What is Caltech: Definition and 80 Discussions

The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is a private research university in Pasadena, California. The university is known for its strength in science and engineering, and is one among a small group of institutes of technology in the United States which is primarily devoted to the instruction of pure and applied sciences.
Caltech was founded as a preparatory and vocational school by Amos G. Throop in 1891 and began attracting influential scientists such as George Ellery Hale, Arthur Amos Noyes, and Robert Andrews Millikan in the early 20th century. The vocational and preparatory schools were disbanded and spun off in 1910 and the college assumed its present name in 1920. In 1934, Caltech was elected to the Association of American Universities, and the antecedents of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which Caltech continues to manage and operate, were established between 1936 and 1943 under Theodore von Kármán.Caltech has six academic divisions with strong emphasis on science and engineering, managing $332 million in 2011 in sponsored research. Its 124-acre (50 ha) primary campus is located approximately 11 mi (18 km) northeast of downtown Los Angeles. First-year students are required to live on campus, and 95% of undergraduates remain in the on-campus House System at Caltech. Although Caltech has a strong tradition of practical jokes and pranks, student life is governed by an honor code which allows faculty to assign take-home examinations. The Caltech Beavers compete in 13 intercollegiate sports in the NCAA Division III's Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC).
As of October 2020, there are 76 Nobel laureates who have been affiliated with Caltech, including 40 alumni and faculty members (41 prizes, with chemist Linus Pauling being the only individual in history to win two unshared prizes); in addition, 4 Fields Medalists and 6 Turing Award winners have been affiliated with Caltech. There are 8 Crafoord Laureates and 56 non-emeritus faculty members (as well as many emeritus faculty members) who have been elected to one of the United States National Academies, 4 Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force and 71 have won the United States National Medal of Science or Technology. Numerous faculty members are associated with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as well as NASA. According to a 2015 Pomona College study, Caltech ranked number one in the U.S. for the percentage of its graduates who go on to earn a PhD.

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  1. codelieb

    Classical FLP Original Course Handouts at The Feynman Lectures Website

    Hello, everyone. The first large collection of FLP-related content posted at The Feynman Lectures Website was 744 pages of FLP classroom handouts (including laboratory guidelines, descriptions of experiments, homework, quizzes and exams, lecture summaries and outlines) donated by one of...
  2. S

    What's the deal with CalTech et al not requiring standardized tests?

    (NOTE: I had considered posting this in the STEM advising subforum; if that is more appropriate, I welcome the moderators to move it there.) I had just read that CalTech (among other elite colleges) is no longer requiring students to submit standardized test scores for admission. How in the...
  3. G

    Schools Choosing between UC Berkeley and Caltech - Math

    I am a 12th grader and I got an email from UC Berkeley today that I have been accepted there. A month ago, I was also accepted at Caltech. I'm still waiting to hear from MIT, Harvard, Princeton and Stanford. I want to study Mathematics, but I also interested in theoretical physics a lot, so I...
  4. G

    Admissions Accepted at Caltech - what should I do to be best prepared?

    I am a high school senior. I applied Early Action to Caltech and got accepted. I want to study math and physics there. I'm pretty excited but also want to make sure I am ready when I get there. I'm still waiting on hearing from MIT, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and Berkeley as I only applied...
  5. C

    Schools Can I Get Into Caltech? | Tips From a 13-Year-Old

    First of, I migrated from England to Australia when I was 10, I am now currently 13 and just finished Year 8 (7th Grade in America I believe)I love Science, Coding/ computer science and most of all, Astronomy. I get B+/A- in Science and Maths but I never really try because I find most of it...
  6. G

    Admissions AP or IB for admission to CalTech?

    I want to study Computer Science at CalTech and I wanted to know whether getting an IB diploma is worth it. Is it better to get IB or sacrifice a bit of rigor for more flexibility in the classes I choose? I know CalTech doesn't accept credit aside from their own placement test so purely in terms...
  7. Greg Bernhardt

    Insights Interview with a Physicist: Sean Carroll - Comments

    Greg Bernhardt submitted a new PF Insights post Interview with a Physicist: Sean Carroll Continue reading the Original PF Insights Post.
  8. P

    Testing For those that did the Caltech transfer exam....

