Caltech requires letters of evaluation from two secondary school teachers:
- one from a math or science teacher
- one from a humanities or social science teacher.
We recommend requesting letters from teachers who taught you in your final two years of high school, who know you well, and can speak knowledgeably about your skills and performance in their classroom. We would like your humanities or social science teacher to comment on your writing skills, so be sure to ask a teacher from a class with a significant writing component.
Here are examples of classes that meet our requirements for teacher evaluations:
Additional Letters of Evaluation
Your application may include up to one additional letter of evaluation if there is another person (mentor, coach, or supervisor) who can provide additional insights about you and your skills—beyond what the two required letters offer. This supplementary letter can also be from a teacher or professor in an academic area you are interested in studying at Caltech, as long as there is no overlap with your other two letters of recommendation. We prefer that your recommender submit the letter through the application platform you used to apply. Only if this is not possible, your recommender may email the letter directly to our office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Emailed letters must include your full name and date of birth.
Letter of Evaluation from Site of Research
If you are submitting a research paper, we require an additional recommendation from someone who can comment on the research experience that produced the paper. This letter can come from a supervisor, a mentor, an adult collaborator, or an administrator. Research papers and posters may be uploaded to your Caltech application portal, Beaver Breakroom. after submission of your application.
After the application deadline, you will receive a link to the Beaver Breakroom, which will include instructions on submitting research projects. If you are submitting research, you are required to fill out a form with a description of your research and the email address of your recommender. Our office will then email your research recommender a link to upload their evaluation.
How to Submit a Letter of Evaluation
Documents such as teacher evaluations and additional letters must be submitted by a school official/recommender. We do not accept these documents if they are submitted by an applicant/student. We prefer that recommenders submit their evaluation through the application platform an applicant used to apply to Caltech. Only if this is not possible, a recommender may email a PDF of their evaluation, the applicant's full name, and date of birth to email@example.com.