Whitman College Programs
Whitman enrolls approximately 1,500 students from 42 states and 25 countries. About 57% percent of Whitman students are female and 24% self-identify as part of a minority ethnic group or as international students. One-third of our students are from Puget Sound. After graduation, more Whitman alumni move to the west side than to any other location; again, one-third of all Whitman alumni live in the Puget Sound area, making significant contributions to the region’s economy, culture, and community. Whitman's strengths include a low student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1, an average class size of 18, , a 93.5% first-year retention rate, and an 87 percent graduation rate–statistics that have earned the College national recognition.
Through the study of humanities, arts, and social and natural sciences, Whitman’s students develop capacities to analyze, interpret, criticize, communicate, and engage. A concentration on basic disciplines, in combination with a supportive residential life program that encourages personal and social development, is intended to foster intellectual vitality, confidence, leadership, and the flexibility to succeed in a changing technological, multicultural world.
Exemplary Liberal Arts Education
Since 1882, Whitman has provided an exemplary liberal arts education that immerses students in ideas, confronts them with challenging problems, and nurtures their ability to become leaders. In today’s increasingly complex and globally connected world, a Whitman education meets the demand for broadly educated, critical, and innovative thinkers.
Extraordinary Learning Opportunities
Inquisitive minds, a spirit of collaboration, innovation, and relationship-based learning define Whitman’s outstanding educational program. A distinguished faculty of over 150 teachers and scholars (95% of whom possess terminal degrees in their fields) have expertise in both traditional and emerging areas of inquiry and provide students with a high level of collaborative engagement and personal attention. Student/faculty research, internships, community-based learning, and field-based courses all provide experiential learning opportunities in local, regional, and national communities, enabling students to integrate their liberal arts education with applied experiences outside the classroom.
Whitman College is rated as one of the best value private colleges in the country by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Compared to students at other liberal arts colleges, Whitman graduates leave with the 12th smallest debt load. Whitman is dedicated to ensuring that its extraordinary education is accessible to all who desire to attend. The College offers generous financial aid packages to help students at all socioeconomic levels attend Whitman. About 80% of students in any given year receive aid in the form of scholarships, loan and employment; the College awards over $23 million annually in scholarship funds. These efforts help Whitman create a diverse community that enhances the intellectual and personal growth of its students.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Whitman continues to build on its more than 130 years of academic excellence, reinforcing the value of our liberal arts education that prepares our students to succeed and lead in today’s ever-changing world. Our students consistently win prestigious national awards, including Fulbright, Watson, and Rhodes scholarships. The National Science Foundation ranks Whitman 20th among national liberal arts college in the number of science and engineering doctorates earned per 100 bachelor’s degrees. Our students dedicate thousands of hours each year to making a difference in their local, regional, and national communities; Whitman is consistently named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and is among the country’s top producers of Peace Corps volunteers and Teach for America participants. Our recent investments in new faculty positions, new and expanded academic programs, and student internships and other experiential learning opportunities reflect our commitment to providing our students with an enriching academic experience that prepares them to make a significant difference in their communities and the world.
For many of the highly accomplished students who are admitted to Whitman, an even greater challenge is determining whether they can afford to attend. To meet the growing need for financial aid, Whitman seeks to increase its endowments dedicated to scholarships in order to compete for the best and brightest applicants and ensure that the College’s transformative education remains accessible to the finest students from all backgrounds. Increasing our resources for need-based scholarship will perpetuate our distinguished history of providing support for students from middle- and lower-income families. Scholarship investments in Whitman College students will pay dividends for years to come as recipients become leaders in business, education, the arts, science, nonprofit organizations, and government service.