CalTech’s Alternate Requirements for Calculus, Physics, Chemistry


Caltech, one of the most prominent, high-performing, technological institutes is changing their admissions standards for students from schools that don’t offer calculus, physics, and chemistry.

CalTech only admits 3% of the applicants. It’s a small school of 2400 students. It’s been the place for math geniuses.

Students will be able to be admitted via several alternative paths. One is for the student to take Khan Academy‘s free, online classes and score 90% or higher on a certification test.

The admissions page explains that students who are confident about their knowledge of the material can bypass the course and take the certification test directly. Caltech will also accept, in lieu of a high school calculus, physics or chemistry course, a score of 5 on AP exams and a score of 6 or 7 on International Baccalaureate exams in those subjects.

Why aren’t these courses offered? Do they have too few children to take them? Is the need in the area of other courses, such as remediation? Or, are schools getting rid of much-needed advanced classes in the name of equity?

Circumventing the Supreme Court Ruling

Dr. Wu probably suspects that if this doesn’t work, the standards will be lowered. He could be thinking that this is end-run around the Supreme Court ruling banning racial discrimination.

Dr. Wu is concerned that colleges ae looking for ways to violate the intent of the law.

Instead of offering critical math classes, they are offering nonsensical Marxist indoctrination classes.

Everyone of these classes should be canceled and replaced by advanced classes.



  1. The problem that needs fixing is at the HS level.

    Teacher’s colleges have the highest GPA among their graduates. Look it up. They are all the product of social promotion and grade inflation. Some of these education majors may be the weakest students. Then they put their hand to teaching watered-down math and call it calculus.

  2. The worst thing a small high school can do is provide some watered-down, “You can be whatever you want to be!” grade-inflated, socially-promoting calculus which misleads a graduate into thinking that calculus has been mastered.

    Then the math Ph.D. who flunks them from college calculus because they don’t even really know algebra/trig is the bad guy, who the college administrators eviscerate for not keeping the “customer” happy.

  3. Small high schools cannot teach calculus because of small enrollments and budgets. They should not teach calculus if they cannot do a rigorous job. They should concentrate on thorough preparation in algebra, proof geometry, and trigonometry–thorough preparation–then the college can tackle calculus.

  4. Destroying a nation’s technical ability makes the nation weak and conquerable.

    How can anyone wanting to go to Cal Tech not already have calculus, chemistry and physics in high school? We did 50 years ago. Those were my favorite classes.

  5. I am for more courses taught on communism, but by instructors who know and will show the students exactly what is wrong with the underlying philosophy, and all the destruction it has brought to the societies who were plagued by having communist take overs. A study of the real history will help prevent impressionable and naïve young people being seduced by the siren call.
    Cal Tech, if they are really searching for the most brilliant minds may be offering a clever way of finding those gems and polishing them by developing them.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here