All You Need To Know About Whitman College

Founded in 1859 as Whitman Seminary, Whitman College has evolved into a vibrant, non-sectarian institution dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and the betterment of society. Whitman College resides on the ancestral homelands of the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla tribes.

As a private liberal arts college, Whitman fiercely guards its independence from political and religious influences, fostering a space for open dialogue, intellectual exploration, and personal growth. Whitman offers more than 60 academic majors. Each year Whitman College presents a different academic theme to guide the Whitman community and integrate into the curriculum; the most recent theme was “Climate Justice, Climate Action.” It is a continuation and extension of the 2021–22 theme, “Climate Reckonings, Climate Justice.”

The vibrant campus organizations include 12 club sports teams, numerous intramural leagues, academic clubs, and cultural groups. Whitman also boasts 17 varsity teams competing in the Northwest Conference at the Division III level.

The alumni of Whitman College are not just scholars; they are explorers, advocates, and scientists. They are driven by curiosity and motivated by a desire to make a positive impact on the world.

Student Cohort Size

Whitman College has a total student population of 1,544 students. 57% of the students are women and 43% are male. Many admitted students hail from Washington and California, alongside other states across the nation. Whitman College also boasts a vibrant international community, welcoming students from 31 countries, including 213 international students.

Four-Year Completion Rate

The graduation rate is among the most important factors when selecting a college. Whitman College’s first-year retention rate is 72%. This means that 72% of first-year students continue their education for their sophomore year and beyond. The 4-year graduation rate is 78%. This implies that 78% of students were able to graduate after 4 years. The 6-year graduation rate is 87%. This implies that 87% of students were able to graduate after 6 years.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

The student-to-faculty ratio at Whitman College is 9:1 with an average class size of 17 students.


Acceptance Rate

Whitman is a selective college, receiving nearly 4,000 applications. The college offers admission to about 50% of the applicants.

Acceptance GPA

The admitted students have a median GPA between 3.50 and 3.75.

Types of Admission

Whitman College’s applicants can apply through the Early Decision or Regular Decision programs. Early Decision is a binding admission plan for students who have determined that Whitman College is their first choice and feel they can present a strong application without reviewing senior grades. Students admitted through the Early Decision admission plan are required to cancel their applications elsewhere and enroll in Whitman College. Regular Decision is a non-binding and unrestrictive admission plan that allows students more time to complete the application and to have grades from the first term of their senior year considered in the review.

Application Components

All required parts of the Common Application.
Official high school transcript: An official high school transcript will display courses and grades for all years of high school attended.
Mid-year grades: Mid-year grades are the first semester or first trimester grades from your final year of high school.
Letter of recommendation: Recommendations must be from a core academic teacher or a counselor who worked with a student in 10th, 11th, or 12th grade. The students can also submit one additional recommendation letter.
Standardized Test Scores: While test scores are optional for students applying for fall 2023 and fall 2024, the average SAT scores for admitted students were between 1275 and 1415, and the average ACT scores were between 29 and 33.


The academics at Whitman College are an exhilarating journey of discovery. The environment at Whitman fosters collaboration and support. The students have the freedom to delve deep into their chosen major while still exploring diverse topics that ignite their curiosity.

The First Year Seminars are designed to unlock the intellectual potential of the students. During the seminars, the students examine complex questions with their peers and hone their critical thinking skills. These seminars are more than just classes; they’re the foundation for a life of engaged learning.

The faculty at Whitman College are passionate mentors and friends. The students get the opportunity to collaborate on research projects, co-author publications, and gain valuable hands-on experience in their labs.

Most Popular Majors

Research and Experimental Psychology
Political Science and Government
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Information Science
Studio Arts

Tuition $63,500
ASWC (student association) $422
Food and Housing $15,080
Estimated Books and supplies $1,400
Total $80,402
Total per Semester $40,201


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