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Pepperdine | School of Public Policy
Public Leaders
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Welcome to the Pepperdine School of Public Policy

As one of America's few graduate public policy schools rooted in a Judeo-Christian understanding of servant leadership, the Pepperdine School of Public Policy firmly believes that there is a calling to public service—one that can be fulfilled through meaningful careers in government, at all levels, as well as the policy-related business and nonprofit sectors. The school's distinctive liberal arts curriculum balances a rigorous study of philosophy and history with the latest skills of quantitative economics and policy analysis. Both inside and outside our classroom, our students experience our commitment to viewpoint diversity, seeing policy debates from both sides of the aisle as a unique way of preparing servant leaders.

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.

  • 28%Employed in the public sector
  • 29%Employed in the private sector
  • 33%Employed in the nonprofit sector
  • 11%Post graduate / doctoral studies



Hanna Skanera teaching a class - 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.

city skyline


Catalyzes and supports a multi-jurisdictional and comprehensive approach to preparedness, security, and resiliency in the Los Angeles region.

The Homeland Security Advisory Council at the School of Public Policy (HSAC@SPP) is an innovative academic enterprise focusing on disaster preparedness, crisis management, and resiliency through engaging the public, private, and civic sectors. HSAC@SPP is a robust cross-sector initiative, positioned to prepare the current and next generation of leaders by exploring a full range of cross-sector and information technology solutions to public policy challenges.

American Project Conference with four panelists - 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.


Dr. James Prieger lecturing class - Pepperdine School of Public Policy

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

Pepperdine SPP Graduate, Kevin McGowan

Very few schools in the public policy arena really give you both sides of the equation, and I thought that was a really good asset as I was going to seek a career in public service."

Director Office of Emergency Management
County of Los Angeles Chief Executive Office


Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson Named Inaugural Giles O'Malley Distinguished Visiting Professor

Victor Davis Hanson, the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and former William E. Simon Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, will return to Pepperdine in fall 2023 to serve as the inaugural Terry Giles and Kalli O'Malley Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of Public Policy.