Finding a Place to Live
Caltech offers furnished and unfurnished apartments and houses within walking distance from campus. The maximum rental period is one year. Rents are prorated from the day you move in. Caltech does not require a one-month deposit to reserve accommodations.
Undergraduate students, graduate students, visiting students, and Caltech postdoctoral scholars may be eligible for Caltech Housing.
Postdoctoral Scholars: You should apply to be on the Caltech New Postdoc Housing - Lease Property Waiting List for rental agreements as soon as you receive an email from the International Offices' Relocation Advisor. Your priority on the Caltech New Postdoc Housing is determined by the date you submit your Lease Property Waiting List application. The rental period is 1 month minimum up to 12 months maximum. For more information, please contact email@example.com.
You will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org once there are units available. You will be instructed on how to view the apartments, either in-person or online if you are overseas. You are only eligible to respond to an email about available units from email@example.com once you have a confirmed Caltech postdoc appointment. Your email from the International Offices’ Relocation Advisor serves as this confirmation.
Moore Scholars, New Faculty, Visiting Faculty, Visiting Associates, and occasionally Postdoctoral Scholars may be eligible for Caltech Faculty Housing (different from the Caltech Housing Office) which provides housing for scholars who meet certain criteria. Caltech Faculty Housing is available for a one year maximum stay only. If you are interested in Caltech Faculty Housing, please request assistance directly from your faculty host’s administrative assistant. Your sponsoring Division will contact Faculty Housing on your behalf.
JPL students and scholars are not eligible for Caltech housing. Please review the information in the following Off Campus Housing paragraphs.
OFF CAMPUS HOUSING
Tips to help you get started
Distance from Caltech Campus. If you want to live within walking/biking distance from Caltech (~ 1 mile), you should look for an apartment with the boundaries of North Walnut Avenue / East Sierra Madre Blvd / South California Avenue / West Los Robles Avenue.
Other nearby communities include Altadena (5 miles north Pasadena), La Canada (8 miles west Pasadena), Sierra Madre (north east border with Pasadena), South Pasadena (South East border with Pasadena) and San Marino (south border with Pasadena). If you are willing to commute, you might be able to find cheaper housing in communities farther away.
Distance from JPL. JPL is located in Altadena, 7 miles away west from Caltech. Many fellows live in La Canada, Altadena (east of JPL) or Pasadena.
Hotels and Motels around Caltech. If you prefer to take some time to find accommodation after you arrive in Pasadena, you can stay in a hotel or motel (cheaper than a hotel) near Caltech; some of them offer Caltech discounts. There are many other hotels and motels around the Caltech campus but they do not necessary offer negotiated discounts; we encourage you to double-check.
Security Deposits. Many off-campus rentals may require you to pay a security deposit. Typically, the security deposit is equivalent of two-month's rent. Discuss the details with the property owner (known as the landlord or landlady) or the property manager. Some property managers may require that your monthly salary be up to two-and-a-half times the monthly rent. For example, if your monthly salary is $3,750, then you would qualify for an apartment that rents for $1,500 per month.
Insurance. Usually, home insurance is included in the rental price; however, we encourage you to check with your landlord. If you wish to insure your personal belongings, Caltech Housing may recommend Allianz College Students Insurance (special students rates), as well as Allstate, American Automobile Association (pronounced Triple A), Farmers, Geico, Mercury, State Farm and 21st Century.
Tenants and Landlords Rights. Information on Landlord and Tenant Law. This site is translated into Spanish, Chinese, and about 25 other languages. The California Department of Consumer Affairs gives a comprehensive summary of the most important things to consider when you are renting an accommodation.
Rentals for one year and more
The Caltech Postdoc Association (CPA) has a weekly mailing list in which rooms and apartments for rent are advertised, as well as furniture, cars, and other items. There are also many social, family and academic events offered to the Caltech and JPL Postdocs community. The CPA has also a Facebook page. We encourage you to sign up for the CPA and the CPA’s mailing list even before you arrive at Caltech or JPL. It’s a good way to get smoothly started.
PadMapperCustomize by your need, perimeter, budget, and number of bedrooms.
SabbaticalHomes Temporary housing resource dedicated to the academic community worldwide. This lists home rentals, home exchanges, home sitting and home sharing opportunities offered by scholars leaving for research, sabbaticals and even vacation to other scholars. Most homes are furnished with offices and are close to campuses
William Carrey University is located 3 miles north from Caltech and offers reasonable accommodations including dormitories, semi furnished bedrooms, and unfurnished houses on its campus.
Zillow Customize by your needs, perimeter, budget, and number of bedrooms. You can also receive daily alerts based on your criteria.
Rentals for one year, one month or less
(Only in Pasadena) Fuller Theological Seminary offers housing to single people and families.
Sharing accommodation, living with roommates
Caltech Marketplace is a website where Caltech and JPL community members can post advertisements and receive information about rental accommodation and items for sale such as car, furniture, and household. You can enroll by emailing the Administrator with "International Relocation Marketplace" in the subject line, even before you arrive at Caltech or JPL. There may be a one or two week delay before the enrollment is finalized.
The Art Center College of Design maintains a list of students seeking roommates. The list is open to Caltech and JPL. Please call 626 584 5000 for more information.
If you want to be put in touch with realtors, we will be happy to provide some recommended names.
Furniture and Utilities
Please visit our Home section.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website is for general information only. Caltech does not endorse or recommend any of the organizations listed.