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Colleges / California Institute of Technology

Caltech Academics

California Institute of Technology requires at least 486 units to complete a bachelor's degree.

There is no accelarated degree program at Caltech, but students who wish to save money or graduate early can look into transferring in credits. Caltech accepts transfer credits. Many students like to take classes in the summer, to earn extra credits. However, Caltech does not offer classes during the summer.

NOTE: Around 92% of students who start college at Caltech complete all the credits required within six years.

Caltech offers an orientation program before the start of fall classes to prepare new students for college life.

Academic Options Yes No No Current Info
Accelerated Degree Program X
Transfer Credits Accepted
AP Credit Accepted X
IB Credits Accepted X
Summer Classes Available X
New Student Orientation

Reminder: Caltech may have additional academic options available for new and transfering students. Make sure to check with the universty directly for any additional information.

What Classes Will I Take At Caltech?

Caltech has a core curriculum, which means there are certain classes or types of classes all students must take to graduate.

Students do not need to fulfull a language requirement, but there is a math and science requirement.

Students do not have to take a computer class.

Course Required?
2nd Language No
Math Yes
Science Yes
Computer No

Reminder: Check with Caltech directly for more information on requirements. Individual departments or majors may have additional required courses.

Majors at Caltech

When choosing a major, Caltech students have several choices to make. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see a full list of majors offered at Caltech.

Student Designed Majors

Caltech allows students to design their own major, if desired. If students would like to study something that is not offered as an official major, designing their own major is a great alternative.

Senior Projects

Caltech does not require students to complete a senior project.

Double Majoring at Caltech

Caltech offers students the option to double major, if they would like. Student struggling to choose just one area of study may consider a double major.

NOTE: Declaring a double major may require more work but it can provide a unique combination of experience that helps students stand out when looking for a job or applying to grad school.

Frequently Asked Questions About California Institute of Technology

Does Caltech Offer Learning Disability Services?

Check with Caltech directly for information on any possible available services for students with disabilities.

Does Caltech Have An Online Program?

❌ Caltech does not have distance learning options or fully-online programs, so students must be able to attend classes on-campus.

Does Caltech Offer AP Credit?

❌ Caltech does not offer credit for Advanced Placement (AP) classes taken during high school.

Does Caltech Have An Honors Program?

❌ Caltech does not offer an honors program or a Freshman Honor College.

Does Caltech Require Internships?

❌ Caltech does not require an internship for any students.

Students can still look for internships during the summer, or gain work experience with a part-time job. While Caltech does not require internships for students of any major, internships are a great way to get work experience, discover career paths that might fit you, or rule out ones that don't.

Additional Information About California Institute of Technology

California Institute of Technology Library

The main library on campus is the Sherman Fairchild Library and there are 5 other libraries on campus.

Dual Degree Programs at Caltech

A dual degree program allows a student to study and earn two degrees at the same time. A 3-2 dual degree program is a five-year program wherein the first three years are spend taking undergraduate courses and the final two years are spent taking graduate courses. Upon completion of the 5 years, the student will be awarded two degrees, a bachelor's degree and a master's degree.

Caltech offers these dual degree programs:

  • 3-2 dual degree program in engineering in partnership with Bowdoin College, Bryn Mawr College, Grinnell College, Haverford College, Mt. Holyoke College, Oberlin College , Occidental College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Pomona College, Reed College, Spelman College, Wesleyan University and Whitman College


What is ROTC?

The Reserve Officers' Training Corps, which is also commonly known as ROTC, is a leadership program that prepares students to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces after graduation. College level ROTC programs prepare students to become officers in the military through physical, academic, and leadership training. ROTC programs are part of the college curriculum and usually cover the cost of tuition.

Does Caltech have any ROTC programs?

Each branch of the miltary has its own ROTC program, but not every program is available at every college. Possible programs include Army ROTC, Air Force ROTC, and Navy ROTC.

Caltech has an Army ROTC program and an Air Force ROTC program.

Some ROTC programs are provided directly on campus and others are hosted at a cooperating instiution off campus. The ROTC program locations at Caltech include:

  • an Army ROTC branch unit hosted at a cooperating instution off campus
  • an Air Force ROTC branch unit hosted at a cooperating instution off campus

Keep Reading About Caltech

To learn more about Caltech, choose from the options below:


Student Life


Tuition & Aid

Join the conversation about about Caltech in the College Confidential forums.

Caltech Majors & Subject Areas

Data Source: IPEDs and Peterson's Databases © 2022 Peterson's LLC All rights reserved

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