Caltech at a Glance

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Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering Institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions and pressing societal challenges. Caltech's extraordinary faculty and students are expanding our understanding of the universe and inventing the technologies of the future, with research interests from quantum science and engineering to bioinformatics and the nature of life itself, from human behavior and economics to energy and sustainability.

Caltech is small but prizes excellence and ambition. The contributions of Caltech's faculty and alumni have earned national and international recognition, including 35 Nobel Prizes. The Institute manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA, sending probes to explore the planets of our solar system and quantify changes on our home planet; owns and operates large-scale research facilities such as the Seismological Laboratory and a global network of astronomical observatories, including the Palomar and W. M. Keck Observatories; and cofounded and comanages LIGO, which, in 2016, observed gravitational waves for the first time.

The Institute has one of the nation's lowest student-to-faculty ratios, with 300 professorial faculty members offering a rigorous curriculum and access to varied learning opportunities and hands-on research to approximately 1,000 undergraduates and 1,250 graduate students. Caltech is an independent, privately supported institution with a 124-acre campus located in Pasadena, California.

Mission

The mission of the California Institute of Technology is to expand human knowledge and benefit society through research integrated with education. We investigate the most challenging, fundamental problems in science and technology in a singularly collegial, interdisciplinary atmosphere, while educating outstanding students to become creative members of society.

History

Founded as Throop University in 1891 in Pasadena, California, and renamed the California Institute of Technology in 1920.

Research and Education

Academic Divisions

Academic options (majors)

Cross-disciplinary research institutes and centers

Faculty (1)

Approximately 300 professorial faculty

More than 600 research scholars

3:1 student-faculty ratio

Honors

Nobel Laureates (2): 37

National Medal of Science Recipients (2): 58

National Medal of Technology and Innovation Recipients (3): 13

National Academies Memberships (3): 125

Students

961 undergraduate students

1,277 graduate students

36% female / 64% male

99% placed in the top tenth of their high school graduating class

Class of 2021:

  • 7,339 applicants
  • 235 members of the freshman class
  • 46% female / 54% male

Affording Caltech (1)

Students receiving need-based assistance: 51%

Average need-based financial-aid package: $46,095

Average indebtedness for class of 2016: $18,219

Living Alumni

24,958 in the U.S. and around the world

Global Facilities

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

  • Founded by Caltech in the 1930s and managed for NASA since 1958
  • 19 spacecraft and ten instruments employed in active missions
  • Recently launched missions include the Mars Science Laboratory, Juno, Jason 3, and NuSTAR
  • More than 100 research and mission collaborations with Caltech faculty

Caltech Seismological Laboratory

  • Internationally recognized for excellence in geophysical research
  • Provides research centers for seismic studies, high-performance computing, and mineral physics
  • Preeminent source for earthquake information in Southern California and around the world

International Observatory Network

  • W. M. Keck Observatory, Hawaii
  • Palomar Observatory, California
  • Caltech Submillimeter Observatory, Hawaii
  • Owens Valley Radio Observatory, California
  • Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), Washington and Louisiana
  • Chajnantor Observatory, Chile

Employees (1)

  • Caltech: 3,900
  • JPL: 5,500

Financial Information

FY 2016 revenues, including Campus and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), totaled approximately $2.6 billion.

  • JPL: $1.9 billion
  • Campus: $692 million

Campus Revenue Allocation:

  • Contracts and grants: 45.6%
  • Endowment payout: 17.4%
  • Gifts: 21.6%
  • Student tuition and fees: 5.9%
  • Other: 9.5%

Campus Expenses Allocation:

  • Instruction and academic support: 45.0%
  • Organized research: 36.9%
  • Institutional support: 12.8%
  • Auxiliary: 5.3%Caltech endowment valued at $2.09 billion

At the end of FY 2016, Caltech's endowment totaled $2.2 billion.


(1) 2016–17 academic year
(2) Faculty and alumni
(3) Includes trustees
(4) Faculty only

last updated 10/03/2017