Frequently Asked Questions


Will tuition change as a result of the plan to be remote during the fall semester?

As was announced in January, Whittier College is not increasing tuition this year, keeping it at the 2019-20 level. With the understanding that students and families are facing financial challenges during the pandemic, Whittier College is committed to further addressing affordability in the following ways: 

  • Whittier College is distributing over $22 million in institutional aid to students in 2020-21.
  • 99% of Whittier College students receive institutional aid.
  • This summer, Whittier College distributed $182,824 in CARES Act funding to 352 students. 
  • Whittier College is making laptops and internet hotspots available to students who need them. 
  • Whittier College is strengthening fundraising efforts to secure additional scholarships and fellowships for students.

In fall 2020 Whittier students will participate in a rigorous, engaging, and personalized education—the hallmark of the Whittier College experience—no matter where they are. We will also return this fall with dynamic remote student life programming, support and advising services, advocacy and learning opportunities, and more. 

Will fees be reduced?

Student body fees have also been set at the 2019–⁠20 levels. Student body fees are transferred to the Associated Students of Whittier College (ASWC), which distributes them to student clubs and organizations so that they can provide student-focused programming. We anticipate that Whittier’s clubs and organizations will want to continue programming even though we will be remote in the fall semester.

Will financial aid change as a result of changes to on-campus housing this year?

The Office of Financial Aid use estimates of tuition, room and board, and fees when we make financial aid offers. Since room and board have changed for some students, their financial aid will be adjusted accordingly.

What happens to my financial aid and scholarships if I defer my admission or take a leave of absence this semester?  

If you defer admission until spring 2021, the spring portion of your financial aid offer will still be available. This includes need-based aid and scholarships.

My family experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19. Can I apply for additional financial aid?

Students whose families have experienced significant financial changes due to COVID-19 should contact the Office of Financial Aid. Students may be asked to provide some additional documentation and information to help us best understand your family’s current financial circumstance.

Will work study positions be available even though we will be remote? 

Yes, but because we will be remote in the fall, all student employment opportunities will be remote. Therefore, not all previous jobs will be available. Moreover, there will be no exception funding for the next academic year. The College is prioritizing the hiring of students who receive work study as part of their financial aid package. Please check Handshake for a current listing of job opportunities after August 24. 

Is emergency assistance available for students who need help handling unanticipated expenses due to COVID-19? 

Emergency funds may be available to students that experience unanticipated expenses during the fall or spring semester. Visit the Emergency Funding page for details.

What is the Module System? 

Fall semester is now broken into two 7-week modules (sessions) and you will take 2 “regular” courses (that is a 3- or 4-unit course) per module.  You may also take 0-2 unit courses (research, performance, experiential, senior seminars, or internships) in addition to your 2 “regular” courses.  You must have a minimum of 12 units for the fall semester to be full time.

Spring semester now consists of three 7-week modules and begins in January.  You will take two “regular” courses (that is a 3- or 4-unit course) per module. You may also take 0-2-unit courses (research, performance, experiential, senior seminars, or internships) in addition to your two “regular” courses. Again, you must have a minimum of 12 units for the spring semester to be full time.

  • Fall Module 1: Take at least 2 courses
  • Fall Module 2: Take at least 2 courses
  • Spring Module 1: Take at least 2 courses
  • Spring Module 2: Take at least 2 courses
  • Spring Module 3: Take at least 2 courses
  • Total 36 credits 

What is the minimum credit limit for full-time status?

12 credits per semester 

  • Fall 1 and 2 count as “Fall semester” for tuition and registration purposes
  • Spring 1, 2, and 3 count as “Spring semester” for tuition and registration purposes
  • You must enroll in Spring 1
    (Note: Spring 1 is billed with Spring tuition. Midyear grads, especially, take note of this change.)

Maximum credits (unchanged)

36 credits per academic year (all 5 modules combined; does not include summer). Beyond this, over credit limit charges will apply. For scheduling ease, there is no specific credit maximum in any individual module. 

What happened to JanTerm? 

JanTerm has been extended to become a full module during the spring semester. Some travel and experiential courses planned for January 2021 (and the previous May 2020) have been rescheduled for June 2021, while some have been moved to 2022. If you have already applied to one of the courses or if you are interested in traveling, please contact Kerry Gonzales in the Office of International Programs.

What is a "regular" course?

