Whittier College

Whittier College

Whittier, CA
student ratio
total students
Tuition Cost $45,730 | $45,730
in-state | out-of-state
Average Financial Aid Package $37,931
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
Moderately Difficult
admission difficulty
Average test scores for all first-year students that were accepted and enrolled.
sat math
sat reading
sat writing
act composite


A Top-Ranking Liberal Arts College in Scenic Southern California

Whittier College is a private, four-year liberal arts and sciences college located in Whittier, California. The school -- which has an enrollment of 1,700 students -- offers small class sizes, personalized degree programs, and ample opportunities for real-world learning experiences.

Whittier has earned a reputation for providing a high-quality liberal arts education. The Princeton Review recently named Whittier as one of the country's best institutions for undergraduate education, and it included Whittier in the 2018 edition of "The Best 382 Colleges." Whittier is also among 200 schools listed in "Colleges of Distinction," a national college guidebook that showcases colleges who have engaged students, great teaching, a vibrant community, and successful outcomes.

Whittier College is conveniently located between the vibrant city of Los Angeles and scenic Orange County and just steps away from the fun and friendly walking district of historic Uptown Whittier.  Uptown boasts a variety of wonderful restaurants, coffee houses, shops and a movie theatre. The campus is an eclectic mix of historic architecture and state-of-the art amenities including a 400-seat performing arts center, an art gallery, an outdoor amphitheater, a beautiful library, a 7,000-seat sports stadium with a new track and field, and an aquatics center. The College also recently opened a new Science & Learning Center

A Wide Variety of Degree Programs

Students at Whittier College may choose from 30 majors, 37 minors, and three pre-professional programs including anthropology, biology, history, mathematics, pre-medicine political science, economics, English, and business administration.

Whittier College also provides students with opportunities to pursue self-designed majors through its Whittier Scholars Program (WSP). WSP students work closely with faculty members to develop a highly personalized course of study in specific areas of interest. This program culminates in the research, presentation, and defense of senior projects. Approximately 12% of Whittier students participate in WSP.

Liberal Arts the Whittier Way -- At Whittier, we take on the liberal arts in a distinctly West Coast way -- with a fresh eye to how ideas intersect across disciplines. The College places an emphasis on providing students with a truly interdisciplinary liberal arts education. Whittier students are encouraged to think critically and to learn about other perspectives and cultures through cross-curricular courses and experiential learning activities such as internships and study abroad opportunities.

In addition to completing the required coursework for their major, all Whittier students are required to complete six hours of coursework each in the areas of natural science, social science, fine arts, and humanities. Our paired classes help students see the interconnectedness of ideas. Students take at least two paired classes while at Whittier, and in these classes they explore subjects that intersect in provocative ways.

An Emphasis on Writing

All Whittier College students are required to complete several specialized courses designed to help them improve and refine their writing skills.

The required writing coursework begins with a first-year writing seminar and culminates in a paper-in-the-major, which each student completes during his or her senior year of study. The paper-in-the-major, which is developed with the guidance of a faculty member, is often used as a writing sample by students applying to graduate programs.

A Smooth Transition to a Vibrant Academic Community

Whittier provides a wide range of services and programs designed to help new students adjust to college life.

Living learning communities are an integral part of the Poet experience at Whittier College. These communities exist to assist first year students in their transition to college by creating a common experience where students are learning and living in close proximity.  There are communities for arts and entertainment, science and technology as well as gender inclusive housing, pet friendly housing and 24-hour quiet communities. Resident Advisors in these communities intentionally coordinate programs that assist students in their transition to college.

All first-year students also participate in what is called a Linked Course, two courses that have been paired so that students take them together. This is done so that students see one another regularly and share a common intellectual experience. In addition, each student is assigned a faculty mentor and peer/student mentor to provide advising and connect them to the College during the first semester.

Additional activities, such as orientation and pre-orientation also play a key role in ensuring student success.

Exciting Study Abroad Opportunities

Whittier College provides many opportunities for students interested in learning about other cultures. Each student may choose to spend a semester, a year, or a summer living and studying in a variety of locations around the world. Whittier also offers several study abroad opportunities through its faculty led JanTerm and MayTerm programs. The Global Poet Scholarship (GPS) program gives every Whittier student $2,000 to study abroad.

Past and upcoming study abroad opportunities include a course on managing multinational corporations in Mexico; a study of Islamic culture in Morocco; an examination of race, religion, and gender in South America; and an anthropology course in Tanzania.

