How to Get Into Pepperdine: Requirements + Tips

Students in a classroom doing research and talking about how to get into Pepperdine
November 24, 2023
5 min read


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 11/24/23

Interested in Pepperdine University? Read this guide to learn everything you need to know about how to get into Pepperdine.

Malibu, CA

Ranked as one of the most beautiful places to study, and #55 in the nation's top universities by US News, Pepperdine combines a top-class education with a stunning campus located in Malibu, California. Its mission is to be a preeminent, global Christian university whose graduates lead purposeful lives as servant-minded leaders of the world.

If this sounds like what you're looking for in a college, Pepperdine might be the right fit for you! This guide will explain how to get into Pepperdine so you can make your college aspirations come to life. Read on to learn more!

Pepperdine Acceptance Rate

Pepperdine’s acceptance rate is 49%. You'll want to follow the tips outlined below to help strengthen your application and ensure that you're a part of the coveted 49% that gets into Pepperdine.

Take a look at the past three years' acceptance rates for Pepperdine University. This is helpful info for prospective students to gauge their chances of admission, set realistic expectations, and make informed decisions about their application strategy.

Year Acceptance Rate
2022 53%
2021 42%
2020 31.7%

How Hard Is It to Get Into Pepperdine?

Getting into Pepperdine University can be moderately competitive. However, the level of difficulty can vary depending on the applicant's qualifications and the competitiveness of the applicant pool in any given year. Meeting or exceeding the university's admission requirements and presenting a strong application can improve your chances of being admitted.

Yield Rate

The yield rate for Pepperdine University is 17%. This means that out of every 100 students who receive admission offers, approximately 17 of them choose to enroll at the university.

Pepperdine University Admissions Requirements

Excellent grades are needed to gain acceptance to Pepperdine. To be competitive, you’ll need a GPA of around 3.8 and SAT/ACT scores of 1480 and 30, which place you in the 75th percentile. You should also highlight your volunteer work and your personal faith in your essay to show you align with Pepperdine’s values.

Since it was first established in 1937, Pepperdine has been committed to providing an exemplary college education for students. Due to its long history of prestige and excellence, it's not surprising to learn that Pepperdine has strict admissions requirements. 

Pepperdine GPA Requirements

You'll have to secure a high GPA to get into Pepperdine. To make sure your application is competitive, strive for a GPA in the 3.68-3.89 range. Because Pepperdine is selective, you will want to aim for as high of a GPA as possible to be competitive!

Pepperdine SAT/ACT Requirements

Like many other colleges, SAT and ACT requirements are now optional to submit with your application. However, you can still send your ACT and SAT test scores to Pepperdine as a compliment to your application and a testament to your ability to achieve academic excellence. 

Generally speaking, successful applicants achieve an SAT score between 1285-1480 or an ACT score of 28 and 30.

Pepperdine Application Requirements

Pepperdine contains five separate colleges that each have different programs. As a result, each college has its own application requirements. Currently, only two colleges within the Pepperdine family offer undergraduate degrees. You can find the application requirements for them below.

Seaver College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences

As the Liberal Arts campus of Pepperdine, Seaver College offers the most traditional college experience for hopeful applicants. The college offers 46 four-year programs that take place on the Malibu campus.

The application requirements for Seaver College are as follows: 

Prompt: “Pepperdine is a Christian university where all are welcomed and encouraged to challenge each other in the pursuit of truth. Students, faculty, and staff members from all backgrounds participate in conversations of faith inside and outside of the classroom. Considering that Pepperdine is a Christian university, why are you interested in attending, and how would you contribute to conversations of faith on campus?” (300-500 words)
  • Official Transcripts
  • Academic Recommendations
  • SAT or ACT scores (optional)
  • Interview (optional)

Graziadio Business School

The Graziadio Business School at Pepperdine is mainly recognized for its MBA and graduate programs. However, it has two undergraduate course offerings—the online Bachelor of Science in Management (BSM) program and the joint BSM/MBA program. 

Remember that both programs are intended for working professionals or those with two years of full-time work experience, with the online BSM program only offering part-time studies. 

The application requirements for Graziadio Business School are as follows: 

  • Resume
  • Official Transcripts
  • Recommendation form/letter (only for Joint BSM/MBA programs)
  • Two years minimum full-time work experience

Ensure you have all of these requirements before you apply!

Pepperdine Application Deadlines

If you're looking to get into Pepperdine, ensure you submit your application by the appropriate date. After all, you want to make sure your hard work is well-spent by meeting the appropriate deadline!

Below, you'll find everything you need to know about Pepperdine’s application deadlines. 

