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Pepperdine University
Pepperdine University is “building in the student a Christ-like life, a love for the...

Pepperdine University

Malibu, California

Since its founding in 1937, Pepperdine University has excelled in its high standards of academic achievement and its commitment to preparing students for fulfilling futures. A private university grounded in Christian values and ethics, Pepperdine bolsters lives of leadership by way of its inspiring faculty and friendly community.


The main campus is secured among the lush, coastal mountains of Malibu, California, merging the beautiful natural world with that of innovative academics. Red-tile roofs line the grassy hillside, overlooking the ocean with a view of Long Beach, Catalina Island, and other Pacific marvels. Students at Pepperdine are inspired by the atmosphere around them, bringing vivacity to the school’s many academic, religious, and artistic traditions. This research university challenges students to test their limits and explore their interests both on campus and abroad. While it may seem difficult for anyone to want to leave Malibu’s mountains and beaches, over 86 percent of students jump on the opportunity to study abroad in seven Pepperdine-owned locations around the world.


Faith is at the heart Pepperdine’s community, and so it permeates every aspect of student life and academics. In this way, students are consistently challenged and inspired to grow as world-class, Christian scholars. The University is proud to carry out the mission of George Pepperdine, its founder: “to provide first-class, fully accredited academic training in the liberal arts…” and “to a greater goal—that of building in the student a Christ-like life, a love for the church, and a passion for the souls of mankind.”



Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
3,533 undergraduate students
91% of undergrad students are full time
41% male — 59% female
44% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
415 full-time faculty
3 part-time faculty
13 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

58 percent of the students live on campus

School Location

Pepperdine is located at the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains in Malibu, California. Not only does it have direct access to miles of beautiful beaches, but it is also less than 30 miles west of Los Angeles.

Retention Fall 2015

94% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

84% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 9%
Hispanic/Latino 13%
Black or African American 6%
White 45%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 13%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 9%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 4%


NCAA Division I, West Coast Conference

Offers baseball (M), basketball (M, W), cross country (M, W), golf (M, W), soccer (W), swimming & diving (W), tennis (M, W), track (M, W), beach & indoor volleyball (M, W), and water polo (M)

Mascot: Willie the Wave
Colors: Blue, Orange, and White

Academic Programs


Accounting, Advertising, Art, Art History, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Communication, Computer Science/Mathematics, Creative Writing, Economics, English, Film Studies, French, German, Hispanic Studies, History, Integrated Marketing Communication, International Business, International Studies, Italian, Journalism, Liberal Arts, Mathematics, Mathematics Education, Media Production, Music, Natural Science (3/2 Engineering), Nutritional Science, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Public Relations, Religion, Sociology, Sport Administration, Sports Medicine, Theatre Arts, Theatre and Media Production, Theatre and Music

Undergraduate Research

Undergraduates of any major have many available opportunities to conduct research. Both internal and external grants are offered to curious students looking to put their education in practice. Scholars in all of Pepperdine’s five schools are constantly buzzing with new ideas and new expeditions into unexplored intellectual territory.

The Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) bolsters students by helping them understand the logistics and processes necessary for research studies. Students learn to hypothesize, design experiments, and present data, all while building friendly communities around their shared interests of study.

The Cross-Disciplinary/Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Program (CDIUR) promotes a collaborative society of student researchers from different disciplines. Students from different areas of study are sorted into “research clusters” that meet in the summer to apply varied perspectives to a single subject of research. By bringing separate points of view together, students in these clusters explore topics with a degree of complexity they would never have imagined on their own. By the start of the fall semester, they are ready to present their findings at the annual Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement Symposium at Seaver College.

Study Abroad

Pepperdine is proud to admit more the 50 percent of its Seaver College students to study abroad programs all around the world. Education abroad expands students’ perspectives and makes them personally aware of a whole world of varied cultures and issues, and so the school works hard to make international opportunities accessible and comfortable.

Pepperdine-owned residential programs are offered all year (including during the summer) in Argentina, China, Switzerland, Italy, England, and Germany. Each program is fully loaded with educational field trips and cultural outreach initiatives. Students get the opportunity to work with local organizations, delving fully into the culture while serving the new community around them.

Not only can students choose to study abroad throughout the course of a semester or entire academic year, but they may also opt in to the Special Interest Programs that are offered during the summer. These opportunities are available at all the locations offered throughout the year as well as in additional locations that vary each year.

Convocation Program

All undergraduate students share in a series of faith-based assemblies through the school’s Convocation program. These presentations feature guest speakers who inspire students with ideas of how to apply the Christian mission to today’s world issues. Although participation in the Convocation program is mandatory, students excitedly gather anyway to affirm their values and explore the breadth of their own abilities as Christian leaders.

Finding time to fulfill the Convocation requirement is simple, for the university restricts course schedules so that every student may have the option to attend Wednesday Morning Chapel. Additionally, students can choose to join a “Club Convo,” a small, discussion-based group that meets to explore different frames of reference within the Christian faith. In these clubs, students get to form strong bonds with their peers, all while learning innovative ways to face contemporary issues and topics.

Other opportunities to get the most out of the Convocation program include one-on-one mentoring from faculty, Chapel presented in different languages, and Chapel for students interested in athletics. Some even meet for Surf Chapel, an early-morning meeting for Bible-study and surfing lessons on the sands of nearby Zuma Beach.

Dedicated, Prestigious Professors

The faculty of Seaver College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences are selectively hired not only for their merit, but also for their commitment to Pepperdine’s mission of service. They provide the foundation for the university’s values and culture, offering expert-level education and one-on-one interaction with students. A 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio allows them to be easy to contact and personally active in the lives of each of their students.

