California Institute of Technology Admission
California Institute of Technology Undergraduate Program
California Institute of Technology Application
The California Institute of Technology is an incredibly competitive private school located in the town of Pasadena, California. The selective institute is home to approximately 900 undergraduate students and about 1,300 graduate and part-time students. The school requires students not only to take a heavy load of academic classes, but also to conduct extensive scientific and technological research during their time at the school. The institute, of course, places heavy emphasis on the areas of science, math, and engineering; the most popular majors chosen are in the areas of engineering, physical sciences, mathematics, biological and life sciences, social sciences, and liberal arts.
Admission to the school is intensely competitive, and most of the applicants are already quite accomplished academically. Last year, over 3,100 students applied for admission and about 520 were accepted; approximately 200 matriculated. The admitted students had an average combined SAT score ranging from 1460 to an extremely impressive 1580, and an average comprehensive ACT score ranging from 30-33. Furthermore, over 94% of those admitted were ranked in the top 10% of their high school graduating class with an average high school GPA of about 4.0.
The school has a ridiculously small student to faculty ratio of 3:1, and most classes are taught through distinctive hands-on experience directly relating to the student's specific career path. There are very few required classes, so students are able to put the majority of their focus on their major. The school is also on a quarter system, which makes the timing of final exams and papers particularly strenuous; however, most students at the school are well-equipped to handle the pressure.
The Social Scene
The town of Pasadena is quite beautiful, and the nearby beaches are a popular hangout with students. However, most students at Cal Tech could care less about social activities, and would rather spend the weekends in the lab toiling away over a biomechanical model rather than lounging around on the beach. When students do let themselves off the hook, they often go to see movies, hang out outdoors, hike, swim, or shop.
There are no fraternities or sororities at the school, and students could care less. If you are a prepped-out jock, this is definitely not the school for you. There isn't really a whole lot of drinking, and large dorm parties are few and far between. However, students are creative, and find more inventive ways to have a good time, such as playing elaborate technically-motivated pranks on one another and on their professors.
The dating scene is nothing short of a geek-love fest. If you had a tough time with the opposite sex in high school, you should have no problem here.
“It's so nice to be surrounded by other people who are just as dedicated to technology as you are. Everyone here is so committed and passionate that it keeps you focused in turn.”
“The campus is really nice. There's lots of outdoor space, and the buildings are state-of-the-art, and always are kept up to date.”
“The freshmen are made very comfortable here. The administration makes sure they don't get lost in the shuffle.”
“This is not a typical college experience at all. There's no sense of school spirit or pride, and it can get kind of depressing.”
“The workload is way too heavy, and you end up losing your sense of passion for what you do. It becomes a chore.”
“There is an unhealthy sense of competition here. You always feel like you have to prove yourself to your professors and peers.”
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