Caltech typically enrolls 235 outstanding freshmen each fall term. Students who have not yet earned a high school diploma (including students enrolled in high school/college dual enrollment programs) or who have not enrolled in college courses for credit after graduating from high school will be considered as freshman candidates.
November 1, 2013: Early Action
January 3, 2014: Regular Decision
Applying Early Action or Regular Decision?
Students should consider applying Early Action if they can demonstrate strong academic preparation and achievement without benefit of senior-year first semester grades, have taken all the required SAT and ACT tests by the October test date.
Applicants will be notified by mid-December whether they have been admitted, denied or held for review during the Regular Decision process. There is no strategic advantage to applying Early Action; it is non-binding in that the candidates who are admitted early need not respond to the offer of admission until May 1.
Submitting Your Application:
To apply for admission, please submit the Common Application with the Caltech Member Questions and Writing Supplement, along with the application fee of $75 or a fee waiver request and supporting documentation. Candidates must apply online by going to commonapp.org. Please visit our Application Forms page for additional information.
- 4 years of math (including calculus)
- 1 year of physics
- 1 year of chemistry
- 3 years of English (4 years recommended)
- 1 year of U.S. history/government (waived for international students)
- SAT w/writing OR ACT w/writing
- SAT Mathematics Level 2
- 1 SAT Subject Test: Biology (Ecological), Biology (Molecular), Chemistry, OR Physics
- TOEFL (for international students*)
All testing must be completed prior to the application deadline. Scores from tests taken after the deadline will not be considered.
*If your native language is not English, and you have not studied for at least two years in an English-speaking country, we require the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). All versions of the TOEFL are acceptable.
Official test scores must be sent by the testing agency. Please do not rush scores.
Caltech strongly recommends that students submit all SAT and SAT Subject test scores.
- One Math or Science Teacher AND
- One Humanities or Social Science Teacher*
While Caltech requires one math or science teacher recommendation AND one humanities or social science teacher recommendation letter, you are also encouraged to submit one letter of evaluation from a mentor or supervisor who might know you in a different context.
Please have the recommender include your full name and date of birth so that we can match the letter to your application.
Suggested optional recommenders include (but are not limited to): arts or club Instructors, band directors, employers, research mentors, religious or community leaders, program advisors, or coaches.
* The following classes are suitable for the humanities/social sciences teacher evaluation:
- English, Literature
- Foreign Language
- Philosophy, Religion
- History, Government, Political Science, American Studies, Geography, Economics
- Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology
These are all classes that have a writing requirement.
We do not conduct interviews as part of the admissions process. You are, however, encouraged to visit the campus to participate in an information session and tour.
Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, A Levels, Cambridge Pre-U, and College Courses:
Caltech does not grant credit for AP, IB, A level, Pre-U, or college courses taken prior to enrollment. Each student will take a math and physics placement exam prior to enrolling. Based on the results of these exams, a student may place out of courses and be granted credit for those courses.
In some cases, Caltech faculty will grant permission to take a higher level course in other disciplines based on an evaluation of previous preparation in that discipline. These decisions are made on an individual basis after a student enrolls at Caltech.