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Newsletter - Fall 2015-16


  Reminder: Add Day is Approaching

Just a friendly reminder that the last day for adding courses and removing incompletes is this Friday, October 16th. Please remember to bring your add cards to the Registrar's Office by 5:00 p.m. on Friday.



Excellent TAs from Spring Term    

We'd like to congratulate and recognize a couple outstanding TAs from the past quarter:

Andres Goza, TA for ME 19B - Andres is a G5 in Mechanical Engineering whose students clearly thought he was one of the best!  In addition to 'presenting material in a fun and highly information way', students felt his review sessions supplemented and cemented what they learned in class.  One student was 'insanely pleased to have him as (the) TA."

Kevin Shen, TA for ChE/Ch 148 - Kevin is a G4 in Chemical Engineering and many of his student appreciated all the time and effort he put into the course, as one student said "Kevin was by far the best prepared TA I have ever had."  Students also noted his patience and availability 'outside of the class and office hours, to make sure everyone understands the material.' 

Emma Wollman, TA for Ph 1c Practical - Emma earned her PhD in Physics in 2015 and several of her students were sad that her TA days are over.  One student remarked, "I actually learned the material and understood physics for basically the first time this year."  Another added, "Emma was extremely helpful during recitation, and did a fantastic job at covering topics coherently and effectively." 

Thanks, Andres, Kevin & Emma, for making a difference in the academic lives of our students. We appreciate all the time, effort and enthusiasm you put into your work with students.


Annual Notification of FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records and the Institute is required to notify you of this. These rights include:

  • The right to inspect and review their education records within 10 days of the day the Institute receives a request for access.
  • The right to request an amendment to their education records that they believe are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights under FERPA.
  • The right to provide written consent before the Institute discloses personally identifiable information from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the Institute to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

Additional information regarding FERPA, including the Public Notification of Directory Information, can be found on the Registrar's FERPA page.


2015-16 Catalog Now Online 

The new 2015-16 catalog is available online at



Registration Reminder

Students must be enrolled in at least one class before the end of the first week of classes in order to remain an active student.  Students who have not enrolled in any classes at the end of the first week will be separated from the Institute.  Students have until add day to make adjustments to their term schedule.



Regis Outage       

REGIS, as well as some other campus applications, will be unavailable this coming weekend, October 17th & 18th due to scheduled maintenance. For more information, please see NEWS on the IMSS web site at



Frosh Study Sessions


Have you tried the new study sessions yet?  It’s a great way to get started at Caltech!

All sessions run from 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM on the 9th floor of Millikan Library: Monday (Physics 1A), Wednesday (Chemistry 1A), and Friday (Math 1A).

Sessions are led by peer tutors.   A writing tutor will also be available on Monday nights.



Remember These Academic Changes!

For students who entered in fall 2013-14; 2014-15; and 2015-16:

  • Advanced Hums must be on grades (cannot take as freshmen)
  • Advanced Social Sciences must be on grades (cannot take as freshmen)
  • No language classes may be used for Advanced Humanities credit
  • Students cannot use BEM 102 as additional HSS credit
  • Included in the 12 HSS courses, students must take 3 writing-intensive courses and these must be taken on grades.  All Adv Hum courses will satisfy the writing-intensive course requirement, as well as those Adv SS courses designated as such in the course schedule each term and listed in the Catalog (see p. 211). 
  • Students must pay 12 terms of tuition and students’ tuition will NOT be adjusted for underloading
  • Students must follow new core requirements
  • Students will NOT qualify to graduate with honor

 For all students enrolled in Fall 2013 regardless of their entering class:

Beginning in the fall 2013 term there is now a limit on how long E and I grades may be extended. Typically, incomplete grades (E) and medical incompletes (I) are extended until Add Day of the next term but if students are granted a further extension of an E or I grade they may not be extended past one year. The catalog now states: “An E will turn into an F one year after the date on which the E was given, and an I grade will turn into a W (standing for “Withdrawn”) one year after the date on which the I grade was given.”

Tips for Faculty on Scheduling Classes


The Council on Undergraduate Education (CUE) would like to remind the faculty of Caltech's scheduling policy, which exists primarily to reduce the number of course conflicts for students and facilitate their participation in extracurricular activities. It is understood there may be special courses that require exceptions to the following schedule (i.e. labs), but in general faculty are asked to adhere to the following:

*        MWF -- courses start on the hour

*        TTh -- courses start at 9 am; 10:30 am; 1 pm; and 2:30 pm

*        Faculty are reminded to leave 12 - 1 pm and 4 - 7 pm open so that students have time for meals and can participate in sports.

*        Monday night is reserved for Performing Arts courses. Courses that meet for two or more hours at a time should be scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday after 7 pm.

*       Organizational meetings may result in decisions to meet outside this schedule if it is advantageous to students as well as faculty.



Important Dates

October 16 Last day for adding courses and removing incompletes
October 28 - November 3 Midterm examination period
November 9 Midterm Deficiency Notices due - 9:00 a.m.
November 18 Last day to drop classes or to exercise your P/F option
November 19 First day of registration for winter term
November 26-27 Thanksgiving (Institute Holiday)
December 4 Last day of classes and last day to register for winter term without a $50 late fee
December 5-8 Study Period
December 9-11 Final examinations
December 11 End of fall term 2015-16
December 12 - January 3 Winter Recess
December 16 Instructors' final grade reports due - 9:00 a.m.
January 4 Beginning of instruction winter term