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California Institute of Technology Admission Requirements

If you’re eyeing a spot at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), you need to understand their admission requirements. Let’s break it down into a few key points:

Acceptance Rate

Caltech’s acceptance rate is a mere 2.7%; this means for every 100 hopeful applicants, only three are cut. It’s a tough competition, and you need to stand out.

GPA: Strive for the Stars

Caltech’s average GPA for admitted students is 4.19, this is no walk in the park; you need nearly straight A’s to be in the running. Take challenging courses like AP or IB to show you’re ready for college-level work.

Testing: SAT and ACT Scores

Caltech doesn’t explicitly state SAT/ACT requirements, but their average scores suggest they matter. The average SAT score is 1545, and the average ACT score is a perfect 36. So, aim high!

Other Application Elements: Extracurriculars, Essays, and Recommendations

Once you clear the GPA and testing hurdles, it’s time to impress with your extracurricular activities, essays, and recommendation letters. They want a well-rounded student, not just grades and scores.

SAT/ACT Writing Section: Mostly Optional

The optional SAT Essay or ACT Writing section isn’t a deal-breaker for Caltech. While they may consider it, it’s not a must. So, focus on the main components.

Deadlines and Early Admissions

Caltech offers Regular Admission with a deadline of January 3 and a notification by March 15. If you’re eager, there’s also Early Action with a deadline of November 1 and information by December 15.

Application Fee and Common Application

The application fee is $75, but fee waivers are available. Caltech accepts the Common Application, making the process easier for many students.

Admissions Office Information

If you have questions, contact Caltech’s Admissions Office at or (626) 395-6811.

Expert’s Notes

For your letters of recommendation, have one from a math/science teacher and one from a humanities/social sciences teacher.

Other Schools to Consider

Caltech is highly competitive. Consider similar institutions like Harvey Mudd College, Washington University in St. Louis, or the University of Pennsylvania if it feels like a stretch.

In essence, Caltech is looking for high achievers who excel academically and bring something extra to the table.

If you’re serious about getting in, buckle up for a competitive ride and make sure your application shines in every aspect. Good luck!



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