Caltech admits transfer students for the fall term only. We require a completed application, letters of recommendation, an official transcript from the last secondary school attended and all colleges or universities attended, descriptions of all college-level math and science courses, and completion of the Caltech Transfer Entrance Examinations. Please review the section titled ”Eligibility Criteria for Admission’’ to determine whether you meet the eligibility requirements for transfer admissions consideration.
The following is a list of the Caltech core curriculum, taken by all Caltech students during their first two years. It is expected that transfer students will have had exposure to mathematics and science courses on a comparable level prior to entry to Caltech. Any of the following core courses that have not been covered by incoming transfer students must be taken upon matriculation to Caltech. There are no specific topics expected to have been covered in humanities and social science classes.
An evaluation of each transfer student’s written English is required prior to registration and may result in an additional course requirement.
- Mathematics 1 abc
- Physics 1 abc
- Chemistry 1 ab
- Chemistry 3 a or 3 x
- Biology 1, 1 x, 8, or 9
- Humanities and Social Science electives
- Menu science class (see Menu Classes; can be taken first-year or sophomore year)
- Physics 2 abc or Physics 12 abc
- Additional laboratory science
- Humanities and Social Science electives
Note: Mathematics 3 is not required for the core curriculum, but may be required for a specific option.]
Eligibility Criteria for Admission
The Institute admits to its sophomore and junior classes a small number of students who have excellent records at other institutions of collegiate rank and who perform satisfactorily on the Caltech Transfer Admissions Entrance Examinations.
- Students must have completed their secondary school
education, and have subsequently enrolled at a college or
university and earned credit, in order to be considered for
- Transfer students are not admitted to the senior year at Caltech.
- Students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree in any subject are not eligible for transfer.
Standardized Test Requirements
Transfer applicants are not required to submit SAT scores and, during the testing moratorium, Caltech will not review any SAT or ACT test scores in the admissions process.
International Student English Proficiency
English Proficiency Scores are required of all international students unless 1) your native language is English or 2) English is the primary language of instruction in your secondary school and university.
Acceptable English proficiency exams include:
- TOEFL Internet Based Test (IBT)
- Duolingo English Test (DET)
Evaluation of Written English
All entering transfer students will be required to undergo an evaluation of their written English prior to enrolling.
Transfer Admissions Entrance Examinations
All applicants are required to take Caltech Transfer Admissions Entrance Examinations in mathematics and physics. Further instructions are included with the Caltech Transfer Application.
Transfer of Credit
The courses for which transfer applicants will receive credit, and the corresponding class standing, will be determined at the time of enrollment. The transfer applicant will submit course descriptions, syllabi, and final transcripts to the Registrar who will present the material to the faculty for evaluation.
Faculty members review each course submitted for credit on an individual basis. It is sometimes not possible, therefore, to answer questions regarding the acceptability of course work taken elsewhere. Before the student is admitted, transfer students will work through Admissions to obtain a pre-evaluation estimate. If the standard of work taken elsewhere is uncertain, additional examinations may be required before the question of credit is finally determined.
Admitted transfer students must meet the following requirements in order to receive a Caltech Bachelor of Science degree.
- A Caltech undergraduate degree is based on a four-year residential experience (study abroad included) in which students have the time to explore their academic interests in a deep and rigorous way. Students who are admitted as transfer students or 3/2 students may be granted advanced standing and term credit for academic work accepted in transfer to Caltech. However, transfer and 3/2 students must enroll for a minimum of six terms at Caltech. Any exceptions must be approved by the dean of undergraduate students and the vice president for student affairs.
- Regardless of the amount of credit awarded upon matriculation, transfer students must spend at least two years (six terms) in residence at Caltech. Students must also earn at least 216 units at Caltech, not including courses taken to satisfy math and science core curriculum requirements.
- Students must take, or have taken the equivalent of, all core curriculum courses.
- Students must satisfy all of their chosen option’s degree requirements. Transfer students may choose from among all Caltech undergraduate options.
Applications are available by September 1. Completed applications should be received by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions by February 15. Applicants will be notified of the decisions of the Admissions Committee in early May. Information on the application process can be found on the admissions office website at www.admissions.caltech.edu. Students should apply online through the Coalition Application. For further information on admission, please call (626) 395-6341 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity
Caltech is committed to equal opportunity for all persons without regard to sex, race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, pregnancy, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as disabled veteran, or other eligible veteran, for otherwise qualified individuals with a disability, or any other condition protected by the state and federal law. It is the policy of Caltech to provide a work and academic environment free of discrimination as required by federal and state law, including Title IX which prohibits discrimination based on sex in Caltech’s educational programs and activities. Caltech will take all reasonable steps to eliminate discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct in its work and academic environment. Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX may be referred to Caltech’s Title IX Coordinator, Hima Vatti, who can be reached at Equity or at 626-395-3132.
The 3/2 Dual Degree Plan
Caltech invites students from a select group of liberal arts colleges to transfer to Caltech upon completion of their junior year. After two years in residence at Caltech, and the successful completion of our requirements, 3/2 students will be granted a Bachelor of Science degree from Caltech and a second bachelor’s degree from their liberal arts college. Students may transfer into any of the Caltech options.
Students from the following institutions are eligible to apply to the 3/2 program:
|Bowdoin College (ME)||Ohio Wesleyan University (OH)|
|Bryn Mawr (PA)||Pomona College (CA)|
|Grinnell College (IA)||Reed College (OR)|
|Haverford College (PA)||Spelman College (GA)|
|Mt. Holyoke College (MA)||Wesleyan University (CT)|
|Oberlin College (OH)||Whitman College (WA)|
|Occidental College (CA)|
Applications and a program description are available from the 3/2 liaison at each of the liberal arts college partners and from the Caltech Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Instructions on how to create and complete Caltech’s online 3/2 application can be found at admissions.caltech.edu. All 3/2 applications and support materials must be submitted by April 1.
Admission to the 3/2 program is not guaranteed and will be determined by the Caltech Faculty Upperclass Admissions Committee. Students applying should have a record of superior academic achievement at their home institutions, and strong letters of recommendation from their 3/2 liaison and an additional faculty member. They must have completed a minimum of one year of calculus-based physics and mathematics (two years are recommended), including multivariable calculus and differential equations, and one year of chemistry.
Exchange programs exist with Occidental College and Art Center College of Design, permitting Caltech students to receive credit for courses taken at these colleges. Students from these colleges also may receive credit for courses taken at the Institute. Tuition payments are not required, but the student may have to pay any special fees. The student must obtain approval from the instructor of the exchange course. Exchange courses taken by Caltech students must have prior approval by the student’s option, by the division providing courses most similar to the proposed course, and by the registrar. Students wishing to take such courses should obtain the appropriate form at the Registrar’s Office, get the required signatures as above, and return it to the registrar. First-year students at Caltech ordinarily cannot participate in this exchange.