Internships and Work-Study Programs Provide Valuable, Real-World Experience

Because Whittier College is located within driving distance to Los Angeles and Orange County, students have access to a wide range of prestigious internships with companies in industries ranging from entertainment to business.

Whittier students have completed internships with Sony Pictures, Merrill Lynch, the J. Paul Getty Museum, EMI Music Publishing, New Line Cinema, First Heritage Bank, Southern California Edison, and the US Department of Education.

Students may also choose to gain hands-on work experience through one of Whittier's many partnerships with community and government organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of Whittier. Students in fields such as education, child psychology, and social work can participate in work-study programs at the Broadoaks Children's School, Whittier's private, non-profit demonstration school.

Clubs, Sports, and Extracurricular Activities

Students interested in getting involved in extracurricular activities can choose from a wide variety of options. Whittier is home to nearly 100 academic, cultural, political, and general-interest clubs and organizations, as well as several service-oriented fraternities and sororities. The school also has a student newspaper, yearbook, literary magazine, video production studio, and radio station. Through the Leadership Experience and Programs (LEAP) Office, there are opportunities for involvement in student government, community service, and a number of programs dedicated to helping students develop their leadership skills.

Whittier is home to 22 intercollegiate sports teams, including men's and women's basketball, cross country, track and field, swimming and diving, water polo, soccer; lacrosse, golf and tennis. Whittier also offers men's baseball and football and women's volleyball.

Admissions and Fees

Students interested in applying to Whittier College must submit a completed application available at www.commonapp.org, $50 application fee, transcripts, SAT I or ACT scores (test optional for students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and higher), personal statement/essay, counselor evaluation, and letter of recommendation from a current or former teacher. Students interested in transferring to Whittier from another college or university must also each submit college transcripts and letters of recommendation from two former or current professors.

Scholarships and financial aid are available, and most Whittier students (over 90%) receive a combination of grants, scholarships, and loans. Students will automatically be considered for a wide range of academic awards when they apply. In addition to this, there are talent scholarships in art, music and theatre that students can pursue without having to major or even minor in those academic disciplines.

Location & Contact

13406 East Philadelphia Street
Whittier, CA 90608-0634

Ms. Janine Bissic

Director of Admission

Phone: 562-907-4238
Fax: 562-907-4870
Email: admission@whittier.edu

Request More Info

Majors & Degrees

Degrees Offered
  • Area and ethnic studies
    • Latin American Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Biological/life sciences
    • Biochemistry
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Biology/Biological Sciences
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Business/marketing
    • Business Administration and Management
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Engineering
    • Engineering Physics/Applied Physics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • English
    • American Literature
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • English
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • English Literature (British and Commonwealth)
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Family and consumer sciences
    • Child Development
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Foreign languages and literature
    • Chinese
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • French
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Spanish
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Health professions and related sciences
    • Pre-Medical Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • History
    • History
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Interdisciplinary studies
    • International/Global Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Law/legal studies
    • Pre-Law Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Liberal arts/general studies
    • Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Mathematics and statistics
    • Mathematics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Natural resources/environmental science
    • Environmental Science
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Environmental Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Parks and recreation
    • Health and Physical Education/Fitness
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Kinesiology and Exercise Science
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Philosophy and religious studies
    • Philosophy
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Religious Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Physical sciences
    • Chemistry
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Physics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Psychology
    • Psychology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Public administration and social services
    • Social Work
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Social sciences
    • Anthropology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Economics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Political Science and Government
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Social Sciences
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Sociology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Visual and performing arts
    • Art
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Dramatic/Theater Arts
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Music
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.


74% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied5,773
    • Accepted4,277
    • Acceptance Rate74%
    • Enrolled1,681
    • Female Applicants3,440
    • Females Accepted2,593
    • Female Acceptance Rate75%
    • Male Applicants2,333
    • Males Accepted1,684
    • Male Acceptance Rate72%
  • Applying
    • Application Fee $50
    • Required for All Essay or personal statement
      Transcript of high school record
      Letter(s) of recommendation
      Minimum high school GPA of 2
    • Required for Some Minimum high school GPA of 3
    • Average high school GPA for first-year freshman3.53
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Application Closing Notification Date Rolling Admissions
    • Fall freshmen Yes
    • Out-of-state Fall freshmen Not Reported
    • Early decision plan Not Reported
    • Other early decision plan Not Reported
    • Transfer March 1st Yes
  • Test Scores Accepted
    • Test Average School Accepted 25th Percentile* 75th Percentile*
    • SAT Critical Reading 510 620
    • SAT Math 500 600
    • SAT Writing
    • ACT Composite 23 21 27
    • * 25th and 75th percentile is the score that 25/75 percent of students score at or below.

