Whittier College is a private, four-year residential liberal arts college located in Whittier, California. Established in 1887, Whittier College was founded at the same time as the town of Whittier by the Religious Society of Friends. Called “Whittier Academy” in the beginning, both the school and town were named for John Greenleaf Whittier, a prominent Quaker, poet, and leader in the abolitionist movement. Though no long affiliated with the Society of Friends, Whittier College is nonetheless proud of its Quaker heritage and remains dedicated to the values instilled by the Society of Friends, including “respect for the individual, fostering community and service, social justice, freedom of conscience, and respect for human differences.”
Academic ProgramsWhittier College’s mission is to prepare “students from diverse backgrounds to excel in a complex global society.” The College’s mission statement continues, “Through challenging, interactive courses, taught by accomplished professors, students learn to make connections across disciplines, understand cultural perspectives, and integrate learning with practical application. Inspired by a Quaker heritage, the Whittier education equips students to be active citizens and effective communicators who embrace diversity and act with integrity.” Whittier College is accredited by the Western Association of Colleges and Schools and has been so since 1949.
Whittier College’s undergraduate programs and departments include: Anthropology/Sociology; Art & Art History; Biology; Business Administration; Chemistry; Economics; Education & Child Development; 3-2 Engineering Program; English Language & Literature; Environmental Sciences; Environmental Studies; Film Studies; French Cultural Studies; Gender Studies; Global & Cultural Studies; History; Kinesiology & Nutrition Science; 3-3 Law Program; Latino Studies; Mathematics; Modern Languages & Literatures (Chinese,French, Japanese, and Spanish); Music; Philosophy; Public Health; Physics and Astronomy; Political Science; Psychology; Religious Studies; Social Work; Theatre & Communication Arts; and the Whittier Scholars Program. Whittier College also offers a number of graduate-level programs and includes the Whittier Law School which boasts a nationally recognized curriculum.
Student LifeWhittier College has a total enrollment figure of more than 2,000, including over 1,600 undergraduate students. Located on a suburban, 74 acre campus, Whittier College is situated between the bustling metropolis of Los Angeles and beautiful Orange County, California. All first-year students are required to live on-campus as are all sophomores, and juniors, with certain exceptions. Housing is offered through the University’s several residence halls and many freshmen choose to be a part of a Living and Learning Community, which allows students to live together based on shared coursework.
More than 70 student-led clubs and organizations are recognized on Whittier College’s campus, including student government, societies (which is Whittier College’s version of fraternities and sororities), a student newspaper, and radio station. These, and many more opportunities, activities, and events, allow students to interact with one another outside of the classroom, gain valuable hands-on experience and hone their leadership skills. As an NCAA Division III school, Whittier College’s 20-plus varsity athletic teams compete in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.