Caltech Acceptance Rate, Admissions, SAT/ACT, GPA, Tuition, Rankings

California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has a single-digit acceptance rate. With an acceptance rate that is considered to be one of the most selective among all the universities in the US, and also one of the most selective institutes in the world.

This article contains more information about the Caltech admission process regarding how selective it is. With over 8,000 applications received in the fall of the previous admission period, Caltech enrolled just about a few hundred of those applications.

Caltech is a research institute situated in Pasadena, California. The institute concentrates on engineering and applied sciences with over 50 research institutes and centres. Caltech is a mid-sized institution with over 2,000 students in six different academic divisions. 

If you want to find out about the admission process for both domestic and international students, graduates, tuition, application requirements, and much more. Kindly read this article for facts, insight, and statistics about the aforementioned. 

Caltech Acceptance Rate

Californian Institute of Technology (Caltech)

California Institute of Technology is a private research institution located in Pasadena California. Caltech was established in 1891 as a preparatory school by its founder Amos G Throop. The California Institute of Technology sits on 124 acres with an enrollment of 987 undergraduates and 1,410 postgraduates.

Caltech is a mid-sized institution operating a quarter-based academic calendar. 

The California-based University is a household name leading the innovation in science and engineering. The university is among the few institutes of technology in the United States that focus more on providing pure and applied sciences. The California Institute of Technology is of the best universities globally and is highly selective in its admission process.

Currently, there are 6 academic divisions at Caltech which consist of graduate programs such as Biology and Biological Engineering, Chemistry, and Chemical Engineering, Geological and Planetary Sciences, Engineering and Applied Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy.

The University provides a housing system for its students and all first-year students are required to reside on campus. 

Caltech is an institute that concentrates on innovative techniques in engineering and applied sciences. It engages about 80% of its undergraduate students in research, expatiating knowledge in technological advancements.

California Institute of Technology has about fifty research institutes and facilities aimed at providing state-of-the-art resources for advanced technological feats. Caltech operates a Jet Propulsion Laboratory owned by NASA which is also a center for robotic exploration.

Here is A List of Some of The Research Centers and institutes at Caltech.

  • Beckman Institute
  • Tianqiao and Christy and Chen Institute for Neuroscience at Caltech
  • The Kavli Nanoscience Institute
  • Richard N. Merkin Institute for Translational Research
  • Resnick Sustainability Institute 
  • Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center 
  • Centre for Autonomous Systems and Technologies
  • Einstein Papers Project 
  • Institute for Quantum Information and Matter
  • W.M. Keck Observatory 
  • Laser International Gravitational-wave Observatory 
  • Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis 
  • Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)

California Institute of Technology Data

Here is a holistic statistics for undergraduate and graduate students, academic staff, and different levels of degrees awarded at Caltech.

  • Total number of students: 2,233
  • Total number of academic staff: 353
  • Number of undergraduate degrees awarded: 240
  • Number of doctoral degrees awarded: 207
  • Number of new undergraduate students: 231
  • Number of new doctoral students: 233
  • Number of international students: 755
  • Number of international staff: 103
  • Number of master’s degrees awarded: 139
  • Number of research only staff: 629
  • Number of new master’s students: 17

Also Read: 25 Best Schools For Engineering in the World

Caltech (California Institute of Technology) Acceptance Rate

California Institute of Technology is one of the most selective universities in the United States. As of the fall of 2020, the acceptance rate at Caltech is 6.7% which simply means that if 100 applications were received at the institution, only about 6 of those applications will be accepted. 

Caltech is the second California-based University with a single-digit acceptance rate after Stanford University.

Since the acceptance rate at Caltech is highly selective as it only accepts 6 out of every 100 applications, what will be the requirements for GPA SAT and ACT.

California Institute of Technology (Caltech) GPA Requirement

Caltech is extremely selective in its admission process and one would expect the average GPA to get into Caltech to be competitive.

The required average GPA at the California Institute of Technology is 4.19. Each year Caltech receives thousands of applications and only about 200+ of those applications are accepted. 

The acceptance rate and GPA requirement at Caltech demand that you be at the top of your class. On average you need will need more A’ than B’s to stand a chance of competing with other applicants. 

