Information for New Students
Welcome to Whitman College! The Registrar's Office is available to assist incoming first-year and transfer students with any questions you may have about beginning your academic life at Whitman.
Whitman This Week Emails: It is important to activate your Whitman College email account as soon as possible. Beginning in June, each Monday, an email will be sent to your Whitman email account from Senior Associate Dean of Students Juli Dunn. These emails will communicate relevant information to new students in a timely manner, so you should plan to check your account weekly throughout the summer.
Follow the link and instructions below to activate your new Whitman College email and network account. You will need your Whitman ID number, which was sent to your email address on file.
New Student Orientation Information
We believe a liberal arts education meets two important objectives: preparation for intelligent living and preparation for a successful career. Regardless of your major, your Whitman education will help you develop the ability to think critically and analyze complex issues. How you plan your academic coursework while at Whitman supports those objectives. We have multiple resources available to help you be successful, including the following.
The Whitman College catalog is the primary source of information about current courses, general college policies, and requirements for graduation, majors and special programs. You can download the current catalog at catalog.whitman.edu.
After you have activated your Whitman email account, log in to MyWhitman to use the Course Search tool. It will help you plan your schedule and see what classes are being offered. You can create a wish list of classes by clicking the addition symbol (+) to the left of the class and saving your changes. This can aid you in finding the courses you are interested in when it is time to register, but it does not guarantee you a space in the class.
As an incoming student, you will be assigned a pre-major advisor who will help you plan your academic coursework. You will have a pre-major advisor until you declare a major, usually spring semester of your sophomore year. After that, you will select an advisor from your major department.
To assist us in assigning you a pre-major adviser, it is important that you complete the Advising Questionnaire as soon as possible after activating your Whitman College email account. Learn more about the advising process for new students.
Student academic advisors (SAs) are assigned to residence halls and support first-year students. SAs are specially trained returning students who are available to help you select courses, navigate the catalog and answer questions you may have about classes. They will be able to help you with writing papers and can assist in arranging free tutoring assistance if you are having trouble with your coursework or if you need to improve your time management or study skills. Explore our Academic Resource Center.
The First Year Seminars — Exploring Complex Questions (GENS 175) and Making Powerful Arguments (GENS 176) — combine a fall course that emphasizes interdisciplinary exploration and intellectual risk-taking with a spring seminar that features in-depth investigation of a focused topic. Both seminars will help you improve the reading, writing and discussion skills you will rely on throughout your time at Whitman. Course descriptions for fall seminars will be sent to you over the summer, when we will ask you to indicate your interests. You will then be automatically registered for one of your preferred courses. Transfer students with fewer than 58 credits will take GENS 175 but may receive equivalent credit for GENS 176 for a comparable course taken at another institution.
For Fall 2021, Whitman College will continue to give credit or equivalency for College Board Advanced Placement Exams. For detailed information, refer to the “Academics” section of the online catalog. You may receive up to 30 credits for combined Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exam scores. If you wish to take a course at Whitman for which you received AP credit, contact the Registrar’s Office. If you believe you are eligible for AP or IB credit, request an official report of your scores or examinations be sent directly from the College Board or International Baccalaureate Program to Whitman College as soon as they are available.
Credit may be awarded for select General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced Level examinations (Cambridge A-Levels) pending review of each exam syllabus. Students interested in pursuing such credit should contact the Registrar’s Office.
All transfer credit is evaluated on a course-by-course basis. Transfer credit includes courses taken at any college or university. If you have completed or are planning to complete any college coursework prior to starting classes at Whitman, you must request that the institution attended send an official transcript of all your previous college or university coursework directly to the Whitman Registrar’s Office as soon as possible. You will also need to complete and electronically submit a Transfer Credit Eligibility Form,. After your official transcript(s) is evaluated, you will be given a Transfer Equivalency Report.
The Transfer Equivalency Report and Academic Evaluation will provide the following information, which will help to plan your schedule:
- The total number of college credits accepted from previously-attended institution(s).
- An analysis of how those credits apply toward the Whitman distribution requirements.
- Your class standing-first-year: (0-26 credits), sophomore (27-57 credits), or junior (58-89 credits). Your class standing determines your status with respect to the General Studies requirement at Whitman College, housing, financial aid eligibility, and more.
In preparation for fall registration, you’ll meet virtually one-on-one with your pre-major academic advisor to select classes and talk about requirements. Staff from the Registrar’s Office and the Dean of Students Office also are available to assist with registration.
- Group Advising Session — First-year students will attend a virtual group advising session with Senior Associate Dean of Students Juli Dunn to discuss advising, distribution requirements, registration and expectations around academic integrity. Group advising is required for all first-year and transfer students. The sessions will run in early June.
- Department Advising — All incoming students can sign up for optional advising appointments with individual departments.
- First Year Seminars — You will receive information about the required First Year Seminars and descriptions of the different learning communities by June 15. You will need to submit your four preferred learning communities by June 25. You will learn which course you have been assigned to when you receive your schedule from the Registrar’s Office.
- Pre-Major Academic Advisor — First-year students will schedule a video appointment to meet with an academic advisor between July 7-21. Pre-major advising is required for all new students. Your pre-major academic advisor will help you create your course wish list.
- Class Registration — The Registrar’s Office will use your wish list to create your final course schedule, including adding a section of the First Year Seminars. You will receive your schedule on Monday, Aug. 2, and will be able to make changes during the first week of classes.
Transfer students will receive an email to schedule their registration appointment after their credits have been transferred to Whitman. Senior Associate Dean of Students Juli Dunn will conduct the advising and registration for transfer students over the phone in mid-July.
Students who participated in Running Start and wish to transfer credits to Whitman College may see an impact in the number of semesters they are eligible for their full financial aid award. There are two options available for Running Start students.
- OPTION 1 — Transfer all Running Start coursework accepted by Whitman. You will qualify for available financial aid consistent with the class-level determined by the total number of credits transferred to Whitman. See “Classification of Students” in the “Academics” section in the online catalog.
- OPTION 2 — Transfer no more than 14 dual-enrollment semester-equivalent credits accepted by Whitman. You will be considered a first-year student for purposes of financial aid. Students with Running Start credit will be provided a Running Start Options Selection Form and must declare Option 1 or 2 during initial registration.
For more information, contact the Office of Financial Aid at email@example.com or 509-527-5178.
Contact the Registrar's Office
If you have questions about registration or academic requiremtns, the staff in the Registrar's Office is available to help. Call 509-527-5983 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions about advising or New Student Orientation, contact Senior Associate Dean of Students Juli Dunn at email@example.com or call 509-527-5208.