Pepperdine University

Malibu, California
www.pepperdine.edu/ 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA, 90263
A Overall Grade
  • A Academics
  • B Athletics
  • B+ Campus
  • A Diversity
  • A- Value
  • C+ Party Scene

Pepperdine University Overview

Pepperdine University is a small, private Christian university located in Southern California. It has an undergraduate population of about 3,800 and a total student population of approximately 10,500. Purpose, service, and leadership are at the forefront of the university’s values. Pepperdine University encourages students to embrace those principles as well as Christian values while striving for academic excellence during their time at the school. 

Pepperdine was founded in 1937 by George Pepperdine. He wanted to give students a place for higher education where there was an emphasis on Christian faith and values. Those principles still remain today at Pepperdine. 

The Pepperdine University ranking and the Pepperdine acceptance rate can be confusing for students starting to think about colleges. Our admissions experts at CollegeAdvisor.com can help you navigate the college application process to maximize admissions odds to Pepperdine University. They’ll help you understand the Pepperdine cost and financial aid, and complete the Pepperdine supplemental essays. They’re there to support you and give you the best chances of beating the Pepperdine University acceptance rate. You don’t have to do everything alone. Schedule a free call to talk about your options. 

Pepperdine University Ranking

Pepperdine University ranks highly in a variety of areas. For example, U.S. News listed the Pepperdine University ranking as #49 on their 2022 National Universities list. This makes it a sought after university by many students. . 

International programs also keep the Pepperdine University ranking high amongst study abroad programs. Princeton Review ranked Pepperdine University as #11 on the Most Popular Study Abroad Programs list. The Pepperdine University ranking was also high on U.S. News’ Study Abroad Programs list, coming in at #12. 

However, you might still have questions! What exactly does the Pepperdine ranking mean? Will the Pepperdine University ranking affect the Pepperdine tuition? How does the Pepperdine ranking affect the Pepperdine University acceptance rate? Does the Pepperdine University ranking on these lists influence job opportunities for graduates? 

Read all about what college rankings mean to see how the Pepperdine ranking fits into your future plans. 

You might also be thinking about whether Pepperdine is your dream school. The Pepperdine University acceptance rate and Pepperdine tuition are important factors in the decision process. But, more importantly, do you love it? Check out this article about choosing your dream school. 

As you look at the Pepperdine University ranking, remember that rankings aren’t the most important factor when building a college list. The Pepperdine ranking means that the Pepperdine University acceptance rate will probably be low. However, when it comes to finding the right school, “fit” is the most important factor, not the Pepperdine ranking. The Pepperdine University ranking isn’t going to tell you how you will feel on campus. 

To figure out if the school is for you, worry less about the Pepperdine ranking and more about the academics and campus life. The Pepperdine University tuition will also be an important factor in your final decision. 

Where is Pepperdine?

Pepperdine’s location is one factor keeping the school popular with students and the Pepperdine University ranking high. 

So, where is Pepperdine and why are students nationwide aiming to beat the Pepperdine University acceptance rate to live there? Pepperdine is located in Malibu. The Pepperdine campus is just 29 miles from downtown LA. 

However, possibly the most appealing thing about Pepperdine University, that keeps Pepperdine ranking high in location, is its breath-taking view of the Pacific coast. 

Bestcollegereviews.com places the Pepperdine University ranking at #19 on their Most Beautiful College Campuses list. The Pepperdine ranking is equally impressive on Princeton Review’s Most Beautiful Campus list – the Pepperdine campus is in the top 20. 

The Malibu Pepperdine campus location places the Pepperdine University ranking high when it comes to location. However, the Malibu Pepperdine campus isn’t the only place that Pepperdine is located. Pepperdine is also located in Calabasas, Irvine, and West LA. These Pepperdine University locations offer other areas of study and graduate programs. 

As an incoming freshman, you will attend Seaver College, which is the Malibu Pepperdine campus. Students can also take advantage of the Pepperdine University international locations: Argentina, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and the UK. 

Pepperdine University Admissions

Acceptance Rate 31.72%
Acceptance Deadline January 15
Students Receiving Financial Aid 91.88%

Pepperdine University Cost

When working on your Pepperdine application, aiming to beat the Pepperdine acceptance rate should be the top priority. However, it’s important to understand the Pepperdine cost of attendance. Knowing the Pepperdine tuition is essential when it comes to applying for Pepperdine financial aid and Pepperdine scholarships. 