    Ok, I searched the internet but I can't find a sample of a caltech transfer exam, I discovered that they are "top secret" because people doing it can't say others what it was asked in it, I found a list of the requirements and I'm not asking for that, can someone give me a typical math exercise...
  9. P

    Admissions Mit and caltech

    It is true that if you apply for mit or caltech and you get refused uou can't apply anymore even as a transfer or for grad school? (as a international student)
  10. I

    Programs Caltech LIGO summer program

    Hi everyone, I have applied to the LIGO summer program. But I'm not from Caltech. I'm wondering if anyone has heard back from Caltech yet. Thanks
  11. P

    Caltech transfer exam and chances of getting in....

    Hello everyone, my dream is studying physics in California at caltech but I want to know what a international student accepted to caltech looks like, that's my situation: i have perfect grades in physics and good grades in math, I studied calculus and trigonometry (trig at the second year of...
  12. RooksAndBooks

    Possible Evidence of a New 9th Planet

    Caltech astronomers have published evidence recently of a possible new planet. You can read about the full story here. I have also submitted a video on what NASA says about it. What do you guys think? I think it'd be cool to see a new ninth planet come out. Also, I wonder what it will be named...
  13. L

    String Theory, which is stronger, Caltech or Stanford?

    Hello everyone. I am an international student from China. Currently I received offers of a PhD position from both Caltech and Stanford. I applied for Hep-th and my main interests are formal field theories and string theory. I know both Caltech and Stanford are great schools in physics. And it...
  14. T

    My chances of transferring into caltech

    Hi, I wanted to know what were my chances of getting into caltech as a transfer student. High school GPA: 3.5 SAT 1600 (math 700) AP Bio: 4 College GPA: 3.9 Dean's list from 2012 Internships: I been in 3 internship programs within my cc. Each being a semester long. They were chem,chem,micro...
  15. B

    Is the Math/Science Taught at MIT, Caltech, etc. Harder?

    I'm currently in community college and will be transferring to a 4-year university hopefully in 2016. I'm wondering if the math and sciences taught at "big name" or "elite" colleges, such as MIT, Caltech, Princeton, Harvard, etc., are harder or more advanced than those same subjects taught at...
  16. A

    What are my chances of getting into Caltech/MIT

    Hey, I was just wondering what my chances were of getting into one of these highly selective schools. I currently live in the UK and have got 6A's and 5A*'s at GCSE and in A-levels 2A* and an A. I do lots of extracurricular activities mainly in sport and community service and I have...
  17. S

    My chances of getting into MIT, Caltech, Harvard etc

    Hello. I'm an international student and I've just completed my A Levels, my SAT Subject Tests and I expect to take the SAT Reasoning Test in Oct/Nov. My freshman year should start in Sept 2013. Here are my results: A levels (CIE) Maths: A* Physics: A* Chemistry: A* Further Maths: Expecting A*...
  18. L

    Programs Questions concerning a PHD in Caltech

    Hi, I'm a student from Morocco, I have an engineering degree from Morocco, and a Master's Degree from France (Civil engineering). I want to continue my studies in the USA, in order to get a PHD,, and I’m particularly interested by California institute of technology. So can you tell me more...
  19. 6

    Schools Graduate school profile for Caltech

    I am an undergrad at Texas A&M, College Station studying aerospace engg. I started college this past spring and will be a sophomore this fall, meaning I start taking aerospace classes,finally! I am aiming to go to CalTech for grad school for the same, Can someone please provide what all I will...
  20. I

    Transferring from CA CC to Caltech/MIT

    Hello I don't post often here but I'm an avid reader of the board. Well I'll get to the point. I will be a CA CC student this coming fall. I was wondering what one would need to do besides the obvious, (getting high grades on science/math classes) in order to increase one's odds of being...
  21. K

    From Purdue undergrad to Caltech grad

    Hello. I am a Junior in high school. I have a 4.0 GPA, got an 1820 on the SAT, and a 31 on the ACT. I have participated in the honors all-state band, and been in many extra-curriculur activities throughout high school. I am, however, upset with myself. My first two years of high school...
  22. Chemicist

