42 Facts About Caltech


In 1934, Caltech was elected to the Association of American Universities, and the antecedents of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which Caltech continues to manage and operate, were established between 1936 and 1943 under Theodore von Karman.

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The Caltech Beavers compete in 13 intercollegiate sports in the NCAA Division III's Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

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Caltech started as a vocational school founded in present-day Old Pasadena on Fair Oaks Avenue and Chestnut Street on September 23, 1891, by local businessman and politician Amos G Throop.

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Caltech joined Throop's board of trustees in 1907, and soon began developing it and the whole of Pasadena into a major scientific and cultural destination.

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Under the leadership of Hale, Noyes, and Millikan, Caltech grew to national prominence in the 1920s and concentrated on the development of Roosevelt's "Hundredth Man".

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From April to December 1951, Caltech was the host of a federal classified study, Project Vista.

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Since 2012, Caltech began to offer classes through massive open online courses under Coursera, and from 2013, edX.

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Goodhue's designs for Caltech were influenced by the traditional Spanish mission architecture of Southern California.

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Caltech is incorporated as a non-profit corporation and is governed by a privately appointed 46-member board of trustees who serve five-year terms of office and retire at the age of 72.

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Caltech's endowment is governed by a permanent trustee committee and administered by an investment office.

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The voting faculty of Caltech include all professors, instructors, research associates and fellows, and the University Librarian.

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Caltech is a small four-year, highly residential research university with slightly more students in graduate programs than undergraduate.

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Caltech is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the world by major ranking systems.

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In 2021, Caltech ranked 6th globally based on aggregate world university rankings of THE, QS, and ARWU.

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Caltech was ranked 1st internationally between 2011 and 2016 by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

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Admission to Caltech is extremely rigorous and requires the highest test scores in the nation.

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In June 2020, Caltech announced a test-blind policy where they would not require nor consider test scores for the next two years; in July 2021, the moratorium was extended by another year.

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Caltech offers 28 majors and 12 minors across all six academic divisions.

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Caltech offers interdisciplinary programs in Applied Physics, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Computation and Neural Systems, Control and Dynamical Systems, Environmental Science and Engineering, Geobiology and Astrobiology, Geochemistry, and Planetary Astronomy.

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Caltech offers co-operative programs with other schools, such as the Pasadena Art Center College of Design and Occidental College.

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Caltech offers Army and Air Force ROTC in cooperation with the University of Southern California.

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Students in this program do their preclinical and clinical work at USC or UCLA, and their PhD work with any member of the Caltech faculty, including the Biology, Chemistry, and Engineering and Applied Sciences Divisions.

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Research facilities at Caltech are available to graduate students, but there are opportunities for students to work in facilities of other universities, research centers as well as private industries.

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Caltech is classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity".

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Caltech was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1934 and remains a research university with "very high" research activity, primarily in STEM fields.

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The Spitzer Science Center, part of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center located on the Caltech campus, is the data analysis and community support center for NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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Caltech partnered with UCLA to establish a Joint Center for Translational Medicine, which conducts experimental research into clinical applications, including the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as cancer.

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Caltech operates several TCCON stations as part of an international collaborative effort of measuring greenhouse gases globally.

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Caltech receives more invention disclosures per faculty member than any other university in the nation.

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Caltech has athletic teams in baseball, men's and women's basketball, cross country, men's and women's soccer, swimming and diving, men's and women's tennis, track and field, women's volleyball, and men's and women's water polo.

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School sponsored a football team prior to 1976, which played part of its home schedule at the Rose Bowl, or, as Caltech students put it, "to the largest number of empty seats in the nation".

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For vocal music, Caltech has a mixed-voice Glee Club and the smaller Chamber Singers.

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The theater program at Caltech is known as TACIT, or Theater Arts at the California Institute of Technology.

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In December 2011, Caltech students went to New York and pulled a prank in Manhattan's Greenwich Village.

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Caltech pranks have been documented in three Legends of Caltech books, the most recent of which was edited by alumni Autumn Looijen '99 and Mason Porter '98 and published in May 2007.

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In 2005, a group of Caltech students pulled a string of pranks during MIT's Campus Preview Weekend for admitted students.

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In December 2009, some Caltech students declared that MIT had been sold and had become the Caltech East campus.

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Richard Feynman was among the most well-known physicists associated with Caltech, having published the Feynman Lectures on Physics, an undergraduate physics text, and popular science texts such as Six Easy Pieces for the general audience.

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Average salary for assistant professors at Caltech is $111, 300, associate professors $121, 300, and full professors $172, 800.

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Caltech faculty are active in applied physics, astronomy and astrophysics, biology, biochemistry, biological engineering, chemical engineering, computer science, geology, mechanical engineering, and physics.

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Caltech has appeared in many works of popular culture, both as itself and in disguised form.

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Caltech is the inspiration, and frequent film location, for the California Institute of Science in Numb3rs.

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