California Institute of Technology (CA)

California Institute of Technology (CA)

Common Application

    ED/ED II: N.A.
    EA/EA II: Nov. 1
    Regular Decision: Jan. 15

2011 Essay Questions:
Common Application Essays:
    Short Answer 
        Please elaborate on one of your activities (extracurricular, personal activities, or work experience) (150 words or fewer).

    Personal Statement: 
        Candidates must choose one topic and respond. Responses must be at least 250 words but should not exceed the space provided (approximately 1–2 pages).
  1. Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you. 
  2. Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you. 
  3. Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence. 
  4. Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.
  5. A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community, or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you. 
  6. Topic of your choice.
Supplemental Essay Questions:
    Short Answer 
        We are interested in learning more about your personality, values, and interests. Limiting yourself to the space provided, please answer the following questions:

l            What keywords would your friends use to describe you? (250 characters or less)

l            Please list three books, along with their authors, that have been particularly meaningful to you. For each book, please include a sentence explaining their influence upon      

                you. Please note that your response is not limited to math, science, or school-assigned texts. (500 characters or less)

l            Members of the Caltech community live, learn, and work within an Honor System with one simple guideline, 'No member shall take unfair advantage of any other member \    

                of the Caltech community.' While seemingly simple, questions of ethics, honesty, and integrity are sometimes challenging. Share an ethical dilemma that challenged you.     

                How did you respond? Your response is not limited to academic situations. (1300 characters or less)

l            Caltech students have long been known for their quirky sense of humor and creative pranks. Please describe an unusual way in which you have fun. (1000 characters or 


  • How does scientific exploration excite and inspire you?
  • In a page, more or less, what is it about math, science or engineering that compels you to satisfy your intellectual curiosity?
Documents Required:
  • $65 Application fee
  • Official score reports from the SAT or ACT (with or without the optional writing section)
  • Official score reports for 2 SAT Subject Tests (must include Math II and one of the following Biology, Chemistry, or Physics)
  • Official score reports of TOEFL 
  • Secondary School Report and Transcript
  • Mid-Year School Report
  • Two Teacher References.
  • International students: 
    • International Students Supplemental Application 
    • International Student Financial Aid Application 
    • International Financial Aid Statement of Intent
Other Information:
                1200 East California Boulevard 
                Pasadena, CA 91125

Phone                     626-395-6341
Fax:                          626-395-6341
Application Info

SAT/TOEFL Code:     4034
ACT Code                0182