How to Apply as a First-Year Applicant
Academic Preparation Checklist
(If you have not taken all the listed courses, you should at least be enrolled in them at the time of your application.)
- 4 years of math (including calculus)
- 1 year of physics
- 1 year of chemistry
- 3 years of English (4 years recommended)
- 1 year of U.S. history/government (waived for international students)
Please note that we do not grant credit for AP, IB, A Level, Pre-U, or college courses taken prior to enrollment. Each student accepted to Caltech will take a math and physics placement exam prior to enrolling. Based on the results of these exams, you may place out of courses and be granted credit for those courses.
Additional Requirements for International First-Year Applicants
You must apply as an international student if you are not a U.S. citizen or if you do not have permanent residency status at the time of submitting an application to Caltech. All of the above checklist items apply to international applicants except where noted; please have all teacher evaluations and course names on transcripts translated into English. In addition, international students should supply the following:
- TOEFL scores - Required of all international citizens unless 1) your native language is English; or 2) you have had school instruction for two or more years in English. The two years of school instruction must be completed prior to the application deadline. We do not accept the IELTS or any other substitute for the TOEFL requirement.
- International Financial Aid Statement of Intent - When an international citizen applies for freshman admission, the application prompts questions to confirm his/her understanding of our financial aid policy and thus confirm his/her financial aid intent towards Caltech. Caltech is need-sensitive for international citizens because the total amount of financial aid funds is limited for these students, and we remain committed to meeting the demonstrated need of all admitted students. Click here to download the full extent of our financial aid policy for international citizens.