The California Institute of Technology is one of the most prestigious and reputable universities in the United States. Founded in 1891 as a vocational school, it originally offered basic training programs that gave graduates certificates or diplomas to help them find work in select fields. Though this school later shut down, it gave way to a college prep school that offered classes for high school students and a polytechnic school that offered math and science classes. This school later became Throop Institute to pay homage to the founder of the original campus. Also known as Caltech, it now offers some of the best math and science programs in the entire nation.
ARWU ranked Caltech as the 6th best college in the United States and the 8th best college in the world. Other publications that named it one of the top American colleges include U.S. News & World Report, Washington Monthly and Forbes. Times, QS and U.S. News & World Report also listed Caltech within the top five of all colleges operating in the world today. Caltech also has some of the best graduate programs in the world, particularly those in the science fields.Its computer science degree program ranks highly too.
California Institute of Technology Accreditation Details
Caltech has regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), which means that it has approval to grant degrees to all students who meet its graduation requirements. Though WASC requires that the institute apply for a renew of its accreditation every decade, Caltech has its own board that reviews the institute every year to ensure that it meets the minimum standards necessary to keep its accreditation.
The California Institute of Technology also has accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology, Incorporated. Better known as ABET, this organization gave the institute accreditation for its engineering programs. Those programs allow students to study chemical, mechanical or electrical engineering.
California Institute of Technology Application Requirements
Though Caltech accepts more than 200 incoming freshmen and a small number of transfer students every year, it is a highly selective college. It accepts right around 8% of all the incoming applications it receives each year. Those accepted typically have high standardized test scores and a transcript that shows good grades in both math and science classes. The college also requires that students complete a strong college prep program in high school. Students should take four years of math classes, between three and four years of English courses, one government or social science class and at least two upper level science classes like chemistry and physics.
Caltech allows students to apply via either the Coalition App or the Common App. Both of these apps have websites and allow prospective students to fill out information that they can use on multiple applications. Students can apply to Caltech and other colleges at the same time. Those using the Coalition App must complete a separate section called Caltech Questions. This section includes several questions that students must answer with a short essay of no more than 200 words. There is also a $75 application fee that the college will waive for some applicants.
In addition to the application, prospective students must also submit official standardized test scores. Caltech requires that students take the ACT with the optional writing section or the SAT with its optional essay section. Students must also take and submit scores from at least one SAT math subject test and at least one SAT science subject test. Other requirements include a secondary school report, official transcript, written evaluation from a math or science teacher and a written evaluation from a social sciences teacher.
Tuition and Financial Aid
The total cost of attending the California Institute of Technology is more than $65,000 a year. This includes a tuition rate of nearly $46,000 a year. This tuition rate entitles students to take a full course load during both of the primary semesters. The remaining costs come from a meal plan, dorm room and personal expenses, including transportation costs and textbooks. Students must also have health insurance. Those not covered by a parent or guardian’s plan can purchase insurance from the school for around $2,500 a year.
All students should complete the FAFSA and notify the school of any scholarships or outside aid they will receive for the coming year. The college will then look at how much the student’s family can help to determine his or her demonstrated financial need. The college has scholarships and grants available for students that come from the federal government and can offer state grants as well. Many students also work on the campus as part of the federal work-study program. Caltech also offers entrance and exit counseling for students who need loans. The institute will often look at other financial aid options before suggesting loans to help students graduate with less debt.
B.S. in Computer Science
The computer science degree program offered by Caltech also goes by the names of its B.S. in Computer Science and its Undergraduate Major in Computer Science. Those enrolling in this program must demonstrate that they have strong science and math skills as well as a familiarity with computers and computer operating systems. The program consists of four computer science fundamentals classes that allow students to develop the understanding that they’ll need for upper level courses as well as at least three intermediate computer science classes. It also requires that students take higher level classes, at least three math classes, a minimum of 18 units of science courses and at least two communications classes.
Caltech allows computer science students to double major in another field too. Most of the required classes in one program will count as electives in another program. Some of the required CS classes that students take include introduction to computer programming, introduction to programming methods and introduction to computing systems. Students can also take courses on statistical analysis, computer science research, principles of microprocessor systems, computational literature and functional programming.
All Caltech CS students must do a thesis and a final project before graduating, but the institute allows students to do their projects in their junior years and their thesis papers in their final semesters. The California Institute of Technology also offers study tracks for those enrolled in its computer science degree program that include graphics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, robotics and control and general systems.