1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How to get into caltech?

  1. Jul 8, 2011 #1
    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 computer programs made. I also made a voice controlled room. I also make a lot of projects on my arduino.
    Here is my latest big project:

    I made it in linux.
    Also, my uncle is a software engineer in California.(kind of irrelevant)
    I wanted to ask what more should I do? I have been in my school council too. Can you please guide me on what kind of research should I do too?
    And on what topics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 8, 2011 #2
    I go to Berkeley. I don't know much about admissions, I've seen plenty fine people turned down. I live in California and they are less strict about letting instate people in, it being a state school and all. And I don't know anything about international admissions I am sorry to say, though I have met a few international students.

    You sound very accomplished regardless. I know plenty of college students who haven't done that much. The only thing that I can think of would be community service and some kind of leadership roles (like president of a club or something). That's what they usually tell us in the US.

    You should be aware that the school takes into things like background when selecting people (how bad the area you grew up in and that kind of thing). I'm not sure if they do the same for international students though. Also, while you marks are high, be sure to do well on your tests.

    This is all very generic information I am aware, I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help. Feel free to ask me any questions. I'll do the best I can to help :)
  4. Jul 8, 2011 #3
    Yeah, just to echo some of the points "id the sloth" made, most of the highly selective american universities (Caltech, Berkeley, Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, etc) are very difficult to get into and often reject very well qualified candidates (I think all the schools I listed have something like 10 (+/- 5)% admissions rate) . There are a few important points to take away from this:

    1. Don't get your heart to set on a specific school. Pretty much no-one, unless you won a Nobel or Field's Medal, is assured admittance to any of the schools I listed.

    2. Apply to lots of places. If you want to go to an American university there are lots of factors to consider. Cost is usually a pretty big factor, as very few american universities give financial aid to international students, and those that do are usually the most competitive (Harvard, Yale, Williams(?)). Beyond that, apply to a variety of schools. Apply to some of the most selective schools if you like them, apply to some middlish ranked schools, apply to private schools and state schools.

    3. As far as things to do to help you get into competitive schools, just do things that are fun and rewarding! Keep up the good grades, do well on standardized testing, get involved with fun and interesting community projects, etc. The fact of the matter is geting into or not getting into caltech isn't the end of the world, and you will be much better off enjoying high school and not worrying about this school or that school.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  5. Jul 8, 2011 #4
    here we go again....
  6. Jul 8, 2011 #5
    At least this time Berkeley is on the list. That's a huge state school... the OP has chances there.

    CalTech on the other hand... they have fewer than 1000 undergraduates, which means that they admit about 250 freshmen. 9% of them are international students, so that's about 22 students. FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD.
  7. Jul 9, 2011 #6
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook