Whitman College is a private, residential, liberal arts colleges in Walla Walla, Washington. The institution is co-educational. The focus of the academic programs is in the liberal arts. Students select their courses from 42 majors and 46 minors. All students are required to take up a core curriculum for two semesters during their freshman year, Encounters. This program evaluates the interaction of cultures in history and introduces the liberal arts in a comprehensive way. Students are able to design independent study programs, and can take special majors as electives. They can also participate in programs allowing them to spend several semesters abread. The popular majors in Whitman are English, Political Science, and Economics. Some students choose Whitman because of the excellent science program.
Seniors must complete comprehensive examinations that are tailored to assess a student’s performance in his primary focus of study. The components of the comprehensive examination include a written examination, a senior thesis and an oral examination, usually a panel defense of the senior thesis.
Whitman’s programs in foreign policy studies have produced many officers in the Foreign Service. Whitman is among the 16 school that participated in the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship program. The State Department sends their fellows to enroll in Whitman to obtain master’s degrees in exchange for a commitment to serve for three years as a Foreign Service Officer.
Whitman College is accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges and competes in the NCAA Division III Northwest Conference. Whitman became the first college to have a Phi Beta Kappa chapter in the Pacific Northwest.
Whitman Seminary was founded in 1859 by Cushing Eells who wanted to establish a monument to his missionary colleagues killed in the area. He began working on his project, which turned out to be a school for pioneer boys and girls. A charter for Whitman Seminary was given, and it was originally a pre-collegiate school. Plans to set up Whitman Seminary at the Whitman mission site fell through, and the school was set up instead in the new town of Walla Walla. In 1866, a generous donation was made by Walla Walla’s wealthiest citizen, Dorsey Baker, to the school. A sizable piece of property in the town became the site of the school.
Whitman was not able to continue as a prep school because of financial difficulties, and so the trustees decided to turn the school into a college in 1882. In 1883, the school was awarded a collegiate charter and began expanding using donations from various sources.
The school maintains an equal ratio of men and women. Students can choose from over a hundred student organizations to join, including clubs that promote student activism, community involvement and social improvement. There are 15 music groups and ensembles to join, including three recognized A cappella groups.
Around a third of the student body is involved in fraternities and sororities. These groups throw parties occasionally and contribute a lot to the social scene at Whitman. Some students prefer to spend their time in community service, while others attend theater shows, one-time life skill classes, and indoor and outdoor sports. Students are encouraged to start their own organizations should they have an idea for a club that doesn’t yet exist on campus.
Need-based financial aid packages from Whitman College include scholarships, grants, employment and loans. There are some merit-based scholarships provided to qualifying students, and there are also those that consider both merit and need.
2017 College Rankings