California Institute of Technology Top Questions

What kind of person should not attend this school?


You shouldn't attend caltech unless you love math or science wholly and completely. You're going to learn quantum mechanics and differential equations, you're going to spend 20+ hours on homework sets each week for at least some of the classes you have here. You'll be surrounded by brilliant peers who will help you through it and help you define your sense of identity. If you're cutthroat at all you won't be happy here- collaboration is expected and universal and breaking the honor code the only sin. Premeds, while occasionally happy, are usually not.


Anyone who doesn't love math and science will be lost at Caltech. The student body is very science oriented and different types of people or students may find themselves very alone. If you can't do calculus or haven't taken at least a few math and science AP's, you are already behind and may find freshman year very confusing. I personally did not take AP biology in high school, and was very lost in the required freshman biology class.


The type of people who should not attend Caltech are prestige seekers. To really love this school, a student must have a strong love of math/science/engineering and the desire to pursue something in this field based solely on the love of it. If you just want a degree with a big name, don't come here--the workload will destroy you. If you want to completely immerse yourself in math or science and learn more than you would anywhere else, this is the right place for you.