Courses that count for 3 or 4 credits are “regular” courses and will be scheduled five days per week. (Most for 75 minutes each day.). Most students will take two regular courses at a time, though it is also possible to take only one regular course in a given module and still reach full-time status for the semester. 

Exceptions: Exceptions to the 2-course rule—such as a midyear graduate who needs a single spring class to graduate—will be handled individually. Please send questions to 

What is a REP course?

0-2 credit courses. These include RESEARCH courses (such as senior seminars in some programs), EXPERIENTIAL courses (such as internships and athletic courses), and PERFORMANCE courses (choir, music, theater, etc) among others. These courses will be scheduled for fewer days per week.

What is an Extended Module?

Courses that continue across more than one module. Most of these courses are scheduled for either 4:30 p.m. (so that they do not conflict with regularly scheduled courses) or in the evenings. Extended modules fuse together the two fall modules or else two of the spring modules. For these courses, you will receive a grade at the end of the entire course.

Can I take more than two regular courses in a Module?

In most cases, students are best served by taking two regular courses at a time (see the explanation above). If there is a specific situation that makes it desirable to go over this cap, you will need to complete a petition request.

Do I have to take a class in every Module?

This will typically be the case (particularly for fall—you need a minimum of 12 units). It may be the case that you can take all the courses you need and want, and reach the minimum full-time status of 12 credits per semester, without taking a course in a given single module. However, for financial aid reasons, ALL STUDENTS MUST be enrolled in a course in Spring 1. 

How many additional REP classes can I take per Module?

There is no particular limit on Extended Module and REP classes in a module. However, please note that classes beyond 36 credits in an academic year will be charged additional tuition.

How does the module system affect students in the teaching credential program (PICES, undergraduate, and graduate students)?

See the full Whittier College Teacher Education program FAQs below.

Can I add and/or drop courses during each Module?

There will be a brief Add/Drop in the first two days of each module so you can make last-minute adjustments to your schedule. As you consider dropping courses, it is important to meet the minimum full time of 12 credits per semester for the purposes of financial aid.

Why did you switch to the Module system?

The simple answer is: because of the pandemic!  

  1. We heard that “Zoom burnout” and over scheduling were significant issues last spring. The modular system helps address this by having you focus on fewer classes at a time, while still being able to take the courses you need during the academic year.

  2. The module system adds flexibility once stay-at-home orders are lifted and we can once again offer in-person classes.
Once we are back in person, the module system will allow us to best use available classroom spaces while adhering to COVID-19 physical distancing and disinfecting guidelines. 

Does my tuition change? 

No. Your tuition and financial aid will be the same for the year assuming you take 36 units or less. Students must maintain a minimum of 12 units during each fall 2020 and winter-spring 2021 terms. 

How will my art, music, theatre, lab, etc. classes be taught remotely? 

Different types of classes (lecture, seminar, lab, performance, etc.) will use different strategies to best support remote learning. Faculty have worked hard to create flexible curricula that allow courses to be responsive to the health and safety context. Beyond safety, our planning has been guided by two priorities: student learning and growth and getting you to graduation on time. All classes will embody the kind of interactive learning that you are used to in your in-person Whittier classes. 

I am concerned that I will not be able to keep up in condensed courses. Will my potential for academic success be negatively impacted?

Faculty are prepared to help you adapt, but there are many advantages in the new system, as we know from the good outcomes students enjoy in existing condensed courses offered in summer and Jan term. With only two main courses at once, fewer projects/exams/reports will overlap, and the stressful finals weeks with 4-5 final assignments will not occur. The 75-minute time periods for classes were chosen to allow for cleaning between classes for in-person courses and allow maximum efficiency for students.

Whittier College Teacher Education Program

Is the Whittier College still offering the same credential programs during 2020-2021?

The Single Subject (Math, PE, Science, ELA, History/Social Science, Spanish), Multiple Subject, and Education Specialist (Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe) credential programs are still being offered. Additionally, the MA Program for already-credentialed teachers is still offered. Hybrid, PICES, and graduate pathways are still available to new and continuing students.

The Whittier College Teacher Education Program continues to work with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to ensure that all credential programs continue to adhere to state and commission guidelines for accreditation and ensure a high-quality education for all prospective and returning teachers. 

How does the new modular 2020-2021 calendar impact course offerings within the Teacher Education Program?

