Frequently Asked Questions

How many students attend Whitman College?
For the current academic year, there are 1539 undergraduates from 48 States and 30 Countries. Overall the student body is 57 % Female and 43% Male.

How many first year students enrolled at Whitman College this fall?
Approximately 415 first year students will begin their Whitman careers in August 2013.

How competitive is admission to Whitman?
Whitman is a selective college. For the class of 2017, 2,739 completed applications were received. Of those, 1,517 (56%) were admitted. Whitman typically admits about one-half of all applicants. The middle 50% of the incoming class had a high school GPA ranging from 3.67-3.97 and SAT scores ranging from 1870-2180 or ACT from 29-33. Also during the past two years student retention was an impressive 94%-96%.

Does Whitman College have Admission requirements?
Whitman does not have specific admission requirements but strongly recommends the following high school course work: four years of English, four years of Math, three years of Lab Science, two or three years of Social Studies (History/Government), two years of a Foreign Language, and one year of Fine Arts. There is no minimum required grade point average, SAT score or ACT scores.

What does Whitman College consider for admission?

  • Unweighted high school grade point average (G.P.A.).
  • Academic rigor in high school, demonstrated by course selection such as Honors, AP or IB courses if available. 
  • Writing: Whitman uses the Common Application and a Supplement to the Common App. The Common App requires a Personal Essay and the Supplement requires an additional essay specific to the Whitman experience. 
  • Teacher and Counselor Evaluations. 
  • Activities and honors in and during high school. These include athletics, clubs, community service, music, theater, dance, debate, leadership, political and religious activities as well as employment.
  • Standardized tests, either SAT I or the ACT with Writing. Whitman does not have a preference for the SAT or ACT. Many students submit SAT Subject Test scores though these are not required.

Can extra recommendation letters be sent?
Yes, students can send more than one recommendation, but a total of two is usually sufficient.

What are the application deadlines?
There are three application deadline dates. Two of the dates correspond with our Early Decision program (ED) and the third is the deadline for all regular decision applicants.

  • Early Decision I: November 15
  • Early Decision II: January 1
    • NOTE: There is no difference between ED I and II, only the deadline dates are different.
  • Regular Decision: January 15

Does Whitman offer Early Decision?
Yes, Whitman offers an Early Decision program with two Early Decision application rounds. The deadline for Early Decision I is November 15, and for Early Decision II, January 1.
Early Decision allows students who have identified Whitman as their first choice college to apply by an earlier deadline in order to receive an admission decision earlier than they would by applying through the Regular Decision timeline. Early Decision is offered by many colleges with the expectation that a student who is offered admission will rescind their applications to all other colleges and enroll at the college to which they applied Early Decision (unless the family is able to demonstrate that they did not receive sufficient financial assistance from the college).

Does Whitman offer Early Action?
Whitman does not offer an Early Action program.

Are interviews required?
No. Interviews are optional, but strongly recommended when possible. Interviews are very helpful in discerning the match between the student and the College. The interview is a conversation in which both the admission officer and the prospective student can share information and ask relevant questions. Interviews also provide students with a way of explaining the information presented in the application more vividly. Interviews, like attending other events sponsored by the college, demonstrate the applicant's interest in the College. Unlike some colleges, only admission officers and admission interns conduct interviews. Phone/Skype interviews are available as needed.

When and where can students interview?
Interviews are available on-campus throughout the year. Interviews are also available at various times of the year in cities throughout the nation. Go to whitman.edu and "Whitman on the Road" under Admission to see updated admission officer travel and interview schedules. Students should interview no later than the date of the application deadline for which they're applying.

Are campus visits possible and what do they include?
Absolutely. In fact, campus visits are strongly encouraged by Whitman College. Assessing whether or not Whitman is a "fit" can best be determined after a visit. There are a number of options during the visit: a campus tour, an interview with an admission officer, visitation of up to two classes, lunch with a student, and the opportunity to stay overnight in one of our residence halls with a current student as host and meetings with professors or coaches. To arrange an overnight campus visit, students must schedule two weeks in advance by going to www.whitman.edu/admission/visit or by emailing Campus Visit Coordinator, Mary Beth Ehrhardt at ehrharmb@whitman.edu. You can see the visit calendar at the following link: http://www.whitman.edu/admission/visit/schedule-your-visit

We also have a Fall Visitors Day, a Spring Visitors Day and an Admitted Students Day. The dates are: November 11, April 11 & April 19.

How does Whitman look at AP course work? Can a student receive College credit?
AP courses demonstrate a commitment to challenging coursework and are excellent classes to take for college preparation. We do give College credit to students with scores of 4 and/or 5 on the College Board Advance Placement Tests. A score of 5 is required for English (Language and Composition, and Literature and Composition), History (American, European and World), Economics (both microeconomics and macroeconomics), Music Theory, Spanish Language, Biology and Physics C.

How does Whitman look at IB course work? Can a student receive College credit?
Whitman recognizes the International Baccalaureate Program (IB) and believes it serves as excellent preparation for a rigorous liberal arts college education. Credit may be given for scores of 5, 6, and 7 in selected higher-level IB examinations. A maximum of one year's credit (30 semester hours) may be earned.

How does Whitman look at Running Start and College in the High School Courses?
Whitman will review credit earned through the Running Start Program and similar dual enrollment programs on a course-by-course basis. No transfer credit is applied toward a Whitman degree unless it is of average (C- or 1.7 on a numerical scale) or better quality. Credits awarded will be for classes at a commensurate level and in subject material relevant to the Whitman College liberal arts and sciences curriculum. Transferring more than 14 semester credits could result in fewer semesters of financial aid eligibility.