    Caltech Master's and Ph.D. Programs

    Does anyone know if Caltech allows you to get your Master's and Ph.D.? I've heard that some universities allow you to get one or the other, but not both, and to acquire the Doctorate, you have to go somewhere else. Is this true for any school, specifically Caltech? Thank you.
  23. Z

    Admissions Admission on EE in Caltech / Berkeley

    I am undergraduate first-year student from Georgia (country, not state of US). I am planning to continue learning in caltech or berkeley on electronics / mechanics faculty. I have been studying physics for 2 years by МГУ program (it's beside university), which used to be the best physics program...
  24. Z

    Is Berkeley or Caltech a reasonable goal?

    I am 26, just now starting college with a ged. one year into in with a 4.0 at university of Cincinnati. I know i have a lot of time ahead of me but I'm just trying to create a rough sketch of my future and was wondering how difficult it is to get into a school like Berkeley? To be honest I pick...
  25. A

    Postdoctoral fellow at IQI Caltech

    Hi everybody, let me first briefly introduce myself. I study in France, I did a well known engineering school here in the field of computer science (Télécom ParisTech) and graduated both from Pure mathematics and Theoretical Physics (Ecole Normale Supérieure). I am doing now a PhD at CEA...
  26. K

    How to get into caltech?

    Hi, I m an 11th grade student from India.I want to be a physicist. I want to get into Caltech or UC Berkeley or any good science college in the US.What should I do? I have just passed 10th grade with 92% marks.That is a high percentile score. I play piano and keyboard, have many innovative...
  27. K

    Programs PhD at MIT, Caltech - how does that work?

    Hi, I'm interested in what a couple of researchers do at MIT and Caltech and I would love the idea of doing a PhD there (theoretical physics). But I don't really know anything about the application process for a US PhD program, so here's a list of questions: How long would a PhD take...
  28. B

    Chances of Getting into Caltech - Engineering Student

    okeyy, so i am a student in high school and i would like to apply for caltech but i want to know what my chances are: so i want to study engineering, i go to an international school, i love maths! but I'm not soo good in languages like french but i don't need that for engineering do i? And so...
  29. R

    Testing Tell me about CalTech and their transfer/enterence exam

    Does anyone have the skinny on this exam? Apparently you have to have a mastery mechanics, dynamics, and calc. From what I've heard, the test is ridiculously hard, and students that have been getting 4.0's at their college routinely bomb this exam. Does anyone have any info as to how to...
  30. D

    What should I do to get into MIT, CalTech, etc?

    I'm probably thinking about this too early, but what do you think I should focus on in the years to come so I can get into a top notch college (like MIT or CalTech)? I'm an eighth grader this year. I've skipped some grades in various subjects: I'm in Pre-Calc (the prereq for Calc), AP Chem...
  31. B

    Chances of getting into CalTech as an international student

    Hello everyone! I'm a senior in a Gymnasium in Europe and I want to apply to CalTech. Last year I spent in the US as an exchange student and I got familiar with the US education then. I took just 1 AP course there (Chem) b\c they didn't let me take more (it's going to be too hard for you...
  32. 7

    Schools Attending community college, chance at Caltech?

    I am currently a student at a community college in Baltimore, Maryland, and I'm wondering what my chance of getting into Caltech is. Here's my story: I attended two high schools simultaneously. One was a technical high school, where I majored in Industrial Technology. The second was a public...
  33. M

    Admissions Applying to CalTech, what are my chances?

    I have already got all of my materials ready to apply to Caltech this fall but I am not sure whether I will be dismissed or if I have a chance. I did fairly ok on the SAT and got around 1700. I know that most students that apply to Caltech have a much higher score than I do, but not everybody...
  34. M

    What chances do i have getting in MIt or caltech?

