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Pepperdine | School of Public Policy

School of Public Policy Admission Requirements

School of Public policy students looking at the computer for admissions information

Fall 2021 application portal opens on October 1, 2020. In response to the needs of our 2021 applicants during the COVID-19 pandemic, the School of Public Policy is making the GRE/GMAT/LSAT requirements optional.


See Your Future Differently From Here

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 following each of our completion deadlines and typically notifies applicants of its decision in less than two weeks. We look forward to answering your questions: sppadmissions@pepperdine.edu or 310.506.7493. 

Learn all about the application requirements for applying to the Pepperdine School of Public Policy below.

1. Completed and Signed Application

Applications are reviewed after the close of each completion deadline (the application is reviewed ONLY once complete). Applications received after July 10, 2020 will be reviewed on a space-available basis. Due to visa processing restrictions, applications for non-US citizens not be accepted after June 5, 2020(Note: Since the admission review process does not include an interview, submitted materials should be representative of the student's qualifications.)  

2. Two Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required. One academic reference and one professional reference are preferred. Letters of recommendation should come from the recommender either via sealed envelope to the address listed below or emailed from the recommender's work email directly to sppadmissions@pepperdine.edu.

For applicants who are applying under the Government Staffers fast-track, one of the two Letters of Recommendation must come from the head of the department or legislative office for which you work.

3. Two essays

Two essays are required. One essay (1-2 pages) should address an ethical and moral dilemma faced by the 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 the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, and any other information that should be considered by the admission committee. (Note: since the admission process does not require an interview, the essays should be reflective of the type of leader and student the applicant is.) These essays can be either mailed to the Office of Admission using the address listed below or emailed directly to sppadmissions@pepperdine.edu.

4. 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.

5. Bachelor's Degree

Before matriculating as a student at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, all students must have a conferred bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited four-year college or university in any area of study. While the degree does not need to be conferred at the time of application submission/completion or admission, the applicant should be on the track to having a conferred degree at the time of matriculation for their intended term of enrollment.

6. Transcripts

For the purposes of application review, the School of Public Policy accepts untampered, unofficial transcripts from each college or university the applicant attended for academic credit. All transcripts and documents submitted become the property of the University and are not returnable.

Please have your transcripts sent to:

sppadmissions@pepperdine.edu

OR

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

If accepted and at the time of matriculation, the School of Public Policy requires a final degree-conferred official transcript from the college or university that granted the degree, showing the baccalaureate degree posted and date awarded. Transcripts must be mailed or emailed 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.

Please have your transcripts sent to:

sppadmissions@pepperdine.edu

OR

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

7. Official Test Scores

All Official Test Scores must be within five years of the application date.

In response to the needs of our 2021 applicants during the COVID-19 pandemic, the School of Public Policy is making the GRE/GMAT/LSAT requirements OPTIONAL.

  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
    (Note: When registering for the GRE test, applicants should use institution code 4630)
    OR
  • Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT)
    (Note: When registering for the GMAT, applicants should use the school code 37B-Q9-63)
    OR
  • 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)

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) 
    OR
  • 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.

Official Test Scores 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

Pepperdine Policy Partners Program (P4) Only

The School of Public Policy stands committed to our founding principles in preparing the next generation of public leaders. Over the years, our most successful and dedicated students are those who have graduated from or participated in respected social science programs and/or like-minded co-curricular fellowships. To recognize the academic and professional rigor of these programs and fellowships, we've launched the Pepperdine Policy Partners Program—"P4"—making available a host of admission and program perks to associated applicants.  Review the P4 organizations and perks at the Pepperdine Policy Partners Program web page.

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