Caltech SAT Requirement

With such a rate of selectivity in its admission process, Caltech requires an average SAT of 1545 on the New 1600 SAT scale.

With the new SAT scale, 1530 is the New SAT score for the 25th percentile, while that of the 75th percentile is 1570. An SAT score of 1530 is considered below average and 1570 is above average on the New SAT.

Here is a holistic statistics of the New SAT scores

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Reading + Writing750740760

Caltech ACT Requirement

  • ACT Range: 35-36

California Institute of Technology requires an average ACT score of 36. This rate of ACT scores signifies how competitive getting into Caltech is.

ACT ScorePercentile

Application Requirements for First-Year Students at California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Caltech’s admission process is selective for all applicants. These are the requirements for all first-year applicants.

  • You can apply to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) through the Common Application, Coalition Application, or Supplemental Application Essay. Caltech accepts all applications sent through the Common Application or Coalition Application. These application portals are reliable and Caltech highly recommends that you chose the best application platform.

Caltech also collaborates with QuestBridge and students can apply for Caltech via the QuestBridge National College Match.

  • An application fee of $75 or a waiver fee
  • Standardized Test Scores (SAT/ACT): Caltech implemented a two-year moratorium in June 2020 on the requirement and consideration of SAT/ACT scores as part of the admission process for undergraduates. However, the two-year moratorium was extended a year further. In January 2020, Caltech removed the SAT Subject Test from its admission requirements.
  • Teacher’s evaluation: Have two teachers of two different subjects write a letter of evaluation for you. Caltech requires these letters of evaluation to be written by a math or science teacher. Additionally, the letters can also be written by a humanities or social sciences teacher.
  • Secondary School Report: Caltech requires all first-year applicants to send their high school documents to the Admission Committee. These documents must be sent by your school counsellor to Caltech to aid the university in evaluating your application collectively.

Also Read: 25 Cheapest Universities in USA for International Students

Application Deadline for First-Year Applicants

California Institute of Technology provides two rounds of admission for all first-year applicants which are Early Decision and Regular Decision.

Here are the application deadlines for first-year students.

ActionDeadline date  
Early ActionNovember 1st, 2021
Regular DecisionJanuary 3rd, 2022
Early Action and Regular Decision admit replyMay 1st, 2022
  • Early Action Decision Notification: Mid December
  • Regular Decision Notification: Mid-March

Application Requirements and Deadlines for Graduates

Caltech offers a wide range of degree programs at undergraduate and graduate levels. And for graduates who want to apply to Caltech, here are the requirements to fulfil. 

  • All graduate applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree
  • Graduate applicants with a PhD degree will not be considered for a second Doctoral degree 
  • Applicants must provide transcripts from a college or university attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Applicant statement of purpose for application evaluation
  • A résumé
  • All applicants are expected to read, write and speak and understand the English language. This requirement is for applicants whose native language is not English or applicants who earned a degree from a university where English was not used to give instruction. Caltech requires such applicants to take English proficiency tests such as TOEFL, PTE, or IETLS.

You can find more information about the application checklist, deadline, and more by visiting Caltech’s official website via the link below.

Application Requirements for International Students

Each year, the California Institute of Technology receives thousands of applications, and only hundreds of those applications are accepted. This is because of the acceptance rate at Caltech which is highly selective.

However, some of the applications received at Caltech are from outside the borders of the United States. If you are an international student, here are the application requirements at Caltech.

The application requirement applies to both non-U.S citizens and non- U.S permanent residents.

  • All international applicants must have completed the academic preparation required by Caltech while still in secondary school
  • Caltech accepts applications from international students that have completed a curriculum approved by the government in their country

The curriculum include 

  • IGCSE, AS, and A level CurriculumInternational Baccalaureate (IB)
  • Advanced Placement (AP)
  • Cambridge Pre-U
  • Other local public options

Also note that Caltech does not grant credit for IB, AP, A-Level, Pre-U, or courses taken before your enrollment. Every international applicant accepted at Caltech will sit for math and physics placement exams.