    I am Manish Rathore from Jaipur,Rajasthan,India. I don't have good high school record. I just got 62% in my hs and may be its because that most of the time in my high school i was struggling with my own questions. I never liked to go to school instead i just self study at my home. I did...
  35. C

    Caltech LIGO REU: Experiences & Reviews

    Hello, I was recently accepted into the LIGO REU at Caltech and was wondering if anyone here had any experience with the program? If so, could you provide a brief rundown of your summer experience? Thanks so much!
  36. D

    Caltech Gravitational Wave theory - videos included

    http://elmer.caltech.edu/ph237/CourseMaterials.html Enjoy
  37. E

    Can I get into Caltech or MIT?

    hello. I want to go to caltech for astrophysics. GPA: 3.96 (Unweighted) Course work: 9 IB classes junior year and this coming year. Diploma Candiate. (IB HL Math. IB Chem HL, IB Bio HL, IB physics sl.) I am testing in 3 IB science classes, for a total of 7 IB tests, which 5 are HL. Also...
  38. O

    Caltech and mit graduate programs

    My goals are caltech and mit phd/ms programs. What must i do at the very least? Besides the tests of course...
  39. W

    Exploring My College Decisions: Pro's and Con's

    Hi everyone. My plan has always been to major in engineering (electrical, mechanical or civil-structural, or even robotics, or nuclear, I'll decide which one specifically once I get a better grasp of each specialty IN college). However, while less probable, I have not discarded pure physics...
  40. F

    Is this story Caltech worthy?

    This is not the admission essay verbatim but would this story get someone into Caltech? This person left formal high school at 15 (still got diploma) to independently study before applying to Caltech at 17. He participated in a few science fairs, taught himself trigonometry and calculus up to...
  41. E

    Are my chances for getting into Caltech zero?

    Only recently have I taken an interest in science (halfway through 10th grade). I'm a junior now in 1st semester. The aforementioned lack of interest was due to my not being exposed to the interesting things in science, the mind numbing math, the mysterious bonds that occur within substances...
  42. E

    Admissions Applying to Caltech as transfer

    Applying to Caltech as transfer ! FACT Caltech is one of the most competitive, and one of the best universities of the world due to which undergraduate admission is too selective. Additionally, I know the fact that during the last 5 years only 32 transfer students from 2-years institutions were...
  43. A

    My chances at MIT, Caltech etc.

    Hi everyone, I'm a junior in Czech Republic and I'm thinking about applying to one of the US' top universities. I really love physics and even though we have a good university here I think that my chances of pursuing career in theoretical physics will increase if I go to the US. One problem...
  44. Math Is Hard

    Caltech Physicists Successfully Split The Bill

    Good for them! We've been grappling with this problem for years at UCLA . http://www.theonion.com/content/node/52324
  45. M

    CalTech and Aeronautical Engineering

    Hello all, pleased to meet you. I'm an aspiring aeronautic/space (whichever one deals with the design of rockets + shuttles) engineer, and my undergraduate school of choice is CalTech. I actually have 2 questions in mind: 1) Does anybody here go to CalTech? I'm quite interested in their...
  46. M

    CalTech, My choice of school, but I need your help.

    Right now I am a Junior in high school, and have a very special interest in physics, ranging from all different kinds of fields of applications, simply put I endulge in everything that can make my mind race with thought and questions. Now I've made a few mistakes in my high school experience...
  47. honestrosewater

    Learn How to Create Caltech Homepage Style Navigation

    I'm designing my first website and I found something I want to do, but don't know how to do it. On www.caltech.edu, clicking a section of the navigation bar (ex. About Caltech) opens a sub menu (of links) without reloading the page. This is what I want to do. I've been searching for hours with...
  48. marcus

    CalTech BH answer contradicts Hawking's

    Two guys at CalTech and Jet Propulsion Lab just posted http://arxiv.org/gr-qc/0407090 [Broken] which appears to take care of the BH information paradox by analyzing how particles just about to disappear across the event horizon can signal their essential information as they fall in (a...
  49. ShayanJ

    Schools How to get scholarship from a leading university?

    I'm thinking about going abroad for my graduate school. I'm not sure about this and just trying to see whether it is a plausible plan for me or not. So I need some help. I'm pretty good in English. But that's the only foreign language I know. So can I say only England and US are my options? I'm...
  50. J

    Transfer options in the LA area?

    I am transferring from Mizzou (MU) to somewhere in the LA area over the summer. What are my best options? I know of caltech and UCLA. Caltech looks really difficult to get into. I probably can't get into Caltech, I assume I could get into UCLA. But is UCLA my best option for future career...