The California Institute of Technology is a privately run research university in Pasadena, California. It is also known for its strength in science and engineering. It is a small group of institutes of technology in the United States which is principally devoted to the instruction of pure and applied sciences. It is ranked among the best academic organizations in the world and is among the most selective in the United States.


The organization was established as a preparatory and vocational school by Amos G. Throop in 1891 and drew the attention of influential scientists such as Arthur Amos Noyes, Robert Andrews Millikan and, George Ellery Hale and in the early 20th century. The preparatory and vocational schools were discontinued and in 1901 they were spun off. The college got its present name in the year 1920. Under Theodore von Karman, between the years 1936 and 1943, Caltech was elected to the Association of American Universities, and the antecedents of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which Caltech continues to manage and operate.

Caltech has six academic branches with a strong emphasis on engineering and science, managing sponsor research of $332 million in 2011. It has a primary campus area of 124 acres which spreads approximately 18 KM (11 miles) northeast of downtown Los Angeles. Almost 95 % of undergraduate students stay in campus accommodations, in which all first-year students must stay on campus at Caltech. Although there is a strong tradition of jokes and pranks here at Caltech, everyday student life here is governed by an honour code of conduct that enables faculties to assign take-home examinations. 

Caltech is a residential research university, offering different course durations for different courses., with fewer undergraduate programs than graduate programs. Since 1949, the institute has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Caltech operates on a quarter system: the first term here starts in late September and ends before Christmas. The second term starts after New Year’s Day and ends in mid-March, and the final and third term starts in late March or early April and ends in early June.

U.S. News & World Report, 2022 has ranked Caltech as 9th in the United States among other national universities overall, 9th for Global research reputation, and 176th in the world for Publications. Graduate programs offered by the university in space science and earth sciences are also ranked first among national universities.  

The Times Higher Education, World University Rankings also ranked Caltech University 2nd, internationally for the year 2022 in two categories, Engineering & Technology and Physical Science. The faculty citation rate of Caltech University is also the highest in the world.


California Institute of Technology is a technical university that does not give much importance to the scores of applicants. Instead, the university takes into consideration the overall academic qualification of the applicant, their proven interest and experience in a related field, and their interest in STEM fields.

There is great competition to take admission to Caltech University as it has an acceptance rate of only 6.7%. Though, the university doesn't have a minimum GPA requirement. However, most of the students who get admission to the university have a GPA of 3.5 (~89.90%) on a scale of 4.0 or is/were in the top 10% of their class. 

  • International Population: In the previous year, a total of 2397 students enrolled in Caltech. Out of the total enrollment, 628 international graduate students with 29.45% international students.
  • Additional Requirements: Basic admission requirements for international students include Letters of recommendation, a Statement of Purpose, scores of exams to study in the USA, and English proficiency test results.
  • Programs: Admissions at the California Institute of Technology are offered in 30 graduate degree programs and 28 undergraduate degree programs. The most popular courses offered are Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Electrical Engineering.
  • Decision Date: Caltech offers two rounds of admission for interested students: Regular Decision and Early Action. Regular Decision results are made available on April 1, whereas Early decision results are usually made available in mid-December. 


Caltech offers 13 minors and 28 majors across its six academic divisions for undergraduate applicants. And it also has 30 courses in the form of MS and PhD degrees, at the graduate level. Students are motivated and encouraged to open up with faculty advisors so that they can collaborate closely with them and develop a better understanding of the state-of-the-art technology and also invent the new, as per the needs of the future.

Some of the most preferred courses at Caltech University are:

  • Chemistry & Chemical Engineering
  • Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Engineering & Applied Science
  • Physics, Mathematics & Astronomy.
  • Biology & Biological Engineering
  • Geological & Planetary Sciences

Various joint degree programs are also offered by Caltech university in association with the USC Keck School of Medicine, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, and the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine.

The tuition fees for undergraduate courses for the academic year 2021-2022 were $56,394 and $79,947 was the total annual costs estimated to be, excluding the Caltech Student Health Insurance Plan.

In the year 2012–2013, $17.1 million was awarded by Caltech for need-based aid and $2.51 million in self-help support, and $438k in non-need-based aid to enrolled undergraduate students. The average financial aid package of all those students who were eligible for aid was $38,756 and that is why students graduated with an average debt of $15,090.

According to a PayScale study, held in 2018 Caltech graduates earn an early career salary of $83,400 and $143,100 mid-career, these numbers make the Caltech university graduates list in the top 5 among graduates of US colleges and universities. The average net return on investment of Caltech university is also the tenth-highest in the US, at $887,000. 


Caltech has 6 branches in which students can opt for courses of their choice. International applicants are also accepted by the university-provided official academic documents, provided proof that they have met California Institute of Technology admissions eligibility requirements, and also met deadlines to apply for admission. At Caltech, Graduate courses are offered in Bioengineering Medical, Computer Science, Chemical, Physics, Aeronautics, and several other fields.

Application Process: To apply for master's programs at Caltech, applicants are required to follow the following steps: 

Step 1: Submit the application form online by creating a free account at the university graduate portal. 

Step 2: Submit a fee waiver request or pay an application fee of 100 USD, whichever is applicable. 

Step 3: Upload the Statement of Purpose (SOP)

Step 4: Updated online grade reports issued by your college or university or upload an electronic copy of the official transcripts or 

Step 5: Enter details of three people from whom you will request letters of recommendation

Step 6: Upload a Resume or CV  

Admission Requirements:

  • 3 LOR
  • Copy of passport
  • Financial aid statement of intent
  • Official transcripts of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • CV or resume
  • Admission interview
  • SOP
  • English proficiency scores
  • Copy of passport

Generally, GRE scores are not considered for admission to Caltech University.

California Institute of Technology Scholarships:
California Institute of Technology does not offer any merit-based scholarships to any student but it does meet the 100% requirement of the students with an approximate need for financial aid. The institute gives awards, scholarships, loans, and grants only based on the requirements and needs of the students and the university even helps students to locate work while studying to support and manage their finances. Students studying in the United States of America can apply for various external scholarship schemes offered for international students in the US, to support and fund their higher education.


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Thanks for reading this blog on Caltech University: Ranking, and fee details. If you are interested in learning more about studying abroad and student life abroad, then I highly recommend you to read: