Welcome to Caltech!
We are delighted that you will be joining us this year, and look forward to meeting you and working with you over the course of your graduate degree program. The entire campus is ready to welcome you and to help make your transition to Caltech as smooth as possible.
The 2023 Orientation program for all new graduate students will take place September 18–20. The program begins with the campus-wide convocation, followed by mandatory graduate student information sessions, and concludes with the Teaching and Learning Conference. The Orientation program will consist of both prerecorded introductions to Caltech's resources, which will be posted online in early September as well as in-person events and social activities for people to meet and connect. Please check the Orientation Schedule during the summer for up-to-date details.
The first day of instruction for Academic Year 2023-24 is September 26, 2023. All instruction is in person, and occupancy is no longer reduced in the teaching spaces. However, we have developed safe practices for teaching and research, and have created tools to keep you updated and informed. We expect every graduate student will do what is necessary to care for our community. To that end, we have outlined some important information here for you to review and take action.
Caltech has developed a website with current information on our policies and plans. Please stay connected and check this website regularly.
The Institute requires all members of the Caltech community to be fully vaccinated and to have obtained a booster once eligible. View the Vaccination Policy here.
Effective Friday, March 17, the last day of winter term, the Institute will close its Caltech-sponsored surveillance testing program, and suspend the current twice-weekly testing requirement for students and employees. In so doing, we mark an important shift in pandemic management and transition to an infection-control model that emphasizes individual symptom screening and, when necessary, COVID-19 testing for those experiencing symptoms.
Within student residences, students who are symptomatic or have tested positive for COVID-19 now will be able to isolate safely in their residence, with support from Student Affairs staff and peers, for a minimum of 5 days or until they test negative. This approach is consistent with current Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidance for institutions of higher education, and our isolation-in-residence protocols are being developed in consultation with the Pasadena Public Health Department.
All entering graduate students who submit a housing application by April 30, and who select at least two eligible housing choices on their application are guaranteed on-campus housing for the coming year. Students who plan to arrive during the summer term between June 19 and August 31, must have a faculty sponsor and be enrolled as a non-degree student in order to be eligible for summer housing. Please contact your primary Option Manager at least 30 days prior to your anticipated arrival so they can prepare the documents necessary to receive an official invitation letter from the Dean. Housing check-in will take place during business hours only, Monday to Thursday, from 8:30am to 4:30pm (excluding Institute holidays). Students arriving outside of business hours or on weekends or holidays should make alternate lodging arrangements and limit activities until check-in can be completed and surveillance testing begins.
All housing residents must have submitted proof of vaccinations to Student Wellness Services by June 1 if arriving in the summer, and no later than July 31 for fall term arrivals. Upon arrival, all housing residents can pick up a testing kit and are required to immediately start the twice weekly surveillance testing.
Completion of the entrance health forms is required for every incoming student. Once students have received their email and UID, they will have access to the Student Health Portal. Please visit https://wellness.caltech.edu/health/new-student-health-forms for full instructions on completing your entrance health forms.
Website: MyHealth Portal
For many students, relocating can incur unexpected costs and often presents a financial burden. To help alleviate this burden, Caltech offers a 0% interest loan of $3,000 to incoming students. The loan funds will be disbursed through the Bursar's Office starting on Monday, September 18, 2023, and repayment begins in April 2024 over the course of 18 months. New students interested in applying for the loan should complete and submit the response form no later than July 17, 2023. Further instructions will then be sent regarding completing the loan documents and the disbursement of funds.
Student Patent and Computer Software Agreement Form
Send the completed form to the Registrar via email.
Send the completed form to the Registrar via email.
(US Citizens and Permanent Residents only). Send the completed form to the secure Payroll Services dropbox.
Students will receive information regarding signing up for direct deposit during the I-9 process.
All students who earn a stipend/wages are required by law to complete Form I-9 within three business days of the start of employment. Caltech collects information for Form I-9 electronically and instructions will be emailed in the Summer. The documentation required for Section 2 must be reviewed for authenticity by Human Resources or ISP in the case of international students. Examples of acceptable documents can be found on page 8 here.
Caltech requires that all registered students have medical and dental insurance — either Caltech insurance or other insurance. For medical, your other insurance must meet Caltech's waiver requirements. Otherwise, students are automatically enrolled in Caltech's Health plan unless they have completed a waiver request and met the minimum guidelines. For questions or assistance, please visit the Benefits website. Coverage begins September 1, 2023.
All incoming students will receive information regarding a Caltech email account. If you have not received instructions for activating your email by mid-summer, please contact the Registrar's Office.
All new students are required to complete the online course in Responsible Conduct of Research prior to enrollment. Once you have received your Caltech UID, you will be expected to log onto the CITI training site via access.caltech and complete the short training course no later than the first day of the fall term, September 26.
Caltech recognizes that transcripts for the spring term 2020 and beyond may reflect pass/fail or other non-standard grading options, but final transcripts are required from all previously attended colleges or universities. Please arrange for your previous institution(s) to send one copy of your transcript noting any degrees received and the date of conferral to: Office of the Registrar, Mail Code 125-87, Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125 or email to email@example.com.
All students are required to submit documentation of COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters. Students who submit a valid Vaccination Exemption Form (https://studentaffairs.caltech.edu/documents/20556/Vaccination_Exemption_Form-2.pdf) will be considered for reasonable accommodations. Please upload your documentation to the Student Health Portal (http://mycaltechhealth.caltech.edu/) no later than July 31, 2023. Contact Student Wellness Services for questions.
Each academic option has a faculty Option Representative and a staff Option Manager who are primary resources for graduate students. A list of the option contacts can be found here.
Caltech is committed to maintaining a diverse academic community, and welcoming individuals with a broad spectrum of talents and experiences to its campus and programs. Students with disabilities, actively participating in all aspects of the Caltech experience, are an essential part of that diversity.
CASS will make every reasonable effort to provide academic adjustments and other reasonable accommodations to otherwise qualified students with known disabilities, consistent with Caltech's obligations under applicable law; including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Our goal is to provide students with disabilities equal access to all Institute programs, activities and services. To that end, we seek to balance the student's right to access with our obligation to protect the integrity of Institute programs, activities and services.
Information about the registration process and relevant forms can be found on our website. Please contact us if you have any questions.
Caltech attracts the brightest and most creative minds in the world to populate its faculty, research and administrative staffs, and student body. Caltech fosters an environment where various perspectives are valued by seeking out exceptional individuals from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences. The CCID website provides information for prospective students, undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, faculty, employees, and community members to help serve and grow its diverse community of individuals. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, Caltech encourages women, minorities, veterans, and disabled persons to apply for Institute jobs, research and faculty positions, and admission.
The Graduate Student Council (GSC), a nonprofit organization incorporated on April 19, 1985, is the student government for Caltech graduate students, and it is our mission to "improve the academic, professional, and social experience of graduate students at Caltech by engaging with campus offices, building a diverse and vibrant community, and advocating for a better quality of life." All enrolled Caltech graduate students are members of the Caltech GSC. The GSC interacts with the Institute's administrative bodies to put forward the interests of the graduate student body.
The GSC's leadership is composed of a Board of Directors (BoD), nominated by the student body; elections are held if the number of nominees exceeds the number of positions allotted for each option. The BoD consists of division representatives, who are elected to represent their specified division. Associate directors, while not voting members of the BoD, may also be elected to represent the graduate student body as a whole and receive recognition for their service toward fulfilling the GSC's mission.
The International Offices consist of International Scholar Services (ISS), International Student Programs (ISP) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory International Office (JPL). We believe Caltech thrives as a diverse international community. We support international students, scholars, and families in pursuit of professional and personal endeavors through individualized immigration advising, intercultural programming, and advocacy.
Website: International Student Programs (ISP)
The Office of Residential Experience (ORE) aids in generating an on-campus home for all Caltech students by developing a safe, engaging, and inclusive environment that supports learning and underscores personal growth. ORE's purpose is to promote the academic, emotional, and personal growth of each student.
The Office of the Residential Experience works with all of the student government groups to assist in providing robust extra and co-curricular programming. Student volunteers are essential to the success and viability of our programs and we lend extensive expertise and assistance to the programs run by the groups.
ORE's five main objectives are: 1) Support student in residences; including programming, mentoring, and fun; 2) Engage students in their community, through clubs, events, and leadership; 3) Handle individual & campus emergencies; 4) Serve in the on-call role for student affairs; and 5) Coordinate administrative initiatives related to campus life.
ORE is comprised of three teams: Residential Life, Student Activities & Programs, and the Faculty in Residence. The Residential Life Team (Res Life) oversees the experience of living on campus. The team also aids in the community and student development, crisis intervention, house/residence programming, and support in day-to-day community challenges. We have 5 Residential Life Coordinators and 24 Resident Associates living throughout Caltech's houses and residences. The Student Activities and Programs (SAP) Team provides engaging experiences outside the classroom in hopes to connect members of the Caltech community through social, cultural, and intellectual programs. SAP supervises all Caltech clubs, organizations, the first-year experience, campus & house/residence events, and even provides a popular class on cooking basics.
The Office of the Registrar develops, maintains, and protects the registration and academic records for the Institute. The Registrar's Office is responsible for the administrative and operational activities surrounding undergraduate and graduate student registration, academic records, commencement, and some reporting. The Registrar's Office acts as the Institute custodian of record for all student-related academic information.
Website: Registrar's Office
Student Wellness Services is available to assist you during your time at Caltech by providing medical care, counseling services, and occupational therapy services.