Undergraduate Admission FAQ
How many students apply, and how many do you accept?
This past application season (Fall 2019) we received 13,721 applications and admitted 4,241 students.
What do you look for in an application?
The admission committee looks closely at an applicant's academic record, GPA, standardized test scores, background of service and leadership, and character as exhibited in references and short answer/personal statements.
What is the average GPA and standardized test score for an admitted student?
Admit Averages (Mid-50%):
High School GPA: 3.64-3.97 (unweighted)
Transfer GPA: 3.52-3.94 (unweighted)
SAT Total: 1300-1450
ACT Composite: 28-32
TOEFL IBT: 100-109
Where can I find your application?
Pepperdine and Seaver College exclusively use the Common Application. The Common Application is an online admission application used by over 400 colleges and universities across the country, and serves to simplify the college admission process for students applying to multiple schools. Applicants fill out one Common Application, and can submit it to any of the other institutions that also use the application.
When are the application deadlines?
The fall application deadlines are November 1 for Early Action and January 15 for Regular Decision and Transfer. The spring application deadline is October 1. For a complete application timeline, check out the Application Deadlines page.
Does Pepperdine offer interviews as part of the application process?
Yes, Pepperdine offers evaluative interviews for students applying for Fall 2021. Visit the Admission Interviews webpage for additional interview information and FAQs. If you are applying for Fall 2021, you can schedule your interview online.
What courses are required for me to complete in high school?
There are no minimum courses you have to complete.
How many units must be completed to be considered a transfer student?
Transfer applicants are high school graduates who have taken any college units before or after graduating high school. Students who have not graduated from high school or who have graduated from high school without completing any college coursework should apply as a first-year student.
What are the transcript requirements for home-schooled students?
If any portion of the high school course work was completed at a traditional high school, an official transcript of that work must be submitted.
If a transcript for work completed as a home-schooled applicant is not available, official GED or CHSPE documentation indicating a passing score must be submitted. Additionally, official documentation should be submitted indicating the curriculum followed and grades obtained.
Please note: Due to the non-traditional nature of this type of schooling, applicants are expected to demonstrate academic proficiency through strong SAT I or ACT scores.
If I have a fee waiver code, where do I submit it?
Fee waivers are submitted directly through the Common Application. For step-by-step instructions, watch this video walkthrough.
Will Pepperdine accept CA students who have changed their grades to P/NP per CA AB 104?
Pepperdine will accept for admissions purposes transcripts from California students who elect or authorize changes to their transcripts as allowed by California Assembly Bill 104, namely changing letter grade(s) to Pass or No Pass grade(s).
A primary aim of our holistic admission review process is to look for evidence of applicants' academic aptitude and readiness for Pepperdine through an assessment of recommendations, rigor of the curriculum, course choices, and grades. We will assess what is provided on all applicants' transcripts using the same review process and standards.
Does Pepperdine offer Early Action or Early Decision?
Pepperdine offers Early Action admission consideration for first-year students for the fall term, but does not offer Early Decision. Early Action is non-binding, meaning applicants are not required to enroll at Pepperdine if admitted.
The Early Action application deadline for first-year students is November 1, and applicants will receive an admission decision by January 10. The Regular Decision and Transfer application deadline for fall is January 15, and applicants will receive an admission decision by April 1. The enrollment deadline for all fall applicants is May 1. For a complete application timeline, check out the Application Deadlines page.
When will I be notified about financial aid if I am admitted as an Early Action applicant?
Admitted Early Action applicants that have completed their financial aid application by the November 1 priority deadline will receive a preliminary financial aid award offer based on the projected cost of attendance for the following year. The award will be finalized in mid-March, and admitted students will be notified to check their student portal to review their final financial aid award offer.
If I receive improved test scores after I have been admitted as an Early Action applicant, can I submit those results to get more grant or scholarship money from Pepperdine?
No. Financial aid for admitted Early Action applicants will be based on the original submitted documents, materials, and test results that were used to make their admission decision.
If I am denied admission as an Early Action applicant, can I reapply as a Regular Decision applicant for the same term?
No. Instead, you can reapply for the two subsequent academic terms.
What additional materials should I submit to strengthen my application if I am postponed to Regular Decision?
