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Fall 2017-18 Newsletter




Reminder: Add Day is Approaching

Just a friendly reminder that the last day for adding courses and removing incompletes is this Friday, October 13th. Please remember to bring your add cards to the Registrar's Office by 5:00 p.m. on Friday.


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.




2017-18 Catalog Now Online 

  The new 2017-18 catalog is available online at


New Undergraduate Option and Minors

A new minor in Chemistry and an option in Materials Science are now available.  Additionally, students minoring in GPS can choose either to have the general Geological and Planetary Sciences minor or select to minor in one of the fields within GPS: Geobiology, Geochemistry, Geology, Geophysics, or Plantary Sciences.

For students interested in Materials Science, the former track within the E&AS option is now its own option. The aim of the Materials Science option is to prepare students for research, professional practice, or advanced study in a rapidly advancing interdisciplinary field. The program builds on the core curriculum to develop analytical competence and use it for individualized research, culminating in a one-year senior thesis. Materials Science students develop professional independence, creativity, leadership, and the capacity for continuing professional and intellectual growth.

The chemistry minor is intended to supplement one of Caltech’s undergraduate degrees. It is designed for students who wish to broaden their studies beyond their major to include chemistry. To enroll in the program, the student should meet and discuss his/her plans with the option representative.

Forms to declare a minor or change your option can be found online at /forms/other.  Approvals from the option representatives are required.  Forms are to be submitted to the Registrar before the start of the senior year.  Seniors considering adding any double options or minors should speak with the Registrar's Office immediately. 


 Excellent TAs from Spring Term    

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


Dylan Freas, TA for Ch 41 - Dylan is a G2 in Chemistry and has been a TA for Ch 41 for the entire year. Many students remarked that he was one of the best TA's they had ever had and that he "went above and beyond anything we thought we needed in 41c." That extra mile included helpful handouts, trivia problems, music, and one-on-one help. As one student puts it: " Absolutely wonderful. Great handouts that clearly and concisely go over the lecture material and just generally fun rec sessions."

Anna Ho, TA for Ay 1 -- Anna is a G3 in Astrophysics. Students described Anna as caring, considerate, and committed ... as well as being extremely effective at explaining and summarizing the course material. The sentiments in this quote were echoed by several other students: "She was consistently well-prepared for section, gave really good notes, and did a really good job of explaining potentially confusing material and clarifying misunderstandings. She was very in-tune with the difficulties students were having and did a very good job of resolving those difficulties."

Angad Singh, TA for Ma 1C Practical -- Angad is a G3 in Mathematics. Reviews for Angad are full of superlatives like "best", "great", "awesome", "amazing" and "incredible." Students appreciated his ability to "explain things at the perfect pace, with perfect clarity" and depended on him to learn the class material. One reviewer said: "The material was presented very clearly and in a way that really helped with assignments. Giving simple steps to solving particular types of problems was useful to remember to consider each aspect of the problem."

Thanks, Dylan, Anna and Angad, 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.

Ch 3 Grading Scheme

Freshmen who enter in academic years 2017, 2018, and 2019 must take Ch 3a/3x in their first nine terms of residence in order to be graded pass/fail. Freshmen entering in academic year 2020 and thereafter must take Ch 3a/3x in their first six terms of residence in order to be graded pass/fail.



REGIS Downtime

Please note, REGIS, as well as other campus systems, will be unavailable Saturday, October 21st starting at 6:00am for scheduled maintenance.  IMSS expects all systems to be back online by late Sunday afternoon.

Additionally, REGIS will be unavailable the morning of Tuesday, October 24th beginning at 8am to perform a server upgrade.  REGIS is expected to be back online by 10am that same morning.  Please feel to contact the Registrar's Office directly if you need something from the system while it's down.  Thank you for your patience.

Frosh Study Sessions



Have you tried the 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), Tuesday (Chemistry 1A), and Friday (Math 1A).

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

 Important Dates

October 13 Last day for adding courses and removing incompletes
October 25 - 31 Midterm examination period
November 6 Midterm Deficiency Notices due - 9:00 a.m.
November 15 Last day to drop classes or to exercise your P/F option
November 16 First day of registration for winter term
November 23-24 Thanksgiving (Institute Holiday)
December 1 Last day of classes and last day to register for winter term without a $50 late fee
December 2-5 Study Period
December 6-8 Final examinations
December 8 End of fall term 2017-18
December 9 - January 2 Winter Recess
December 13 Instructors' final grade reports due - 9:00 a.m.
January 3 Beginning of instruction winter term