Caltech is considered the world’s number one university — but it is tiny. The school faculty only numbers 300 and only has 1204 graduate students and 977 undergraduates. The incoming freshman class is only 249 students. So how did it manage to achieve it’s success compared to schools like MIT, which has over 1000 faculty professors? The key is how it’s managed to take advantage of its smaller size:
If Caltech’s size demands that its faculty work across traditional disciplinary boundaries to survive, it also makes such interaction exceptionally easy and natural.
While it may sound like a cliché, at Caltech exciting interdisciplinary ideas really are generated over a cup of coffee in the campus cafe, according to faculty.