California Institute of Technology Reviews

  • 31 Reviews
  • Pasadena (CA)
  • Annual Tuition: $52,362
100% of 31 students said this degree improved their career prospects
97% of 31 students said they would recommend this school to others
Start Your Online College Search:

Student & Graduate Reviews

Neera Shah
  • Reviewed: 8/16/2018
  • Degree: Biology
"Going to Caltech was the best choice I could have made for my undergraduate education. I was challenged beyond what I thought I could achieve, and I made it through. The atmosphere of striving for excellence was motivating but even more important to me was the supportive and collaborative community of the school. Overall, while my experience was no less than difficult, it was more rewarding than what I expected from any college."
Elizabeth Terlinden
  • Reviewed: 9/17/2017
  • Degree: Chemistry
"Choosing to attend Caltech is a study in tradeoffs. You get an opportunity to marinate in an unparalleled environment of intellectual curiosity. The downside is the constant struggle to justify your existence in that space. Expect your mental health to take a beating. Hopefully, when you get out you will be more persistent and resilient as a result of the challenges you have faced. A strong friend group is key for survival, as peer support provides a much more effective scaffold than any official programs. Above all, make an informed choice based on the prior experiences of students and not just promotional materials."
Anonymous
  • Reviewed: 9/1/2017
  • Degree: Physics
"It was extremely challenging and wouldn't be a great fit for everyone. There are some professors who are great teachers and others who only care about their research. Overall I thought it was a good school though."
JPL1
  • Reviewed: 5/22/2017
  • Degree: Engineering
"Great for science. Particularly if you have a theoretical bent."
Sebastian Lee
  • Reviewed: 12/15/2015
  • Degree: Chemistry
"I have access to world class resources. The low student to teacher ratio also allows for a more personal relationship with faculty members."
Aileen Hui
  • Reviewed: 12/15/2015
  • Degree: Chemistry
"Caltech is a great place to be for an aspiring scientist. You are constantly surrounded by some of the smartest people in the world. You also have access to tons of scientific talks and research opportunities. The chemistry department is very supportive of its graduate students and their success. There also is a great deal of support among different research groups within the department. Whether you want to or not, you have to learn to be very independent."
Jaebum Chung
  • Reviewed: 12/15/2015
  • Degree: Electrical Engineering
"Great materials and opportunities for you to learn and grow. It is like a bootcamp where you can focus on your studies without any distractions. But the campus is so small that there aren't really fun social activities on campus."
Michael Floyd
  • Reviewed: 12/15/2015
  • Degree: Liberal Studies
"Great institute to do research and to be surrounded by other people who are also striving to make large impacts on the scientific community. Teaching is subpar, but the professors are readily available and help immensely with research."
Physics grad 2004
  • Reviewed: 6/8/2015
  • Degree: Physics
"Caltech is only for a very small subset of people - people who are completely sure they want to do math, science, or engineering; people who want to be (almost overwhelmingly) challenged; and people who have a wacky, geeky sense of humor. For those people, and those people alone, it's amazing."
Anna Mitskovets
  • Reviewed: 12/9/2014
  • Degree: Liberal Studies
"A lot of coursework, but exeptional research opportunities."
Christine Morrison
  • Reviewed: 12/9/2014
  • Degree: Chemistry
"I couldn't imagine a better chemistry graduate program for me than what Caltech provides. Although the school is small, the chemistry option is comparable in size to many larger schools; thus, providing diverse research opportunities and collaborations. The professors are inspiring as many of them are at the top of their field. The support on campus for academic and non-academic needs is the best I've ever experienced. Overall, the staff, faculty, and other students help to create a very focused and intimate atmosphere."
Xiang Zhai
  • Reviewed: 12/9/2014
  • Degree: Liberal Studies
"Pro: Applied physics features a variaty of programs in studying fundamental and applied physics using experimental ways. There are atomic molecular and optics, semiconductor, plasma physics, etc. The faculty members are world class. The research facilities are up to date. The students are generally smart and hardworking. Students get a competitive yet comfortable feeling in a research oriantated environment. Staff and students organize social events frequently. The work life balance is good. Con: although considered a decent size in Caltech standard, applied physics does not have too many groups. There are only about 10 full time professors and some of their research overlap. Student may not get enough choice to decide what they want to study. However, with that being said, students are encouraged to join any physics related group in the campus: physics, geophysics, biophysics, etc. So the choice is not too limitied. The average graduation years is longer than five years. In some group it might take 6 or 7 of even more years to graduate. It is because most group are experimental and the research takes longer times."
Michelle Dee
  • Reviewed: 2/7/2014
  • Degree: Chemical Engineering
"Every major/option is different, but chemical engineering really makes it impossible to do anything but work like a dog in your first year and still feel unsuccessful."
Huajun Mai
  • Reviewed: 11/13/2013
  • Degree: Environmental Engineering
"Of course, Caltech is place for academic. The courses are given a very rigorous way. The homework sometimes is crazy, but it could push you to learn a lot. Environmental Science & Engineering program is really Interdisciplinary. You must find something interesting here. Another thing is that the program is relatively small, only 4 to 6 grads is accepted per year. No undergrad in this program."
Nadia Herrera
  • Reviewed: 11/10/2013
  • Degree: Biology
"It is a great program and provides a vast amount of resources. The labs are open and sharing of equipment makes any research avenue possible. Cons about the program are that the classes are a bit small, and the course requirements are not many."
Edward Burns
  • Reviewed: 11/10/2013
  • Degree: Mechanical Engineering
"Caltech is above all is a research institution. The first year of classes for Mechanical and Civil Engineers are challenging and time intensive, and you should expect to spend most of your time on class work. You will find however, that this time was not wasted because of the vast amount of material you have learned (and will relearn) for Qualifying Exams in the fall of your 2nd year. It is the policy of the department that you will not have to worry about getting funding. If you are accepted, they will make sure you have funding. Students are not generally required to TA except in rare cases. Caltech is small and students often have a limited social life, unless they are proactive about it. Within the department and within lab groups, there is not excessive competition as resources are typically plentiful and everyone is working on their own, separate project/topic. Pasadena is a nice quiet place to live, and is 30min to an hour from downtown LA. Housing can be expensive, but more reasonable apartments can be found in neighboring municipalities."
He Zhao
  • Reviewed: 11/9/2013
  • Degree: Electrical Engineering
"It is really good program, the professors are very nice and willing to help you."
Natalia Solomatova
  • Reviewed: 11/8/2013
  • Degree: Liberal Studies
"Caltech has a very high quality of education with an intense workload. The neighborhood and campus are very safe and pleasant. Quality of social life and networking is dependent on the department. Diversity is relatively low, although it also varies with the department."
Joe Jewell
  • Reviewed: 10/16/2013
  • Degree: Aerospace Engineering
"Very rigorous, world class education. Difficult but rewarding."
Niccolo C
  • Reviewed: 10/16/2013
  • Degree: Aerospace Engineering
"Pros - Extremely competitive, provides an excellent foundation in core engineering knowledge. Cons- it's tough"