Core Curriculum

A Caltech education requires not just the depth of an option (major), but also considerable breadth in basic science, humanities, and social science. Caltech’s core curriculum prepares students for the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary research in science and technology and positions Caltech graduates for leadership roles in academia and industry. Significant study in the humanities and social sciences is an important component of Caltech’s core curriculum, giving our alumni the ability to navigate the societal, political, and economic factors that influence (and are influenced by) their work.

Core Curriculum Requirements 2013 (pdf)

Caltech's core curriculum for the class entering in fall 2013 will include the following requirements.  Additional terms of mathematics and physics may be required by specific Options.  

Placement exams are offered during the summer before enrollment in mathematics, physics, and writing to assure appropriate placement within courses in these disciplines.

In addition to the required core classes, freshmen are encouraged to participate in freshman seminar classes. Caltech offers a series of freshman seminars in which 10 to 15 freshmen and a faculty member explore in depth an exciting topic in the lab, around a table, or in the field. There are several offerings on a wide range of topics, including biomechanics, the Large HadronCollider, and the physics of music.