Applicants that were postponed to Regular Decision have the option of submitting mid-year grades. We do not recommend submitting any additional materials to the Office of Admission, as it will not have an impact on the admission decision.
How long will Pepperdine be test optional?
Pepperdine is test optional for students who are applying from Fall 2021 to Fall 2023.
How will submitted test scores be factored into the application review?
If submitted, test scores will be one of several factors the admission committee considers when reviewing a student's application. In our holistic review, the majority of a student's admission decision is based on academic achievement as demonstrated through the unweighted and recalculated GPA, the transcript which shows course rigor and trends, the school report which shows the academic context, and test scores if submitted for review. Our holistic review also dedicates significant consideration to non-academic achievements. These achievements are assessed via the Common Application's Activities section, essays, and letter of recommendation.
Will I be at a disadvantage if I don’t submit test scores?
Students who choose to apply without submitting test scores will not be penalized. Pepperdine's application review has always been holistic and we will continue to consider all parts of an applicant's application when determining the best fit students for Pepperdine. You may find it helpful to visit our Admission Fast Facts webpage, where you will find our admitted student averages for both GPA and test scores.
If I don’t submit test scores, is there anything else I can do to make my application stand out?
Students who choose to apply without submitting test scores do not need to submit additional application materials. The admission committee will continue to thoroughly review and consider each component of a student's application, including all information on the Common Application, official transcripts, and letter of recommendation.
Who can apply without a test score?
All students have the option of applying with submitting test scores or applying without submitting test scores. For more information about submitting test scores and the application process, please visit our First-Year Applicant and Transfer Applicant webpages.
What is the policy for home-schooled applicants?
Due to the variance of home-school curriculum across the nation, although it is not required, we highly recommend that home-schooled students submit an SAT I or ACT score.
How will credit/no credit grades for Spring 2020 be reviewed?
The admission committee recognizes the extreme circumstances of Spring 2020 that drastically changed the ways many schools and educational environments operated, including schools awarding credit/no credit in lieu of letter grades. Students will not be penalized if credit/no credit was awarded for Spring 2020 as these courses will not be factored into their GPA. Students will still be considered for merit aid.
How should I decide whether or not to submit test scores?
Deciding whether or not to submit test scores is entirely up to the student. You may find it helpful in guiding your decision to visit our Admission Fast Facts webpage, where you will find our admitted student averages for both GPA and test scores.
Will I be considered for merit aid if I don’t submit test scores?
All students will be considered for merit aid. The following components will be factored into consideration for merit aid: a student's unweighted and recalculated GPA, demonstrated course rigor, standardized test scores (if submitted), and overall strength as an applicant, as determined by the admission committee. For more information regarding scholarships, including the Regents and Seaver Academic Scholarships and George Pepperdine Achievement Award, please visit our University/Private Financial Assistance webpage.
How do I indicate that I want my test scores to be considered?
When students apply, they will be asked if they plan to submit test scores on Pepperdine's Member Question section of the Common Application. If they do plan to submit test scores, we will wait to receive them before reviewing their application. Students will not be able to change their answer to this question once they submit the application.
If I choose to submit test scores, when do they need to be submitted by?
Fall 2021 applicants: Students applying by the Early Action deadline need to have all application materials submitted by November 1. Students applying by the Regular Decision deadline need to have all application materials submitted by January 15. First-year applicants who choose to submit test scores must take the SAT I or ACT by October in order to meet the November 1 Early Action deadline or by December to meet the regular application deadline.
Spring 2021 applicants: Students applying for the Spring 2021 term need to have all application materials submitted by October 1.
How do I submit test scores?
Students can submit either official test scores through the testing agency or self reported test scores through our test score form, which can be accessed through the application portal. If test scores are self reported at the time of application, official test scores will be required upon admission to Pepperdine. *Please note that self reported test scores will only be accepted from the applicant through Pepperdine's test score form. Test scores reported on the main section of the Common Application will not be accepted.
Are the SAT/ACT required?
Test scores will be optional for students applying for Fall 2021 to Fall 2023.
Do I need to take the SAT II Subject Exams?
No, Pepperdine only considers the SAT I and/or ACT exams.
Is the ACT writing test or SAT essay required?
The optional ACT writing test and SAT essay are not required, and scores from these optional components are not considered.
When should I take the SAT/ACT?
