The California Institute of Technology, located in scenic Pasadena, is a world-renowned, private research university known for academic rigor. In addition to regular curricular offerings, Caltech offers a variety of challenging summer programs for talented students in high school, college and graduate school. Elementary and middle school students may participate in science tours of the facilities.
The Fantastic Summer Science camp is organized by the nearby Child Educational Center, which is a partner with Caltech. Campers from first through seventh grade visit the school to explore physical and natural sciences behind the scenes. The goal is to promote curiosity and the desire to learn. It's part of the Imagine Mars Project.
For High School Students
Caltech's highly acclaimed program for high school sophomores and juniors is called the Young Engineering and Science Scholars program. YESS is a three-week science and engineering program for students underrepresented in the sciences, such as Native Americans, Latinos and African-Americans. Students reside on campus and work closely with faculty while taking research-oriented science courses. Admission to YESS is competitive. Two recommendation letters from teachers are required. Applicants must have high science scores and be on track to complete calculus and physics before graduation. Students invited to participate in the program are only responsible for the cost of transportation to and from Caltech.
For College Students
The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships program is a 10-week program that pairs undergraduate students with faculty mentors. Before the session begins, SURF fellows develop a supervised project and write a research proposal that’s reviewed and funded by a faculty board. During the next 10 weeks, SURF students collect, interpret and critique data to resolve a research question. At the end of the program, the students submit technical papers reporting their research findings. Oral presentations are given at SURF Seminar Day. Students may live in Caltech housing and participate in enrichment experiences outside their research activities, such as weekly seminars, career discussions, small group meals at local restaurants with faculty, as well as social and cultural activities. SURF fellows are considered Caltech student employees and receive a stipend.