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Whittier College

Whittier, CA

Whittier College


A Top-Ranking Liberal Arts College in Scenic Southern California

Whittier College is a private, four-year liberal arts and sciences college located in Whittier, California. The school -- which has an enrollment of 1,700 students -- offers small class sizes, personalized degree programs, and ample opportunities for real-world learning experiences.

Whittier has earned a reputation for providing a high-quality liberal arts education. The Princeton Review recently named Whittier as one of the country's best institutions for undergraduate education, and it included Whittier in the 2018 edition of "The Best 382 Colleges." Whittier is also among 200 schools listed in "Colleges of Distinction," a national college guidebook that showcases colleges who have engaged students, great teaching, a vibrant community, and successful outcomes.

Whittier College is conveniently located between the vibrant city of Los Angeles and scenic Orange County and just steps away from the fun and friendly walking district of historic Uptown Whittier.  Uptown boasts a variety of wonderful restaurants, coffee houses, shops and a movie theatre. The campus is an eclectic mix of historic architecture and state-of-the art amenities including a 400-seat performing arts center, an art gallery, an outdoor amphitheater, a beautiful library, a 7,000-seat sports stadium with a new track and field, and an aquatics center. The College also recently opened a new Science & Learning Center

A Wide Variety of Degree Programs

Students at Whittier College may choose from 30 majors, 37 minors, and three pre-professional programs including anthropology, biology, history, mathematics, pre-medicine political science, economics, English, and business administration.

Whittier College also provides students with opportunities to pursue self-designed majors through its Whittier Scholars Program (WSP). WSP students work closely with faculty members to develop a highly personalized course of study in specific areas of interest. This program culminates in the research, presentation, and defense of senior projects. Approximately 12% of Whittier students participate in WSP.

Liberal Arts the Whittier Way -- At Whittier, we take on the liberal arts in a distinctly West Coast way -- with a fresh eye to how ideas intersect across disciplines. The College places an emphasis on providing students with a truly interdisciplinary liberal arts education. Whittier students are encouraged to think critically and to learn about other perspectives and cultures through cross-curricular courses and experiential learning activities such as internships and study abroad opportunities.

In addition to completing the required coursework for their major, all Whittier students are required to complete six hours of coursework each in the areas of natural science, social science, fine arts, and humanities. Our paired classes help students see the interconnectedness of ideas. Students take at least two paired classes while at Whittier, and in these classes they explore subjects that intersect in provocative ways.

An Emphasis on Writing

All Whittier College students are required to complete several specialized courses designed to help them improve and refine their writing skills.

The required writing coursework begins with a first-year writing seminar and culminates in a paper-in-the-major, which each student completes during his or her senior year of study. The paper-in-the-major, which is developed with the guidance of a faculty member, is often used as a writing sample by students applying to graduate programs.

A Smooth Transition to a Vibrant Academic Community

Whittier provides a wide range of services and programs designed to help new students adjust to college life.

Living learning communities are an integral part of the Poet experience at Whittier College. These communities exist to assist first year students in their transition to college by creating a common experience where students are learning and living in close proximity.  There are communities for arts and entertainment, science and technology as well as gender inclusive housing, pet friendly housing and 24-hour quiet communities. Resident Advisors in these communities intentionally coordinate programs that assist students in their transition to college.

All first-year students also participate in what is called a Linked Course, two courses that have been paired so that students take them together. This is done so that students see one another regularly and share a common intellectual experience. In addition, each student is assigned a faculty mentor and peer/student mentor to provide advising and connect them to the College during the first semester.

Additional activities, such as orientation and pre-orientation also play a key role in ensuring student success.

Exciting Study Abroad Opportunities

Whittier College provides many opportunities for students interested in learning about other cultures. Each student may choose to spend a semester, a year, or a summer living and studying in a variety of locations around the world. Whittier also offers several study abroad opportunities through its faculty led JanTerm and MayTerm programs. The Global Poet Scholarship (GPS) program gives every Whittier student $2,000 to study abroad.

Past and upcoming study abroad opportunities include a course on managing multinational corporations in Mexico; a study of Islamic culture in Morocco; an examination of race, religion, and gender in South America; and an anthropology course in Tanzania.

