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Caltech – SAT & GPA Requirements

Jan 6, 2023

To get into one of the most prestigious institutes in the world, you will need to pay close attention to every aspect of your application and ace the fundamentals.

Attending the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is an aspiration for many students worldwide. It is an exceptionally competitive institute, with an acceptance rate of only 7%. Regardless of how difficult it is to get into Caltech, receiving a degree from one of the most prestigious universities in the world has its benefits. It opens the door to countless and limitless opportunities.


If you’re considering applying to Caltech, you will need to know its admission requirements. Even though there are many components to a Caltech application, you should concentrate on only a few crucial ones. And by “crucial ones,” we mean SAT scores and GPA requirements.

To help you power through the exam, we have cultivated this definitive and expert guide. This guide will go through the requirements for entering Caltech and how you can create a robust application.


How hard is it to get into Caltech?

Caltech has a 7% acceptance rate. It is one of the most challenging institutions to enter, ranking second in California and fourth nationally for the lowest admission rates. The institution maintains rigorous admission standards for SAT and ACT scores, often accepting only those with scores in the top 1%. Getting into Caltech is tricky, even for those with the greatest test scores and GPA.

Caltech Entrance Statistics

The SAT scores, GPA, and acceptance rate are the three most important figures to consider when evaluating your admission prospects. All of these factors work together to determine the admissions requirements at the California Institute of Technology. The institution has highly stringent SAT and ACT entry requirements and frequently accepts applicants with scores in the top 1%. At Caltech, a composite SAT score of 1545 is the norm.


Caltech SAT Requirements

New SAT scores range from 1530 to 1570. A score for the 25th percentile is 1530 and for the 75th percentile is 1570. Or, to put it another way, 1530 puts you below average, and 1570 puts you above average. While Caltech does not have a strict SAT requirement, they want to see a minimum score of 1530 to give applicants a chance.

Standardized test requirements vary from school to school. Most schools demand the SAT or ACT, and many more demands SAT subject examinations. To apply to Caltech, you must take the SAT or ACT. More significantly, you must succeed in having a solid application.


Caltech usually doesn’t have a strict ACT cutoff like the SAT, but if you score too poorly, it will be challenging to get in if you apply with an ACT score of 35 or lower unless you have anything remarkable in your application. There is probably no minimum ACT requirement at Caltech. Given that many applicants received a 36 or higher, a 35 will appear intellectually weak.

Caltech’s GPA Requirements

Most colleges have a minimal GPA requirement. However, this is sometimes the absolute bare minimum to apply without being rejected immediately. What counts most when it comes to GPA requirements is the GPA you need to have a chance at admission. We look at the school’s overall GPA for its current pupils for this.


With a GPA of 4.19, Caltech expects you to be at the top of your class. You will need to get practically all As to compete with other applications. To prove that college-level schoolwork is straightforward, you should also enrol in demanding courses like AP or IB.

If you’re a junior or senior right now, raising your GPA in time for college applications is challenging. To compensate for a GPA equal to or lower than the school average of 4.19, you will need a higher SAT or ACT score. Due to this, you will be in a better position to compete with candidates whose GPAs are higher than yours.


What does the application for Caltech look like?

Despite its complexity, each component of a Caltech application is crucial to your “how to get into Caltech” plan. Application materials should be sent well before the Caltech Early Action or standard Caltech application deadlines, including all Caltech essays, optional test results, and extra documents. You may still look at other possibilities if you apply before the deadline for Caltech Early Action because it is non-binding.

If you want to apply, you must submit the following:

  • The Common or Coalition Application
  • The Caltech essays (It includes three 250-word max responses)
  • An official transcript
  • A school report
  • Two teacher evaluations

You should gather these resources well before the Caltech Regular Decision or Early Action application deadlines. Your application will be more robust the earlier you begin planning.

How difficult is it to get into Caltech?

With a 7% admission rate, Caltech is regarded as a very selective institution. More than 8,000 applicants submitted essays for the Caltech Class of 2024. Only 244 students were enrolled overall at Caltech out of those applicants.

Since admission to this institution is highly competitive, having a strong SAT score and GPA is essential to your chances of being accepted. If you don’t meet their GPA and SAT criteria, you should strive for the 75th percentile to be on the safe side, and have a 1570 SAT and a 4.19 GPA or better to be considered above average.

The struggle doesn’t end here; you’ll also need to wow them with your achievements and extracurricular activities to win them beyond your academic performance. However, you only have a slim chance of admission if you apply with an SAT score of 1545 or lower.

At last

Every institution requires an application with a minimum of materials, including a GPA, high school transcript, and other vital details. Numerous colleges also demand SAT and ACT scores. Caltech’s status as a prominent university simply causes it to have higher GPA and SAT requirements.

The best way to guarantee your entrance into Caltech is to start preparing for it as soon as that aspiration takes hold. Get good grades and keep a high GPA since these things show how well you do in classes. Additionally, earn a high SAT score to increase your chances of getting into Caltech. And so, begin your preparations early.

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