPA of 3.5. Caltech is a highly competitive school with a really low acceptance rate, which means you have to be among the top 10 percent of your class and show very high academic performance for consideration. There are even a set of requirements for homeschooled applicants.
2. Participate in Extracurricular Activities
Extracurricular activities make you look good on your college application. This is especially so when they are relevant to your field of study. They show that you have extensive knowledge and experience in other areas besides school. Caltech looks for exceptional students who excel in areas beyond academics.
3. Write Impressive Essays
Your application college essays are one of the most critical aspects of your college applications. They help the admissions team decide whether you’re a fit for their school and are the kind of student the school is looking for. They should be highly impressive. They should also show your academic interests, values, motivations, aspirations, achievements, and relevant experience.
4. Apply Through Early Decision
Early Decision, as opposed to Early Action, is when you apply to your first-choice college before the Regular Decision period and make a commitment to attend that school. It helps students reduce stress by saving time spent waiting for a decision. If accepted, students applying through this method must agree to attend the college, and they receive a need-based financial aid package that is sufficient for their families.
5. Get a Strong Letter of Evaluation
Teacher evaluations are one of the application requirements. These evaluations highlight the applicant’s strengths, positive attributes, and achievements. It is one of the best ways to increase your college acceptance chances.
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6. Enroll in Academic Competitions
Colleges look for evidence of your best qualities and strengths through academic competitions. As an applicant of Caltech, it is recommended that you participate in STEM competitions throughout high school. These will help you stand out and demonstrate that you have the skills required to be a student of Caltech.
7. Participate in Relevant Summer Programs
Summer programs increase your knowledge and experience and prove that you’re an outstanding student. The programs help develop your academic skills, communication skills, and empathy. They also help you learn to work as part of a team and think outside the box, which is an essential skill that Caltech is looking for.
8. Choose the Right High School Classes
As an aspirant of Caltech, your math and science background should be solid. You need to take classes that will further increase your knowledge of the field and build your skills in preparation for your college experience.
9. Take Advanced Placement Programs
One of the things that top schools in the US want to see is students that take AP programs. These challenging courses prepare high school students for college experience by taking them through college-level courses and examinations. Students who get high scores in these programs tend to stand out in college applications.
10. Prove Mastery of Calculus
Caltech realizes that math, calculus included, is the foundation of everything students learn at this private university. Caltech normally requires students to take standardized tests like the SAT or ACT. However, in keeping with the new trends in college admissions due to COVID-19, a three-year moratorium has been put in place for those test scores. Caltech now says to focus more on academic preparation, and one of the ways to be most prepared is to show mastery in calculus.
What Does It Take to Get Into Caltech?
Getting into Caltech takes a strong academic profile, relevant extracurricular activities, and outstanding math skills. Caltech is a science and research school that prioritizes students’ intelligence while also looking for students who challenge societal norms, develop creative and out-of-the-box ideas, and have ambitious career goals in any or all of the STEM fields.
How to Get Into Caltech FAQ
Getting into Caltech is very hard. It requires you to be highly exceptional by getting a high GPA and class rank, and it has a relatively low acceptance rate that decreases every year.
It is harder to get into Caltech than MIT because of the student capacity. While MIT usually requires a high standardized test score as well, they have room for more students than Caltech.
People who get into Caltech are academically strong, resilient, high achievers, and creative. These students are at the top of their high school class and achieve beyond the basics.
You could still be accepted with a GPA of 3.9 because Caltech doesn’t have a GPA requirement, but many of the accepted students have a GPA of over 4.0.
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