Pepperdine University: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Learn what degree programs Pepperdine University offers. Research its academics, and read about its admission and financial aid info to make an informed education decision.

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About Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University is a 4-year, private not-for-profit school located along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California. In 1937, George Pepperdine founded the university. He had close connections with the Churches of Christ, and Pepperdine is still affiliated with them.

In 2012, U.S News and World Report ranked Pepperdine University 55th in its Best National Universalities category. The publication also ranked Pepperdine's undergraduate business programs 55th among the nation's best business programs in the same year. Pepperdine's law school was also ranked 49th among the best law schools in 2012, with its dispute resolution program ranking 1st among the nation's law school programs.


The Malibu campus of Pepperdine University is home to the Frank R. Seaver College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the School of Law, the School of Public Policy, the Graziadio School of Business and Management, and the Graduate School of Education. The business school also has five other locations throughout southern California, and the school of education has four other locations. The university offers its undergraduate students over 40 majors, and its graduate students can choose from more than 40 programs of study, including joint degree programs, certificates and credential programs. The school also offers an array of minors and study abroad options.

Pepperdine has some unique academic requirements for its undergraduate students. Students must participate in and submit a Junior Writing Portfolio, which is comprised of essays and other written documents created during their first four semesters. During the third year, students will be enrolled in a course in which they submit their portfolios for review. The purpose of this program is to emphasize the importance of written communication. Additionally, students are required to take three religion courses and attend frequent gatherings, referred to as Convocation, as part of their general education requirements.


Fall 2013 admission applications and materials are due by January 5, while spring 2013 applicants must apply by October 15. There is a fee of $65, and prospective students can apply at The Common Application website. In addition to the applications, first-time freshmen are required to submit their high school transcripts, an academic letter of recommendation, a personal letter of recommendation, and their SAT or ACT scores by the application deadline.

For fall 2011, 32% of those who applied were accepted, and 23% of those who were accepted enrolled. The university gives Advanced Placement (AP) college credits to students with qualifying scores; however, College Level Examination Program (CLEP) scores do not qualify for credit.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Pepperdine estimates that for the 2012-2013 school year, undergraduate students typically pay $58,772 for tuition, fees, on-campus room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses. Students not covered under a parent's health plan may also be subject to a health insurance fee of approximately $1,450. The university offers scholarships and financial assistance to students meeting certain criteria. There are also fellowship opportunities available to qualifying students.

School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit*
Degrees Offered Bachelor's, master's, doctorates*
Religious Affiliation Churches of Christ*
Academic Calendar Semesters**
School Setting Rural*
Student Body 3,474 undergraduate students and 4,065 graduate students in fall 2011*
Student Housing On-campus housing is available and encouraged for both undergraduate and graduate students; students seeking to live off-campus must first obtain permission from the Housing and Community Living Office**
Schools and Programs One college, four schools; over 40 undergraduate majors and more than 40 graduate degree options**
Student-Faculty Ratio 13 to 1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010-2011:
Bachelor's: Business Administration and Management (168)
Master's: Clinical Psychology (182)
Doctorate: Law (230)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 72% in four years
80% in six years
82% in eight years*
Admission Rate 32% in fall 2011*
Entering Class Size Approximately 691 for fall 2011*
First-Year Retention Rates 93% (full-time students)
100% (part-time students)*
Average SAT Scores of Admitted Students Middle 50% in 2011-2012:
Critical Reading: 540-650
Math: 560-680
Writing 560-660*
Application Due Date Spring 2013: October 15
Fall 2013: January 5**
Tuition $42,520 per year for full-time students taking 11-18 units (cost for 2012-2013, excluding fees)**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) In 2010-2011: Federal grants (31%), state and local grants/scholarships (20%), institutional grants/scholarships (71%), federal student loans (58%), other student loans (6%)*
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 81% in 2010-2011*

Sources: *IES Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics, **Pepperdine University.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Admissions, Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90263
  • Phone: (310) 506-4392
  • Website:

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