International Students Admission to California Institute of Technology

Find out how great you can be worldwide at California Institute of Technology! Check out our complete way for students from other countries to get in, amazing programs, and super academic chances. Be part of a mix of smart people and creative thinkers at one of the best places in the world. In this post, we talk about International Students Admission to California Institute of Technology. Sign up today!

An Overview of California Institute of Technology

The California Institute of Technology, also known as Caltech, is a private university in Pasadena, California. It’s really good at making new discoveries in science and is one of the few technology-focused universities in the United States. Because it’s so good at inventing things, people think it’s one of the best universities in the world.

Caltech started in 1891 as a school to prepare students for jobs. Over time, it attracted famous scientists like George Ellery Hale, Arthur Amos Noyes, and Robert Andrews Millikan. In the early 20th century, it changed from being just a school to a college and finally got its current name in 1920. In the 1930s, it became part of an important group of universities. Additionally, it also helped start NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

At Caltech, there are six parts that focus a lot on science and engineering. They do a lot of research, with $332 million spent on it in 2011. The main campus is in Pasadena, about 11 miles away from downtown Los Angeles. Most first-year students live on campus. However, almost all undergraduates stay in campus housing.

Caltech’s sports teams, called the Beavers, compete in 13 sports in a special league. The students also follow an honor code that lets them take tests at home.

The people at Caltech have been part of many important scientific discoveries, like finding ways to help the environment, understanding how tiny particles work, monitoring earthquakes, making new proteins, and creating soft robots. Lots of Nobel Prize winners are connected to Caltech—79 in total, with some winning more than one prize. There are also winners of other important awards who have been part of Caltech.

See also: International Students Admission to the University of Southampton

A Brief History of California Institute of Technology

Caltech has a really cool history packed with scientific discoveries, top-notch education, and new inventions. Let’s take a trip through some important moments that made Caltech the awesome place it is today.

Starting Out (1891-1910)

Caltech began back in the late 1800s when a guy named Amos G. Throop set up Throop University in 1891. At first, it was in downtown Los Angeles and focused on teaching practical skills. Then, in 1907, it also teamed up with Timothy M. Phelps’ trustees to give the university a new direction.

Becoming Caltech (1910-1920)

By 1910, the school changed its name to the California Institute of Technology and became more about science. George Ellery Hale, a famous astronomer, brought in lots of smart people, laying the foundation for Caltech’s reputation in science. It also started working closely with the Mount Wilson Observatory, getting even better at astronomy.

See also: International Students Admission to Northeastern University

Big Advances in Physics (1920-1930)

The 1920s were a time of big growth and new ideas at Caltech, especially in physics. Albert Einstein visited in 1931, thus, boosting Caltech’s reputation in cutting-edge research and leaving a lasting impression.

War Time and Science (1940-1950)

During World War II, Caltech did a lot of important research for the military, like helping with radar and the Manhattan Project. This showed how good Caltech was at tackling tough challenges.

Growing and Trying New Things (1950-1960)

After the war, Caltech got bigger and started looking at lots of different subjects, thanks to more money from the government. It wasn’t just about science anymore—Caltech got into biology, chemistry, engineering, and computer science. This mix of subjects also helped them make more amazing discoveries.

See also: International Student Admission to University of Notre Dame

Space Stuff and Tech (1960-1980)

The space race in the 1960s got Caltech really involved in aerospace engineering and space exploration. They worked with NASA on cool projects like the Mariner and Voyager missions. Caltech’s skills in robotics, materials, and computers were also a big help in exploring space.

Today and Tomorrow (1980-Present)

Nowadays, Caltech is still a top place for research and new ideas. Students, teachers, and graduates are always discovering new things in fields like quantum mechanics, nanotechnology, and environmental science. Caltech stays ahead by working together across different subjects and focusing on being the best in science.

Throughout its history, Caltech has stuck to its goals of being excellent, innovative, and working together. That’s why it’s known around the world as one of the best places for science. And as Caltech looks forward, it’s all about pushing boundaries and training the next group of science and tech leaders.

See also: International Students Admission to the University of Sheffield

International Students Admission to California Institute of Technology

At Caltech, international applicants are students who aren’t citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. and are studying in secondary school outside the U.S. If you’re in the U.S. as an asylee, refugee, or undocumented student, you’re considered a domestic applicant.

Apart from considering financial need for international students, Caltech treats all applicants the same during the application and review processes. They provide financial aid based on need, covering 100% of what you show you need. No matter where you’re from or where you go to school, they’ll look at your application based on your school’s standards.

However, they won’t consider your application if any part of it isn’t translated into English.

See also: International Students Admission to the University of Birmingham

Academic Preparation for International Students Admission to California Institute of Technology

At Caltech, we’ll push you to think in creative and innovative ways, and we expect you to be ready for that challenge by taking a strong set of courses in high school.

To get ready for our core curriculum, you need to show that you’re really good at these subjects:

  • Four years of math, including at least one year of calculus
  • One year of physics
  • One year of chemistry
  • It’s also good to have one year of biology
  • Four years of English
  • Two years of history or social sciences (though we recommend three or more)

If you can’t take a calculus, chemistry, or physics class in high school because it’s not offered or you have scheduling issues, you can still meet that requirement by showing us your test scores or a certificate that proves you know the subject well. You and your counselor just need to explain why you couldn’t take the class.

See also: International Students Admission to Tufts University

For students in certain programs like IB or GCE A-Level, we have specific math requirements. And for students in India, you need to complete both the X and XII state board or CBSE exams. If you have any questions, you can email us at

If you’re only taking STEM classes in your last two years of high school, like A-Level students, you’ll need to take two English and two social studies classes in your first two years of high school instead.

When should you Apply to Caltech?

Students typically apply to U.S. colleges and universities in their last year of high school. At Caltech, we admit students to start in the fall term, and our application deadlines are during the U.S. fall and winter. We understand that some applicants might not have their final grades yet, so we’ll look at the most recent grades on your transcript during our review. You can choose to apply for Restrictive Early Action, which is an early deadline, or Regular Decision, which has a later deadline.

If you’re already studying at another university, you can only apply to transfer to Caltech. However, we might make exceptions for students in the southern hemisphere who start college while also applying to U.S. universities.

See also: International Students Admission to the University of Warwick

Submission of Transcript and Teacher Evaluation

We need official documents, like transcripts, from your school that show your classes, grades, and predicted grades or scores if they’re available. These documents should come directly from your school to us. If your school doesn’t teach in English, we need the original document and an English translation. You could ask an English teacher or someone else at your school to translate it. Our admissions officers are trained to understand different education systems, so you don’t need to convert your grades to the American system.

We also need evaluations from two of your high school teachers:

  • One from a math or science teacher
  • One from a humanities or social science teacher
    If you haven’t taken a humanities or social science course in your last two years of high school, like A-level students, you can ask another teacher in a different core subject for the evaluation. We prefer these evaluations to be from your last two years of high school.

See also: International Students Admission at the University of Edinburgh

Financial Aid for International Students Admission to California Institute of Technology

Caltech is dedicated to meeting the complete demonstrated financial need of all accepted students. However, for international students, we do consider financial need in our admissions decisions because our financial aid funds for international students are limited. This means that financial need might influence our decision on whether to admit international applicants.

If you’re an international applicant and you plan to apply for financial aid during your time at Caltech, you must apply for it when you apply for admission. If we offer you financial aid for your first year, you can reapply for aid in the following years. However, if you don’t apply for or receive financial aid in your first year, you can’t apply for aid for any other academic period. There might be exceptions for citizens of Canada and Mexico. You can find more details in our International Financial Aid Statement of Intent.

You can choose to apply either through Restrictive Early Action or Regular Decision. Our financial aid covers everything—tuition, housing, dining, books, fees, and personal expenses.

See also: International Students Admission to University of Utah


In summary, Caltech is happy to have international students apply. They can become part of a diverse group of smart and creative people. Caltech wants to help all students with their finances, but there’s not unlimited money for international students. So, sometimes, financial need can affect if an international student gets in. But Caltech works hard to make sure everyone, no matter their money situation, can benefit from the great education here. With challenging classes, exciting research chances, and a friendly atmosphere, Caltech gives international students a chance to do well and do big things in science and tech.

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