Admission & Aid | School of Public Policy | Pepperdine University

Admission Requirements

Students at computer


We take a holistic approach to evaluating your application and consider several factors (see checklist below), including your coursework and grade point average, test scores, career interests, recommendations, community service, and leadership activities. If you are coming directly from an undergraduate institution, we will place greater emphasis on your undergraduate records and GRE scores rather than work experience.

Our Admission Committee reviews applications for fall admission only on a rolling basis and typically notifies applicants of its decision in less than two weeks. We look forward to answering your questions: or 310.506.7493.


1. Application Fee

The $50 application fee is nonrefundable.

2. Completed and Signed Application

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis (the application is reviewed once complete). Applications received after June 15 will be reviewed on a space-available basis. (Note: Since the admission review process does not include an interview, submitted materials should be representative of the student's qualifications.)

3. Two Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required. One academic reference and one professional reference are preferred. The letters may be submitted by completing this form or writing a letter. Documents should be submitted to the address listed below, emailed from the recommender's work email directly to, or faxed to 310.506.7494.

4. Two essays

Two essays. One essay (1-2 pages) should address an ethical and moral dilemma faced by applicant in recent years. Describe reactions and how the situation was resolved. The other essay (2-3 pages) should be a brief personal statement indicating interest in studying public policy, reason for choosing to apply to Pepperdine University, and any other information that should be considered by the admission committee.

  • A current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited four-year college or university in any area of study.


5. Current Resume or Curriculum Vitae

A current resume or curriculum vitae should be included. While work experience is not required for entrance to the Master of Public Policy program, professional experience will be considered as part of the admission process and can greatly strengthen the applicant's profile as a candidate for admission.

6. Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited four-year college or university in any area of study.

7. Official Transcripts

An official transcript should be sent to the School of Public Policy directly from each college or university attended. A final official transcript from the college or university that granted the degree, showing the baccalaureate degree posted and date awarded, is required before attending. Transcripts must be mailed directly by the registrar from the college or university that granted the undergraduate degree and must be sent to the School of Public Policy Office of Admission. All transcripts and documents submitted become the property of the University and are not returnable.

8. Official Test Scores

Official test scores from one of the following:

    • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
      (Note: When registering for the GRE test, applicants should use institution code 4630)
    • Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT)
      (Note: When registering for the GMAT, applicants should use the school code 37B-Q9-63)
    • Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)
      (Note: If not applying to the School of Law, please request your LSDAS report to be sent to the Office of Admission at the School of Public Policy)

Pepperdine Seaver College applicants, please contact the School of Public Policy Office of Admission regarding test score waivers.

All official test scores must be within five years of the application date.

International students* must submit test scores from one of the below exams in addition to one of the exams listed above:

    • Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
      (Minimum required score of a 95 IBT)
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores
      (Band score of 7.0 required).

Seaver College Graduates Only

Seaver graduates and current students are not required to send us a hard copy of your degree posted transcript.

Application fee and GRE are waived for applicants graduating from Seaver College within the two years prior to the date of desired attendance at the School of Public Policy

All application information that can not be submitted online should be mailed to:

Pepperdine University
School of Public Policy
Office of Admission
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263-7493

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