Project Opportunity: Access to Washington's Colleges'

“I was born and raised in Mexico. I always knew I would attend college, but the word “college” was never spoken in my family until they learned I was determined to attend college. Financial aid is helping me reach my goals, for without it, I wouldn't be here.”

— Luis Herrera
Whitman College


Whitman is a private, independent, co-educational, non-sectarian residential liberal arts and sciences undergraduate college, founded in 1882. In 1919 Whitman became the second college or university in Washington, after the University of Washington, to be selected for a Phi Beta Kappa chapter.

Location: Historic Walla Walla in the scenic southeastern corner of Washington, 2.5 hours from Spokane, four hours from Portland, and 4.5 hours from Seattle.

Enrollment: 1,541 students from 42 states, 2 US territories, and 25 countries. Approximately 67 percent of Whitman students live on campus.

Faculty: 93 percent of tenure-track faculty hold the Ph.D. or other appropriate terminal degree in field. During recent years the faculty has garnered honors and fellowships from Battelle Research Institute, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Fulbright Fellowships, Hughes Medical Institute, PEW Foundation, and National Endowment for the Humanities and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, among others.

Student - Faculty Ratio: 9 to 1.

Majors and Combined Plans: Forty-five departmental majors lead to a Bachelor of Arts degree. Whitman offers combined 3-2 engineering and computer science programs with Caltech, Columbia, University of Washington, Washington University in St. Louis, and Duke; 3-2 oceanography and biology or geology with the University of Washington; 3-2 forestry and environmental management programs with Duke; a 3-3 law program with Columbia Law School.

Off-Campus Studies: Whitman is partnered with various study abroad organizations to offer 88 semester/year-long Partner Programs in 40 countries. Whitman also offers 4 semester-long U.S. Partner Programs in fields as diverse as: US politics (American University's Washington Semester), urban studies and professional internships (The Philadelphia Center), acting conservatory (The O'Neill Center's National Theatre Institute) and oceanography/maritime studies (Sea Semester). 40% (approx.) of the junior class studies abroad for one semester or the academic year. Students can apply their Whitman need-based aid and merit scholarships toward the fees of all Partner Programs.

Accreditations and Affiliations: Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and the American Chemical Society. Whitman is a member of the Annapolis Group, which comprises 130 leading national independent liberal arts colleges, and is an ICW (Independent Colleges of Washington) member college.

Athletics: Whitman holds membership in the NCAA (Div. III) and the Northwest Conference. Men and women each compete in seven varsity sports. More than 70 percent of the student body participates in intramural sports; about 18 percent participate in a varsity sport. The cycling and ultimate Frisbee teams recently won national championships.

Alumni Support: Nearly half of alumni regularly give to or volunteer for the College. The percentage of alumni financial support places Whitman among the top 20 of all colleges and universities in the United States.

Campus, Housing, and Facilities: Three blocks from downtown Walla Walla, the campus covers 77 acres. Residential facilities include coeducational halls, special interest houses, an all-women's hall (which accommodates three national sororities), and four fraternity houses.

Financial Aid: Both need-based aid and merit scholarships. Approximately 45 percent of Whitman students receive need-based financial aid, and about 82 percent receive some sort of financial aid. More than $24 million in financial aid is awarded annually.

Student Engagement Center: The center reflects a new Whitman initiative designed to help students develop skills and experience in college through internships, community service, and career development.

5 Popular Majors

  1. Biology
  2. Psychology
  3. Politics
  4. English
  5. Economics
Funded in part by a grant from
the Ben B. Cheney Foundation
published by Independent Colleges of Washington