As President Kathy Murray noted in her October 9 email about the spring semester, we continue to plan to bring everyone back on campus this spring for in-person hybrid learning that would consist of both in-person and online classes. Should national and local conditions mean it is unsafe to bring all students back to campus, Whitman will welcome a limited number of first- and second-year students in-person to be part of Living & Learning Pods for the Spring 2021 semester. 

The Living & Learning Pods will create the opportunity for approximately 180 students to take classes in-person while building an interactive, communal environment with appropriately rigorous safety precautions to lower the risk of COVID-19 infection or transmission.

To be considered for participation in a Living & Learning Pod, students must complete the pod request form sent them by email by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, Oct. 19. Pods will be formed during the week of Oct. 19 and participants will receive notice of their pod assignment on Oct. 22 and must confirm their participation by Oct. 26. 


If you are part of a pod, you will be assigned to take two to three specific classes in-person with other members of your pod. If the entire Whitman community returns to campus for in-person learning, you will still take your pre-assigned classes with other members of your pod but will be able to add additional classes outside of your pod. 

The pod groupings are:

  • Pod 1 (FY only): Gens-176, Arts-115, Soc-117

  • Pod 2 (FY only): Gens-176, Soc-117, Geol-110, Geol-111

  • Pod 3 (FY only): Gens-176, Phys-155

  • Pod 4 (FY only): Gens-176, Psyc-110, Phil-117

  • Pod 5 (Soph only): Biol-206, Phil-220

  • Pod 6 (Soph only): Biol-206, Arts-170

  • Pod 7 (Soph only): Psyc-230, Psyc-218, Phil-141

  • Pod 8 (FY or Soph): Soc-117, Engl-177, Envs-120, Envs-120L

  • Pod 9 (FY or Soph): CS/Math-203, Arts-160

  • Pod 10 (FY or Soph): Hisp-341, FMS-160, FMS-160S, Engl-233

  • Pod 11 (FY or Soph): Envs-120, Envs-120L, Engl-200, Phil-120

  • Pod 12 (FY or Soph): CS-Math-203, Phil-122

More details about the courses in each pod can be found on the registrar’s webpage. Please note that some of these pods include courses with prerequisites that you must have fulfilled in order to apply to that pod.


If you are part of a pod, you will be assigned a space to live with the other members of your pod in on-campus housing groups of approximately 15. Housing assignments will be emailed to you in early December. If the entire college community returns for in-person learning, you will be free to socialize with other students following appropriate health and safety guidelines. If we continue primarily with remote learning, living together with your podmates will create a healthy and safe space in each pod for social interaction, fostering relationships and community building while minimizing the risk of spreading coronavirus. 

Pod members will arrive on campus approximately one week before the start of classes (January 25) and have a period of quarantine. Specific dates and details on the move-in process will be sent to participating students at a later date.


If the Living & Learning Pod members are the only students able to return to campus this spring, there will be specific expectations around socializing and safety for students who are chosen to participate. In addition to general COVID-19 precautions such as wearing face coverings and social distancing laid out in the Community Pledge, it will be expected that your primary social interactions will be with other students in your pod. Pod members will also not be allowed to leave campus for spring break.


Questions about the learning portion of the Living & Learning Pods should be directed to the Registrar’s Office (; 509-527-5983).

Questions about the living portion of Living & Learning Pods should be sent to Residence Life (; 509-527-5297).

If you have a question about the Living & Learning Pods but are not sure who to ask, please contact Kazi Joshua, dean of students (; 509-527-5158).