Campus life thrives on Caltech’s 124 acres. Housing is available, with 95% of students staying on campus (the dorms can hold 1572). Meal plans are available and students should be ready to use them! Every House actually has a fully stocked kitchen, holding everything from pasta to ice cream.
Although Caltech is, of course, known for its technology focus, the university is nearly as well known for its pranks and traditions. Some jokes included changing the Hollywood sign to read “Caltech” or the Great Rose Bowl Hoax, which saw the scoreboard changed to read “Caltech 38, MIT 9.” Recently, in 2011, students traveled to New York where they redesigned The Cube sculpture to resemble the companion cube from Portal.
The Caltech-MIT rivalry has gained steam in recent years, including mugs that originally read “MIT” and “The Institute of Technology.” However, when the cups became hot, they changed to the Caltech color of orange reading “Caltech The Hotter Institute of Technology.”
Traditions also weigh heavily on the campus with students attending events such as the Millikan pumpkin-drop experiment, where they hope to see the spark from the liquid nitrogen, or cookie Thursdays where physicists and students take a cookie break. Also expect the cannon! Caltech will not give warning before they set it off.
Of course, Caltech is also home to many learning opportunities including the Millikan Library, named for the school’s first Nobel Prize winner, academic/career counseling services, placement services for completers, employment services for students, and an on campus day care for parents. Students can also participate in clubs, including several in performance and visual arts.
The California Institute of Technology has approximately 220 athletes on campus, with a focus on Basketball, Soccer, and Tennis. Part of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference athletic conference, students can root for the Beavers, named so to honor nature’s engineer.
|Sport||# of Men||# of Women|
|Swimming and Diving||29||14|
|Track and Field, Outdoor||18||15|
|Track and Field, X-Country||19||15|
Data from 2020