Internships and Work-Study Programs Provide Valuable, Real-World Experience

Because Whittier College is located within driving distance to Los Angeles and Orange County, students have access to a wide range of prestigious internships with companies in industries ranging from entertainment to business.

Whittier students have completed internships with Sony Pictures, Merrill Lynch, the J. Paul Getty Museum, EMI Music Publishing, New Line Cinema, First Heritage Bank, Southern California Edison, and the US Department of Education.

Students may also choose to gain hands-on work experience through one of Whittier's many partnerships with community and government organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of Whittier. Students in fields such as education, child psychology, and social work can participate in work-study programs at the Broadoaks Children's School, Whittier's private, non-profit demonstration school.

Clubs, Sports, and Extracurricular Activities

Students interested in getting involved in extracurricular activities can choose from a wide variety of options. Whittier is home to nearly 100 academic, cultural, political, and general-interest clubs and organizations, as well as several service-oriented fraternities and sororities. The school also has a student newspaper, yearbook, literary magazine, video production studio, and radio station. Through the Leadership Experience and Programs (LEAP) Office, there are opportunities for involvement in student government, community service, and a number of programs dedicated to helping students develop their leadership skills.

Whittier is home to 22 intercollegiate sports teams, including men's and women's basketball, cross country, track and field, swimming and diving, water polo, soccer; lacrosse, golf and tennis. Whittier also offers men's baseball and football and women's volleyball.

Admissions and Fees

Students interested in applying to Whittier College must submit a completed application available at, $50 application fee, transcripts, SAT I or ACT scores (test optional for students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and higher), personal statement/essay, counselor evaluation, and letter of recommendation from a current or former teacher. Students interested in transferring to Whittier from another college or university must also each submit college transcripts and letters of recommendation from two former or current professors.

Scholarships and financial aid are available, and most Whittier students (over 90%) receive a combination of grants, scholarships, and loans. Students will automatically be considered for a wide range of academic awards when they apply. In addition to this, there are talent scholarships in art, music and theatre that students can pursue without having to major or even minor in those academic disciplines.

Location & Contact

Address Office of Admission
13406 East Philadelphia Street
Whittier, CA  90608-0634
United States
Contact Ms. Janine Bissic
Director of Admission
Phone: 562-907-4238
Fax: 562-907-4870

Majors & Degrees

Area, Ethnic, Cultural, And Gender Studies Associate Bachelors
Latin American Studies Checkmark
Biological And Biomedical Sciences Associate Bachelors
Biochemistry Checkmark
Biology/biological Sciences Checkmark
Business, Management, Marketing, And Related Support Services Associate Bachelors
Business Administration And Management Checkmark
Engineering Associate Bachelors
Engineering Physics/applied Physics Checkmark
English Language And Literature/Letters Associate Bachelors
American Literature Checkmark
English Checkmark
English Literature (British And Commonwealth) Checkmark
Family And Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences Associate Bachelors
Child Development Checkmark
Foreign Languages, Literatures, And Linguistics Associate Bachelors
Chinese Checkmark
French Checkmark
Spanish Checkmark
Health Professions And Related Clinical Sciences Associate Bachelors
Premedical Studies Checkmark
History Associate Bachelors
History Checkmark
Legal Professions And Studies Associate Bachelors
Pre-law Studies Checkmark
Liberal Arts And Sciences, General Studies And Humanities Associate Bachelors
Liberal Arts And Sciences/liberal Studies Checkmark
Mathematics And Statistics Associate Bachelors
Mathematics Checkmark
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies Associate Bachelors
International/global Studies Checkmark
Natural Resources And Conservation Associate Bachelors
Environmental Science Checkmark
Environmental Studies Checkmark
Parks, Recreation, Leisure And Fitness Studies Associate Bachelors
Health And Physical Education/fitness Checkmark
Kinesiology And Exercise Science Checkmark
Philosophy And Religious Studies Associate Bachelors
Philosophy Checkmark
Religious Studies Checkmark
Physical Sciences Associate Bachelors
Chemistry Checkmark
Physics Checkmark
Psychology Associate Bachelors
Psychology Checkmark
Public Administration And Social Service Professions Associate Bachelors
Social Work Checkmark
Social Sciences Associate Bachelors
Anthropology Checkmark
Economics Checkmark
Political Science And Government Checkmark
Social Sciences Checkmark
Sociology Checkmark
Visual And Performing Arts Associate Bachelors
Art Checkmark
Dramatic/theater Arts Checkmark
Music Checkmark


