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Caltech Acceptance Rate and Admissions Requirements

Apr 18, 2023

If you want to receive an admission offer from Caltech, you must be aware of various parameters like – Caltech acceptance rate, Caltech SAT requirements, and crucial factors for Caltech admissions

This article provides all the essential information on Caltech admissions procedures. It also tells you how you can enhance your Caltech acceptance rate. But first, let’s start with an overview of the college. 


The California Institute of Technology is a private institution of Higher Education. It is referred to as Caltech or CIT and is one of the most prestigious institutions in the world.

The world knows it for its strength in the areas of Science and Technology. In addition, it offers high-quality academic programs across different fields at both Bachelor’s and Master’s levels.


Brief Overview of California Institute of Technology

Caltech is a private institution that was established in 1891. It ranks among the best institutes in the world for Science and Technology.  The institution works with a mission of expanding human knowledge and understanding of the universe.

It also boasts one of the lowest teacher to students ratios and has more than 300 distinguished faculty. In addition, it offers outstanding academic and research opportunities to 1000 undergraduate and 1250 graduate students every year. 


It has the six following academic divisions:

  • Biology & Biological Engineering
  • Chemistry & Chemical Engineering
  • Engineering & Applied Science
  • Geological & Planetary Sciences
  • Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Physics, Mathematics & Astronomy

Caltech Acceptance Rate

As per College Transitions, the Caltech acceptance rate is around 6.7%. This makes Caltech extremely competitive to get in. This means that for all the 100 people that apply, only 6 people manage to get admission.


The Caltech admissions office gets more than 8000 applications every year. These applicants represent the top tier of students in the country who have great academic records and SAT scores. 

For every student interested in pursuing a career in science and technology, CalTech is the place to be. As a result, the school is very selective about the students it admits. It only invests in them if it sees potential, which is assessed by many parameters.


Caltech Admission Requirements

California Institute of Technology considers the following while assessing a candidate for admission:

GPA and Academics: Caltech is very particular about the student’s academic records. The curriculum at Caltech is rigorous and challenging.


Thus, Caltech looks for students who have a proven track record of great academic performance. This tells them that the student will be able to keep up with whatever challenges Caltech throws at them.

SAT and ACT scores: Caltech Admissions considers only ACT or SAT scores in the process. But as of 2020, the university has a two-year moratorium on the consideration and application of SAT/ACT scores. This was done in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, as it has affected access to these tests. 


Essays and Application: The application for Caltech requires you to write essays in many instances. You are supposed to talk about personal failure, collaboration, learning experiences, and extra-curricular activities you did inside and outside the classroom.

Caltech SAT Requirements

The official website does not mention any minimum Caltech SAT requirement required. The average SAT score of students at Caltech is 1545 out of 1600. This makes the CIT acceptance rate extremely competitive.

The 25th percentile score in SAT is 1530, and the 75th percentile score in SAT is 1570. This means 1530 on the SAT will place you in the below-average category, and a score of 1570 will put you in the above-average category.

As of 2020, Caltech SAT requirements have changed. Caltech Admissions have a 3-year Moratorium on requirement and consideration of SAT/ACT requirement and consideration. Caltech understands that COVID-19 has affected students’ access to these tests and has decided to make them non-mandatory.

Caltech ACT Requirements

Caltech students have an average ACT score of 36. This places Caltech under the extremely competitive category and makes it highly selective. The ACT score requirement for Caltech is also higher than most other institutions. Just like in the case of SAT scores.

Caltech GPA Requirements

Caltech is particular about the academic record of incoming students. The college curriculum constantly tests students and pushes them to their limits. As a result, Caltech admissions look for students with stellar academic records.

The official website does not mention the average GPA. But according to the FAQ on the website, most successful candidates admitted to Caltech have a GPA of more than 3.5. This means that you would have to be in the top 5-10% of students in your class.

Caltech Transfer Acceptance Rate

Caltech is a highly sought-after school in the STEM field. As a result, many undergraduate students who are not in Caltech apply to transfer to Caltech. Caltech considers these applications on a case-to-case basis. It gives substantial weight to your academic performance in high school and college. 

Caltech Transfer Acceptance Rate is around 1.9%. This is also highly competitive and higher than that of most other colleges. Therefore, students should work on their current academic performance to improve their Caltech Transfer acceptance rate.

Steps to Improve your California Institute of Technology Acceptance Rate

  • Meet the Cal Tech GPA Requirements

The GPA score is how a college assesses your academic performance and consistency. It speaks volumes about how persistent you are as an individual and how well you will be able to take on academic challenges. A good GPA can save your college application from being rejected immediately.

Many great colleges, including Caltech, look specifically for candidates with great academic records. It proves as a testament that you will be able to tackle the academic challenges that the curriculum throws at you. Thus, it makes sense to focus on maximizing your Caltech GPA. You should at least aim to meet the average college requirements.

  • Aim for Caltech SAT Score: 

A high SAT/ACT score is always an advantage for college applications. Official college websites usually don’t mention a minimum test score. But you should target a score that puts you in the top 50 percentile of applicants. This would give you a great advantage from the start itself. This means you should start SAT/ACT preparations promptly and seek tutoring if necessary.

  • Impressive Extracurricular Activities:

Colleges want students who are active both inside and outside the classroom. While your GPA talks about your academic performance, a good extracurricular CV talks about your activeness outside the school. Therefore find opportunities and take part in leadership roles, debate competitions, event organizing, and holding positions in academic clubs.

  • Write Essays that Stand Out: 

Essays are one of the most important parts of a college application. The importance of writing a good and convincing essay cannot be understated. Your essay should talk about you as an individual, your academic growth, and how you overcome a failure or a challenge in your personal life. This means starting with your essays promptly and not just rushing through them. 

Life at CalTech

Caltech boasts a vibrant student life. The campus is abuzz with activities across curricular and co-curricular. In addition, the campus promotes a collaborative culture to create a healthy learning environment. Students every year are welcomed to pick among 11 different homes or hostels.

These homes have an assortment of other living arrangements. In addition, each house has a different culture, customs, and traditions, from singles to pairs to suites.

All these houses aim to provide an inclusive culture. They ensure students from different communities and backgrounds feel at home and can live and learn together.

Caltech is particularly interested in supporting diversity and inclusivity. Therefore, it encourages the students to participate in different clubs, seminars, and campus resources that promote the same.

The campus also has various student-run clubs and groups that promote extracurricular activities. These clubs are engaged in Music, Dance, Performing Arts, Theater, and more.

The Caltech Department of Athletics is focused on the prosperity of the entire community. It combines physical and emotional well-being to develop a rational brain and body. 

The athletics division offers support in intercollegiate, club, intramural, and actual training sports. Caltech fields 20 NCAA Division III varsity sports and is a founding member of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). Being a pioneer school in Science and Technology, Caltech also incubates and supports a host of student startups. 

Final Words

Over time Caltech has advanced the development of innovations created inside its campus. The Office of Technology Transfer and Corporate Partnerships has promoted innovations across scientific fields.

This includes photovoltaic, radio-recurrence ID (RFID), semiconductors, hyperspectral imaging, electronic gadgets, protein plan, strong state speakers, etc. As a result, companies like Contour Energy Systems, Impinj, Fulcrum Microsystems, Nanosys, Inc., Photon, Xencor, and Wavestream Wireless have risen out of Caltech.

caltech acceptance rate


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