Comparing California Institute of Technology and MIT

By | November 8, 2022
Comparing California Institute of Technology and MIT

When it comes to choosing a top-tier university, two of the most popular choices are California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Both institutions have earned their reputations as some of the best universities in the world. But which one is right for you? Let’s take a look at both schools and compare what they offer.

California Institute of Technology

Caltech is a small private university that focuses on science and engineering. It has an excellent faculty-to-student ratio, with just over 300 students per professor. Caltech also offers a wide variety of research opportunities for undergraduates in fields like computer science, physics, astronomy, and mathematics. In addition, Caltech boasts some of the most competitive admissions in the country: only about 7% of applicants are accepted each year.

There are six academic divisions at Caltech:

  • Division of Biology and Biological Engineering
  • Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
  • Division of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
  • Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT is an equally renowned institution that focuses mainly on science, engineering, and technology. The student body here is larger than Caltech’s; there are typically around 500 students per professor at MIT. Like Caltech, MIT offers plenty of research opportunities for undergraduates in various fields such as robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and biotechnology. Admissions here are also very competitive; only 8% of applicants are accepted every year.

There are six schools that make up MIT:

  • School of Architecture and Planning
  • School of Engineering
  • School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
  • Sloan School of Management
  • School of Science
  • MIT Schwarzman College of Computing

Caltech vs MIT: Side-by-Side Comparison

Location Pasadena, CA Pasadena, CA
Public or Private? Private Private
Part of Ivy League? No No
Undergrad Enrollment 987 987
US News Ranking 9 9
Niche Grade A+ A+
Acceptance Rate 6% 6%
Average GPA 4.19 4.19
Average SAT/ACT Score SAT: 1545 ACT: 36 SAT: 1545 ACT: 36
Tuition & Fees $60,864 $60,864
Student-Faculty Ratio 3:1 3:1
# of Schools/Colleges 6 academic divisions 6 academic divisions
# of Majors 28 28
Most Popular Majors Engineering, math, biology Engineering, math, biology
# of Student Clubs 100+ 100+
Sports NCAA Division III NCAA Division III
Median Starting Salary $110,000 $110,000
Overall Reputation A renowned technological university known for its scientific research, selectivity, and intimate student body A renowned technological university known for its scientific research, selectivity, and intimate student body


At the end of the day, both CalTech and MIT offer unparalleled educational experiences that will prepare you for success after graduation. Ultimately, which school you choose will depend on your academic goals and interests. If you’re looking for a more intimate environment with plenty of research opportunities then CalTech may be the better option for you; if you prefer a large student body with an emphasis on technology then MIT may be more suitable. Either way, both these incredible universities will set you up for success! Good luck!

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