Degree Requirements

Requirements for Graduation

All undergraduate students entering Whittier College follow one of two paths to a Whittier degree: the Liberal Education Program or the Whittier Scholars Program. The completion of all requirements for a degree is the student's responsibility. A student has the option of completing graduation requirements prevailing at the time of admission or readmission, at the time of graduation, or any intervening year of continuous full-time enrollment. Graduation requirements cannot be selected from two or more catalogs.

Students must monitor their own progress through frequent reference to the appropriate catalog, and their online degree audit. Consultation with faculty advisors as well as with the Registrar is suggested to assure satisfactory progress toward completion of the degree.

High school deficiencies may be met by enrolling in appropriate Whittier College courses, through a local high school or community college, through extended education or summer school courses, or by some other acceptable alternative. Students with high school foreign language deficiencies must take six credits of a single foreign language.

Both degree paths require a minimum of 120 credits for graduation, satisfaction of the College Writing Requirement (see College Writing Program), and residence at Whittier College while completing a minimum of 30 credits of college work. Further, minimum overall grade point averages of 2.0 in Whittier College courses and in courses taken in the major discipline(s) are required in order for a student to be eligible for graduation. Note: some major disciplines require a grade point average higher than 2.0 for graduation.

Requirements for a Major

Each student must declare a major and select an appropriate advisor by the spring registration period of their sophomore year when registering for junior year courses. To declare a major, students must file a Declaration of Major form with the Office of the Registrar and do so by this registration period or else there will be a hold on their registration for junior year courses. Students who transfer in with 45 credits or more must declare a major upon entrance.

A maximum of 48 credits in a single discipline may be counted toward the 120 credits needed for graduation. At least 72 units must be completed outside of the major. In a department housing two or more recognized disciplines, a maximum of 60 credits may be counted from the department.

At least twelve credits in the major must be taken at Whittier College. A minimum grade point average of 2.0 is required in the courses taken from the major department. Note: some majors require a grade point average higher than 2.0 for graduation.

Requirements for a Minor

Minors may be earned as part of a student’s academic achievement but are not required for graduation. Students considering a minor should contact the faculty advisor for minors in their department of interest early in their academic career.

A minimum of 16 credits is required for a minor, and specific requirements are defined in this catalog for each department.

Whittier Scholars Program Requirements

  • Six credits of College Writing (Freshman Writing Seminar and a second 3-credit approved writing course). Students admitted to the WSP may meet the second semester writing requirement by successfully completing WSP 101.
  • An approved Educational Design
  • Whittier Scholars courses 101, 201, 301 and 401, all of which should be taken sequentially
  • An off-campus experience (study abroad, community service, and/or off-campus internship)
  • A Senior Project and Senior Symposium
  • Completion of 60 credits after the Educational Design has been approved

​If a student transfers from the Whittier Scholars Program to the Liberal Education Program, the student must submit a formal letter signed by his/her advisor and the Director of the Whittier Scholars Program to the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar will then evaluate the student’s academic record as though the student were a transfer student with regard to the Liberal Education requirements. If a student chooses to enter the Whittier Scholars Program after his/her freshman year, then he/she must meet with the Director of the Program to review necessary requirements including completion of WSP 101, 201, 301 and 401, and the acceptance of an off campus requirement.