Cal TechCalifornia Institute of Technology, or Caltech, is one of the most competitive science and engineering schools in the country. Nearly all incoming students placed in the top ten percent of their graduating high school class. In fact, Caltech has consistently ranked as one of the top ten schools in the nation. Located in Pasadena (about 10 miles from Los Angeles), the small campus is spread out on 124 acres of land in a suburban setting. Less than 1,000 undergraduates attend the school, resulting in a student faculty ratio of three to one.

California Institute of TechnologySince its founding in 1891, the school has established itself as a leading research institution. California Institute of Technology has been ranked as the best university for engineering and technology and physical sciences in the entire world. The most popular majors include engineering, physical sciences, and computer and information sciences. Caltech has also partnered with astronomical observatories and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), leading faculty to make significant discoveries in molecular biology, aerospace, and geochemistry.

Caltech educationAlthough the academic life at Caltech is extremely strict, the campus has become known for having a close-knit community. About 86% of undergraduates live on campus the entire four years. They’ve also earned a reputation as a school that delights in pranks, including changing the Hollywood sign to read Caltech and engaging in a friendly rivalry with MIT. There are also more than 100 extracurricular clubs for students. Despite being identified for academics, the school also has several NCAA Division III teams in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

California Institute of TechnologyCaltech has an Honor Code that allows students to take part in activities that are mostly unheard of at other universities.  For example, students are permitted to take home tests to complete on their own. They are also permitted to collaborate with their classmates on specific assignments, and they are given keys to various buildings around campus. At the beginning of their education at California Institute of Technology, students are simply required to agree to the statement: “No member of the Caltech community shall take unfair advantage of any other member of the Caltech community.”

Students who are interested in rising to the top in the fields of science, engineering, or mathematics and statistics should look into attending Caltech.  The stringent academic program is offset by the lighthearted attitude on campus. Also, because the campus is located near Los Angeles, students don’t have to go far for a big city atmosphere. No matter what field of study they choose, California Institute of Technology graduates go on to accomplish great things.


Acceptance Rate

Caltech acceptance rate

Academic Qualifications

Caltech top 10% in high school

SAT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)

Caltech SAT score range

ACT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)

Cal Tech ACT test score

Application Deadlines

Early action: Nov. 1
Regular decision: Jan. 1

Admissions Criteria

Freshmen Admissions
Number of 2020 (Class of 2024) applicants: 8,008
Enrolled: 244
Yield: 43.9%
Acceptance rate: 6.4%

Waitlist Admission Statistics
Number of applicants: 394
Admitted: 5
Acceptance rate: 1.3%

Transfer Admissions
Number of transfer applicants: 96
Admitted: 6
Acceptance rate: 6.3%

Academic Qualifications
Average GPA: N/A
Top 10% of High School: 99%

Middle SAT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)
SAT Composite: 1530-1570
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 740-760
SAT Math: 790-800

Middle ACT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)
ACT Composite: 35-36
ACT English: 35-36
ACT Math: 35-36

Standardized Test Requirements

Cal Tech does not require the SAT/ACT SAT/ACT not required

Caltech doesnot require the writing portion Writing portion not required

Caltech does not require the SAT subject tests SAT Subject Tests not required

Score Card

Graduation Rates

Caltech graduation rate

Loan Defaults and Rhodes Scholars

Caltech score card

Salary After Attending

R&D Expenditures

Campus Safety

Score Card Information

Graduation Rates
4 years: 84.4%
5 years: 89.6%
6 years: 93.6%

Loan default rate: 0.0%

Total Rhodes Scholars: 6

Salary after attending: $85,900

R&D Expenditures: $391.0 million

Campus Safety
Sex offenses: 30
Robberies: 1
Aggravated assaults: 0
Burglaries: 5
Car thefts: 3

Financial Aid

Net Cost and Total Expected Cost of Attendance

Caltech financial aid

Average Net Price By Income

Student Debt

Additional Information

Tuition, room and board (2020-2021): $71,907

Total estimated cost of attendance (2020-2021): $77,718

Net Cost
Average: $27,438

By income
$0 to $30,000: $5,456
$30,001 to $48,000: $3,756
$48,001 to $75,000: $8,042
$75,001 to $110,000: $12,788
$110,001 and more: $48,851

Graduates with student debt: 30%

Average student debt at graduation: $20,192

Student Body

Student Residence

Undergraduate Class Sizes

Cal Tech undergraduate class sizes

Student to Faculty Ratio

California Institute of Technology student to faculty ratio

Student Population

Additional Information

Student to Faculty Ratio: 3 to 1
Women: 45%

Undergraduate Class Sizes
Under 20: 69%
20 to 39: 21%
40 to 99:6%
100+: 4%

Student Population
Total: 2,237
Undergraduate: 938

Student Residence
In State: 38%
Out of State: 54%
International: 8%

Caltech student population

Cal Tech seal

California Institute of Technology

This page was last updated in November 2020.