How to Get Into Cal Tech

Cal Tech is one of the most prestigious engineering schools in the country. If you’re looking to get in, you’ll need to have a strong academic record, extracurriculars, and essays. Check out this blog post for tips on how to get into Cal Tech.

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Cal Tech is one of the top engineering and science schools in the united states Getting into Cal Tech is no easy feat – in fact, it’s one of the most competitive schools in the country. But if you’re willing to put in the work, it’s definitely doable.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about getting into Cal Tech, from SAT/ACT scores and GPA requirements to extracurriculars and admissions essays. By the end, you’ll have a clear sense of what it takes to get into Cal Tech and be well on your way to applying!


Located in Pasadena, California, the California Institute of Technology is a world-renowned STEM school. each year, students from around the world compete for a spot in this prestigious school. So, what does it take to get into Caltech?

High School

Admission to Caltech is extremely competitive. Candidates for admission must present evidence of superior academic achievement and scholastic ability. Official academic transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, two letters of recommendation, and a personal essay are required as part of the application process. Applicants are evaluated on their academic achievement as well as their involvement in extracurricular activities, community service, and work experience.

A successful candidate for admission to Caltech will have consistently earned high grades in a college preparatory curriculum that includes:
-4 years of English
-3 years of mathematics (ALGEBRA I, GEOMETRY, and an advanced mathematics course such as PRECALCULUS or CALCULUS)
-3 years of laboratory science ( BIOLOGY, CHEMISTRY and PHYSICS)
-3 years of history & social science
-1 year of art, music, theater or other electives

Standardized Tests

Academic performance is the primary factor in our admission decision; however, we also consider the difficulty of your courses, your grades in those courses, and your test scores. We accept both the SAT and ACT, and we do not have a preference for either test. We will consider your highest score from a single testing administration, regardless of whether you took the SAT or ACT.

The Application Process

Applying to Cal Tech can seem daunting, but if you break down the process and take it one step at a time, it becomes much more manageable. The first step is to research the school and make sure it is a good fit for you. The second step is to fill out the online application. The third step is to submit your transcripts and test scores. The fourth step is to write your essays. The fifth step is to interview. The final step is to submit your financial aid information.


Caltech considers applicants to be primarily self-selective and looks for students who are passionate about learning, intellectually curious, and driven to discover. There is no “type” of student that we are looking for—we simply want students who will thrive in our unique environment and contribute to our community.

If you are interested in applying to Caltech, we encourage you to explore our website and learn more about what we have to offer. We also encourage you to visit campus, if possible, to get a firsthand look at our community. Once you have a good understanding of what Caltech has to offer, the next step is to begin the application process.

The first step in the application process is the submission of an online application form. This form will ask you for basic information about yourself, your academic record, extracurricular activities, and standardized test scores. Once your online application form is complete, you will need to submit additional materials (described below) in order for your application to be processed.

-Official high school transcript(s)
-Official score report(s) for either the SAT I or ACT (with Writing) exam
-Two letters of recommendation from teachers in academic subjects
-One letter of recommendation from someone who can speak to your nonacademic achievements (coach, employer, club leader, etc.)
-An application fee of $80

The Interview

An interview is required for admission and can be scheduled through your Applicant Portal after you submit your application.

Caltech offers on-campus and off-campus interviews. On-campus interviews are conducted by current students and take place on weekdays during the fall, winter, and spring quarters. Off-campus interviews are conducted by alumni volunteers in most major cities in the United States and around the world, and take place during predetermined weekends in the fall quarter.

Off-campus interview spots fill up quickly, so we encourage you to sign up for an on-campus interview if at all possible. If you are unable to come to campus, please sign up for an off-campus interview as soon as possible after your application has been submitted.

There is no advantage or disadvantage to having an on-campus or off-campus interview—they are equally weighted in the admission process. The purpose of the interview is not to put you on the spot or trick you; rather, it’s an opportunity for us to get to know you a little better as a person, beyond what we can learn from your transcripts and test scores.

At Caltech, we believe that personal interaction—getting to know each other face to face—is key not just in the admissions process but also in providing a top education. Our intimate student population means that every student really gets to know one another well, so we want to get a sense of who you are before making our final decisions.

Tips for Success

Cal Tech is one of the most selective colleges in the country, with an acceptance rate of just 7.8%. That means that out of every 100 students who apply, only about eight will be admitted.

So, how can you improve your chances of being one of the lucky few? Here are some tips:

1. Get good grades. Cal Tech is looking for students with a strong academic record, so your grades are very important. Aim for straight A’s, and consider taking advanced classes like AP or IB courses.

2. Take the SAT or ACT. Your standardized test scores are another important part of your application, so make sure to prepare for and do well on these exams.

3. Demonstrate your interest. One way to stand out from other applicants is to visit campus, attend events, and meet with admission representatives when they’re in your area. This shows that you’re truly interested in Cal Tech and increases your chances of being admitted.

4. Write a strong essay. Your personal statement is your opportunity to shine, so take the time to craft an essay that showcases your unique strengths and interests.

5., Stand out with extracurriculars., Participating in extracurricular activities can help you stand out from other applicants and demonstrate your commitment to leadership and service.,
By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to increasing your chances of getting into Cal Tech!


Cal Tech is one of the most prestigious and competitive colleges in the United States. If you’re serious about getting into Cal Tech, you’ll need to start preparing your application well in advance. In addition to strong grades and test scores, you’ll need to stand out in extracurricular activities, demonstrate your interest in science and engineering, and write compelling essays. With careful planning and dedication, you can improve your chances of getting into Cal Tech.

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