How hard is to get into Caltech for PhD in Physics?

Priyanka Giri

Priyanka Giri

Applying for Postgraduate Studies

in the group Resources

I am currently an undergrad, studying in NIT, Agartala, India. I am going for Astromundus programme. So, I want to prepare well in Masters to get into the top colleges like Caltech.

1 Answers

  • CareerCoach


    First time college applicant

    CalTech is is competitive. This is there statement of requirements:

    "The Committee looks for a strong performance on the GRE, especially the Physics Subject Test. In addition, top grades and excellent letters of recommendation from your professors citing research and general academic ability are highly regarded. A strong statement of purpose outlining past and present research, publications and future aspirations is also advisable. The Physics Department accepts applications from students at universities all over the world. There is no pre-selection process based on the undergraduate degree institution. The Committee is unable to give detailed individual information concerning selection criteria. Be sure the contact information on your application including post office address, phone, and email are current and accurate."


    Your preparation for admission should include these course works "Mechanics at about the level of Goldstein's Classical Mechanics; electromagnetism at the level of Reitz and Milford's Foundations of Electromagnetic Theory; atomic and nuclear physics at the level of R.B. Leighton's Modern Physics; introductory quantum mechanics at the level of Dicke and Wittke's Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, and advanced calculus at the level of T.M. Apostol's Mathematical Analysis.


    I have been told that the minimum GRE score for consideration is 330.  In 2009, there were nearly 200 applications, 40 admitted and 21 actually enrolled.  You do not need a masters for the PhD program. The selectivity is slight misleading because every candidate has met the minimums.


    The CalTech Physics program is one of the toughest in the country.