In order to preserve the Whittier College Teacher Education Program’s scope and sequence for all credential programs, few changes have been made to the 2020-2021 calendar.

During 2020-2021, all credential courses will continue to be offered in the same semester as usual. This means that courses traditionally offered in fall will continue to be offered in fall; courses traditionally offered in spring will continue to be offered in spring. Further, courses will be offered with the same regularity (e.g., once vs. twice per year) as in previous academic years. 

While some courses will be offered in the 7-week module model, most credential courses will be “stretched” across two fall modules or two spring modules. These courses will run for 14 weeks and upon completion students will receive one course grade. Below is a table of courses that will be “stretched” across two fall or two spring modules. 

All courses not listed below will be offered within a particular module (e.g., Fall Module 1, Spring Module 2, etc.). The list is subject to change

Fall 2020 (Stretching Fall Module 1 & Fall Module 2)

EDUC 501, EDUC 402/502, EDUC 403/503, EDUC 506, EDUC 407/507, EDUC 408/508, EDUC 429/520, EDUC 430/530, EDUC 431/531, EDUC 434/534, EDUC 590, EDUC 605, EDUC 520, EDUC 521

Spring 2021 (Stretching Spring Module 1 & Spring Module 2)

EDUC 401, EDUC 500, EDUC 506, EDUC 404/504, EDUC 405/505
All sections of EDUC 409/509, EDUC 432/532, EDUC 433/533, EDUC 436/536, EDUC 605, EDUC 606, EDUC 420/520, EDUC 421/521

How will the MA course sequence (EDUC 605 & EDUC 606) be offered during the 2020-2021 academic year?

Eligible graduate students can enroll in this two-course sequence beginning in fall 2020 or spring 2021. For graduate students beginning EDUC 605 infall 2020, they would continue with EDUC 606 in spring 2021. For graduate students beginning EDUC 605 in Spring 2021, they would continue with EDUC 606 in Summer 2021. 

Will credential courses be offered during the winter 2021 module?

No. With the exception of student teaching (EDUC 420/520) and student teaching seminar (EDUC 421/521), credential courses will not be offered during the winter module. Other elective courses offered by Education faculty may be offered and details for those courses will be available with the course schedule. 

Will evening classes still be offered during the 2020-2021 academic year?

Yes. Credential courses typically offered once a week in the evening will continue to be offered on the same night with a new time slot of 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Students interested in learning more about how the course will be run are encouraged to contact the course instructor for more information. Information on fall course registration will be provided to students soon. 

As a graduate student, how many credential courses can I take in a given semester?

Graduate students will still be able to take three credential courses during a given semester. All existing policies regarding credit caps per semester and timing of Student Teaching and MA course sequence (EDUC 605 & EDUC 606) remain in place at this time. Students interested in reviewing their progress towards meeting credential program requirements are encouraged to meet with their formal academic advisor.

As an undergraduate student interested in the hybrid pathway, can I still enroll in courses that run the entire length of fall or spring semester (i.e. 14 weeks)?

Yes. Undergraduate students may still enroll in any credential courses, including those that run for 14 weeks. Please see the Registrar’s Office for additional information regarding how credits for these courses will be counted. Students interested in reviewing their progress towards meeting credential program requirements are encouraged to meet with their formal academic advisor and/or the department’s credential analyst.

I have been admitted to the PICES program. How do changes to the 2020-2021 academic calendar impact my ability to complete program requirements? 

Like all undergraduates, PICES students are still able to enroll in any credential course, including those that run for 14 weeks. Students interested in reviewing their progress towards meeting credential program requirements are encouraged to meet with their formal academic advisor. 

How will fieldwork be embedded into credential courses during the 2020-2021 academic year?

In order for students to continue to bridge theory and practice, as well as make timely progress towards the mandatory 600 hours of clinical practice required in any credential program, fieldwork will continue during the 2020-2021 academic year. However, in order to maintain the health and safety of all students, fieldwork will look different and include virtual opportunities for courses offered in fall 2020. The Whittier College Teacher Education Program continues to work with our partner districts and our accrediting institution in order to provide our students with the most meaningful field experiences while also adhering to state and local health and safety guidelines. 

How does the new 2020-2021 calendar impact student teaching?

