Whitman College - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Whitman College
“Whitman College is renowned for combining academic excellence, an unpretentious Northwest culture, and an...

Whitman College

Walla Walla, Washington

Whitman College is a vibrant, residential learning community widely known for its unique combination of academic excellence, culture, and engaging community. Whitman scholars are characterized as individuals who foster a love of learning, burst with a passion for fun, and embrace the value of working together.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
1,470 undergraduate students
97% of undergrad students are full time
42% male — 58% female

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
186 full-time faculty
45 part-time faculty
9 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

68% of students living on campus.

School Location

Whitman College is located in historic Walla Walla, Washington, a town of 30,000 in the southeastern corner of the state. It is 2.5 hours from Spokane, 4 hours from Portland, and 4.5 hours from Seattle.

Retention Fall 2015

93% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

87% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 5%
Hispanic/Latino 7%
Black or African American 1%
White 72%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 5%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 7%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 3%


NCAA Division III with 7 Varsity Sports for men and 8 Varsity Sports for women, including basketball, baseball (men), cross-country, golf, lacrosse (women) soccer, swimming, tennis, and volleyball (women).

Mascot: Missionaries
Colors: Blue and Maize

Academic Programs

Classical liberal arts majors in Sciences and Math, Humanities and Social Sciences: Comprehensive list of majors and minors detailed at http://www.whitman.edu/academics/courses-of-study

More Distinctions

  • Ranking of 37 in U.S. News & World Report list of liberal arts colleges

  • Recognized as one of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges by Washington Monthly

  • Number 3 ranking of liberal arts colleges in the West by Forbes

  • Top 20 rankings in 10 categories by Princeton Review

  • Member of Colleges That Change Lives consortium

Whitman College attracts active engaged students with its broad offering 88 off-campus study and study abroad programs, a myriad of internship connections, community service opportunities, and planning services for postgraduate success.

The Global Studies Initiative

A signature program of Whitman College, the Global Studies Initiative is a solid foundation for students in a variety of career paths, including humanitarian work, education, and business. This program is an exploration of both historical and contemporary issues around the world, analyzing the global impact of national decisions. With an understanding of the way countries all around the world interact with one another, students involved in the Global Studies initiative learn to communicate effectively with people from different cultures.

Mentors in Research

Whitman faculty are known for their desire to mentor students, and so the College goes the extra mile to make out-of-classroom experiences accessible. The College encourages its faculty to pursue new findings within their field, knowing that students are involved every step of the the way. Through both the academic year and summer intersession, faculty can access the resources needed to conduct research and give students hands-on experiences in methodology and practice. As research fellows, students are given the chance to establish themselves alongside professional academics.

Semester in the West

An environmentally focused expedition across America, Whitman’s unique Semester in the West program takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the country’s ecosystems and the public policies related to them. This exhilarating experiential course takes students on an 8,000-mile journey across the Great Basin, meeting with environmentalists, energy experts, government officials, and other professionals who play a major role in the conservation of the environment. This program is full of camping, political and scientific analysis, and service, all of which enrich students with a well-rounded perspective of the land in the American West.

Guest Speakers

The College hosts innumerable speakers and programs throughout the academic year, demonstrating its institutional commitment to bringing the world to Southeastern Washington. Recent speakers have included Humorist David Sedaris; Physicist Neil Degrasse Tyson; Columnist, Professor, and former U. S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich; U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell; Author Sherman Alexie; and Actor/Author Eric Idle. In such intellectually stimulating events as the Visiting Writers Series, the guests invited to Whitman challenge students with complex ideas and thought-provoking questions. Their perspectives enrich the community, adding to the already vibrant education that Whitman professors provide.

Success for all

Whitman College is known for graduating students who become ethical leaders in their communities and careers. Whitman ranks highly in its percentage of graduates who enter the Peace Corps, Teach for America, and service to the country, and approximately 70% of Whitman students enter graduate school. The Student Engagement Center acts as the umbrella campus office that oversees the numerous programs offered to students preparing for graduate school and career success.


Admissions Fall 2015

3,790 Total Applicants 
1,619 Total Admissions 
364 Total Freshman Enrollment

42.72% of applicants admitted

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 600 720
SAT Math 600 700
SAT Writing 600 700
ACT Composite 27 32
ACT Math    
ACT English    
ACT Writing 8 9


Net Price Calculator



Tuition $45,770
Fees $368
Total $46,138
Room and Board (on campus) $11,564
Room Only $5,348
Board Only $6,216
Estimated Total On Campus $57,702


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

80% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
54% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$21,334 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$5,673 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates