Caltech Scholars Exchange Programme

The exchange scheme between St John's College and The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena allows two undergraduates nominated by St John's College to take part in the Caltech Scholars Exchange during the Long Vacation. Students who participate in this exchange programme are expected to work for ten full weeks.

Students should have completed at least one year of their studies and have exam results for at least one year at the time of their application. Caltech cannot accept students after their graduation, so finalists are not eligible to apply for the Caltech exchange programme.

For Summer 2022, Caltech has asked that participants must be fully vaccinated with a WHO approved Covid vaccine.

Caltech seal

Programme Details

  • All STEM subjects are accepted.

  • Caltech faculty recommend that students interested in highly theoretical areas such as astrophysics should now be in their third year to ensure that they have as much mathematical training as possible. For other areas, students now in their second or third year are fine (finalists will not be accepted).

  • Chemistry, geological and planetary sciences, biology and bioengineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, etc. are all available research areas.

  • Students studying Pure Mathematics can be placed in Applied Mathematics, Engineering, Geosciences, Physics etc. 

  • Caltech will no longer accept students in Economics or other social sciences.

  • Student research projects are only limited by the research interests of the Caltech faculty and by faculty availability. Students do not have to have a project in mind, although it would be wise to check the faculty information and research fields of interest on the Caltech website.

  • Experimental, analytical, or observational projects are encouraged instead of theory projects.


** Please note that 3rd year Medicine students are not eligible to apply under Caltech's rules as they will have graduated by the time they go to Caltech.

Costs Covered
  •  Caltech offers a stipend of at least US $6,800.
  •  Travel,  visa and insurance expenses are covered for under the scheme by the College.


All exchange students are required to participate in the exchange activities organised by Caltech, unless it is clearly stated that participation is optional.

Application Procedure

Caltech is advertised to students in the Michaelmas Term with a deadline in October. The exact dates are posted on this webpage and a relevant announcement is made by Student Services.

Students who wish to apply will be asked to also attach: (i) a basic CV, and (ii) a personal statement about their research interests and the type of project they would like to pursue at Caltech as well as how they believe that this exchange programme would benefit their academic and personal development. The statement should be no more than one A4 page long.

In the meantime, Student Services would be happy to respond to informal enquiries and requests for information.