Westmont College - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Westmont College
"A first-rate education for intellectually curious students with a strong sense of faith."

Westmont College

Santa Barbara, California

Grow deeper and go further


Students receive a rigorous liberal arts education and grow spiritually on a campus filled with natural beauty. After four years, they graduate as men and women with intellect and character who have reaped the rewards of an outstanding faculty and first-rate experiential learning opportunities.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
1,297 undergraduate students
100% of undergrad students are full time
39% male — 61% female
27% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
128 full-time faculty
88 part-time faculty
12 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

84% of students live on campus.

School Location

Montecito, California—a suburb of Santa Barbara, 90 minutes from Los Angeles.

Retention Fall 2015

83% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

77% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 1%
Hispanic/Latino 15%
Black or African American 1%
White 64%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 8%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 7%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 4%


National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC). 12 varsity sports (6 men’s: baseball, basketball, cross-country, soccer, tennis, track & field; 6 women’s: basketball, cross-country, soccer, tennis, track & field, volleyball); 4 club teams and a wide variety of intramural opportunities.

Other Information

Westmont College is a nationally-ranked liberal arts college rooted in the teachings of Christ.

Academic Programs

Alternative Major; Art; Biology; Chemistry; Communication Studies; Computer Science; Economics & Business; Education Program; Engineering Physics; English; History; European Studies; Kinesiology; Liberal Studies; Mathematics; Modern Languages; Music; Philosophy; Physical Education; Physics; Political Science; Psychology; Religious Studies; Social Science; Sociology/Anthropology; Theatre Arts.

More Distinctions

  • Westmont ranks among the nation's finest liberal arts colleges, according to U.S. News & World Report and the Carnegie Foundation.

  • U.S. News ranks Westmont in the top tier of liberal arts colleges in the country.

  • Westmont is one of only 13 colleges in California, and the only Christian college among them, cited by "Barron's Best Buys in College Education."

  • Entrepreneur magazine ranks Westmont among the “best colleges in America to study entrepreneurship.”

The college encourages students to engage in intellectual discourse outside of the classroom through a yearly speech and debate contest and a variety of guest lecturers. This commitment to free expression extends into the world through great off-campus programs…

Engage the World of Ideas

The most popular majors at Westmont, each of which offer several different tracks and internships, are communication studies, economics/business, and English.

entrepreneurs for the future

Westmont is proud of the entrepreneurial focus of its programs. Recently, professor David Newton, chairman of the economics and business department, took part in a discussion on CNN that featured colleges with strong entrepreneurial programs. Westmont students take part in the Spirit of Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development (SEED) Venture Forum, which requires students to create business plans and offers the opportunity for students to receive advice from local businesspeople.

summer research

A research assistance program that provides students with opportunities to work with faculty members is available during the summer. Students stay on campus for the summer, are paid for assisting faculty members, and present their findings at a symposium.

service learning

Service learning is not required, but many students take advantage of up to seventy-five outreach programs. Examples include adopting a grandparent and working with the Special Olympics. Many students find their passion freshman year and stick with it throughout their time at Westmont.

study abroad

Westmont’s study abroad programs include a semester of travel in Europe, Israel, and more. Westmont offers England semester for English literature. an Asian studies summer program for business and economics, and the World Vision International Relief and Development Internship program for sociology majors. Biology majors are given the opportunity to study in the Global Stewardship Study program.

Faculty members offer an increasing number of May-term and summer programs with extensive travel, and students can enroll in programs sponsored by the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU). Students can also spend a semester in Los Angeles to learn about the film industry, explore contemporary life in San Francisco through the college’s urban program, or spend a semester of government study in Washington, DC.

Members of the faculty are caring Christians who provide students with both a broad foundation in the liberal arts and the opportunity to enrich their education through innovative May-term courses and research opportunities…

engaged in faith and academics

Westmont seeks to provide a first-rate liberal arts education to intellectually curious students with a strong sense of faith. Professors are in the classroom all the time; there are no graduate assistants conducting classes. The average class size is twenty-three students. Westmont is adamant about maintaining the college as an exclusively undergraduate institution, which allows faculty to focus on undergraduate students.

professors in reach

Around forty members of the faculty live along the perimeter of the campus in homes provided by the college. Students can walk to professors’ homes to hang out and enjoy each other’s company.

proud teachers

Many off-campus activities are started by faculty. Several competitive and debate programs have been launched by professors, and one of the Europe programs was started by history and art professors to present student findings and to take other students abroad.

personalized education

A number of Westmont students take advantage of the opportunity to build their own majors. Students take a combination of approved programs and prepare a proposal to explain how the programs are related. Proposals are then approved by a council. Many of these student proposals lead to the development of new majors.

The thriving Westmont community draws strength from its shared commitment to faith and service…

a beautiful campus

Set on 133 acres in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains outside Santa Barbara, Westmont’s wooded and scenic campus provide an ideal environment for a residential college. The campus includes buildings and land from two former estates and the historic Deane School for Boys. The grounds feature the pathways, stone bridges, and garden atmosphere typical of Montecito, a suburb of Santa Barbara. The campus is located three miles uphill from the ocean, which can be seen from certain spots on campus.

constantly improving

The college will be adding five new buildings in the coming years, built in the same style as its existing buildings. These include a chapel, an art center, a new residence hall, an additional science building, and a new observatory.


Currently, the campus features five residence halls, two of which include first-year dormitories. Juniors and seniors can opt to live off campus in apartments and houses.

united in faith

The Christian faith is intertwined into every aspect of the Westmont community. The college encourages and supports the spiritual growth of its students through informal interactions and formal initiatives, including its acclaimed Leadership and Character Development Program, which pairs students with a faculty or staff mentor for a four-year relationship that includes Bible study, prayer, conversation, and counsel.

united in service

Serving others is an important part of the Westmont experience. Students have countless service opportunities on campus, in the community, and in other countries. Every year, around four hundred students travel to Ensenada, Mexico, to work with twenty churches on hundreds of projects. They work with faculty and staff on construction projects, in orphanages, vacation Bible school programs, and ministry through theater and athletics. Other international ministries have traveled to Costa Rica, India, and Israel.

opportunity everywhere

Westmont and the surrounding community provide students with a wide array of cultural and athletic activities. Nearby Santa Barbara offers numerous cultural activities among its supportive community. Many local businesses come to campus to recruit for jobs and internships. There are also several other institutions of higher learning in the area, such as the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Graduates are efficiently prepared to lead a life of purpose and success. Students often find that their internships or projects lead to jobs after graduation or to prestigious graduate schools such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Cornell…

prepared for anything

Nearly three-quarters of Westmont students go on to graduate school. Westmont students shine from their initial interviews to their academic performance. Their diverse education enables them to converse with ease. Science major, for example, can talk as easily about social issues as they can about their research. Students are well prepared, having spent so much time with their professors. Recruiters in the area prefer to hire Westmont students because they know they have received strong, thorough educations.

professional success and lives of service

Since 1990, more than three hundred students have completed Westmont’s entrepreneurship courses, and over fifty graduates have successfully launched their own ventures.


Admissions Fall 2015

2,077 Total Applicants 
1,687 Total Admissions 
338 Total Freshman Enrollment

81.22% of applicants admitted

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 520 650
SAT Math 530 650
SAT Writing 520 640
ACT Composite 23 29
ACT Math 23 28
ACT English 23 31
ACT Writing 7 10


Net Price Calculator



Tuition $40,320
Fees $1,040
Total $41,360
Room and Board (on campus) $13,040
Room Only $8,110
Board Only $4,930
Estimated Total On Campus $54,400


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

98% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
64% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$22,375 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$7,986 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates