In anticipation of your arrival, we have put together some important information for you. Please read the following carefully and note any forms or deadlines that pertain to you.
First Year & Transfer Students
Incoming students are guaranteed housing and will live in one of the 8 undergraduate houses or in the Bechtel Residence. Students have the option to request a permanent assignment in Bechtel before arrival in the fall; otherwise, students will be assigned a temporary housing assignment until the end of Rotation at the beginning of fall term.
If you have a need for special housing arrangements due to a disability, please register for accommodations through Caltech Accessibility Services for Students.
General Housing Information
The Housing Contract is required for all students with a housing assignment. Contracts will be sent for electronic signature via Adobe Sign in July. Please complete the electronic signature on your contract by August 1, 2023. If you are under 18 years old, this contract will be sent to both you and your parent/guardian for signatures.
If you are eligible to arrive before your designated move-in day, you must submit an early arrival request form. This form will be sent out to eligible residents.
Fall Season Athletes - Early arrival housing will be available for fall season athletes. The Athletics Department will cover early housing fees for athletes starting on the day that their particular sport begins. For more information on the dates that the Athletics Department will cover housing fees for you, please contact them directly.
International Students - Early arrival housing will be available for new students participating in International Orientation. You may arrive one day before orientation begins.
Students can elect to move directly into a permanent housing location in the Bechtel Residence. Students who do not choose to move into a permanent space in Bechtel will be assigned a temporary space in one of the 8 houses or the Bechtel Residence. While living in this temporary assignment, students will participate in a process known as Rotation. Rotation begins after New Student Orientation and allows enough time for incoming first year and transfer student to gain a general impression of the accommodations, traditions, and members of each house. After you have time to visit all the houses you will be asked to prioritize the houses/residences in which you'd like to live.
Once Rotation results have been communicated to incoming students, the Housing Office and individual house leadership will work with the new students on their permanent assignments. This will happen shortly after Rotation is complete, and students will move to their permanent assignments at this time. It is recommended that students wait to unpack until they are in their permanent rooms. You may also wish to have your belongings shipped until after this point.
For no additional charge, you are welcome to stay in your assigned room during holidays and breaks.
There are five Residential Life Coordinators (RLCs) in campus housing, situated in different buildings. An RLC is a specially trained full-time university employee, specializing in college student development, community building, counseling, and crisis intervention. The RLCs supervise the Resident Associates (RAs) on overall student wellness and community programming. The RLCs also assist Housing with the management and daily operation of the houses. They are a fantastic resource, usually just a few steps away.
From time to time you may have a problem or concern that you would like to discuss with someone. You should feel free at such times to contact the Resident Associate (RA) who lives in an apartment in your house. The RAs are Caltech graduate students who are available for guidance and consultation and are familiar with the resources on campus. They have been trained to handle day-to-day challenges as well as emergency situations that may arise. They are also close, convenient, and great people to talk to!
In addition to the RAs, all houses select Peer Advocates (PAs) who are undergraduates available to discuss personal and academic issues and help create connections with the Counseling Center staff. Health Advocates are also available to serve as liaisons between the students and the Health Center staff. Health Advocates are undergraduates trained to provide CPR, first aid, basic health care, health education, and peer counseling.
Each house elects officers, known as the Executive Committee, who plans an impressive array of social, cultural, and athletic programs throughout the year. The presidents of the seven houses and the Avery Chancellor form the Interhouse Committee, and along with an elected Chair and the IHC Secretary, oversee matters of common concern for all houses.
Students with a medical need for housing accommodations should reach out to Caltech Accessibility Services for Students (CASS) to register any needs, including Service Animals or Emotional Support Animals (ESAs).
Students are permitted to park on campus. Parking and Commuter Services manages parking regulations and passes.
Bicycles are a good means of getting around campus and Pasadena. Cyclists will enjoy the pleasant surroundings of Caltech and the nearby community. For storage, bike racks have been installed around each building. For safety reasons, bikes cannot be stored in corridors, stairways, or other public areas inside the houses and residences. We recommend a U-Lock to secure your bike.
Pets are not permitted in Caltech housing.
Appliances with heating coils (toasters, popcorn poppers, and hot plates) are not allowed in student rooms for safety reasons. You are permitted to have a small refrigerator (not to exceed 5.8 cubic feet) and a small microwave in the room.
It would be impossible to provide a comprehensive list of everything that you should bring to Caltech. Here are some suggestions from Caltech students:
- Bed sheets (twin extra-long)
- Mattress pad
- Towel set
- Bath robe/pajamas
- Bathing suit
- Clothes for special occasions
- Clothes for inclement weather
- Scissors, staplers, etc
- Surge protectors
Health and Grooming Supplies
- Blow dryer
- Personal care items (soap, deodorant, etc.)
- Plastic carrying case (for shower)
- Shower shoes
- Few dishes (bowl, mug, plate)
- Few pots and pans
- One or two sets of silverware
- Storage containers
- Pictures of family and friends
- Posters or framed pictures
- Small portable musical instrument
- Clothes hangers
- Laundry bag or basket
- First aid kit
Caltech does not insure the personal property of students. You may wish to check your parents' homeowners insurance to see if your belongings are covered under their policy or you may secure your own personal coverage.