The following national honor societies have established chapters at Whitman College:
The national German honor society, Delta Phi Alpha, seeks to foster and recognize excellence in the field and to provide an incentive for higher scholarship. Whitman College's chapter, Sigma Alpha, was founded in November 2006. The Society aims to promote the study of the German language, literature, and civilization and endeavors to emphasize those aspects of German life and culture which are of universal value and which contribute to man's eternal search for peace and truth. Membership is by invitation. Eligibility is determined by cumulative GPA and GPA in German courses.
Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest national honorary fraternity, established a chapter at Whitman College in 1919. Election is based on evidence of broad cultural interests and scholarly achievement in the liberal arts. Criteria include Whitman grade-point average and the breadth of the program outside the major. Approximately 10 percent of the senior class and one percent of the junior class are elected to membership annually.
Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, established a chapter at Whitman College in 1962. Sigma Xi is an international, multidisciplinary research society whose programs and activities promote the health of the scientific enterprise and honor scientific achievement. Membership is by invitation and is awarded based on demonstrated potential for research.