The California Institute of Technology (abbreviated Caltech) is a private doctorate-granting university located in Pasadena, California, United States. Although founded as a preparatory and vocational school by Amos G. Throop in 1891.
Caltech has six academic divisions with strong emphasis on science and engineering, managing $332 million in 2011 in sponsored research. Its 124-acre primary campus is located approximately 11 mi northeast of downtown Los Angeles. First-year students are required to live on campus, and 95% of undergraduates remain in the on-campus House System at Caltech. Although Caltech has a strong tradition of practical jokes and pranks, student life is governed by an honor code which allows faculty to assign take-home examinations. The Caltech Beavers compete in 13 intercollegiate sports in the NCAA Division III’s Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Caltech is frequently cited as one of the world’s best universities. Despite its small size, 33 Caltech alumni and faculty have won a total of 34 Nobel Prizes (Linus Pauling being the only individual in history to win two unshared prizes), 5 Fields Medalists, 6 Turing Award winners have been affiliated with the university, and 71 have won the United States National Medal of Science or Technology. There are 112 faculty members who have been elected to the United States National Academies. In addition, numerous faculty members are associated with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as well as NASA. According to a 2015 Pomona study, Caltech ranked number one in the USA for the percentage of its graduates who go on to earn a PhD.
Caltech is ranked 1st internationally since 2011 by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Caltech was ranked as the best university in the world in two categories: Engineering & Technology and Physical Sciences. Shanghai Ranking Consultancy’s Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), a ranking with an emphasis on bibliometric data and scientific research, ranked Caltech 7th in the world and 6th in the U.S. for 2014. U.S. News & World Report ranked Caltech as tied for the 10th best university in the United States in their 2016 national rankings, with the graduate programs in chemistry and earth sciences ranked first in the nation.
Caltech has athletic teams in baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, fencing, men’s soccer, swimming and diving, men’s and women’s tennis, track and field, women’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s water polo. Caltech’s mascot is the Beaver, an homage to nature’s engineer.Its teams (with the exception of the fencing team) play in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, which Caltech co-founded in 1915. The fencing team competes in the NCAA’s Division I, facing teams from UCLA, USC, UCSD, and Stanford, among others.