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Caltech at a Glance

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Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering Institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions and pressing societal challenges. Caltech's extraordinary faculty and students are expanding our understanding of the universe and inventing the technologies of the future, with research interests from quantum science and engineering to bioinformatics and the nature of life itself, from human behavior and economics to energy and sustainability.

Caltech is small but prizes excellence and ambition. The contributions of Caltech's faculty and alumni have earned national and international recognition, including 39 Nobel Prizes. The Institute manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA, sending probes to explore the planets of our solar system and quantify changes on our home planet; owns and operates large-scale research facilities such as the Seismological Laboratory and a global network of astronomical observatories, including the Palomar and W. M. Keck Observatories; and cofounded and comanages LIGO, which, in 2016, observed gravitational waves for the first time.

The Institute has one of the nation's lowest student-to-faculty ratios, with 300 professorial faculty members offering a rigorous curriculum and access to varied learning opportunities and hands-on research to approximately 1,000 undergraduates and 1,250 graduate students. Caltech is an independent, privately supported institution with a 124-acre campus located in Pasadena, California.

Mission

The mission of the California Institute of Technology is to expand human knowledge and benefit society through research integrated with education. We investigate the most challenging, fundamental problems in science and technology in a singularly collegial, interdisciplinary atmosphere, while educating outstanding students to become creative members of society.

History

Founded as Throop University in 1891 in Pasadena, California, and renamed the California Institute of Technology in 1920.

Research and Education

Academic Divisions

Academic options (majors)

Faculty1

Approximately 300 professorial faculty
More than 600 research scholars
3:1 student-faculty ratio

Honors

Nobel Laureates2: 38
National Medal of Science Recipients2: 58
National Medal of Technology and Innovation Recipients3: 13
National Academies Memberships3: 127

Students1

948 undergraduate students
1,285 graduate students
99% placed in the top tenth of their high school graduating class

Class of 2022:

  • 8,208 applicants
  • 231 members of the freshman class
  • 46% female / 54% male

Affording Caltech

Students receiving need-based assistance: 52%
Average need-based financial-aid package: $49,951
Average indebtedness for class of 2016: $16,777

Living Alumni

Over 24,000 in the U.S. and around the world

Global Facilities

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

  • Founded by Caltech in the 1930s and managed for NASA since 1958
  • Current missions include the InSight, Mars Science Laboratory, Juno, Jason 3, and NuSTAR
  • More than 100 research and mission collaborations with Caltech faculty

Caltech Seismological Laboratory

  • Internationally recognized for excellence in geophysical research
  • Provides research centers for seismic studies, high-performance computing, and mineral physics
  • Preeminent source for earthquake information in Southern California and around the world

International Observatory Network

  • W. M. Keck Observatory, Hawaii
  • Palomar Observatory, California
  • Caltech Submillimeter Observatory, Hawaii
  • Owens Valley Radio Observatory, California
  • Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), Washington and Louisiana
  • Chajnantor Observatory, Chile

Employees1

  • Caltech: 3,900
  • JPL: 6,500

12018–19 academic year
2Faculty and alumni
3Includes trustees

last updated 10/3/2018