Dual Degree Program with the California Institute of Technology

Mount Holyoke is one of a small number of liberal arts colleges with an agreement with the California Institute of Technology. The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) program is a little different from other dual-degree programs in engineering.  Admitted students attend Mount Holyoke for three years and then attend Caltech for their fourth and fifth years.  After successful completion of that program, students then receive their Mount Holyoke degree and their engineering degree from Caltech.

Additional Steps for Applying to Caltech

In addition to submitting the MHC Application for a dual-degree in engineering, students apply directly to Caltech’s admission committee.

  1. Complete an MHC application for Academic Leave of Absence for US study by March 1 of the junior year. The Caltech dual degree program is 3-2 only.
  2. Apply directly to Caltech by April 1 of the junior year. Note: in recent years, the total number of dual degree students that Caltech admits has been very small.

The Caltech catalog states that students applying to their dual degree program “should have a record of superior academic achievement at their home institutions and strong letters of recommendation from their 3/2 liaison and an additional faculty member.”  The Caltech 3/2 liaison at Mount Holyoke is Katherine Aidala (physics). We understand “superior” to mean: A’s and B’s in mathematics and science courses, with more As than Bs.

Financial aid

For US citizens and permanent residents, Caltech is committed to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of admitted students.  However, financial aid is not available for international students.   Because MHC funds are too limited to support two years of study away from MHC, the MHC Engineering Scholarship is not available for Caltech.

Choosing courses

In the three years at MHC the student should have completed a minimum of one year of calculus-based physics (PHYS 110-201) and mathematics (two years are recommended) including multivariable calculus (MATH 203) and differential equations (MATH 333), and one year of chemistry (CHEM 150, CHEM 231). Students interested in chemical engineering should also take one year of organic chemistry (CHEM 202, CHEM 302). All Caltech engineering options are open to dual degree students.

For more details, see Division of Engineering and Applied Science at Caltech online.