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition
    • In-state tuition *$45,730
    • Out-of-state tuition *$45,730
    • In-district tuitionN/A
    • * Tuition costs are based on a full academic year typically extending from September to June.
  • Fees
    • Full-time student fees$390
    • Room and board *$13,328
    • Room only *$7,198
    • * Room and board charges vary according to board plan selected (i.e., 12-meal plan, 19-meal plan, etc.) and student level (freshman, sophomore, etc.)
  • Other Payment Considerations
    • Guaranteed tuition plan offeredNo
    • Tuition pre-payment planNo
    • Tuition payment plans offeredInstallments
    • Student groups that qualify for full or partial waiver of tuitionEmployees or children of employees

Financial Aid

    • Average Financial Aid Package:$37,931
    • Average Freshman Financial Aid Package:$39,034
    • Average International Student Financial Aid Package:$24,419
    • Average Loan Aid:$5,687
    • Average Grant Aid:$22,612
    • Average Scholarship and/or Grant Aid Awarded:$34,151
    • Percentage of Students with Need who Receive Financial Aid:100%
    • Average Percentage of Financial Need Met: 79%
    • Percentage of Students Who Had Their Need Fully Met: 16%

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Undergraduate Students1,681
    • Male Student Percentage43%
    • Female Student Percentage57%
  • Race/Ethnicity
    • Hispanic/Latino50.12%
    • Black or African American5.05%
    • White or Caucasian27.16%
    • American Indian or Alaska Native.36%
    • Asian6.79%
    • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.48%
    • Two or more races6.73%
    • Unknown or International Student.54%
  • Other Student Statistics
    • International Breakout2.76% representing 27 other countries
    • Out-of-state Students23% out-of-state student

Campus Life

  • Housing
    • College-owned housing available Yes
    • Housing Requirements None
    • Housing options Coed housing , Special housing for disabled
    • Percentage of undergraduate students who live in college-owned housing 50%
  • Student Activities
    • Student-run campus newspaper Yes
    • Drama / theater group Yes
    • Student-run radio station Yes
    • Student-run television station Yes
    • Marching band No
    • Choral groups Yes
  • Student Services
    • Legal services No
    • Health clinic Yes
    • Personal / psychological counseling Yes
    • Women's center No
  • Student Organizations
    • Greek fraternities No
    • Greek sororities No
    • Local fraternities Not Reported
    • Local sororities Not Reported
    • Other organizations No
    • Most popular organizations Hispanic Students Association, Hawaiian Islander Club, Black Student Union, Asian Students Association, Environment & Sustainability - Raising Awareness for the Environment / Urban Agriculture / Food Recovery Network
  • Campus Security and Safety
    • 24-hour emergency telephone / alarm services Yes
    • 24-hour patrols by trained officers Yes
    • Students patrols Not Reported
    • Late-night transport / escort services Yes
    • Electronically-operated dormitory entrances Yes
    • Other Not Reported


Member of the: NCAA Division III
  • Men's Sports
    • Sport Intramural Intercollegiate Scholarship
    • Baseball No Division 3 No
    • Basketball Yes Division 3 No
    • Cross-country running No Division 3 No
    • Football No Division 3 No
    • Golf No Division 3 No
    • Lacrosse No Division 3 No
    • Soccer No Division 3 No
    • Softball Yes No No
    • Swimming No Division 3 No
    • Tennis No Division 3 No
    • Track No Division 3 No
    • Volleyball Yes No No
    • Water polo No Division 3 No
  • Women's Sports
    • Sport Intramural Intercollegiate Scholarship
    • Baseball No No No
    • Basketball Yes Division 3 No
    • Cross-country running No Division 3 No
    • Football No No No
    • Golf No Division 3 No
    • Lacrosse No Division 3 No
    • Soccer No Division 3 No
    • Softball Yes Division 3 No
    • Swimming No Division 3 No
    • Tennis No Division 3 No
    • Track No Division 3 No
    • Volleyball Yes Division 3 No
    • Water polo No Yes No


  • Faculty Breakdown
    • Total Faculty165
    • Full-time Percentage72%
    • Part-time Percentage28%
    • Female Percentage53%
    • Male Percentage47%
    • Student:Faculty Ratio12:1 or 1,650 students to 134 faculty



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