California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Pasadena, California, United States

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California Institute of Technology (Caltech) - Overview & Background

Established in 1891, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is a private research university that has been able to establish itself as one of the best technological universities in the world. It is a name to reckon with in engineering and natural sciences and is always ranked amongst the top ten Universities in the world. 

The university’s faculty, alumni, and researchers include 73 Nobel Laureates. California Institute of Technology ranking is 4 in the QS World University Rankings 2021. 

The Division of Engineering and Applied Science at California Institute of Technology offers undergraduate programs in 24 Majors and graduate degree programs for Engineer's Degree, the Master of Science, BS/MS, Doctor of Philosophy, MD/ Ph.D.


Also Known As Caltech
University Motto The Truth Shall Make You Free
University Type Private Research University
University Location Pasadena, California, US
Campus Size 124 Acres
Endowment $4.6 Billion
Expertise Engineering & Natural Science
Acceptance Rate 7%
University Website Caltech
Phone Number +1 626-395-6811


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The campus of the California Institute of Technology is located in Pasadena. The campus is spread across 124 acres and has buildings that are architectural wonders. Every facility on the campus is state-of-the-art and the campus boasts of high-quality facilities such as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the International Observatory Network, and the Caltech Seismological Laboratory. The campus also has numerous cafes for students.


Acceptance Rate

Admission is extremely competitive as the California Institute of Technology acceptance rate is around 7%. It means that for every 100 applicants, only 6 get admission to the institute. 


Residing Options

Though Caltech offers on-campus accommodation to its students, many graduate students prefer to live off-campus. Rent for off-campus accommodation varies and depends on the location, kind of room, and the number of roommates you have. Rents are pretty high for off-campus accommodation and students can end up paying around $1,400 a month.


Faculty and Pedagogy

The faculty at Caltech is extremely good and has many professors who are associated with NASA and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The University has some of the most renowned professors in the world and offers students an unparalleled learning experience. Though a majority of professors are involved in cutting-edge research, they are more than willing to help students.


Financial Aid

Being a Private University, Caltech offers few scholarships, and getting one of these is extremely difficult. Students who wish to get a scholarship compete with some of the brightest minds in the country.


Jobs and Placements

In the case of MS (Master of Science) graduates, the salary range is $64,330 - $133,102. Girls’ salary range is $62,432 - $127,067 and boys earn about $71,821 - $148,578. The average salary for the California Institute of Technology graduates is $107K. In the STEM field, the highest annual average pay is of Senior Software Engineers, that is, $135,000. 103 students found jobs after graduating from the California Institute of Technology extremely satisfying and rated 4 stars out of 5 on Payscale. Popular recruiters with salary range are Northrop Grumman Corporation; California Institute of Technology (Caltech); Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Apple Computer, Inc; Cornell University.


Notable Alumni

Some famous alumni from Caltech include:

  • list items Sabeer Bhatia, Co-founder of Hotmail
  • list items Cleve Moler, Inventor of MATLAB
  • list items Gordon Moore, co-founder of MathWorks
  • list items Eric Betzig, co-recipient of 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
  • list items Arthur B. McDonald, Nobel laureate in physics (2015)
  • list items Adam D'Angelo, former CTO of Facebook, founder and current CEO of Quora
  • list items Gordon E. Moore, co-founder of Intel
  • list items Mustafa A.G. Abushagur, Interim Deputy Prime Minister of Libya from 2011
  • list items Erdal İnönü, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, 1991–1993
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    California Institute of Technology is undoubtedly one of the finest technical universities in the world. It has a very low acceptance rate and only accepts students with an exceptional profile.


    California Institute of Technology (Caltech) Location

    The California Institute of Technology, covering 124 acres, is situated in Pasadena, California. Pasadena has numerous upscale retail shops and is littered with a variety of restaurants, nightclubs, outdoor cafés, pubs, and comedy clubs. The open-air mall covering three city blocks is a great crowd puller. Another shopping district is located in the South Lake Avenue neighborhood.

    Pasadena's public transportation covers the Pasadena Bus line, the Metro Gold Line, and Foothill Transit. There is frequent metro rail connectivity at Pasadena. If you wish to travel by air, you may transit via the Los Angeles airport (a 36-minute drive). Another option is Burbank Airport (Bob Hope Airport) which is nearer and is a 21-minute drive. The Long Beach Airport is the third option for arriving by air and is a 43-minute drive. Caltech also provides housing opportunities along with community life and a lot of dining options on campus.


    Frequently Asked Questions about California Institute of Technology

    Q1. Is California Institute for Technology better than Harvard?

    Answer - As per the latest rankings, the California Institute of Technology is placed better than Harvard in terms of better funding, research opportunities, industry income, and international outlook.

    Q2. Which is better California Institute for Technology or MIT?

    Answer - Caltech and MIT institute are both placed as the top universities of the world. While their rankings are placed at a similar pedestal, Caltech holds a better ranking in terms of learning experience; however MIT holds a better position in terms of diversity, research, and employability. 

    Q3. Is Caltech harder to get into than Harvard?

    Answer - The average acceptance rate of Caltech University as per latest ranking is placed at 6.4% and the acceptance rate of Harvard University is placed at 5.3%. However, when it comes to the domain of STEM, Caltech is the second toughest school followed by Harvard to get into in the state of America.

    Q4. What GPA do I need to get into Caltech?

    Answer - California Institute of Technology does not have a bar on minimum GPA requirement, however, successful applicants usually have GPA around 3.5 or 4.0 in terms of USA GPA. 

    Q5. Why is Caltech so famous?

    Answer - Caltech offers a truly interdisciplinary academic frontier where the students get a chance to pioneer into the new fields of research helping them stay ahead in competitions. Not only does Caltech bestows its students with amazing real research opportunities but also makes sure its students are research active and successful scholars.

    Q6. Is Caltech a prestigious university?

    Answer- Caltech has been consistently producing scholars throughout the years wherein it has birthed 32 nobel laureates in the last century and has been topping the list of Times Higher Education World University Rankings making it highly prestigious.

    Q7. Is Caltech an Ivy league?

    Answer- No, Caltech does not fall in the Ivy league colleges. Caltech is a private institution but holds the same respect as that of an Ivy league when it comes to acceptance rate, academic competitiveness, and career opportunities. 

    Q8. How to get into Caltech from India?

    Answer- Apart from keeping a very competitive score in SATs and ACTs, consistent interest in Science and Maths subjects; the applicant needs to apply for a common application and submit essays as well while meeting all other criterias as mentioned in their website without missing out on proper research.

    Q9. How to get admission in Caltech?

    Answer- Being one of the most competitive colleges in the world, you need to consistently maintain a high GPA and add classes of specialisation in your academic portfolio. Apart from this try to cultivate extracurricular hobbies in the similar background. Make sure you develop a good relationship with your professor for getting good recommendation letters, practice writing good essays and apply for the admission at an early stage.