The California Institute of Technology (commonly referred to as Caltech) is a private research university located in Pasadena, California, United States. Caltech has six academic divisions with a strong emphasis on sciences and engineering. Its 124 acre (50 ha) primary campus is located approximately 11 mi (18 km) northeast of downtown Los Angeles.
Although founded as a preparatory and vocational school by Amos G. Throop in 1891, the eponymous college attracted 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 1921. 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 Karman.
Caltech enrolls just under 900 undergraduate and 1200 graduate students and employs about 300 professorial faculty. Despite its historically small size, 31 Caltech alumni and faculty have won the Nobel Prize, 66 have won the National Medal of Science or Technology, and 110 have been elected to the National Academies. Caltech managed $357 million in sponsored research in 2009 and a $1.4 billion endowment.
First year students are required to live on campus and 95% of undergraduates remain in the on-campus house system. 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.
Going to Caltech will cost approximately $49,490 for a full academic year. Tuition will cost $31,437 and room and board adds another $10,146 to your bill. You will also need to pay for books and supplies ($1,194), fees ($3,500), personal expenses and an additional meal allowance ($3,213).
Caltech is committed to providing financial assistance so that all students who are admitted can attend. Two-thirds of students attending the school receive some form of financial assistance.