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Pepperdine | School of Public Policy
Preparing
Public Leaders
with a "Moral Sense"
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Welcome to the Pepperdine School of Public Policy

For an era marked by political polarization and distrust of our governing institutions, the Pepperdine School of Public Policy prepares public leaders who can work across differences and across sectors to create sustainable policy solutions. Through a distinctive curriculum shaped by the late, great social scientist, Dr. James Q. Wilson, over two decades ago, our students learn to not only consider the quantitative aspects of policy decisions, but to also analyze politics from historical, philosophical, and faith perspectives—to employ what Dr. Wilson called our "moral sense." The need to humanize our politics and policymaking has never been greater, which is why we say from our breathtaking campus, our students "will see public policy differently from here."

COVID-19 Planning and Preparedness

Pepperdine University is closely monitoring developments for Coronavirus Disease 2019. Learn more about the University's response plans to keep our campus communities safe.

Quick Facts

At Pepperdine University we believe in cross sector leadership where individuals can make a significant impact in the world and that a Master of Public Policy can be the first step.

  • 20%Employed in the public sector
  • 41%Employed in the private sector
  • 27%Employed in the nonprofit sector
  • 11%Post graduate / doctoral studies

Initiatives



Ted McAllister and Bill McClay- Pepperdine School of Public Policy

American Project

Convening scholars and activists to explore the future of American conservatism.

"The American Project: On the Future of Conservatism" is a multi-year program to propel innovative ideas for reimagining the future of America's conservative movement. The American Project is led by SPP Dean Pete Peterson, and co-director, Rich Tafel. "As a program founded by the likes of James Q. Wilson, Jack Kemp, and many other leading center-right leaders and scholars, Pepperdine School of Public Policy is honored to be chosen to be the home for this critical initiative," Dean Peterson stated. "This is a critical time in our nation's history to be considering the impact America's conservative movement can and should have on our politics and policy."


Hanna Skandera - Pepperdine School of Public Policy

Education Policy & Impact

Preparing future and convening current leaders in education policy.

The "Education Policy and Impact" initiative based at the School of Public Policy is a multi-part initiative intended to both prepare policy leaders as it engages current policymakers in civil discussions about the future of America's education system. Launched in the fall of 2019, this program builds upon the existing work SPP has undertaken in coursework, research, and public events.


Viewpoint Diversity panel at Pepperdine School of Public Policy

Viewpoint Diversity

Preparing public leaders to consider and understand a diverse range of ideological perspectives.

To say that academia is politically progressive is a generally accepted fact of American life. But for a graduate policy program tasked with preparing our next generation of public leaders, it is of primary importance that we practice viewpoint diversity both inside and outside the classroom. In today's polarized public square, leaders must know not only their own intellectual foundations, but also those with whom they disagree.


James Prieger teaching a class

Academic Research

Shaping public policy conversations through authorship and initiatives.

The Pepperdine School of Public Policy is committed to constructing a vibrant community of academic and scholarly excellence in which faculty and students study, investigate, learn, and flourish together. Through research conducted by the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership, leading-edge faculty research, and annual policy research seminars, you will have limitless opportunities to become involved with scholars who conduct dynamic and internationally-recognized policy research.


Cross-Sector Conference Panel

Cross-Sector Leadership

Supporting creative public problem-solving across government, business, and nonprofit sectors.

In their important book on public leadership, The Solution Revolution, government consultants Bill Eggers and Paul MacMillan note that America is undergoing a tectonic change in how it responds to public policy challenges—"a shift from a government-dominated model to one in which government is just one player among many." Into this new dynamic Eggers and MacMillan add, "social impact becomes a form of currency with real value to millions—from foundations to governments to venture philanthropists to individual citizens."


Wavemaker Testimonials

Hans Zeiger - Pepperdine SPP graduate

The program at Pepperdine helped me to think in a structured way about public policy, giving me the tools to be an effective legislator. Understanding the foundational aspects of our democracy and having a framework for deliberation are critical to making a meaningful impact as an elected official."

Washington State Senator, 25th District

Events

Data Layers on COVID-19 SALUS Map

HSAC@SPP Launches New Data Layers on COVID-19 SALUS Map

SALUS provides the latest information on public services provided in the region in response to the COVID-19 pandemic along with a statewide case tracker.