Whittier College Moving Forward


All of us at Whittier College are excited to welcome students back to the Poet campus this fall.

Our teams have been hard at work to create flexible plans to deliver the individualized and interactive education and student life that is the essence of the Whittier College experience.

Introducing the Module System

In order to promote engaged instruction that follows county and state health ordinances, and be flexible enough to offer in-person and virtual opportunities, Whittier College is restructuring its academic calendar for the 2020-2021 school year.

We are calling this new calendar the Module System and looks like this:

  • Fall semester will begin on Wednesday, September 9.
  • The academic year will consist of five (5) modules—two in the fall and three in spring
  • Each module  is seven (7) weeks long
  • Students will usually just take two (2) main courses per module (e.g. two, 3- or 4-unit courses, plus 1-2 unit courses)
  • The maximum number of units for the year will continue to be 36 units

The fall semester will begin as planned on September 9 and registration for new students will begin in late July. More information on registration will be provided to you via your new Poets email as the date approaches.

In addition, each student will be assigned a faculty mentor who will serve as your initial guide to academic life at Whittier. All students will receive an email in July introducing them to their advisor.

Campus Life

In the fall, we plan to provide dynamic in-person programming, support and advising services, advocacy, learning opportunities, and more. While the campus will once again be buzzing with energy, things will look a little different than in years past. We have been meeting with health experts and monitoring the guidance from public health agencies to ensure that we set up the needed precautions to keep everyone safe and healthy. When you show up to campus, student life will be coordinated with physical distancing in mind. Everyone will be asked to wear masks or face coverings. Paths on campus will be one-way. Buildings will have separate entrances and exits. Fewer students will live in the residence halls. We will continue to stay connected using electronic, virtual, and remote mediums.

Residential Life

Residential life on campus will also look different. In light of continuing health concerns related to COVID-19, Whittier College has changed its housing policy for the 2020-2021 academic year and there will no longer be a mandatory housing requirement for all first-year students, sophomores, and juniors. In addition, the College has made the decision to only offer single-occupancy rooms for 2020-2021. 

Most new incoming students who want to live on campus will be accommodated, but if the demand to live on campus is greater than the number of spaces students who meet the following criteria will receive priority:

  •  Students facing housing security issues
  • International students
  • Out-of-state students
  • Students who live beyond 30 miles

All single rooms will be charged at the double room rate. Questions about Residential Life may be directed to residentiallife@whittier.edu.