Walla Walla, WA
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4 College Sophomore

Academics: I haven't declared a major yet, but I'm sure it will be great.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: The professors are so knowledgeable and challenge you to do your very best.

4 College Junior

Academics: They do a great variety of courses so that students can become well rounded.

4 College Junior

Academics: It is a top academic school, so they take extra care to this.

4 College Senior

Academics: As almost all liberal arts colleges pride themselves in small class size and student-teacher relations, Whitman is no exception. But, unlike some schools, Whitman toots its horn truthfully. Professors are extremely available to students, and honor their office hours. Additionally, each student has a major adviser of their choosing who is always there to help, especially in terms of academic planning, workload, and registration. Professors are not overloaded with student population, so every Whittie gets both the academic and personal attention they need.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 5th
    Most Caring Professors
  • 21st
    Smartest Professors
  • 53rd
    Professors Most Interested in Classes
  • 128th
    Most Flexible Curriculums
  • 159th
    Best Technology in the Classroom

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Sara Rasmussen
Salem, Ore.
View all previous student authors

Whitman encourages the exploration of academic diversity through its distribution requirements, according to students. These allow students to explore interests and discover new ones, consequentially finding their focus. The distribution categories allow for an eclectic mix by requiring the following: six credits in “alternative voices,” six credits in the social sciences, six credits in the humanities, six credits in the fine arts, six credits in the sciences, one lab credit, one quantitative analysis course, and Encounters, the full-year core course required for all first-years. Encounters could be best described as a blend of literature, politics, and philosophy.

Experiences can depend, of course, on what your personal interests are and what classes you take, but most students find their courses interesting and engaging, primarily because of their professors. Across the board, Whitman students name their professors as the greatest strength of Whitman academics and applaud them for their passion, knowledge, and care for the individuals in their classes. Professors are insanely intelligent, too, and 98 percent of tenure track faculty holds a PhD or other appropriate terminal degree in their field. Students consider Whitman to be a comfortable environment in which to discuss all facets of academia, and they generally find their professors to be approachable both in and out of the classroom. The faculty makes a genuine effort to get to know the students, although the small student-faculty ratio (10:1) probably makes it easier to learn names. It’s never uncommon for students to dine in professors’ homes, to watch course-related films together, or to just socialize with other students in their department.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 Students: 73%
  • 20 to 49 Students: 26%
  • 50 or More Students: 1%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: No
Degrees Awarded
Bachelor's degree
Most Popular Majors
  • Biology and Biological Sciences: 4%
  • English Language Studies: 3%
  • Political Science and Government, General: 4%
  • Psychology: 4%
Special Study Options
Study abroad
Best Places to Study
  • Maxey Hall
  • Penrose Library
Tips to Succeed
  • Be open to meeting people outside your dorm and section. Make friends through an outside activity, be it the Pioneer, the radio station, religious activities, or the juggling club.
  • Get to know lots of people-keep this varied group of friends and make an effort to hang out with all sorts of people.
  • Get to know your professors because they are amazing people. Go to their office hours, and they will help you and give you ideas and suggestions. They treat you with a lot of respect and deserve some in return.
  • If you're waitlisted for a class, go talk to the prof in person.
  • Make a schedule for your work and stick to it.
  • Pick your classes for the profs, not necessarily for the subjects. It could help you discover something new, and it's a surefire way to know that it will be a good class.
  • Sign up for a lot of classes, go to them all, and then really decide what you want to take.
  • Take a variety of classes and have an open mind about your major.
  • Try to figure out your major freshman year so you can spend your time wisely with the classes you take for the next three years.
Did You Know?
  • Whitman College offers over 40 majors and combined programs.
  • Whitman offers five-year programs affiliated with such schools as Columbia, the University of Washington, and Duke.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 21 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 20 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.


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