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The Campus

Campus Type: Suburban
Campus Size: 124-acre (0.2 sq mi; 50.2 ha)

The California Institute of Technology (abbreviated Caltech) is a private doctorate-granting university located in Pasadena, California. Known for its strength in science and engineering, it is often ranked as one of the world's top-ten universities. The university is one among a small group of institutes of technology in the United States which is primarily devoted to the instruction of pure and applied sciences.

Founded as a preparatory and vocational school by Amos G. Throop in 1891, the college attracted influential scientists such as George Ellery Hale, Arthur Amos Noyes and Robert Andrews Millikan in the early 20th century. The vocational and preparatory schools were spun off in 1910 and the college assumed its present name in 1921. In 1917 Hale hired architect Bertram Goodhue to produce a master plan for the 22 acres campus. Goodhue's designs for Caltech were influenced by the traditional Spanish mission architecture of Southern California. 

Beginning the 1960s, Caltech started considerable expansion, averaging 5 new academic buildings each decade. Most buildings belong to a single academic division, of which Caltech has 6, (Biology & Biological Engineering; Chemistry and Chemical Engineering; Engineering & Applied Sciences; Geology and Planetary Science; Humanities & Social Science; Physics, Mathmatics & Astronomy) but with multi-disciplinary research on the rise, creating buildings that meet various needs and accommodate several sciences has become key in many of the recent building additions. 

Recently, the campus completed work on the Bechtel Residence, featuring 212 bed spaces for students.  Other recent projects include the Hammetman Center, a multi-purpose campus hub, and the Bungalow Court, a relocation and restoration of an historic bungalow complex to provide much-needed housing space for new faculty.  Work on the new Chen Neuroscience Research Building is progressing well.  With these projects, the north side of the Caltech campus presents a very new and upgraded face to the Pasadena community.

Aerial photo of campus June 2017 Taken on Commencement day, June 2017 Credit: Keystone Aerial Surveys, Inc.

With limitations to the overall campus size and outward expansion limited due to the surrounding city, major building renovations have been made possible through generous donors. The Robinson building built in the 1930's has been thoroughly renovated and as of 2006 is now the Linde+Robinson Lab for Global Environmental Science; The Thomas building went through renovation and completed in 2013 becoming the Gates-Thomas Lab. The Jorgensen Lab had a total remodeling, that completely changed the outside look as well as the inside systems, which finished in 2011. The Sloan Lab is the most current building to finish a transforming renovation in 2018, and is now The Linde Hall of Mathematics and Physics. The Bechtel Residence construction finished in September 2018, providing additional on-campus housing for 211 undergraduate students. The Tianquao & Chrissy Chen Neuroscience Building (under construction now) will complete in 2020 and bring up to 16 new lab spaces to campus. The recently-completed Hameetman Center serves as the social hub for the campus with an expanded Red Door Café and features a new music practice room for students.

Campus Maps

Directions to Campus

From Downtown Area

NORTH on CA-110 Fwy
Turn RIGHT onto Del Mar Blvd.
Turn RIGHT onto S. Holliston Ave.

From San Bernardino Area

WEST on I-210 Fwy
EXIT Hill Ave. (Exit 27A)
Turn LEFT onto Hill Ave.
Turn RIGHT onto Del Mar Blvd.
Turn LEFT onto S. Holliston Ave.

From San Fernando Valley Area

EAST on I-210 Fwy
EXIT Hill Ave. (Exit 27)
Turn RIGHT onto Hill Ave.
Turn RIGHT onto Del Mar Blvd.
Turn LEFT onto S. Holliston Ave.