Pepperdine University Admissions: Everything You Want to and Need to Know
Overview of Pepperdine University
Pepperdine University is a private research institution situated in Malibu, California. This prestigious institution has a large selection of undergraduate and graduate degree programs for students to choose from. A robust student/faculty ratio supports students, and professors take a personalized approach to the teaching and learning process. Outside of the classroom, students will find plenty of opportunities to engage with the campus community via many clubs and organizations. In athletics, the Pepperdine Waves play in the NCAA Division I West Coast Conference.
- Total Enrollment: 7,961 (3,627 undergraduates)
- Gender Breakdown: 41 percent male/59 percent female
- 92 percent full-time
Cost of Attendance Information
- Tuition and Fees: $55,892
- Books: $1,250
- Room and Board: $15,670
- Other Expenses: $2,500
- Total Cost: $75,312
Financial Aid Information
- Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 91 percent
- Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
- Grants: 91 percent
- Loans: 48 percent
- Average Amount of Aid
- Grants: $30,372
- Loans: $7,153
Academic Programs Offered
- Most Popular Majors: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs; Social Sciences; Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies; and Psychology
Retention and Graduation
- First-Year Student Retention (full-time students): 91 percent
- 4-Year Graduation Rate: 73 percent
- 6-Year Graduation Rate: 83 percent
NCAA Athletic Programs
- Men’s Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, Water Polo
- Women’s Sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, Beach Volleyball
Overview of Pepperdine University Admissions
Pepperdine University has a competitive admissions process, but students whose SAT/ACT scores and GPA are within the institution’s requirements have a good chance of being admitted. Applicants should complete an online application and send test scores from either the SAT or ACT and high school transcripts. Students with unique talents and accomplishments can still receive strong consideration even if their GPAs are outside of the mean range. After applying, students will receive a message from an admissions counselor about the application process’s next steps.
During the 2018-19 admissions phase, Pepperdine University had an acceptance rate of 36%. For every 100 students who submitted applications, 36 gained admission, making Pepperdine’s admissions process competitive.
SAT Requirements and Scores
During the 2018-19 admissions phase, 68% of students provided SAT scores. This admissions data reveals that most of Pepperdine’s students score within the top 20% nationally on the SAT. 50% of students admitted to Pepperdine scored between 610 and 690 on the evidence-based reading and writing section, while 25% scored under 610, and 25% scored over 690. 50% of admitted students scored between 610 and 730 on the math section, while 25% scored under 610, and 25% scored over 730. Applicants with a cumulative SAT score of 1420 or higher will have particularly competitive chances at Pepperdine University.
ACT Requirements and Scores
During the 2018-19 admissions phase, 47% of the admitted students provided ACT scores. This admissions data reveals that most of Pepperdine’s students score within the top 18% nationally on the ACT. The median 50% of students admitted to Pepperdine received a cumulative ACT score between 26 and 32, while 25% scored over 32, and 25% scored under 26.
In 2019, the university’s median 50% had high school GPAs between 3.62 and 3.95. 25% had a GPA of over 3.95, and 25% had a GPA of under 3.62. Successful applicants to Pepperdine have B/B+ grades primarily.
Safety Net Schools: Easy to Gain Admission
If past admission data predicts that you would be a competitive candidate for Pepperdine University, it should be easy to gain admissions to the schools below. If Pepperdine University is currently out of your reach, then you are sure to be a competitive candidate for the schools below.
Syracuse University, United States Military Academy, Penn State University Park, University of Cincinnati, Hofstra University, Temple University, Seton Hall University
Same Tier: Just As Hard to Gain Admission
If you’re a competitive candidate for Pepperdine University, you should have an equal chance of gaining admissions at these schools.
University of Washington, Stony Brook University, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, University of Connecticut, University of California, Irvine, Rochester Institute of Technology, American University
Reach Institutions: Gaining Admissions Will be More of a Challenge
These schools are more challenging to gain admission into than Pepperdine University. If you improve your GPA and SAT/ACT scores, you’ll be a competitive candidate.
University of Michigan, Boston University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Villanova University, Binghamton University, Lehigh University, University of Florida
Applying to Pepperdine University
Application Deadline: January 15
Undergraduate Admissions Website:
Undergraduate Application Link(s):
Graduate Admissions Website:
Graduate Application Link(s):