How to Enter Caltech: Requirements, Acceptance Rate, and Tips

Caltech is the California Institute of Technology. It is a private university of science, engineering and research in California and one of the most prestigious schools in the world. Using some of the brightest minds and innovative tools, the school conducts life-changing scientific and societal research. If you’re wondering how to get to Caltech, this article is for you.

Getting admission into this reputable university is difficult, and this article provides information on how to make the process easier. If you are a science or engineering student seeking a fulfilling academic career path, Caltech should be on your list of colleges to apply to. In this article, you’ll learn how to get accepted into Caltech, Caltech’s requirements, and even Caltech’s acceptance rate.

All About Caltech Admission

Caltech’s admissions process is highly competitive but quite simple. Just follow the short application steps and you’re done. It may seem simple, but the high level of competition makes it challenging. Since the school receives more applications than it can handle, the acceptance rate is very low.

Caltech . Acceptance Rate

Caltech’s acceptance rate based on the number of students accepted in the 2025 class is two percent. The school had a total of 13,026 applicants and accepted only 270 students. Caltech does not publish its acceptance rate because the number of applicants has grown significantly over the years compared to the number of students it can admit.

Caltech GPA

Caltech has no minimum GPA requirement for admission. However, you must still have a GPA of at least 3.5 to be competitive. The average Caltech admitted student has a GPA of 4.19, so you should aim for a GPA close to that number.

Caltech Total Enrollment

Caltech has a total number of 2,397 students, including 987 undergraduate students and 1,410 graduate students. Of that number, 45 percent of the students are women, while 55 percent are men. Of the graduate students, 33 percent are women and 67 percent are men.

Caltech Requirements

  • Application Fees. Caltech’s application process requires a $75 application fee or a fee waiver for students who cannot afford to pay.
  • Common or coalition application. The Caltech application process can be completed through the Common Application, Coalition Application, or Questbridge National College Match.
  • Academic transcripts. Your high school transcripts or transcripts from other colleges or universities you attended must be submitted.
  • High school report. This document will be sent to the school by your high school counselor to help the admissions committee determine your suitability for the school.
  • Teacher evaluations. In lieu of letters of recommendation, Caltech requires two evaluation letters from principal subject teachers. One from a math or science teacher and the other from a humanities or social science teacher. Therefore, it is recommended that these letters come from teachers who have taught you and evaluated you in their classrooms.
  • Application Essays. The first year application requirements state that writing additional essays is part of the application process to help the admissions committee get to know them better as students, scholars, and people. It is also to see if they suit the school.
  • TOEFL scores. This is a requirement for all international students, except for those who speak English as their mother tongue or have attended a school where English is the language of instruction for two years. TOEFL is an English proficiency test that Caltech accepts.
  • Letter of Intent International Financial Aid. This is an application requirement for international students because Caltech wants to know that they understand their financial policies and confirm their financial support.

Is it hard to get to Caltech?

It’s hard to get into Caltech. As one of the leading science and research universities worldwide, the school receives a lot of applications, reducing its acceptance rate every year. To be admitted to the school, you must be exceptional and be in the top five to ten percent of your class.

Without this, the chances of a favorable decision are slim. However, you can increase your chances of being accepted by perfecting your application. According to Caltech’s class profile, more than 8,000 freshmen applied to Caltech’s recent class, but only 244 were accepted. Competition is fierce and only the best are accepted.

How to Prepare for a Caltech Interview

Caltech does not hold an admissions interview for its students. The application process is quite simple as it prioritizes the online application through Common Application, Coalition Application or QuestBridge National College Match. The application includes several processes that students must complete before they are completed.

10 Tips to Access Caltech

Below are a few tips to help you ensure you are one of the most competitive candidates and get accepted into one of the best schools in the world. These tips will help you from the beginning to the end of your application and provide useful information for high school students. Follow these tips and you’re sure to impress Caltech’s admissions officers.

1. Get a high GPA

Caltech requires you to be in the top of your class to qualify. While there is no minimum GPA requirement, previously accepted students had a minimum GPA of 3.5. Caltech is a highly competitive school with a very low acceptance rate, meaning you must rank in the top 10 percent of your class and show very high academic achievement. There are even some requirements for homeschooled applicants.

2. Participate in extracurricular activities

Extracurricular activities will keep you looking good on your college application. This is especially the case when they are relevant to your field. They show that you have a lot of knowledge and experience in areas other than school. Caltech seeks exceptional students who excel in fields beyond academia.

3. Write impressive essays

Your application college essays are one of the most critical aspects of your college applications. They help the admissions team decide if you are a good fit for their school and the type of student the school is looking for. They must be very impressive. They must also demonstrate your academic interests, values, motivations, aspirations, achievements and relevant experience.

4. Apply through early decision

Early decision, as opposed to early action, is when you apply to your first choice college before the regular decision period and make a commitment to attend that school. It helps students reduce stress by saving time spent waiting for a decision. If accepted, students applying through this method must agree to attend college and receive a need-based financial aid package sufficient for their families.

5. Receive a strong evaluation letter

Teacher evaluations are one of the application requirements. These evaluations highlight the applicant’s strengths, positive attributes and achievements. It is one of the best ways to increase your college’s acceptance chances.

6. Sign up for academic competitions

Colleges look for evidence of your best qualities and strengths through academic competitions. As a Caltech applicant, it is recommended that you participate in STEM competitions during high school. This allows you to stand out and show that you have the skills needed to be a Caltech student.

7. Participate in relevant summer programs

Summer programs increase your knowledge and experience and prove that you are an excellent student. The programs help you develop academic skills, communication skills and empathy. They also help you learn to work as part of a team and think outside the box, which is an essential skill that Caltech is looking for.

8. Pick the Right High School Classes

As a Caltech aspirant, your math and science background must be solid. You should take classes that further enhance your knowledge of the field and enhance your skills in preparation for your college experience.

9. Follow Advanced Placement Programs

One of the things top schools in the US want to see is students taking AP programs. These challenging courses prepare high school students for college experience by taking them through college-level courses and exams. Students who achieve high scores in these programs usually stand out in college applications.

10. Evidence Mastery of Calculus

Caltech realizes that math, including calculus, is the foundation of everything students learn at this private university. Caltech normally requires students to take standardized tests, such as the SAT or ACT. However, in line with new trends in university admissions due to COVID-19, a three-year moratorium has been put in place on those test scores. Caltech now says they need to focus more on academic preparation, and one of the ways to be most prepared is by showing mastery of math.

What does it take to get to Caltech?

Getting into Caltech requires a strong academic profile, relevant extracurricular activities, and excellent math skills. Caltech is a science and research school that prioritizes student intelligence while seeking students who challenge societal norms, develop creative and out-of-the-box ideas, and have ambitious career goals in any or all of STEM areas.

How to access Caltech’s FAQ

How hard is it to get to Caltech?

Getting into Caltech is very difficult. It requires you to be highly exceptional by achieving a high GPA and class rank, and it has a relatively low acceptance rate that decreases every year.

Is Caltech harder to get to than MIT?

It’s harder to get into Caltech than MIT because of its student capacity. While MIT also usually requires a high standardized test score, they have room for more students than Caltech.

What kind of people end up at Caltech?

People who join Caltech are academically strong, resilient, achievers and creative. These students are at the top of their high school class and reach beyond the basics.

Can you enter Caltech with a 3.9 GPA?

You could still be accepted with a GPA of 3.9 because Caltech has no GPA requirement, but many of the students accepted have a GPA of more than 4.0.

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