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California Institute Of Technology (Caltech) Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :15 Dec 
International :15 Dec 

MS Electrical Engineering

 Course Level
Masters / PG
Full Time

2 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

75345 USD
75345 USD

Application fee

International 100 USD
National 100 USD
Department of Electrical Engineering
Scores accepted

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About this course

Caltech has a reputation as a world-class research university, and it is no exaggeration to say that much of this reputation is based on the quality of its graduate students. The Electrical Engineering Department at Caltech is no exception: its bright and motivated graduate students collaborate with its professors in their research efforts and make it one of the top Electrical Engineering departments in the country.

Aims and Scope of the Graduate Program
Award of the Bachelor of Science degree may be followed by graduate study leading to the Master of Science degree in electrical engineering, and the more advanced degrees of Electrical Engineer or Doctor of Philosophy. Because admission to graduate studies in electrical engineering at Caltech is extremely competitive, the Admissions Committee attempts to select those applicants it judges both best qualified and best suited for the graduate program. Applicants should submit Graduate Record Examination scores.

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Eligibility Criteria

Required tests

Caltech requires the verbal, quantitative, and analytical components of the Graduate Records Examination (GREs). Chemistry also requires applicants take either the Chemistry, Physics, or Biochemistry Subject Exam as part of the application.

There are no minimum score requirements for GREs.

The Verbal, Quantitative, and Writing components of the General Graduate Record Examination are required by all graduate options, and advanced GRE Subject scores are required or strongly recommended by several options. There are no minimum score requirements for admission. Testing schedules and information on the GRE may be obtained at www.gre.org. Caltech's institution code is 4034. A subject code is not required since all scores are delivered to the Graduate Studies Office.

For a list of the departments requiring or strongly recommending the subject exam, please refer to Required Tests.

Test scores are only one aspect of the application package.

Students coming from non-English speaking countries are required to take an English proficiency exam. However, students who have studied in the U.S. for 2 or more years, or who obtained a degree from a school whose primary instruction is in English are exempt from this requirement.

Caltech does not have a minimum GPA requirement. However, most successful applicants have a US GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and/or are in the top 5 to 10% of their class.

GPA's should only be reported for those schools attended in the United States. International GPA's or rankings do not need to be converted to the standard US grade point average.

More information on the TOEFL, TSE, TWE, and IELTS tests are available at the Office of Graduate Studies Checklist.

Applicants whose first or native language is not English are required to take a test of English proficiency as part of the application procedure. Caltech recognizes scores from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) (www.toefl.org), Pearson's Test of English Academic (PTE) (www.pearsonvue.com/pte), and from the Cambridge Examinations and International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (www.ielts.org). Applicants should arrange for the results of these tests to be sent to Caltech's Graduate Studies Office. Caltech's institution code is 4034.

The following exemptions apply: 

  • Applicants who have studied in the US for two or more years
  • Applicants with a degree from a school whose primary instruction is in English

Please note that regardless of whether or not the English proficiency exams are exempt during the admissions process, all non-native English speakers will be screened prior to enrollment and may be required to take additional English as a Second Language (ESL) training.

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Course Modules

Master’s Degree
Normally, the master’s degree in electrical engineering is completed in one academic year. The principal criteria for evaluating applicants for the MSEE are the excellence of their preparation for the math- and physics-oriented nature of Caltech’s graduate courses, and the judgment of the Admissions Committee on their ability to successfully pursue and benefit from the course program. The Institute does not normally admit an applicant to the master’s degree in a field in which the applicant already has a master’s degree from another U.S. institution. Financial aid is seldom offered to those who intend to complete their graduate work with a master’s degree. A joint B.S./M.S. degree is not available in electrical engineering.

135 units (100 or above except some specially petitioned humanities courses) are required as approved by the electrical engineering graduate student adviser. No more than 30 units of pass/ fail grades may be counted toward this requirement. Units toward this are not transferable from other schools. At least 54 units of EE letter-graded courses (courses listed or cross-listed as EE) labeled 100 or above and not counting EE 191 or EE 291 are required. EE 105 abc, Electrical Engineering Seminar, is also required. Students are urged to consider including a humanities course in the remaining free electives.

Students who have been admitted to the M.S.-only program must reapply if they are interested in the Ph.D. program.


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How to Apply


The Admissions Committees will take several components of the application into consideration including letters of recommendation, grades in college particularly those in chemistry, biochemistry, and related subjects, any research experience including resulting publications or presentations, GRE scores, and the statement of purpose.

All documents related to the application must be submitted to the Graduate office on or before the December 15th deadline.

Three letters of recommendation are required.

The online application currently accepts three letters maximum, so keep in mind that it's important to submit three strong letters from individuals most familiar with you.

Letters should be requested from those individuals who know you best and can attest to your academic capabilities or training. While faculty members and research supervisors can provide the strongest academic recommendations, we recognize that some applicants may also have work experience that relates to their abilities and training. Keep in mind that those individuals writing recommendation letters should be able to address the following information:

  • How well the applicant is known and in what capacity
  • If the applicant has the intellectual capability, experimental ability, fundamental training, creativity, and motivation to be successful as a student at Caltech
  • Whether the applicant would be encouraged to do doctoral research under the recommender's supervision
  • If English is not the native language, how well does the applicant read, write, and converse in English?
  • How does the applicant compare to any previous students who have come to Caltech for their graduate work?

 Individuals unable to submit materials electronically may fax, mail or email materials to:

Graduate Studies Office
Mail Code 230-87
California Institute of Technology
1200 E. California Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91125
FAX (626) 577-9246   
Email [email protected]

Be sure that the applicant's name is clearly indicated on any supporting documents not uploaded with the application.


 An application for admission can be completed electronically through the Graduate Studies Office website. Admission will be granted only to a limited number of students of superior ability, and application should be made by the posted deadlines. Completed applications are due in the Graduate Office between December 15 and January 15. Please refer to the Graduate Office website for specific deadlines. Some options will review an application received after the deadline, but that applicant may be at a disadvantage in the allocation of financial assistance or in the priority for admission. In general, admission to graduate standing is effective for enrollment only at the beginning of the fall term. The California Institute of Technology encourages applications from members of groups underrepresented in science and engineering, including women. Graduate admissions is covered by Caltech’s Nondiscrimination Policy. For more information on this policy, please refer to page 70. Applicants will automatically be considered for financial aid; no additional application is required.

To be admitted to graduate standing, an applicant must in general have received a bachelor’s degree representing the completion of an undergraduate course in science or engineering equivalent to one of the options offered by the Institute. He or she must, moreover, have attained such a scholastic record and present such recommendations as to indicate fitness to pursue, with distinction, advanced study and research. Admission sometimes may have to be refused solely on the basis of limited facilities in the option concerned.



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