How to Get into Caltech


          Caltech is one of the most prestigious and difficult universities in the United States and the world for science and engineering. Caltech or California Institute of Technology continually vies with MIT for the top position as number one science and engineering college in the nation. Some very famous scientific minds have studied at Caltech including Benoit Mandelbrot of the Mandelbrot set, astronaut Gordon Fullerton, and Eugene Shoemaker who co-founded the Shoemaker-Levy comet. Caltech is a small university with only around 2000 students, more graduates than undergraduates. Caltech is located in the beautiful Pasadena California not too far from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Follow the tips below to help you get accepted into Caltech.

Step 1

Caltech is one of the most difficult colleges in the US to get into so this will not be easy. Hopefully you are reading this article during your freshman year in high school because you will need all 4 years to prepare yourself to get accepted into CalTech. A Caltech education does not come easy. In addition to having perfect grades in high school, near perfect scores on your SAT’s, and great letters of recommendation from science or math professors in high school you really need to set yourself apart from other freshman applicants to the university. This goes the same way for graduate entrance students as well. You should get involved and accell in some type of science related researched or work during your high school career. This can be difficult because you are only in high school but you will have to be creative in order to set yourself apart. A good example would be to be active in your high school’s robotics team if they have one and win a competition. Perhaps reviewing and documenting your own scientific experiments using the scientific method to be expounded upon in your resume for Caltech admission may help. There are no set guidelines here. The point is you will really need to make yourself stand out from all the other incoming freshman applicants.

Step 2

The average gpa for incoming freshmen to Caltech is around 3.9 on a 4.0 scale. This is close to a straight A average for the entire length of your high school career. You will have to accell in your high school academics in order to achieve this goal.

Step 3

SAT scores for Caltech are extremely high. You will need to be much stronger in Math than in reading and writing. The average math sat score is around the high 700’s. The Critical Reading and Writing scores are in the 700’s as well. It is advised to practice with several SAT prep books starting your sophomore year in high school. You may also want to take some SAT prep classes as well. Keep practicing and learning to improve your scores. Luckily you can take the SAT’s many times so there is room for improvement.

Step 4

If you are an undergraduate in college applying to Caltech for grad school in engineering or the sciences, good luck. It is one of the most competitive graduate programs. In addition to having excellent engineering or pure science grades in college it is best to add some extra credentials to your educational resume such as some engineering intern jobs, perhaps some undergraduate research at your institution or the like. Place emphasis on your amazing science prowess and engineering skill by highlighting any specialties you may have in your entrance application.

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