About YESS


YESS Admissions
Who should apply to YESS?

Students completing 10th or 11th grade by June 2010 who are traditionally underrepresented in science and engineering (such as Native Americans, Latinos, and African-Americans) are encouraged to apply. Other 10th and 11th graders who believe they would benefit from this program are also encouraged to apply. Members of all races and ethnicities will be considered. Please note we do not accept applications from students that are not 10th or 11th graders.

What is admission based on?

Admission to the YESS program is selective. Last year, we received over 700 applications for 30 spots. Successful applicants have excelled in math and science courses and demonstrate a passion for science and/or engineering. Additionally, students must be on track to complete calculus and physics by the end of their senior year in high school. Admitted students have completed calculus or pre-calculus (or equivalent) by the time they arrive to the YESS program.

Is there a minimum GPA or PSAT/SAT score required for admission?

There is no minimum GPA required but admitted students have excellent academic records, especially in their math and science courses. It is recommended that an applicants' PSAT math score be at least 60 or SAT I math score of 600.

Do I have to be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident to apply?

Yes. The YESS program is open to students that are U.S. Citizens or permanent residents at the time of the application. There are no exceptions.

Will it help my application if I send in copies of awards, a portfolio or other additional materials?

No. Please only submit the required application components. Additional material will not be considered in the application review process.

If I get accepted and participate in YESS, am I also guaranteed admission to Caltech for college?

YESS participants are not guaranteed admission to Caltech. Participants will have the opportunity to meet with Caltech Admissions Officers during the program and are highly encouraged to apply to Caltech.

If I don't get accepted to YESS does it mean I wouldn't get accepted to Caltech for undergraduate admission?

No. The YESS program only admits 30 students from a pool of hundreds of qualified candidates.

YESS Curriculum
Will I have the opportunity to conduct independent scientific research?

No. The YESS program does not provide students with an independent research experience. YESS students are introduced to science research through courses and by attending faculty presentations. Students complete advisor-led group research projects and present their findings at the end of the program.

Who teaches YESS courses?

YESS courses are taught by teams of Caltech doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars. Instructors are all currently involved in research at Caltech.

Will I get college credit for attending YESS?

No. The YESS program does not offer academic credit or course grades. All YESS participants receive written evaluations on their performance from their instructors at the end of the program. Many YESS participants also ask instructors to write letters of recommendation to support their college applications.

Where do YESS students live during the program?

Students live in a Caltech dormitory during the three-week program. All students are paired with a roommate. YESS program staff supervise the dorm and residential counselors live with the students.

Can I commute to the program if I live near Caltech?

No. All students must live on campus for the entire duration of the program. Visitors are not allowed without prior permission from the program director.