Also Read: Australian Study Requirement

Admission Statistics at Caltech

Applicants8,36771%. 28%

California Institute of Technology (Caltech) Rankings

Caltech is a recognized institute leading innovation in engineering and applied science. Currently, Caltech’s reputation and prestige have seen the institution occupy notable positions in state and national rankings.

National Rankings

  • 2nd in Best Small Colleges in America
  • 2nd in Best Colleges for Physics in America 
  • 3rd in Hardest Colleges to Get Into in America 
  • 4th in Best Colleges for Computer Science in America 
  • 5th on Best Colleges for Chemistry in America
  • 7th in Best Colleges for Engineering in America 
  • 12th in Best Value Colleges in America

State Rankings

  • 2nd in Hardest Colleges to Get into in California 
  • 2nd in Colleges with the Best Professors in California 
  • 2nd in Best Colleges for Computer Science in California
  • 2nd in Best Small Colleges in California 
  • 3rd in Colleges with the Best Academics in California 
  • 3rd in Best Value Colleges in California
  • 4th in Best Colleges in California
  • 4th in Top Private Universities in California 
  • 4th in Best Colleges for Biology in California
  • 4th in Best Colleges that Accept the Common App in California

Subject Rankings 

  • 1st In Geosciences 
  • 1st in Space Science 
  • 5th in Physics 
  • 2nd in Optics 
  • 15th in Chemistry

According to Usnews, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is ranked 9th among Best Global Universities.

Caltech Tuition and Fees

To find out the cost of attendance for undergraduate students currently enrolled at Caltech. Kindly visit Caltech’s official website via the link below.

For graduate students enrolled at Caltech. Here is a statistics for the cost of attendance. 

On-Campus (single)On-Campus (shared 2-bedroom)On-Campus (shared 4-bedroom)Off-Campus (shared 2-bedroom)
Personal Expenses$4,674$4,674$4,674$4,674
Mandatory Fees$2,103$2,103$2,103$2,103
TOTAL TUITION AND FEES$58,467$58,467$58,467$58,467
TOTAL ESTIMATED BUDGET$93,226$86,686$85,186$93,166

Is Caltech A Good School?

California Institute of Technology is one of the best schools to attend. The university has over 50 research institutes and centers leading in technological advancement and space exploration.

Caltech is an institute that focuses on engineering and applied sciences. Being one of the small institutes of technology in the United States, Caltech operates a Jet Propulsion Laboratory owned by NASA which is beneficial to students in expanding their horizons on technology.

The student enrolled at Caltech are just above 2,000 and this creates a more flexible student-faculty ratio with more first-hand research experience.

Also Read: 10 Best Pre Med Schools in California

How Hard is it To Get into Caltech?

The acceptance rate at Caltech is 6.7% which simply means out of every 100 applications only 6 are accepted. However, you can increase your chances of getting into Caltech with a good GPA, SAT, and ACT. 

Additionally, you can apply for an early decision to also increase your chances of becoming the next freshman at Caltech. Visit the Caltech official website to stay updated on the latest developments about admission.

Caltech Contact Address.

  • School Address: 1200 E CALIFORNIA BLVD PASADENA, CA 91125
  • Phone: (626) 395-6811

Frequently Asked Questions about Caltech Acceptance Rate.

Below are some of the frequently asked questions about the Caltech admission process.

What GPA is required for Caltech?

Caltech is extremely selective in its admission process. The required average GPA is 4.18.

The GPA requirements at Caltech demand that you be at the top of your class, with more A’s.

How much do Caltech graduates make?

Caltech alumni salary is estimated at $112,166 as of 2018.

Is Caltech the Hardest School to Get Into?

Caltech is one of the most selective institutions in the United States. However, the institute is not the most selective as Stanford University currently is more selective than Caltech with a little margin.


Caltech is dedicated to providing the best experiences in technology and space exploration. A university with six academic divisions and over 50 research institutes and centres. Caltech is leading the innovation in engineering and applied sciences.

With a selective acceptance rate, Caltech is only searching for the best students. If you intend to become a freshman at Caltech, your high school grades should share the same optimism with you.


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