Academics

The department offers degree programs and courses in areas within Computing and Mathematical Sciences at all levels of higher education:

Annenberg lab

Graduate Degrees

CMS faculty participate in five graduate programs: Applied + Computational Mathematics, Computer Science, Computing + Mathematical Sciences, and Control + Dynamical Systems. This span of disciplines encourages interactions within the department and across most of the Caltech and JPL campuses. We also offer different graduate subject minors: a minor in Applied + Computational Mathematics, a minor in Computational Science + Engineering, a minor in Computer Science, as well as a minor in Control + Dynamical Systems for graduate students who wish to further their knowledge in Computational Science and Applied Mathematics.

Graduate Admission

Applications for graduate studies are reviewed and evaluated for admission (and financial aid) each year starting on December 15th, after all credentials (including recommendation letters and official copies of test scores) have been received. GRE scores are required (applicants should take the GRE in September to allow enough time for Caltech to receive the scores by December), and a subject test of the student's choice is strongly recommended. The Graduate Admission Committee usually decides on admissions by the end of February.

Applications are encouraged from all fields; however, applicants should be aware that our program is quite mathematically and scientifically oriented, and students are expected to catch up on their field of studies by the end of the first year. Students who hold a PhD degree from another institution are not normally admitted to graduate standing at Caltech to pursue a second PhD degree.

Undergraduate Majors and Minors

Caltech offers a four-year undergraduate program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree, with majors available within the Computing + Mathematical Sciences department in Applied + Computational Mathematics and Computer Science. These majors aim at providing in-depth understanding of both theoretical and practical aspects of each discipline. CMS also offers a minor in Control + Dynamical Systems and a minor in Computer Science, intended to supplement one of Caltech's standard undergraduate degrees. This minor is designed for students who wish to broaden their knowledge beyond their normal major and/or who may wish to pursue a graduate program involving control or dynamical systems. Transcript and graduating degree materials will properly reflect the completion of the major or minor requirements. Undergraduate students are also encouraged to participate in research projects with faculty as part of their curriculum.

Undergraduate Admission

Students are admitted to the Caltech undergraduate program from the US or from abroad on the basis of strong academic performance in a rigorous course of college preparatory study, especially in the areas of mathematics, science, and engineering. Information on the application process can be found on the undergraduate admissions office website. For further information on admission, please call (626) 395-6341 or .

Courses

The department offers a variety of classes at all levels. Courses numbered below 100 are taken primarily by undergraduate students. Those numbered from 100 to 199 are taken by both undergraduates and graduates, and those numbered 200 and above are taken primarily by graduate students.

The number of units assigned to a course represents the sum of the number of hours spent in class, the number of hours in laboratory, and the estimated number of hours to be spent in preparation per week. Note that the Caltech school year is divided into three terms: Fall, Winter, and Spring. At the end of the seventh week of each term, a list of courses to be offered the following term is published by the Registrar’s Office. On the day of registration (see Academic Calendar), an updated and revised course schedule is published announcing the courses, class hours, and room assignments for the term. Students should avoid scheduling two courses taught at the same time. To help students plan ahead, our department also provides at the end of each academic year the anticipated Course Schedule of the next academic year.

Relevant Links

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CMS's Unique Environment
Our department has unique strengths particularly relevant to students of all levels.

First off, Caltech made its marks as a premier educational institute by sticking to the core principle that education should be done in an active research environment. Capitalizing on this history, CMS involves its students in world-class research---even at the undergraduate level.

By design, members of the department learn from, become involved in, and benefit from various scientific fields and their unique expertise. This setup gives the students within the department fertile grounds to work across disciplines and acquire scientific breadth.They can use the multidisciplinary interests of CMS faculty to study emerging academic fields.

Finally, the collegiality of the department offers support and a stimulating environment to learn and excel. We are also committed to diversity and are avid supporters of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference year after year.

Department of Computing + Mathematical Sciences