New Option for First-Year Students

As an alternative to deferring admission, Whitman is pleased to offer a new single course option for incoming students. For the fall of 2020, you have the opportunity to take just one course, a First Year Seminar. This option provides an opportunity for you to take just one course, the first-year seminar, this coming fall. This would allow you to stay connected to the Whitman community and give you full access to all of Whitman’s resources available to students, including orientation. If you'd be interested in learning more about that option, contact Adam Miller at

perspective of a student in a mountainscape from behind

Whitman College has made the decision that the fall 2020 semester will be primarily remote learning.

The college is committed to making the deferral process as straightforward and flexible as possible for students admitted for the fall 2020 entering class. 

During this time of uncertainty, we want to offer future Whitties as many options as possible regarding when and how their Whitman experience begins. What this means is:

  • Whitman will grant all deferral requests from students admitted for the fall 2020 semester.
  • Whitman will allow deferral requests until the fall semester begins. While we prefer to know about a student’s intent to defer admission as early as possible so that we can plan accordingly, this year we will continue approving deferral requests until the fall semester begins.
  • Whitman will allow students to defer enrollment for less than a full year.For example, Whitman will allow deferral to the Spring 2021 semester.
  • If Whitman’s campus is open, but a student is unable to be physically on campus due to travel restrictions or underlying health concerns, we will work with them to determine the start date and experience that makes the most sense for them, including exploring the possibility for remote coursework for a period of time prior to arriving physically on campus.
  • If a student’s deferral plans change, Whitman will allow updates to the deferral term. For example, if a student initially requests and receives approval to defer admission to fall 2021 and then realizes they would prefer to enroll for spring 2021, we would allow that change.

No matter when a student enrolls, Whitman College is committed to offering an orientation program and first semester experience that fully integrates students into the life of campus.

In the future, we hope students will also have the opportunity to take a a gap year before arriving on campus. When these experiences are available, they can ignite meaningful learning and lives of purpose. When the time is right, there are many ways you can use your year before college to have an experience of a lifetime.

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) has prepared some helpful information when considering a gap or bridge year.