California Institute of Technology

2014 Quick Stats
1200 E. California Boulevard

Pasadena, CA 91125

Phone: (626) 395-6811
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
Jan. 3
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#10 Overall Score: 91 out of 100. National Universities

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California Institute of Technology is a private institution that was founded in 1891. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 997, its setting is suburban, and the campus size is 124 acres. It utilizes a quarter-based academic calendar. California Institute of Technology's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 10. Its tuition and fees are $41,538 (2013-14).

Caltech, which focuses on science and engineering, is located in Pasadena, Calif., approximately 11 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Social and academic life at Caltech centers on the eight student houses, which the school describes as "self-governing living groups." Student houses incorporate an admired Caltech tradition: dinners served by student waiters. Only freshmen are required to live on campus, but around 80 percent of students remain in their house for all four years. The Caltech Beavers have a number of NCAA Division III teams that compete in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Integral to student life is the Honor Code, which dictates that "No member of the Caltech community shall take unfair advantage of any other member of the Caltech community."

In addition to its undergraduate studies, Caltech offers top graduate programs in engineering, biology, chemistry, computer science, earth sciences, mathematics and physics. Caltech participates in a significant amount of research, receiving grants from institutions such as NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Health and Human Services, among others. Caltech maintains a strong tradition of pranking with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, another top-ranked science and technology university. Companies such as Intel, Compaq and Hotmail were founded by Caltech alumni. Famous film director Frank Capra also graduated from Caltech.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is one of the world's leading science and technology research institutions. Our 300 faculty members, 1,200 graduate students, and 1,000 undergraduates expand human knowledge and advance society through bold, collaborative explorations and creative, intensive scholarship in fundamental and applied sciences, and engineering. "What makes Caltech unique," says President Jean-Lou Chameau, "is our focus-on education, on science and engineering, but most of all, on giving everyone at the Institute the means and flexibility to pursue his or her best ideas."

Caltech students are some of the brightest minds from around the world. Our students hail from 49 states and 62 different countries, and 98% of our students placed in the top tenth of their graduating classes. Though the admissions process is competitive--only 13% of applicants receive offers of acceptance--the Institute is committed to making a Caltech education accessible to all students. More than 50% of students receive need-based assistance, the average need-based financial aid package is worth more than $35,000, and the average need-based scholarship totals more than $30,000.

The Institute operates advanced research facilities on its campus and oversees an international network of astronomical observatories, the seismological laboratory, and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Caltech scientists have accelerated scientific discovery and launched new fields in molecular biology, geochemistry, and aerospace. Our faculty have earned 32 Nobel Prizes, 13 National Medals of Technology, 57 National Medals of Science, and 112 National Academy Memberships. Through the Caltech Office of Technology Transfer, our faculty obtain nearly 140 patents annually, and our students and faculty have started more than 80 companies since 1995.

The Caltech campus is located in the city of Pasadena, just 10 miles from Los Angeles, with access to regional and commercial industrial centers, government agencies, and educational and cultural institutions. Student life at Caltech revolves around the eight campus Houses, which revel in their distinct personalities and unique traditions, including a long history of elaborate pranks carried off around the country. Caltech students can participate in more than 150 clubs that celebrate a wide range of interests or compete in 17 NCAA Division III-level varsity sports. The Honor Code governs life at Caltech, affording students such privileges as take-home tests, permission to collaborate on assignments, and keys to campus buildings.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1891
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar quarter
Setting suburban
2012 Endowment $1,811,497,000


When applying to California Institute of Technology, it's important to note the application deadline is January 3, and the early action deadline is November 1. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due December 31. The application fee at California Institute of Technology is $75. It is most selective, with an acceptance rate of 11.8 percent and an early acceptance rate of 18.9 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity most selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 11.8%
Application deadline January 3
SAT/ACT scores must be received by December 31

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at California Institute of Technology is 3:1, and the school has 58.8 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at California Institute of Technology include: Engineering; Physical Sciences; Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; and Mathematics and Statistics. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 97.5 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 3:1
4-year graduation rate 79%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Engineering 44%
Physical Sciences 23%
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services 12%
Biological and Biomedical Sciences 10%
Mathematics and Statistics 10%

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Student Life

California Institute of Technology has a total undergraduate enrollment of 997, with a gender distribution of 61.7 percent male students and 38.3 percent female students. At this school, 85 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 15 percent of students live off campus. California Institute of Technology is part of the NCAA III athletic conference.

Total enrollment 2,243
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity N/A
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority N/A
Collegiate athletic association NCAA III

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Campus Info & Services

California Institute of Technology offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, health service, and health insurance. California Institute of Technology also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at California Institute of Technology, 35 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at California Institute of Technology.

Students who have cars on campus 35%
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At California Institute of Technology, 52.4 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $34,831.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $41,538 (2013-14)
Room and board $12,507 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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