The California Institute of Technology (abbreviated Caltech) is a private doctorate-granting university located in Pasadena, California, United States and is considered one of the leading universities in the world in science and technology.
Although founded as a preparatory and vocational school by Amos G. Throop in 1891, the college attracted influential scientists such as George Ellery Hale, Arthur Amos Noyes and Robert Andrews Millikan in the early 20th century. The vocational and preparatory schools were disbanded and spun off in 1910 and the college assumed its present name in 1921. In 1934, Caltech was elected to the Association of American Universities and the antecedents of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which Caltech continues to manage and operate, were established between 1936 and 1943 under Theodore von Kármán. The university is one among a small group of institutes of technology in the United States which is primarily devoted to the instruction of pure and applied sciences.
Caltech has six academic divisions with strong emphasis on science and engineering.
Caltech is frequently cited as one of the world's best universities.