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Caltech's Incoming Undergraduate and Graduate Classes

June 05, 2023

To: The Campus Community
From: Kevin M. Gilmartin, Vice President for Student Affairs; David A. Tirrell, Provost; Thomas F. Rosenbaum, President

As we prepare to celebrate Caltech's 2023 graduates, we also look ahead to the next academic year when we will welcome a combined cohort of 545 first-year undergraduate and graduate students. This talented and diverse group emerged from intense undergraduate and graduate admissions and recruitment cycles, which yielded uncommonly high rates of acceptance from admitted students. 

At the undergraduate level, 267 first-year students plan to enroll at Caltech in Fall 2023. The students are diverse in their personal backgrounds and academic focus, having expressed interest in 31 different options. Almost 42 percent of the incoming undergraduates identify as female and 58 percent identify as students of color (inclusive of American Indian, Asian, Black, and Hispanic students, and students who identify with two or more races). Eighteen percent of the incoming class are international students, with members coming from 28 countries across 6 continents, as well as every geographic region in the United States. Sixteen percent of the students are the first in their families to attend a four-year university and 21 percent are eligible to receive Pell Grants (federal grants for education that are awarded to students based on financial need).

The strong recruitment cycle resulted from creative work by individuals across campus who, with guidance from the Undergraduate Admissions Office, engaged with prospective and admitted students throughout the process. Ashley Pallie, director of undergraduate admissions, in partnership with Professor Jared Leadbetter, First-Year Admissions and Financial Aid Committee chair, mobilized admissions professionals, more than 100 faculty members, and many student volunteers and staff members who conveyed the Caltech experience enthusiastically and effectively. Faculty participated in all aspects of recruiting: from admissions committee work to lab tours as part of the Discover Caltech (DiscoTech) week to one-on-one interactions with admitted students. 

At the graduate level, we welcome 278 students, admitted from a record number of applicants. This is the second largest entering graduate student class in the last decade; nearly a quarter are from historically underrepresented communities and 38 percent identify as female. The incoming class is one of Caltech's most geographically diverse, with half of the students matriculating as international students.

The strength of graduate recruitment efforts was likewise driven by faculty and graduate student engagement, and by our success in communicating Caltech's research and academic programs. Nearly all divisions experienced higher-than-average yields. 

We welcome the high level of student interest in Caltech that will bring so many talented young people to campus in the fall. At the same time, we remain committed to maintaining the intimate character of our small, collegial research and learning community. We are already preparing for the arrival of our newest community members to ensure that they enjoy the unique advantages of study and research at Caltech. 

We hope you will join us in celebrating the success of this recruitment season, at a moment when we reaffirm Caltech's future as a leading international research and learning community. Please also join us as we welcome our new undergraduate and graduate students.