Early Action Admission

An early action admission is an excellent option for those who are set on attending Pepperdine and want the best possible chance to receive an acceptance. By submitting your application early, you'll be one of the first applicants that the admissions committee sees, meaning that you'll have a higher chance of visibility and receiving an acceptance. 

Fall Term: Early Action First-Year Students

For early action first-year students applying in the fall term, here are some important dates to consider: 

Important Dates Due Date
Application Deadline November 1
FAFSA Deadline for Fall Admission February 15
FAFSA Deadline for Spring Admission October 15
Decisions Sent April 1
Enrollment Deadline May 1

Source: Pepperdine

Before you settle on early action, keep in mind that, unlike other colleges, the early action admission intake at Pepperdine is non-binding—you can apply to other colleges. 

Regular Decision Admission

If you'd like to take more time perfecting your application, you can apply to the Fall term regular decision intake at Pepperdine. 

Important Dates Due Date
Application Deadline January 15
FAFSA Deadline February 15
Decisions Sent April 1
Enrollment Deadline May 1

Source: Pepperdine

Regardless of the intake you choose, make sure to keep these deadlines on hand; Purdue will not accept any late applications. 

Quick tip: keep yourself organized and accountable with a personal college application deadline

Pepperdine University Tuition & Fees

If you're looking to attend Pepperdine University, it's essential to be aware of the costs. Tuition alone at Pepperdine will cost $65,990 for the year. If you're planning to live on campus, you can expect to pay upwards of $93,578 for tuition and living expenses.

Note that these numbers are simply estimates; the total cost can vary based on your chosen program of study, possible grants or scholarships, and situational expenses.

Tips to Get Into Pepperdine

Pepperdine demands a high degree of excellence from its applicants. A great way to make sure your application is competitive is by securing a high GPA and test scores. 

However, there are a few other things you can do to strengthen your application, thereby increasing your chance of acceptance. We've gathered our best tips to get into Pepperdine below. 

Participate In Extracurricular Activities

When developing your application, keep in mind that Pepperdine values students who are leaders. Taking part in extracurricular activities is a great way to demonstrate your leadership skills and show the admissions committee that you are a well-rounded candidate. 

Since Pepperdine is so academically focused, it may be best to join an extracurricular activity that not only aligns with your interests, but can also strengthen your academics, like debate club or student government. 

Not interested in choosing an academic extracurricular? Try choosing one in athletics or music. You can still show authority in these activities—such as a team captain position or head player—alongside great decision-making skills, teamwork, the ability to handle strict responsibilities, and the opportunity to be a role model.

Gain Volunteer Experience

At its core, Pepperdine is a college rooted in Christian values. The admissions committee looks for students who serve and give back to their community. What better way to illustrate these values than by helping those who need it most? 

Making this commitment, whether once a week or a few times a month, allows you to show the admissions committee that you make giving back a priority. 

An added plus of volunteering is that it allows you to build relationships with community members, which can come in handy when it comes to securing strong letters of recommendation.

Volunteering can also demonstrate excellent character-building moments, which is a helpful antidote to mention when writing your essays for admission to the school. 

FAQs: Getting Into Pepperdine

After reading all this information about the school, you may still be asking yourself, “How hard is it to get into Pepperdine?”

If you're still curious to learn more about how to get into Pepperdine and are looking for answers to questions you may have, you're in luck! We've gathered answers to the most frequently asked questions about Pepperdine below. 

1. Is Pepperdine Worth the Money?

Pepperdine is a private college, which generally tends to have higher tuition costs when compared to public colleges. However, if you're looking for a top-tier education with religious teachings and Christian values at the forefront of its curriculum, Pepperdine is absolutely worth the money. 

2. What Major Is Pepperdine Known For?

Pepperdine has an excellent reputation for its programs within the Graziadio Business School and is best recognized for its business, management, and marketing programs.

3. Is Pepperdine a Prestigious School?

With its strong reputation for academic excellence, costly tuition, and low acceptance rate, Pepperdine is known as a prestigious college in the United States.

4. What Does Pepperdine Look for in a Student?

When it comes to potential admissions, Pepperdine looks for students who demonstrate academic excellence, a background of service and leadership, and can show examples of strong character. 

Final Thoughts

Over 100 years of education rooted in Christian values has awarded Pepperdine University a strong reputation for academic excellence. Those who are accepted are usually students with high grades who can demonstrate a strong degree of leadership alongside giving back to their communities.

If this sounds like you and you feel Pepperdine would be a great fit, make sure to utilize all the information and tips highlighted in this article to strengthen your application. In doing so, you will be sure to make the admissions council fall in love with you and receive an acceptance. 

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