Acceptance Rate

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Female Admissions

Females Applied
Females Accepted
Acceptance Rate
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Male Admissions

Males Applied
Males Accepted
Acceptance Rate


Application Fee
Avg. high school GPA for freshman
Admission Requirements
Required Transcript of high school record
A minimum high school GPA of 2.5
2 recommendations
Required for some programs A minimum high school GPA of 3
Recommended A minimum high school GPA of 2.5

Application Deadlines

Type Application Closing Notification Date Rolling Admissions
Fall freshmen Not reported Not reported Yes
Out of state Fall freshmen Not reported Not reported Yes
Other early decision plan November 15th Not reported
Transfer Not reported Not reported

Test Scores Accepted

Test Avg. Score 25th % Info icon 75th % Info icon
SAT Critical Reading 520 613
SAT Math 510 600
ACT Composite 23 20 25

Tuition & Fees

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Fees icon


Full-time student fees
Room & board
Room only
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Other Payment Considerations

Guaranteed tuition plan offered No
Tuition pre-payment plan No
Tuition payment plans offered Yes
Student groups that qualify for full or partial waiver of tuition Employees

Financial Aid

Avg. Financial Aid Package
Avg. Freshman Financial Aid Package
Avg. International Student Financial Aid Package
Avg. Loan Aid
Avg. Grant Aid
Avg. Scholarship and/or Grant Aid awarded
100% Percentage of students with need who receive financial aid
Avg. Percentage of Financial Need Met
Percentage of Students Who Had Their Need Fully Met

Student Body

Total Undergrad students
International Students
Out-of-state students


Hispanic/Latino 50.69%
Black or African American 4.62%
White or Caucasian 26.15%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0.46%
Asian 6.76%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0.35%
Two or more races 7.04%
Other 1.1%


Male (41.63%)
Female (58.37%)

Campus Life


College-owned housing Yes
Housing requirements Yes
Housing options Co-ed housing
Disabled housing
Freshman car parking
% of undergrad students who live in college housing 45%

Student Activities

Student-run campus newspaper Checkmark
Drama/theatre group Checkmark
Student-run radio station Checkmark
Student-run television station Checkmark
Marching band Checkmark
Choral groups Checkmark
Campus events:
Spring Sing, Sportsfest and Homecoming

Student Services

Legal services Checkmark
Health clinic Checkmark
Personal/psychological counseling Checkmark
Women's center Checkmark
International students advisor Checkmark

Student Organizations

Greek fraternities
Greek sororities
Societies (gender-specific and coed)
Most popular organizations:
Hispanic Students Association, Hawaiian Islander Club, Black Student Union, Asian Students Association and Environment & Sustainability - Raising Awareness for the Environment / Urban Agriculture / Food Recovery Network

Campus Security & Safety

24-hour emergency telephone/alarm services Checkmark
24-hour patrols by trained officers Checkmark
Student patrols Checkmark
Late-night transport/escort services Checkmark
Electronically-operated dormitory entrances Checkmark


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Men's Sports

Sport Intramural Intercollegiate Scholarship
Baseball No Division 3 No
Basketball Checkmark Division 3 No
Cross-country Running No Division 3 No
Golf No Division 3 No
Lacrosse No Division 3 No
Soccer No Division 3 No
Softball Checkmark No No
Swimming And Diving No Division 3 No
Tennis No Division 3 No
Track And Field No Division 3 No
Volleyball Checkmark No No
Water Polo No Division 3 No
Female icon

Women's Sports

Sport Intramural Intercollegiate Scholarship
Baseball No No No
Basketball No Division 3 No
Cross-country Running No Division 3 No
Golf No Division 3 No
Lacrosse No Division 3 No
Soccer No Division 3 No
Softball No Division 3 No
Swimming And Diving No Division 3 No
Tennis No Division 3 No
Track And Field No Division 3 No
Volleyball No Division 3 No
Water Polo No Division 3 No


Total Faculty
Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-time - 117
Part-time - 45
Male - 74
Female - 88