The Pepperdine tuition and general Pepperdine cost may seem high. But remember that for whatever schools you apply to, there are options, such as financial aid, university scholarships, or outside scholarships. Therefore, don’t let the initial Pepperdine University tuition keep you from applying. Focus on beating the Pepperdine acceptance rate first.

Pepperdine tuition

The Pepperdine tuition for the 2021-2022 year is $59,450. The Pepperdine University tuition only covers the cost of classes. The direct Pepperdine cost, which includes Pepperdine tuition, room and board, and a campus life fee, is $76,402. The total Pepperdine cost of attendance, including room and board, books, campus fee, loan fee, transportation, and personal expenses is $80,220. If you live at home, the Pepperdine cost is less. 

Compared to other universities, the Pepperdine University tuition and the Pepperdine cost in general is high. However, there are options when it comes to the Pepperdine tuition and Pepperdine cost of attendance. If the Pepperdine tuition is a concern for you, make applying for Pepperdine financial aid and Pepperdine scholarships a more central part of the Pepperdine application. 

Pepperdine financial aid

The Pepperdine tuition of almost $60,000 doesn’t factor in Pepperdine financial aid and Pepperdine scholarships. Pepperdine University offers need based aid to help students afford the Pepperdine University tuition.

Firstly, you can figure out your estimated Pepperdine cost through the Pepperdine University net price calculator. You’ll answer a series of questions and get an estimate on the Pepperdine financial aid package that the school would probably offer you. When it comes to college planning, it’s crucial to know what the Pepperdine cost is after factoring in Pepperdine financial aid. This will give you a much better idea of what you will actually pay for your Pepperdine University tuition.

According to U.S. News, the average need-based Pepperdine financial aid offered to incoming freshmen is $45,066. Furthermore, about 66% of incoming freshmen in fall 2019 received aid to help with the Pepperdine University tuition costs. Pepperdine financial aid was able to meet about 75% of incoming students’ financial needs.

To apply for Pepperdine financial aid, you need to complete the FAFSA application. Deadlines will vary based on your state and the specific university. For this reason, check the FAFSA website for the most up to date deadlines. 

In short, while the initial Pepperdine tuition seems high, remember to work out the Pepperdine cost after financial aid and scholarships – it will be less than the sticker price!

Pepperdine scholarships

In addition to Pepperdine financial aid, the cost of Pepperdine University tuition can also be offset by merit based scholarships. Pepperdine scholarships differ from Pepperdine financial aid since they aren’t need-based. The Pepperdine scholarships are awarded to students for outstanding academic achievement or other special talents. They’re a great way to help cover the Pepperdine University tuition.

U.S. News reported that the average merit-based Pepperdine scholarship for first year students is $17,200. A scholarship like that would drop your Pepperdine tuition cost to $42,250. 

You can also search for merit-based scholarships from outside organizations. With high academic achievement, it’s possible to receive both a Pepperdine scholarship and other merit based scholarships to help cover the Pepperdine tuition. 

Hoping to receive a merit-based scholarship to assist in covering the Pepperdine tuition? Then you’ll want to meet (and ideally exceed) the assumed Pepperdine GPA requirements and Pepperdine SAT requirements. Not only are grades important in beating the Pepperdine acceptance rate, but also in gaining scholarships to offset the Pepperdine tuition. Therefore, think early on in your high school career about how to make yourself an academically competitive candidate for Pepperdine scholarships. 

Before you start exploring Pepperdine majors, check out some quick facts about merit-based scholarships.

Net Price* $42,135
Average Total Aid Awarded $6,590
Students Receiving Financial Aid 91.88%
*Average cost after financial aid for students receiving grant or scholarship aid, as reported by the college.

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Pepperdine University Academics

Student Faculty Ratio 14:1

Pepperdine University Majors

There’s an ample number of Pepperdine majors – Pepperdine students have endless options when it comes to areas of study! Seaver College (Pepperdine’s main campus and college) offers 47 majors and 47 minors in the liberal arts. All Pepperdine majors integrate Christian world views into their curriculum. 

The undergraduate Pepperdine enrollment at Seaver College in Malibu is about 3,000 students. Pepperdine students enjoy holistic learning and personalized attention with the student to faculty ratio 13:1. 

If that doesn’t motivate you to beat the Pepperdine University acceptance rate, perhaps the enriching study abroad programmes for Pepperdine students will! With Pepperdine ranking as a top institution for study abroad, students can take international programs while studying a variety of majors. 

Pepperdine Majors

The Pepperdine campus in Malibu (the most popular Pepperdine campus) is home to Seaver College where Pepperdine students have a variety of study options. While there are lots of different Pepperdine majors, U.S. News has ranked the ten most popular Pepperdine majors. 

Top 10 Pepperdine majors: 

  1. Business, Management, Marketing
  2. Communication and Journalism
  3. Social Sciences
  4. Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies
  5. Psychology
  6. Parks, Recreation, Leisure, Fitness, and Kinesiology
  7. Visual and Performing Arts
  8. Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  9. English Language and Literature/Letters
  10. Philosophy and Religious Studies

Business tops the chart as one of the most popular Pepperdine majors. A business major is flexible and practical – so it’s a popular choice not only at the Pepperdine campus but also at many campuses nationwide. 

Students who graduate from Pepperdine University with a business major will have a strong liberal arts foundation. They can join the workforce or continue on to graduate study. 76% of business majors at Pepperdine are employed and 16% are in graduate school. 

Business majors also complete a Service Leadership Project. The project combines the most important Pepperdine values with academic studies. In addition, business majors have access to a variety of internship opportunities. As a result, they gain real world experience before heading into the workforce. 

Communication studies is another one of the popular Pepperdine majors. Students explore verbal and nonverbal communication amongst humans. Similarly to  other Pepperdine majors, the communication major at Pepperdine campus places a strong emphasis on Christian values. 

Just like business majors, students who take communication majors have many internship opportunities in a variety of areas: television, journalism, radio, etc. 

Students studying communication also take part in experiential learning. Through these programs, they gain real world experience in their intended areas of study. For example, communications majors may create their own television program in the Pepperdine campus CCB studios. It’s a unique and interesting way to get a taste of the workforce while still studying. 

Another popular major and minor at Pepperdine campus, Seaver College, is Art. Students can combine an Art major with a minor in multimedia design or a secondary teaching credential. This broadens their employment opportunities after graduation. 

Art majors can participate in Art Club, where majors of every kind who are interested in art are welcome. Students studying art will also take part in an art service learning project. They’ll connect with the local community and extend their knowledge with a mentorship program for high school students. Art majors are encouraged to take advantage of the study abroad program in Florence, Italy as well. 

Regardless of what you study, Pepperdine University will encourage you to use internships to enhance your learning. A Career Service is available to all Pepperdine students. They can support you in your career exploration and internship opportunities. 

Furthermore, students can expand their study options by double majoring or adding a minor to their major. This will give you even more career opportunities after graduation. If you’re not sure of what you’d like to study, Pepperdine’s liberal arts education gives you plenty of time to explore your options. You can take your time choosing your Pepperdine majors. Take a variety of courses while completing your general requirements freshman and sophomore year. Then, declare your Pepperdine majors by your junior year. 

If the Pepperdine majors have you excited, start thinking about how to beat the Pepperdine acceptance rate early on. Use the exciting study opportunities as motivation to meet or exceed the high unofficial Pepperdine GPA requirements and Pepperdine SAT requirements.

Most Popular Majors
  • Business
  • Public Relations
  • Psychology
  • Kinesiology and Exercise Science
  • Economics
  • Advertising
  • Political Science and Government
  • International Studies
  • International Business
  • Biology

Pepperdine University Online

Offers Online Courses Yes

Our clients got into Pepperdine University last admissions cycle. Are you next?

Our advisors graduated from the nation’s best universities, so they know first-hand what it takes to stand out in the admissions process.

Pepperdine University Students

The undergraduate Pepperdine enrollment at the Malibu Pepperdine campus is approximately 3,400. Students who make up the Pepperdine enrollment enjoy taking classes in the Pepperdine campus – one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation. The Pepperdine campus is nestled among the Santa Monica mountains in Malibu, with a view overlooking the Pacific coast. 

With around 13,000 applicants last year, this bucolic location for liberal arts studies appeals to many students. It’s no wonder the Pepperdine acceptance rate is 42%.

The Christian values upon which the university was founded are an important part of life and study at Pepperdine University. Pepperdine asks students to attend 14 spiritual events per semester and take at least three religious courses while enrolled. 

Pepperdine enrollment

The Pepperdine campus offers students many options when it comes to student life. Students can take part in clubs, sports, and other activities on campus. They are encouraged to explore their spirituality – the Pepperdine campus offers many different opportunities to do so. While Christian values are at the forefront, students of all religious backgrounds are welcome at Pepperdine University. 

