Caltech Acceptance Rate And Admission Requirements

Filed in Articles by on May 13, 2022 0 Comments
Caltech Acceptance Rate

The California Institute of Technology, Caltech is a large private research university with an acceptance rate of 6.4%. This makes the school one of the most selective private institutions in the country. Considering applying to Caltech? Here are the admissions requirements you should know.

Why Caltech?

  • Location: Pasadena, California.
  • Campus Features: Caltech’s 124-acre (50 ha) primary campus is located in Pasadena, California, approximately 11 miles (18 km) northeast of downtown Los Angeles. It is within walking distance of Old Town Pasadena and the Pasadena Playhouse District and therefore the two locations are frequent getaways for Caltech students.
  • Student/Faculty Ratio: 3:1
  • Athletics: Caltech is a member of the highly competitive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) in NCAA Division III
  • Highlights: Caltech is known for its strength in science and engineering, and is 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 is ranked among the best academic institutions in the world and is among the most selective in the U.S.

Caltech Acceptance Rate

If you are applying for admission to Caltech, the first thing to look at is the acceptance rate. This tells you how competitive the school is and how serious its requirements are.

The acceptance rate at Caltech is 6.4%. This means that for every 100 students who applied, only 6 students are accepted, making Caltech’s admissions process highly competitive.

This means the school is extremely selective. Meeting their GPA requirements and SAT/ACT requirements, is very important to getting past their first round of filters and proving your academic preparation. If you don’t meet their expectations, your chance of getting in is nearly zero.

Caltech Admission Requirements

Caltech GPA Requirements

Many schools specify a minimum GPA requirement, but this is often just the bare minimum to submit an application without immediately getting rejected.

The GPA requirement that really matters are the GPA you need for a real chance of getting in. For this, we look at the school’s average GPA for its current students.

The average GPA at Caltech is 4.19.

With a GPA of 4.19, Caltech requires you to be at the top of your class. You’ll need nearly straight A’s in all your classes to compete with other applicants. Furthermore, you should be taking hard classes – AP or IB courses – to show that college-level academics is a breeze.

If you’re currently a junior or senior, your GPA is hard to change in time for college applications. If your GPA is at or below the school average of 4.19, you’ll need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate. This will help you compete effectively against other applicants who have higher GPAs than you.

SAT and ACT Requirements

Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests.

You must take either the SAT or ACT to submit an application to Caltech. More importantly, you need to do well to have a strong application.

Caltech SAT Requirements

The average SAT score composite at Caltech is a 1545 on the 1600 SAT scale. This score makes Caltech Extremely Competitive for SAT test scores.

SAT Score Choice Policy

The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy. Caltech has the Score Choice policy of “Contact School.”

This means that the school wants you to contact them to learn more about their Score Choice policies. Keep reading – we may have extra notes about this from our own expert research.

Caltech ACT Requirements

The average ACT score at Caltech is 36. This score makes Caltech Extremely Competitive for ACT scores.The 25th percentile ACT score is 35, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 36.

SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements

Both the SAT and ACT have an optional essay section. Caltech requires you to take the SAT Essay/ACT Writing section. They’ll use this as another factor in their admissions consideration.

SAT Subject Test Requirements

Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.

Caltech has indicated that SAT subject tests are required for admission. Read further to see how many and which ones they require.

Typically, your SAT/ACT and GPA are far more heavily weighed than your SAT Subject Tests. If you have the choice between improving your SAT/ACT score or your SAT Subject Test scores, definitely choose to improve your SAT/ACT score.

Because this school is extremely selective, getting a high SAT/ACT score and GPA is vital to having a chance at getting in. If you don’t pass their SAT/ACT and GPA requirements, they’ll likely reject you without much consideration.

To have the best shot of getting in, you should aim for the 75th percentile, with a 1570 SAT or a 36 ACT. You should also have a 4.19 GPA or higher. If your GPA is lower than this, you need to compensate with a higher SAT/ACT score.

For a school as selective as Caltech, you’ll also need to impress them with the rest of your application. We’ll cover those details next.

But if you apply with a score below a 1570 SAT or a 36 ACT, you unfortunately start out with the odds against you and have a tiny chance of getting in. There are just too many students with high SAT/ACT scores and strong applications, and you need to compete against them.

Caltech Application Requirements

Every school requires an application with the bare essentials – high school transcript and GPA, application form, and other core information. Many schools, as explained above, also require SAT and ACT scores, as well as letters of recommendation, application essays, and interviews.

Last Word

The California Institute of Technology, Caltech, which accepts fewer than 10% of applicants, has a highly selective admissions process with above-average grades and standardized test scores. However, Caltech, like all of the University of California schools, has holistic admissions and is test-optional, so the admissions officers are evaluating students on more than numerical data. Most important for admission to Caltech is your academic performance, but Caltech is looking at much more than your grades. The university wants to see grades that are trending upwards (or at least not downwards). The university wants to admit students who show passion for learning and who have pushed themselves in high school.

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