Caltech: 2020 Requirements, Scores & GPAs

This is the go-to guide for getting into California Institute of Technology. We suggest you read until the end... Not only will we layout the exact GPA and test scores you should aim for when applying to Caltech, but we’ll also offer creative ways to help your application stand out from the pack. We breakdown Caltech statistics better than any article out there and show you how these have changed over time. Also, make sure to check out California Institute of Technology on CampusReel to see what it’s really like here. If you're interesting in transferring to Caltech, the read our transfer guide. You can also use the below calculator to help determine your likelihood of acceptance at Caltech

What are your chances at Caltech?

Your SAT Score
Your ACT Score
Select a score
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  • Your GPA*
    on a 4.0 scale

    *gpa score is required

    This free college chances tool calculates your acceptance chances at Caltech or any other U.S. college

    Please note all chances are estimates based on test score and GPA averages.

    *or select a school above for a specific calculation

    Need chances at another college?

    What GPA do you need to get into California Institute of Technology?

    California Institute of Technology’s average GPA is 4.21. California Institute of Technology does require GPA. This average GPA means California Institute of Technology is brutally selective - the most competitive applicants in the world are already applying to the school, in hopes of taking up residence in Pasadena, and, somehow, you need to be better. Generally speaking, if your GPA is not at least equal to 4.21 then California Institute of Technology may be a reach. However, California Institute of Technology considers the ENTIRE application - we can make up for a weak GPA with more factors that we’ll discuss below. If your GPA is equal to or greater than 4.21, you’re sitting right in the sweetspot.

    *BEFORE CONTINUING PLEASE NOTE: GPA and “prestige” DO NOT mean a college is right for you. California Institute of Technology may seem amazing on paper, but you may hate it... That’s why 700,000 students transfer colleges every year - they end up going to the wrong school. It’s crucial to watch the videos on CampusReel and make sure you can envision yourself on Caltech’s campus. These Caltech admission statistics do not sufficiently tell you what a college or university is like.

    What is California Institute of Technology’s acceptance rate?

    Last year California Institute of Technology’s acceptance rate was 8.81. However, check out how the acceptance rate has changed over time.

    2016 2017 2018
    Acceptance Rate 8.0 % 8.0 % 8.81 %

    As you can see, California Institute of Technology is a little easier to get into than last year.

    Acceptance rate alone does not indicate your likelihood for getting into Caltech - it’s a very high level understanding of the true competition. Use the acceptance rate as a general guide for curating a list of 10-15 schools that fall into different ranges of competitiveness. Then, use the below data to get a deeper understanding of how your application will compare to the rest of the pool.

    What are your chances at Caltech?

    Your SAT Score
    Your ACT Score
    Select a score
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  • Your GPA*
    on a 4.0 scale

    *gpa score is required

    This free college chances tool calculates your acceptance chances at Caltech or any other U.S. college

    Please note all chances are estimates based on test score and GPA averages.

    *or select a school above for a specific calculation

    Need chances at another college?

    Does California Institute of Technology Require Test Scores?

    California Institute of Technology requires that you either take the SAT or ACT. See the table below for how California Institute of Technology’s accepted students have performed on both tests. You may be wondering how many test scores should you submit. Generally, don’t freak out about taking the test too often. Industry consensus is that you can submit up to 6 tests as a reasonable limit.

    California Institute of Technology SAT Requirements

    California Institute of Technology’s average SAT score is 1555 - this is the sum of the math and reading portions of the SAT (the 1600 scale). Check out the below table for a deeper look into how students performed - it’s also very interesting to look at the average test score over time. The trend over time helps give insight into whether California Institute of Technology is getting more or less competitive.

    25th Percentile 75th Percentile Average
    Math 770 800 785
    Reading 740 800 770
    2019 Total 1510 1600 1555
    2018 Total - - -
    2017 Total - - -

    California Institute of Technology’s average SAT score is 1555. To be a competitive applicant for California Institute of Technology your SAT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 1510, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider California Institute of Technology a “target” school (one that you are likely to get into) you should aim for a score of 1600.

    California Institute of Technology ACT Requirements

    California Institute of Technology’s average ACT score is 105. To be a competitive applicant for California Institute of Technology your ACT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 103, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider California Institute of Technology a “target” school (one that you have a good chance of getting into) you should aim for a score of 108.

    25th Percentile 75th Percentile Average
    Math 35 36 35
    Reading 34 36 35
    Writing 34 36 35
    2019 Total 103 108 105
    2018 Total - - -
    2017 Total - - -

    How hard is it to get into California Institute of Technology?

    As you can see from the data above, California Institute of Technology is exceptionally difficult to get into. Not only should you be aiming for a 4.21 but also SAT scores around 1555. Getting into California Institute of Technology is no easy feat and you will need to set yourself apart with more than just numbers and data. Read on to learn how.

    California Institute of Technology Requirements

    Now you know where you need to be for getting into California Institute of Technology from a grade and test score perspective. Let’s quickly outline what else you’ll need to provide for your application to get reviewed, and then we’ll move onto the most important section: differentiating your app.

    Recommendations Status
    School Rank Recommended
    GPA Recommended
    School Record Required

    How to get into Caltech

    Follow these steps to maximize your chances of getting into Caltech. Everything you read above will help prepare you for what you need to achieve to have a shot at Caltech, but these steps will take you even further in applying that knowledge and differentiating your application.

    Main Academic Excellence that is in line with Caltech admission standards.

    1. Score at least a 1555 on the SAT or 105 on the ACT.
    2. Maintain a GPA of at least a 4.21.

    Join Extracurriculars that Align with Caltech’s Values.

    1. Join your school band, a sports team or another group activity. If California Institute of Technology values music heavily, for example, then try to participate in an organization related to that topic.
    2. Volunteer in your hometown. Pasadena has tons of ways to be involved beyond just the college. California Institute of Technology wants applicants that are also good ambassadors for the school - they want students who will give back to the local community and broader Pasadena area in general.
    3. Spend your summer doing something that speaks to your values, personal growth, leadership qualities and other less quantifiable characteristics. Caltech needs to see past your test scores and grades - they need to know that you will be a valuable and contributing member of their community. You are more than grades and test scores - your experiences should demonstrate that.

    Prepare Your Application

    1. Write a stellar essay that shows California Institute of Technology something they can’t figure out from the other parts of your application. For a detailed guide on writing the best college essay, check this out.
    2. Get teacher recs that speak to your character. If you know what you’re majoring in and include that in your Caltech app, try to have at least 1 recommendation from a teacher in that department.
    3. Apply Before the Deadline. Too many students wait until the last minute to submit their application, and too much can go wrong during this precious time window. Since many students are applying on the last day, it’s possible that Caltech’s own system crashes. Don’t risk the added stress this can cause - submit your app a few days early.

    What are your chances at Caltech?

    Your SAT Score
    Your ACT Score
    Select a score
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  • Your GPA*
    on a 4.0 scale

    *gpa score is required

    This free college chances tool calculates your acceptance chances at Caltech or any other U.S. college

    Please note all chances are estimates based on test score and GPA averages.

    *or select a school above for a specific calculation

    Need chances at another college?

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