Are you a TV buff? If yes, you would probably have binged on The Big Bang Theory, a show remembered for Sheldon’s Bazinga, Leonard’s smartness, Rajesh’s insecurities and the California Institute of Technology. Getting admissions into the California Institute of Technology, often called Caltech, is a dream for thousands of students.
Candidates with relatively high IQ scores, a deep interest in science and technology, and perfect standardized scores apply for admissions at the California Institute of Technology. The competition is tough. But that doesn’t mean that getting into college is impossible. We know that you’re smart enough to make the cut.
All you need is now a solid determination to grab a seat at the California Institute of Technology. Couple your preparations with our tips to crack Caltech admissions, and you’ll be good. But before we disclose strategies, it’s essential to understand the legacy of one of the best institutes in the world.
California Institute of Technology Legacy
Located in Pasadena, California, the California Institute of Technology is one of the best science and engineering schools globally that is primarily devoted to pure and applied sciences.
Established on September 23, 1891, by Amos G. Throop, the 130-year-old institute has a long history of giving the world some of the brightest minds, a few of which even went ahead to win the prestigious Nobel prize. Forty, to be exact.
Some of California Institute of Technology’s notable alumni include C. Gordon Fullerton, Harrison Schmitt, founders of Hotmail and Compaq, and co-founder of Intel Gordon Moore, among others.
How Tough is it to Get Into California Institute of Technology?
Just like every year, more than 8000 students applied for undergraduate admissions at the California Institute of Technology to get a seat. In the 2020-21 freshman class, out of the total applicants, only 536 were accepted, taking the acceptance rate to 6.7%.
The rate was even lower than the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the Class of 2025. This should give you a fair idea of how difficult it is to get admission into the California Institute of Technology. By now, you should clearly understand what you’re up against.
California Institute of Technology Admission Requirements
An excellent academic record is a must for realising your dream California Institute of Technology. Candidates aspiring to get into Caltech should have high scores in standardized tests such as SAT, GPA, and Class Rank.
California Institute of Technology Admissions: SAT Scores
Candidates need to achieve a high score of at least 1500 on SAT to make your admission to the California Institute of Technology a bit easier. For instance, candidates accepted for the Class of 2024 have mid-50% scores of 1510-1570. On the other hand, the ACT Composite scores ranged from 35 to 36.
|Average SAT Score Required||1530|
|SAT Reading and Writing 25-27 percentile range||750-790|
|SAT Math 25-75 percentile range||780-800|
|Average ACT Score Required||34.5|
|ACT ELA 25-75 percentile range||34-36|
|ACT Math 25-75 percentile range||35-36|
California Institute of Technology Admissions: GPA
It goes without saying that a high GPA score will make your journey to the California Institute of Technology easier than expected. The better the GPA scores, the better will be your chances to score a seat at Caltech.
96% of candidates accepted for the Class of 2024 by the California Institute of Technology’s admission jury were in the top 10% of their high school class. Caltech doesn’t usually release the cut-off for GPA. However, experts suggest that a GPA of about 4.0 could help candidates make it to Caltech.
California Institute of Technology Admissions: Application Essays
Application essays at the California Institute of Technology are among the most critical aspects of the admission process. The institute requires applicants to submit three short essays in addition to the Coalition or Common Application essays.
The first essay asks applications to describe a failure encountering experience in 100 to 250 words. Candidates can write the other two essays covering their likes and interests, how they’re planning to use their time at Caltech, or how they plan to work with peers at the institute. The word count limit for essays is between 100 to 250 words.
California Institute of Technology: Latest Updates
Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Institute of Technology, in June 2020, had announced that they will stop considering SAT and ACT scores for undergraduate applicants received in fall 2020, 2021, and 2022.
So, this means that SAT and ACT scores, no matter how excellent they are, will be redundant till the 2022 admission process. The college won’t consider the scores while reviewing applications.
The Dean of Admissions had said that: “If you continue to consider to Caltech, I promise that we will take great care of the story you share through an application. We have always reviewed students within the context of the opportunities available to them, and we will hold true to that practice. Additionally, we will be flexible and understanding of extenuating circumstances that may surround your college application process.”
Another major update related to California Institute of Technology admission is that international students can meet the institute’s English language proficiency requirement by submitting TOEFL or Duolingo scores.
Tips to Get Admission into California Institute of Technology
- If you’re planning to apply at Caltech for fall 2022 admissions, then you now need to put all your energies into getting an excellent GPA score and a high rank in the class because SAT/ACT scores aren’t in the picture, as pointed out above.
- Applicants aspiring to take admissions after fall 2022 should start preparing for standardised tests while continuously scoring high grades at the school level.
- Most applicants have near-perfect SAT/ACT scores coupled with a great academic record. So, if you want to shine above all, then write essays that are realistic and describe well how serious you’re about the college and your future at the institute. These essays could explain why you are a man/woman of science or your favourite topics that you would like to explore more at the institute.
- You can use either the Common Application or the Coalition Application to submit your application to Caltech. This saves a lot of time, as you can use a similar application (minus essays) at other institutes as well.
- Never hesitate in contacting the college admission department for any query that might sound weird in your head. These people are there to help and will help with all questions puzzling in your head.
What are the Documents Required For Caltech Admissions?
- Common Application or Coalition Application with the Supplemental Application Essays
- $75 application fee or fee waiver (by request)
- Standardized test scores
- Teacher evaluations
- Secondary School Report:
- Academic transcripts
Additional Requirement for International Students
- TOEFL scores
- International Financial Aid Statement of Intent
You now know that getting into the California Institute of Technology isn’t a piece of cake. But by now, you also know how to make your journey to the prestigious institution smoother than other 8000 or so applicants competing for a few hundred seats. Go ahead, start your preparations. Double down your practices using our tips if you have already begun. And always keep the California dream ignited inside you!
California Institute of Technology Admissions: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are there Interviews for Caltech Undegraduate Admissions?
For undergraduate admissions, there are no interviews at Caltech. This means that essays and recommendations are the two essential parts of the admission process that can help you present yourself better.
Do International Candidates need to write an English Proficiency Test for admissions at Caltech?
Yes, international candidates must write an English Proficiency Test such as TOEFL to apply at Caltech.
What are the Application Deadlines for Admissions at Caltech?
Application deadlines vary at Caltech depending on the course and the department. However, most years, the deadline runs from November 15 to January 1.
What is the minimum GPA to get admission into Caltech?
Caltech applying at Caltech does not have to meet a minimum GPA requirement. However, the institute suggests that “most successful applicants have a US GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and/or are in the top 5 to 10% of their class.”
How many letters of recommendation are required for Caltech admissions?
Three letters of recommendation are required for Caltech admissions. Candidates cannot upload more than three letters on the portal.