California Institute of Technology

California Institute of Technology


Founded in 1891, California Institute of Technology has a long history of tackling the most challenging, fundamental problems in science and technology. With world-class scholars as their faculty mentors and access to incredible research facilities, students prepare to become leaders in the scientific community. As part of a deliberately small undergraduate population of under 1,000, students are surrounded by extraordinarily talented classmates with whom they collaborate regularly. Caltech has a unique culture that combines a passion for innovation and intense intellectual curiosity with a tradition of practical jokes and pranks for which the school is widely renowned. At Caltech, it is relatively easy for one to find their niche and develop strong working relationships with both their professors and their fellow students.

Programs Supporting First-Generation College Students

Scholarship & Financial Aid QuestBridge Partner

QuestBridge is a non-profit program that links bright and motivated low-income students with educational and scholarship opportunities at some of the nation’s most selective colleges and universities. QuestBridge is the provider of the National College Match Program and the College Prep Scholarship. Caltech partnered with QuestBridge to connect and provide access to high-achieving low-income students who are looking for exceptional science, math and engineering undergraduate experiences. Learn more about QuestBridge Partner

Summer Bridge & Orientation Freshman Summer Research Institute (FSRI)

Select incoming freshmen may participate in the FSRI program, designed to enhance the transition from high school to a research-based education and to assist students in developing learning behaviors that will help them excel at Caltech. Participants conduct research with mentors, write research papers and give professional research presentations.

Student Life & Support Caltech Center for Diversity (CCD)

The mission of the Caltech Center for Diversity is to provide programming and support for campus activities that promote the acceptance and inclusion of underserved minority groups on campus. The CCD offers proactive academic monitoring with appropriate follow-up, advising, referrals, graduate school guidance, and activities to foster a sense of community among underrepresented groups on campus. The CCD also holds social events for students such as lunches, Midnight Study Breaks, Welcome Back BBQ, and a Spring Banquet. Learn more about Caltech Center for Diversity (CCD)

Student Diversity

  • 979
  • 61/39
  • n/a
    First-generation college students
  • <1%
    American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • 45%
  • 2%
    Black or African American
  • 12%
  • <1%
    Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 27%
  • 5%
    Two or more races
  • n/a
    Race and/or ethnicity unknown
  • 8%

Student Success

  • 97%
    First-to-second year retention
  • 92%
    Six-year graduation
  • n/a
    Six-year graduation for underrepresented minority groups
  • 100%
    Freshmen who live on campus
  • 85%
    Undergraduates who live on campus
  • 330
    Full-time faculty
  • 62
    Full-time minority faculty
  • 3:1
    Student–faculty ratio
  • Top 5 Majors

    Engineering, Physical Sciences, Computer and Information Sciences, Biological/Life Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics

  • Multicultural Student Clubs and Organizations

    Caltech Center for Diversity, Black Students at Caltech, Caltech Latino Association of Students in Engineering and Sciences, The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, The National Society of Black Engineers, The American Indian Science and Engineering Society, Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, Caltech C (Chinese Association), Black Students of the California Institute of Technology


Cost of Attendance

  • $45,846
  • n/a
    In-state Tuition
  • $1,731
    Required Fees
  • $14,100
    Room and Board

Financial Aid

  • $18,479,551
    Total institutional scholarships/grants
  • $42,932
    Average aid package
  • $18,247
    Average student loan debt upon graduation (of those who borrow)
  • 13%
    Pell Grant recipients among freshmen
  • 52%
    Students with financial need
  • n/a
    Students with need awarded financial aid
  • 52%
    Students with need awarded need-based scholarship or grant aid
  • 100%
    Students with need whose need was fully met


Applicant Academics

  • 6,856
    # of applicants
  • 8%
  • n/a
    Average HS GPA
  • 34
    ACT Composite
  • 730—800
    SAT Critical Reading
  • 770—800
    SAT Math
  • 730—790
    SAT Writing
  • n/a
    SAT/ACT optional


  • 1/3
    Regular application closing date
  • $75
    Application Fee
  • $75
    Application Fee (online)
  • yes
    Fee waiver for applicants with financial need
  • n/a
    Early decision plan
  • n/a
    Early decision application closing date
  • yes
    Early action plan
  • 11/1
    Early action application closing date