First-Year Seminar

All undergraduates at Pepperdine begin their college careers enrolled in one of many First-Year Seminars. These semester-long courses prepare students for everything, easing freshmen into the college lifestyle both socially and academically. While topics of study vary by seminar each year, every course is aimed to heighten students’ literacy and critical-thinking skills. Through these common learning experiences, every student gets equipped with the tools they need to apply their vocation to research, current issues, cultural understanding, and self-development.

Junior Writing Portfolio

The General Education program requires that all students maintain a writing portfolio made up of formal assignments and papers from their first four semesters at Pepperdine. The Junior Writing Portfolio is graded on a scale from 1-5 with an evaluation of clarity, organization, and depth of thought. Because all students have a portfolio to submit, they are all encouraged and trained through their growth as writers.

Theme House Program

Pepperdine sophomores are given the option to be involved in the Theme House program, which houses students in communities that are centered around a common interest. The most popular is the Adventure House, which takes its residents out into the beautiful Malibu landscape for a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking. Other Theme Houses foster community around topics of faith, academic excellence, global advocacy, the fine arts, and more.

Student Activities

Students are encouraged to establish their own clubs and organizations, strengthening leadership, collaboration, and administration skills in the most fun way possible. Through the university’s “Peppervine” directory, students can find or organize clubs focused on any interest imaginable. The Inter-Club Council works to provide funding for Pepperdine clubs and give them the space and ability to plan fun events and initiatives.

Among the approved Pepperdine student organizations are 8 sororities and 5 fraternities, all of which are devoted to service to the university and its surrounding city. Nearly a quarter of all undergraduates are affiliated with Pepperdine’s Greek community, which has flourished and continues to positively impact student and faculty life on campus.

Spiritual Life

Pepperdine’s community is rooted in the values of the Church of Christ, bearing a mission of service and fellowship from within the classroom to beyond country borders. Students, faculty and staff are committed to making progressive change in the world, all while nourishing their faiths and growing along their spiritual journeys. The university is committed to providing safe spaces for spiritual growth, offering communities within campus and connecting students to faith-based communities in the Malibu and Los Angeles areas.

In the summer, the Bible Lectures series gives all Pepperdine students, faculty, and alumni the chance to sit in on four days of enlightening keynotes dedicated to Christian scholarship. Additionally, students can continue to explore their faiths throughout the academic year by attending student-led ministries or by meeting with inspiring and personally engaging Spiritual Life Advisors.

The Center for Faith and Learning seeks to integrate what is taught in the classroom with ministry and faith. Its faculty encourage students to apply Christian values to their scholarship, hosting events, seminars, and guest lectures for the further pursuit of academics and spirituality alike.

Waves of Service

Waves of Service is rooted in Pepperdine’s Christian commitment to service and leadership. Many volunteer opportunities are available to students who are looking to serve. They can travel during their spring breaks on community service trips around the country, raise money for different charities, and even work with the graduate schools of business and law to plan initiatives for social and environmental advocacy.

During “Step Forward Day,” one of the oldest service events in the country, Pepperdine students and faculty gather to volunteer for multiple companies and organizations throughout the Los Angeles and Ventura counties. In just one day, nearly 2,000 Pepperdine community members contribute to over 4,500 collective hours of service!

Intercultural Affairs Office

The Intercultural Affairs Office offers creative educational programs that raise awareness for cultural diversity. The office promotes multicultural respect and equality, engaging the student body by way of its thirteen affiliated student organizations. These groups advocate for social visibility, inclusion, and equity, ensuring a safe and healthy environment for students to discuss and celebrate Pepperdine’s diverse student body.

Senior Capstone

Most academic programs at Pepperdine require that seniors enroll in a senior capstone course for a final, summarized evaluation of their college careers. Capstone courses give students the time to reflect on all their studies and take a synthesized approach to a topic or issue of their choice.

Career Services

Pepperdine’s Career Center connects students with alumni with whom they can meet and network. Faculty and alumni a passionate about student success, and so they readily give advice and resources to help undergraduates know how to interview, write résumés, and pursue jobs in their fields of interest. Workshops and one-on-one meetings bolster students in their searches for the right-fit career or graduate school program.

To ensure that students are getting the best guidance possible, the Career Center conducts employer surveys to feel out the job market even as it consistently shifts and evolves. No student is given stale information, for the Center strives to be up-to-date in its understanding of employer expectations.


Pepperdine values internships for their ability to bridge the gap between school and the workforce as seamlessly as possible, and so it ensures that students know exactly where to start their search. Through the University’s “Handshake” database, anyone looking for an internship has easy access to internship opportunities every line of work. Industry Specialists are also readily available to meet with students so that they can understand the complexities of the application process and employer relations.

Pepperdine is part of the University Career Action Network (UCAN), an association of 20 national colleges and universities that collaborate to connect their students directly to employers. Because employers know that potential interns searching through UCAN are affiliated with high-quality schools, Pepperdine students immediately stand out as worthy candidates.

Not only can students find internships in the Malibu area, but they can also use their summers to gain work experience abroad. Especially beneficial for students who have difficulty finding time to study abroad during the academic year, the University’s Summer Special Internship Programs give students experience for the real world, all around world.


Admissions Fall 2015

9,923 Total Applicants 
3,781 Total Admissions 
745 Total Freshman Enrollment

38.10% of applicants admitted

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 550 650
SAT Math 550 670
SAT Writing 550 650
ACT Composite 25 30
ACT Math 24 30
ACT English 25 32
ACT Writing 8 9


Net Price Calculator


Tuition $48,090
Fees $252
Total $48,342
Room and Board (on campus) $16,610
Room Only $10,610
Board Only $6,000
Estimated Total On Campus $64,952


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

81% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
45% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$29,761 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$7,722 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates