New Student FAQ
Do I need to participate in all Orientation events?
Participation in Orientation activities is required, and the majority of Orientation programming will take place online. Specific programming is required and includes Academic Integrity, Research Integrity, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Institute Policies, and Teaching Assistant Training.
I'm an international student living in the United States. Do I need to participate in International Student Orientation?
Yes, International Student Orientation is relevant and strongly recommended for all students who do not hold U.S. citizenship or legal permanent residency, regardless of prior residence in the United States. Additional questions can be directed to ISP@caltech.edu.
I will be unable to arrive in time to participate in Orientation. What do I need to do?
Many of the Orientation sessions will be available online and can be made up at a later date, however, if your arrival is delayed significantly, you may want to consider a deferral of your start date. You may be able to defer your start date to Winter Term (January 2023), Spring Term (April 2023), or the following Fall Term (September 2023). If you wish to request a deferral, please email the Assistant Dean who will guide you through the next steps and determine the best possible start date based upon your academic requirements and individual needs. When you arrive on campus, you will be expected to complete all of the required Orientation programming.
I am a former Caltech undergraduate. Do I need to attend graduate Orientation?
Yes, while many of the practices and policies are the same for graduate students and undergraduate students, there are several aspects that make the graduate school experience unique and participation in Orientation would be beneficial. At the very least, you would need to participate in the required activities.
When do I complete the I‐9 form?
Caltech collects information for Form I-9 electronically, and instructions will be emailed by Human Resources later in the summer. If you are not a citizen of the United States, you will receive instructions from ISP regarding completion of the I-9 form. Original forms of documentation required for Section 2 must be provided. Examples of acceptable documents can be found on page 8 of Form I-9 Instructions at http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i‐9.pdf.
What paperwork do I need to bring with me?
All students receiving a paycheck through Caltech's payroll services will be expected to provide documentation to verify identity and employment eligibility through completion of Form I-9. In addition to the I‐9, the Registrar will verify that all required forms have been submitted. If you have not yet submitted the Patent Agreement, Pre‐Registration forms, or final transcripts reflecting all degrees received please bring these with you and submit them to the Registrar's Office upon arrival. Health forms can be submitted directly to Student Wellness Services via the My Health Portal on access.caltech.
Some of the required forms will arrive later than the deadlines. Will I still be able to enroll?
Required documents include the Health form, Form I-9, Patent Agreement, a W‐4 for US citizens and permanent residents, final transcripts from previous schools attended, and the Pre‐Registration form. Late submission of any of these forms will not prevent enrollment. However, it is expected that the forms will be completed and submitted no later than the first week of classes. The Registrar will make a note of the missing documents in your record and enrollment for subsequent terms may be affected if there are still outstanding forms.
I have a current disability; how do I register for accommodations?
Admitted or enrolled students who believe they have a current and essential need for disability accommodations are responsible for registering with, and requesting accommodations through Caltech's Accessibility Services for Students (CASS). Unless the disability is obvious, the student must provide CASS with qualifying documentation verifying the nature and extent of the disability prior to receiving any accommodations. CASS will make every effort to provide reasonable accommodations for otherwise qualified students with disabilities.
My address or phone number has changed. How do I update Caltech?
All new students will receive information regarding access.caltech. This portal will allow you to update your contact information and access your academic record. If you have not received instructions on setting up a username and password by mid-July, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.