Students eligible to complete the 16-week student teaching experience in either fall 2020 or spring 2021 year will be able to do so. The Whittier College Teacher Education Program continues to work closely with our partner districts to ensure that all prospective student teachers are placed in appropriate classroom settings and are supported by both district and college staff. The deadline to submit an application to student teach in fall 2020 has passed. Students interested in student teaching in spring 2021 are encouraged to speak to the department regarding the application process. 

I am a credentialed teacher enrolling in the Teacher Education Program after completing a CTC-approved induction program. Can I still apply to the MA in Education program and use induction units towards my degree?


How will I get information if state or local policies and practices change with respect to the Teacher Education Program?

As a CTC accredited program, the Whittier College Teacher Education Program continues to receive updates from state and local officials regarding changes to credentialing policies and procedures. Our program strives to maintain quick and consistent communication with all students enrolled in credential courses. We routinely provide updates to our students using their poets email addresses. We also encourage our students to contact us if they have questions or concerns. Students can also contact our team for further assistance.

I am a graduate student. What happens if I decide to take a semester off due to the new modular schedule?

A graduate student interested in taking a leave of absence would need to do so for the entire semester (not only module 1 or module 2), as credential courses are still running in a semester model. 

Am I able to live on campus this year?

On-campus housing will be extremely limited in fall 2020. Housing will only be available for international students and students who anticipate facing housing insecurity in the fall. Students who have not previously reported anticipated housing insecurity may request on-campus housing by completing this form by August 9. Whittier College expects to house approximately 50 students on campus this fall.

Please note all other prior approved housing assignments will be held for students for an anticipated winter opening if public health restrictions are lifted. Any deposits made toward fall housing will be credited to students’ accounts.

How can I search for housing outside of Whittier College?

Whittier College does not endorse any off-campus housing search engines, landlords, or apartment complexes. However, the following websites and contacts may prove useful during an apartment search. 

Students are encouraged to email Marysol Mendoza ( should they need assistance with developing non-Whittier College housing plans.

How can I contact Housing & Residential Life or other departments with questions?

Due to California's Stay at Home Order, the majority of campus employees have not returned to campus. Please email with any questions. Questions not related to Housing can be answered by the following offices. 

  • Dining Services
  • Meal Plans:
  • Billing and Charges:
  • Academics, including course registration:
  • Parking:
  • General assistance: or

I am a current international student, what do I need to know?

International students that were enrolled at Whittier College in spring 2020, may take 100% of courses online (either in the U.S.A. or in your home country) and maintain your immigration status. If you are currently outside the U.S.A. and want to return, you may do so.  Before you travel, it is recommended that you contact Kerry Gonzales in the Office of International Programs for updated travel information as it is changing frequently.

I am a new international student currently living in the U.S.A., what do I need to know?

If you are transferring to Whittier College from another school in the U.S.A., you may take 100% of your courses online and maintain your immigration status. You may choose to stay in the U.S.A. or return home.

I am a new international student currently living outside the U.S.A., what do I need to know?

New international students who need to get a U.S. visa or enter the U.S. for the first time, CANNOT take 100% of courses online. You must register for hybrid courses that blend online and in-person instruction. 

If you plan to enter the U.S.A. for the fall, the Office of International Programs will assist you in choosing hybrid courses that have a required on campus component. Alternatively, you can choose to take  courses from home and delay your entry into the U.S.A. until a future term.  

What is Whittier College doing to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Whittier College is continuing to monitor the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and its implications. Senior administrators are communicating daily to review updates from the CDC, World Health Organization, and county and state public health agencies.

Whittier College has been following the CDC’s guidelines for institutions of higher education and the College’s emergency response team has met to discuss needed plans to respond to the situation.

What do I do if I think I have COVID-19?

Individuals needing medical services due to symptoms of respiratory illness including fever, cough, and shortness of breath should FIRST call the Student Health & Wellness Center (562-464-4548) or their doctor for further instructions BEFORE visiting the medical facility. A physician or nurse will determine the level of medical care an individual may need and either schedule an appointment with them or refer them accordingly.

For students: If you have any non-life-threatening health concerns after clinic hours when the Student Health & Wellness Center is closed, please call the RN Telephone After Hours Advice line at 562-464-4548 and press 1 or 855-456-9455.

Any suspected or confirmed cases of the COVID-19 need to be reported to the College. For faculty and staff, this should be Human Resources and for students, this is the Student Health & Wellness Center in conjunction with the Dean of Student Life. Currently, there are no known cases (confirmed or suspected) of COVID-19 on the Whittier campus.