Students in the undergraduate Pepperdine enrollment are also active in the community. They connect with the local community and develop their leadership skills through community service which Pepperdine University encourages. 

Pepperdine values a holistic learning experience for their students. The student health center at Pepperdine supports students’  wellness and healthy lifestyles. From personal fitness to counseling, Pepperdine gives students the tools to lead a well-rounded and healthy life. 

Organizations and student clubs are a great way for new students to immerse themselves in the Pepperdine campus culture. There’s something for everyone at Pepperdine – student government, Greek life, school radio and singing in Gospel choir, to name just a few! In short, there are plenty of opportunities to explore your interests, get involved, and build your community on Pepperdine campus. 

You may want to know what the statistics are on the undergraduate Pepperdine enrollment who beat the Pepperdine acceptance rate. 

Fast facts on the student demographic making up the Pepperdine enrollment in fall 2020: 

  • 58% Male, 42% Female
  • California students made up 54% of the student body.
  • 43% of international students were from China. 
  • The majority of students (48%) identified their ethnicity as white. 15% of the student population identified as Hispanic or Latino, 12% Asian, and 5% Black or African American. 
  • 53% of undergraduates identified their religious affiliation as Christian. 

The Office of Intercultural Affairs focuses on promoting a respectful, inclusive, and diverse community on and off campus. ICA supports marginalized students, advocating for inclusion, justice, and equality.

Full-Time Undergrad Enrollment 3,336
Part-Time Undergraduates 291

Pepperdine University Advisors

CollegeAdvisor.com has an expert advising network to help you beat the Pepperdine University acceptance rate and make Pepperdine enrollment. Applying to college and meeting the unofficial Pepperdine GPA requirements or Pepperdine SAT requirements can be stressful. 

Our experts can help you to navigate things like the Pepperdine supplemental essays, Pepperdine scholarships, Pepperdine financial aid, and the Pepperdine application in general. Getting support in the Pepperdine application can help you to actually enjoy the application process, rather than only stressing about things like the Pepperdine acceptance rate.

Many of the advisors at CollegeAdvisor.com have successfully applied to Ivy League schools. Therefore, they know exactly how to compete and what it takes to get into some of the most selective universities in the nation. 

Check out Majo’s unique story in our Advisor Spotlight. Majo, a Harvard graduate, is one of our advisors who loves helping students through the application process. She relishes the opportunity to give students the tips and guidance she wishes she had. She especially loves assisting students with their personal narrative, using storyboards on essays and translating important life experiences into a competitive candidate profile. 

Once you finish the Pepperdine application, impress Pepperdine admissions, and become a Pepperdine University student, you’ll gain access to the Pepperdine campus academic advisors. They’ll help you with everything from planning your schedule to choosing a major. The advisors want to help you achieve your academic goals and realize your full potential at Pepperdine.

Zach Wehrli
University of Chicago
Hey there! My name is Zach, and I'm a 2018 graduate of the University of Chicago. After graduating with honors in Political Science, I moved to Washington, DC to work as a Policy Associate at a nonprofit, where I worked on issues related to national security and foreign policy. Currently, I'm pursuing an MPP at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; after graduation, I'll be joining the U.S. Foreign Service as a diplomat. I also have more than three years of professional experience in college admissions, including a fellowship in a top 10 undergraduate admissions office and two years as a part-time admissions consultant. Outside of school and work, I enjoy traveling, reading, and getting outdoors as much as possible!

Also Accepted to

Zoë Edington
University of California – Berkeley
Hi there! My name is Zoe (she/her/hers). In high school, I participated in dual enrollment, which eventually helped me graduate with two AA degrees and start college with junior status. I later went to UC Berkeley and graduated in 2018 with a BA in anthropology. As a college student I was unsure about the type of career that I wanted, so I joined a lot of student clubs, enrolled in random classes, and gained a variety of skills. I loved traveling so I studied abroad for a summer in Spain and a year in Australia, doing internships in both countries. I am passionate about educational equity and passing the torch to help future generations. I have worked with CollegeAdvisor.com for two years and I have advised clients who had a variety of academic interests. Some of the colleges that my previous clients have been accepted to include UC Berkeley, UCLA, and Duke Kunshan University.

Also Accepted to

Pepperdine University Related Essay Guides

Here at CollegeAdvisor, we know that essay writing can often be one of the most stressful parts of the application process. 

You’ll complete the Pepperdine application via the Common Application. In addition to the Common App essay, you’ll also have to complete the Pepperdine supplemental essays. 

CollegeAdvisor provides a number of free resources such as webinars and essay guides. The essay guides can be a great help when working on your Pepperdine application. The Pepperdine acceptance rate is 42%, which makes it a more competitive school. Therefore, in addition to meeting the assumed high Pepperdine SAT requirements and Pepperdine GPA requirements, the essay is an important part of standing out to Pepperdine admissions. 

Pepperdine supplemental essays

The Pepperdine application actually only has one supplemental essay for students to respond to. Because there is only one essay, focus on giving it your best effort and full attention. You’ve got one essay to impress Pepperdine admissions and potentially become a part of the undergraduate Pepperdine enrollment. 

Here’s the Pepperdine supplemental essay 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)

Pepperdine admissions wants to know “why Pepperdine?” We know that Christian values are a huge part of the Pepperdine campus. You’ll want to think about how faith influences your daily life. How does that connect to your goals? How would you participate in the spiritual life on campus?

Answer the supplemental essay authentically, but do your research. Learn about the Pepperdine campus so you can imagine how you would contribute to it. Connect it all to your future goals. What will you gain from the strong Christian values at Pepperdine? And most importantly, what will you give back to the Pepperdine community during your time there?

Finally, check out our full essay guides below for more tips on how to approach the Pepperdine application and essay.

Not sure how to approach the Pepperdine essay prompts? With tips from a Harvard graduate, CollegeAdvisor.com’s guide to the Pepperdine supplemental essays will give you the tools to write Pepperdine […]

Pepperdine University Related Client Success Stories

The Pepperdine ranking is high – for this reason, you should seek guidance throughout the Pepperdine application  to help beat the Pepperdine acceptance rate. Many students work with advisors to navigate the often stressful application process. Advisors keep students motivated and help them to best craft their applications. 

Joshua, a CollegeAdvisor client, enlisted the help of a college advisor through the CollegeAdvisor Scholars Program. He applied as a senior and was accepted to the Scholars Program. The Scholars program accepts 100 high school students each year and provides free admission advice to those in financial need. 

The hardest part for Joshua was showing his personality in his application. His advisor guided him through this and Joshua was proud that he could be authentic. Not only did he beat the Pepperdine acceptance rate, but also he received Pepperdine financial aid and a Pepperdine scholarship that helped to offset the Pepperdine University tuition. 

Joshua is taking full advantage of the Pepperdine majors. He plans to double major in Political Science and Business Administration. He’s excited to live and study on the beautiful Pepperdine campus. 

Sebastian and Ashby Whitaker, who worked with CollegeAdvisor throughout admissions – have similar success stories. While Sebastian and Ashby both decided to attend Notre Dame, Ashby received acceptance from Pepperdine University, as well as many other competitive schools.

Pepperdine University Related Blog Posts

Students often get caught up in things like the Pepperdine acceptance rate, Pepperdine SAT requirements, and Pepperdine GPA requirements. But it’s equally important to think about what life would really be like at Pepperdine University. 

So, what’s campus life like? Firstly, you can read all about it on the website. It can also be especially useful to read about life at Pepperdine on the Pepperdine University blogThis will give you all the details about the Pepperdine application and life as a student on Pepperdine campus.

University blogs are a great way to learn about the topics that you’re curious about. They’ll also get you excited about the college process. Therefore, instead of stressing about the Pepperdine acceptance rate, take a few minutes to read a blog and get some motivation. 

CollegeAdvisor offers free resources to help with the college application process too. You can take advantage of the essay guides and webinars, but there are also articles on a variety of topics relevant to students applying to college. 

For example, are you a first generation college student? If so, you’re not alone. About 50% of college students identify as first generation. 

So far, we’ve spoken a lot about the Pepperdine application process. But what happens when you’re actually accepted to Pepperdine University? Learn all about college acceptance letters so you’re prepared. 

And what about when you make the Pepperdine enrollment? When do you have to make a final decision on where to attend college? The college enrollment process can be confusing – learn all the details about it so that you’re prepared when Pepperdine University accepts you!

Our resources will guide you through the Pepperdine University application process. Furthermore, CollegeAdvisor’s expert advisors can give you personalized, one-on-one advice to help you get into the college of your dreams! 

College Enrollment Guide So you’re past applications and have moved on to the exciting process of college enrollment! Well, congratulations. Choosing what school you’re going to attend is an exciting […]

Pepperdine University Campus Videos