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Whitworth University Overview

Welcome to Whitworth!

Whitworth is a private, Christian university founded in 1890. For more than 125 years Whitworth has held strongly to its founder's mission of providing an education of mind and heart through rigorous, open intellectual inquiry guided by dedicated Christian scholars.

Whitworth welcomes academically high-achieving undergraduate and graduate students of all nationalities, faiths and backgrounds and celebrates the richness that this diversity provides to our campus community.

Current Whitworth international students come from more than 35 countries and every major continent.

What We Offer

Academic Excellence

Whitworth has been ranked a Top 10 university and a best value in the West for 16 years in a row by U.S. News & World Report and has also been recognized by The Princeton Review, Forbes, Kiplinger's magazine and others.

Extraordinary scholars

Our award-winning faculty is dedicated to the academic growth and success of each student. An accessible faculty is a hallmark of a great university. Whitworth professors know their students and are available to offer guidance and academic support.

Small class sizes

Whitworth has an 11-to-1 student-faculty ratio, with 83 percent of classes including fewer than 30 students.

Innovative programs in science, technology, education, health and the arts

Among the more than 100 majors and programs offered by Whitworth University, you will find the following:

  • Dual-degree engineering: Earn a dual degree from Whitworth and one of its partner institutions, which include Columbia University, University of Southern California, and Washington University in St. Louis.
  • International business: Study international trade and finance, international human- resource management, global operations, and economic development.
  • Pre-professional programs in health sciences, law and ministry. Recent graduates have been accepted into Oxford University, Harvard University School of Law, and Columbia, Cornell and Princeton universities. 100 percent of the students who have completed our recommended pre-med plan have been admitted to at least one medical school.
  • Music: Our composition, performance, and music-education programs are fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. The Whitworth Music Department averages 115 music majors and consistently demonstrates student talent comparable to that of the largest universities. Our music majors go on to prestigious graduate schools, exciting performance careers and successful teaching positions.
  • Unique study-abroad opportunities include faculty-led semester-long study trips to Central America, China, Tanzania, France and Britain. Study abroad at Whitworth's Costa Rica Center and experience its cross-cultural studies curriculum, service-learning opportunities, and homestays with Costa Rican families. Or choose from exchange programs at 150 universities across Europe, Oceania, Latin America, Africa and Canada.
  • A liberal arts foundation: In our complex global economy, employers seek graduates who are able to think critically and creatively, who can communicate effectively across cultures and industries, and who possess the wide-ranging knowledge needed to solve complicated problems and make intelligent decisions. Whitworth's liberal arts approach prepares students with the skills, innovative thinking and knowledge needed to succeed in any profession.

For a full list of Whitworth's majors and programs, click here.

Research opportunities

Whitworth professors view their scholarly work as essential to great teaching, and they engage students fully in the process of discovering new knowledge and creating original contributions to their fields.

Students work alongside faculty on research ranging from assessing the impact of micro-lending in developing countries to the role enzymes play in memory function for treating Alzheimer's patients. Many joint faculty-student research projects are funded by national organizations or grants. Whitworth offers students opportunities for research fellowships and paid appointments as research assistants.

Academic scholarships

Whitworth guarantees substantial scholarships for high-achieving students based on secondary school results and scores on one of the following exams: SAT, ACT, A Levels, TOEFL or IELTS. Scholarship amounts range from $12,500 to $20,000 per year. For complete information on the types of scholarships available and the requirements for applicants, click here.

Some need-based aid opportunities are available for students. Whitworth carefully evaluates applications for need-based aid on the basis of the student's academic and financial-need profiles. Whitworth does not give full scholarships to incoming students.

A beautiful, safe environment

Whitworth's 200-acre Spokane campus of red brick buildings, stately pine trees and rolling green lawns is located in one of the most beautiful regions of the U.S. The university's helpful security staff is on duty 24 hours a day.

An accessible city

Spokane, the second-largest city in Washington state, offers excellent shopping, arts and entertainment, as well as outdoor recreation, including five ski resorts within two hours of campus. The Spokane International Airport offers easy access to U.S. and international destinations. To find out more about the city of Spokane, click here.

A region renowned for its technology, health, and export industries

Washington is a Pacific Rim state with strong business and educational connections to Asia and the rest of the world.

  • Major Washington state employers include world-class companies such as Microsoft, Starbucks,, and Boeing.
  • Washington state is the No. 3 exporter of food and agricultural products in the U.S. and has the second-largest port system in the U.S., shipping more than $6 billion worth of products to other countries annually.
  • Additionally, Spokane is recognized for its excellence and innovation in health sciences and medical fields, thanks to superb medical facilities and nationally acclaimed physicians.

What does all of this mean for international students? It means that internships, practical training and job opportunities are available in many industries, including technology, health, aerospace, education and import/export.


The Whitworth International Education Center provides support and services to the university's international students. Services include help with immigration matters, special orientation for new students, general counseling, and help with employment. The IEC also hosts internationally oriented events throughout the year and provides a welcoming place for students to study and interact with classmates and staff.

