A limited number of visiting student appointments are made each year. Visiting student status is restricted to students who hold a bachelor’s degree and are current graduate students at another institution. The invitation process requires sponsorship by a Caltech faculty member, and requests should be made directly to the Graduate Office, following the visiting student instructions on the Graduate Office website. The dean of graduate studies may limit the number of visiting students in any given year. Visiting students are subject to the Honor System and other Institute policies and are under the purview of the dean of graduate studies. Visiting students are categorized into two main classifications.
Special Students enroll as full-time students (36 units), in a research course and/or coursework numbered 100 or higher, which may be transferred to their home institution. Special Student appointments are allowed for one year, renewable each year up to a maximum of three years. Special Students will not be considered to be working toward a Caltech degree, and courses taken under this program cannot be used to fulfill the requirements for a Caltech degree, nor does registration count toward the minimum residency requirement for an advanced degree.
Special Students are eligible for the same privileges as regularly enrolled graduate students, and will be charged for the relevant tuition and fees. Short-term Special Students that do not need academic credit must still enroll in a research class for a minimum number of units and will be billed tuition and fees based on the level of enrollment and the length of stay. For those students who receive a Caltech stipend, tuition remission will be charged to the faculty hosts’ supporting grant to cover the tuition and fees assessment. Special Students who do not receive a Caltech stipend will be charged a reduced tuition and fees rate. (For current rates, see the Expense Summary.)
Visiting Student Researchers
The Visiting Student Researcher status is limited to short-term visits of one month to one year and is not renewable. Visiting Student Researchers are not eligible to enroll in a research course and/or coursework, and will not receive academic credit from Caltech, but will receive a Caltech identification card. Visiting Student Researchers are also required to provide proof of health insurance, vaccinations in accordance with Institute policies, and any other required medical and immunization records for the duration of the visit.
Students in this status are not eligible to receive a salary through the Institute payroll, and are not eligible for Caltech privileges that are extended to enrolled students. They may be reimbursed for research-related expenses only, but it is the Caltech faculty host’s responsibility to ensure that the supporting grant can be used for such purposes and that there are no restrictions on spending. Students receiving a salary through the Institute payroll and/or requiring a transcript to transfer academic credit must be appointed as Special Students.
Some academic options have formal exchange programs that they have arranged with other institutions. Exchange students must have a visiting student appointment, and the type of appointment will depend upon the terms of the agreement for the particular exchange program. These programs are administered by the option, and requests should be made directly to the Graduate Office following the same procedure for visiting students.