What do I do if I have a cold or other illness (not related to COVID-19)?

Students, faculty, and staff who are ill are being asked to stay home and seek medical care, especially if they have a cough or high fever. Individuals may communicate via email with supervisors, coworkers, and professors to let them know they are sick.

What can I do to stay healthy?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you cough or sneeze, or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue away.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with disinfectant products. See EPA recommended list. 
  • Maintain your immune system by getting plenty of rest, sleep, and a nutritious balanced diet.
  • Symptoms to be wary of include fever and respiratory symptoms, including coughing. If you experience these symptoms, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others immediately, and seek medical attention.

Nearly all community counseling and support services are still being offered through tele-health, on-line or by phone.

What Wellness Resources are available to me?

Check out Engage to see weekly Wellness Calendars and a plethora of De-Stress activities

What phone/text services can support me in a crisis?

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 24/7 at 800.273.8255 or 1.800.SUICIDE
  • The Crisis Text Line: 24/7: text HELP to 741741
  • The Trevor Project specifically supports LGBTQIA+ young adults: 1.866.488.7386 or on their website

What if I’m not in crisis, but need someone to talk to?

  • The California Warm Line, 24/7, non-urgent mental health support:  855.845.7415

  • Project Return Peer Support Network (PRPSN):

    • English: 1.888.448.9777

    • Spanish: 1.888.448.4055

Are there teletherapy options available through health insurance?

HealthiestYou offers free services covered under the UHCSR insurance plan. Services are available to students not enrolled in the College's insurance plan for a fee of approximately $40 to $85.

What other supports are available to me?

  • A COVID-19 Anxiety support group and general support groups, led by therapists on FaceBook
  • Support Groups Central for free/low-cost virtual support groups
  • Hillside Wellness: free groups for residents of California, thru 7/1; 3 free sessions ($25 for more) individual, couples, or family

Are there any apps that I can use to help support my mental health over the summer?

We recommend these apps which can be found on Google Play and the Apple App store:

  • Sanvello
  • What’s Up
  • The CBT Thought Record Diary
  • Headspace

For a more free and paid mental health apps, click here

What are the options for staff or faculty who might be experiencing symptoms of stress and anxiety due to COVID-19?

  • Whittier College has an employee assistance program (EAP) through Health Advocate (Unam) that provides free, confidential, assistance to employees accessible 24/7 that can help with work-life balance issues ranging from managing anxiety around the current pandemic to finding temporary child care. Call 1.800.854.1446 or visit
  • Individual Health Plans likely offer Telemedicine options including psychological visits. For example, the Anthem BlueCross plans offered through the college have a LiveHealth Online Psychology option to talk to a licensed psychologist or therapist through video. Sign up at or download app to get started.
  • Five Ways to View Coverage of the Coronavirus
  • APA’s Podcast on Coronavirus Anxiety

Is the Bookstore open?

The Bookstore is open with limited hours for the upcoming modules 1 and 2. The store will be open for in person and online operations. 

Bookstore Hours of Operation

Monday-Thursday:  8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Can I come to the bookstore to check-in my rental textbooks for this term?

You are able to return rental check-ins both in store and through mail.

Can I buy or extend my rentals on the website?

If you originally rented your textbook in the store, there is no option to buy or extend the rental on the website at this time. If you rented your textbook online, you have an option to buy or extend the rental on the website on the Rentals page.

I placed an order online for pickup. What should I do?

The Whittier College Bookstore is open. Please contact the campus store to track your order.

I placed an order but I have not received any confirmation my item has shipped. What’s going on?

Your item may be shipping from a location that has closed due to COVID-19 concerns. Your order will be filled when we are able to access that location again. Items that are in this situation are marked as “backordered” on the website. However, when you placed your order, the ship-from location may not yet have been closed or was in the process of closing so this backorder status may not have been displaying, check the item again now for confirmation. 

I need to purchase upcoming term textbooks and supplies; do I need to come to the store?

The Whittier College Bookstore is open and you may purchase textbooks and supplies in person. You may also order from the bookstore website.

Can I sell my textbooks back to the bookstore?

Yes, the Whittier College Bookstore is open and you may sell your books back. You may also sell back your books online (ship your books) through the “Sell Your Textbooks” link in the Bookstore site footer. On the Sell Your Textbooks page, refer to the Online section and click “Sell Your Textbooks” button.