Residence life and housing

Students are expected to live on campus during their first two years at Whitworth unless they have a local host family. Whitworth is a residential university, and living on campus offers international students many opportunities to develop relationships with students from the U.S. and from other countries.

International students who live on campus are supported by residential staff. Resident assistants, small-group coordinators, health advocates and cultural diversity advocates (CDAs) live in each residence hall, all under the direction of a resident director, a master's-level student-development professional. Together, this group of professional and student residential staff members monitors the health and well-being of students, plans activities, and encourages the development of a community that values individual and cultural differences.

Clubs and activities

Whitworth offers its students many recreational activities, including more than 40 clubs, the student newspaper (The Whitworthian), the yearbook (Natsihi), a student-run radio station (, and intramural sports.

Spiritual life

Whitworth offers many opportunities for students to explore their faith through small groups, worship in Seeley Mudd Chapel, ministry and service. Participation in the Whitworth faith community and activities is completely optional. We believe our Christian commitment to faith and inclusion makes Whitworth more, not less, welcoming to non-Christian students. Our commitment to rigorous intellectual inquiry challenges all students to examine their assumptions and beliefs and make their own decisions.

NCAA Division III athletics

Whitworth offers 20 intercollegiate athletics programs and actively recruits international athletes. The Pirate athletics program has won eight consecutive Northwest Conference McIlroy-Lewis Trophies for the university's primacy in one of the most challenging Div. III conferences in the U.S. The Pirate baseball team finished 8th in the 2012 national rankings; men's basketball finished 10thin the nation – due in no small part to the efforts of leading scorers Idris Lassisi, from Belgium, and Felix Friedt, from Germany. The Whitworth men's swim team won individual national championship medals for four straight years, thanks to Rory Buck, who qualified for the Olympic trials in his native South Africa and was named NCAA Div. III Swimmer of the Year. Current international student-athletes include soccer, softball, and basketball players from Australia, Canada, and Turkey.

For details about Whitworth's athletics programs, click here.


Whitworth international graduates have moved on to success in graduate school and in their careers.

  • Adrian Kitimbo, '12, from Uganda, accepted an offer of admission and a full graduate scholarship from England's Oxford University, after also receiving offers of admission from the London School of Economics, King's College and University College in London. Kitimbo, who studied international relations at Whitworth, is focusing his graduate studies at Oxford on international development and conflicts. His career goal is to work directly within the government of his native Uganda as an expert on development and humanitarian emergencies.

    "I had a wonderful time at Whitworth,” says Adrian. "The school's community was very friendly and supportive. I also felt like Whitworth was a very intellectually stimulating environment, where all sorts of discussions could be held."
  • Priya Yeganathan, '12 (B.A. in international business), is responsible for market analysis at the Spokane branch of a national mortgage lending corporation. While at Whitworth, she held an internship at the U.S. Embassy in her native Sri Lanka, where she coordinated activities for Sri Lankan relief programs. She also interned at the International Trade Alliance, in Spokane, conducting research on the North American Free Trade Agreement and other policies affecting Washington state trade.
  • Felix Friedt, '12 (B.A. in international business & economics), an accomplished student-athlete from Germany captained the Whitworth basketball team in 2012 and was selected the Academic All-America First Team. Since graduating, he has begun work on a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Oregon, where he was awarded a full scholarship.
  • Annick Foyen, '12, (B.A. in sociology), from Norway, is a full-time social worker in Oslo, managing treatment plans for 50-plus clients with drug and mental-health problems.
  • Rory Buck, '12 (B.A. in business management), won back-to-back national swim titles in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke events as a junior and senior, and finished 3rd and 4th in events at the Olympic trials in his native South Africa. He was named to the Capital One Academic All-America Team in 2011 and is currently working for a software development company that has created marketing campaigns for major international corporations such as Coca-Cola, MySpace, and Bowflex.


  • Korean student SeIn Pyo, '15, is in the dual-degree engineering program, studying physics, chemistry, and a pre-medicine curriculum. He is currently engaged in a biomedical engineering internship at Spokane's Sacred Heart Medical Center. SeIn is assisting the surgical team in the thoracic organ transplant and mechanical heart program, which is ranked one of the best transplant programs in the United States. SeIn created a digital demonstration of a mechanical heart to help patients visualize and understand how the device works; he has learned to read and interpret heart monitors; and he is doing biomedical research on post-surgical blood-clotting. SeIn's goal is to attend medical school and create a new generation of life-saving medical devices, such as artificial hearts, that would be inexpensive and effective.
  • Tina Kamkosi, '13, is a graduate student from Malawi. She is working toward an MBA in international management at the Whitworth School of Business. Tina uses both her business and international communication skills in her work for the Whitworth Intercultural Student Center. In 2011-12, she was president of the International Club.
  • Eugen Lazarenco, '15, from Moldova, received the Elsie and Melvin K. Fariss Scholarship for International Students. The scholarship covers the full cost of attendance for Eugen's final three years of study at Whitworth. He received it in recognition of academic excellence and his volunteer work with projects like BELIEF, a Whitworth program that encourages at-risk high school students to plan for college. Eugen is currently the vice president of the Whitworth International Club.