Admission to Whittier College is competitive and students must demonstrate strong academic ability and preparation in order to be a successful candidate for admission. Candidates must show that they have the ability to prosper and be engaged learners within the Whittier academic community; scholastic ability, as demonstrated in previous coursework, is of prime importance. The Admission Committee practices careful, selective admission, but Whittier’s concern for each student as a unique person is manifested in its admission policies and procedures. The special qualities, motivations, talents, background and interests of each applicant are assessed along with the more common measurements of academic ability. Further consideration is given to the applicant’s commitments, leadership and initiative outside the classroom, as evidenced in school and community activities. Finally, the College is interested in the personal qualities that mark students as potential contributors to our vibrant learning community. Whittier College strives for a student body diverse in economic, social, ethnic, religious and geographic makeup, as well as in academic interests and talents.
All applicants to Whittier College receive individual attention and consideration throughout the admission process. Prospective first year and transfer students can apply for entrance in the Fall or Spring semesters. Detailed information concerning application requirements and deadlines can be found, by contacting the Office of Admission, or on the College web site (www.whittier.edu).
First Year Student Admission
Whittier College strongly recommends that first year applicants enter with at least four years of English, three or four years of mathematics, two or three years of one foreign language, two or three years of social studies, and two or three years of laboratory science. Honors, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate courses add further strength to an applicant’s record and are considered favorably in the admission deliberations.
Credentials Required. Candidates for first year admission normally must provide the completed Common Application, a personal essay, high school transcripts, results of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT1) or American College Test (ACT) with the ACT Writing Test, and two academic recommendations. Personal interviews are highly recommended but not required. Verification of the completion of the high school diploma must also occur prior to matriculation.
Test-optional policy. Under this policy, candidates can choose whether SAT or ACT scores should be considered in the application process. Applicants for admission with at least a cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 can elect not to submit test scores and must indicate this preference on their application.
Non-Binding Early Action. First year applicants who view Whittier College as one of their top choices may apply under the Non-Binding Early Action Program. Under this program, candidates are free to apply to other colleges and universities, yet do not have to commit to Whittier until May 1. Applicants for Early Action must submit all required credentials by November 15. Candidates are notified of their admission decisions by the end of December and have the opportunity to receive merit scholarship information in January.
Admission Decision Notification. Whittier College reviews all other first year applicants as they complete their credentials, with priority given to those students who meet the priority deadline of February 1. Admission decisions, along with scholarship and financial aid eligibility notifications, are mailed beginning in March. Students who wish to accept the offer of admission must provide a nonrefundable enrollment deposit by the National Candidates’ Reply Date of May 1 to secure their place in the entering class. Enrollment deposits will be accepted after May 1 based on space availability in the first year class.
Transfer Student Admission
Whittier welcomes students who wish to transfer from fully accredited community colleges and four-year institutions. Applicants in good standing who meet the admission standards are admitted to the appropriate class standing at Whittier College. Candidates may apply for entrance into the Fall or Spring semesters.
Credentials Required. Candidates for transfer admission must provide the completed Common Application, a personal essay, high school transcripts, and two academic recommendations. The results of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT1) or American College Test (ACT) will be required if the candidate has not completed at least 30 transferable academic units. Personal interviews are highly recommended but not required.
Regular Decision. Whittier College reviews all transfer candidates as they complete their credentials with priority given to those students completing the process by the priority deadlines. Notification of the admission decision is sent on a rolling basis upon receipt of all credentials. Students who wish to accept the offer of admission must provide a non-refundable enrollment deposit to secure their place in the entering class.
Transfer Coursework. Whittier College determines the applicability of transfer coursework accepted towards completion of a degree. Whittier College evaluates coursework taken at other regionally accredited institutions on an individual basis upon receipt of the official college transcript directly from the institution where the coursework was completed. Coursework taken outside the U.S. is evaluated when official evidence of completion (e.g. transcript or diploma) is presented and accompanied by an English translation.
International Student Admission
International students are a vital part of Whittier College’s community of learners and scholars. Applicants with strong academic credentials and demonstrated English proficiency are considered for both first year and transfer admission. In addition to the documents listed previously, international applicants are required to submit a Certificate of Finances and the results of the TOEFL, if English is not the first language (a minimum of 550 paper score, 213 computer score, or 80 internet based score is strongly recommended). An IELTS score may be submitted in lieu of a TOEFL score. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is strongly recommended. All transcripts and other documentation must be translated.
Those who wish to transfer credit from a post-secondary institution outside the United States are required to have their coursework evaluated by an external credit evaluation agency. International candidates are urged to complete the process early to allow sufficient time to satisfy visa and immigration requirements.
Admission to Non-Degree Standing
Non-degree standing is granted to a limited number of students who are not currently interested in seeking a degree at Whittier College. To apply for non-degree standing, students must submit a transcript from the last institution attended, proof of attainment of the high school diploma, and the appropriate application form with fee. Additional credentials may be requested if needed to make a determination. Non-degree standing is based on the academic credentials of the candidate, his or her intent in continuing the course of study at Whittier, and the availability of space at the College. Students must re-enroll to continue non-degree standing each semester. A student may transfer no more than 30 credits of courses taken at Whittier College under nondegree status toward a Whittier College Bachelor of Arts degree and no more than 12 non-degree credits toward a Master’s degree at the College. To request a non-degree application or more information, contact the Office of The Registrar.
Credential and Graduate Admission
Admission to either the credential or the Master of Arts program is selective; meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to either program.