If you are planning to submit SAT/ACT scores, you must take the SAT I or ACT by October in order to meet the November 1 Early Action deadline or by December in order to meet the January 15 Regular Decision deadline. We recommend taking the test early, so you have time to retake or reschedule the test if needed.
How do I submit my test scores?
Applicants can submit test scores in two ways:
1. Send an official score report from the testing agency.
2. Self report scores through the test score form in the Pepperdine applicant portal. Applicants will receive access to the portal once their application has been processed.
Please note that test scores reported on the Common Application or transcripts will not be accepted.
Do you superscore the SAT and ACT?
Pepperdine superscores both the SAT and ACT, meaning we combine the highest section scores from each test date to create the highest possible total. It is therefore to your advantage to send our office the results from each time you took the test.
Are international students required to take the TOEFL or IELTS?
International applicants do not necessarily need to take the TOEFL or IELTS. International applicants must submit proof of English proficiency, which may be demonstrated by one of the following:
- SAT I Evidence-Based Reading and Writing of 500
- ACT Reading score of 24
- Internet Based TOEFL score of 80
- Paper Based TOEFL score of 550
- An attested or watermarked copy of an IELTS exam of a score of 6.5 or higher
- A "C" or better in a transferable English Composition course (not ESL) at an accredited US college or university
- A "C" or better on the UK system AS or A-Level English Exams (not ESL), or Hong Kong system HKALE English Exam
- The ELS Language Centers' Master level 112 class with a grade of "B" or higher
- IB 1 English grade result of 5 or better (not ESL).
*All test scores must be taken within 2 years of the time of application.
What is the demographic breakdown of the student body?
Seaver College has approximately 3,400 undergraduates with 60% female and 40% male. We have students from all 50 states and over 70 nations. Currently about 50% of our students are from California, 13% are international, and the rest come from all 50 states. Our top 5 states of origin are California, Texas, Washington, Colorado, and Arizona. Our top 12 countries of origin are China, Indonesia, Canada, Brazil, Hong Kong, India, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Russia, Turkey, and Taiwan. Seaver College has an ethnic profile of 49% Caucasian, 10% Asian, 14% Hispanic, 5% African American, <1% Native American, and <1% Pacific Islander.
What do students do for fun?
Pepperdine's location is ideal for a variety of activities ranging from hiking, camping, swimming, and surfing. The university is located approximately 30 minutes from Los Angeles, where students frequently attend professional athletic events, go to comedy and music venues, go shopping, eat at different cultural restaurants, and explore the art exhibits at the Getty, LACMA, MOCA, and Annenberg Space for Photography.
On campus, Pepperdine hosts student-led coffeehouses with live music and poetry, improv comedy, world-class NCAA athletics, cookouts, and much more. Seaver College has over 110 clubs and organizations that range from the major-specific (Pre-Health, Pre-Law) to the truly quirky (Swashbuckler Pirate society). One great thing about having high student participation is that if a certain club isn't already available, it is easy for any student to start one. Our students also show off their school spirit by supporting our athletic teams! We have 17 men's and women's NCAA Division I athletic teams, 9 club teams, and 6 intramural sports.
Do I have to live on campus my first year?
Yes. Students entering as a first-year are required to live on campus and have a meal plan their freshman and sophomore years. Transfer students are required to live on campus for one academic year. On-campus housing is not guaranteed for junior and senior years, and spaces are available by a lottery process to upperclassmen.
Seaver College has 25 residence halls that provide suite-style living with a common room and restroom surrounded by 4 fully furnished double bedrooms. Over 60% of our undergraduates live on campus. For videos of the residence halls and further information about housing, please visit the Housing and Residence Life website.
Can I bring my car on campus as a freshman?
Yes. All students can have a car on campus for all 4 years. There is no parking fee, but students must register their car with the Department of Public Safety upon arriving on campus.
What measures does Pepperdine take to ensure student safety?
Pepperdine has taken many measures to provide a safe campus, such as entrance security booths, a late night security escort program, 24-hour campus security personnel, locked residence halls and suite areas, a blue-light system, and well-lit parking lots.
What is the cost of tuition?
Tuition and Room and Board for the 2019-2020 academic year is $71,562. Approximately 88% of students at Pepperdine receive some form of financial assistance. For more information about financial assistance, please visit the Financial Assistance website.
What are the most popular majors at Pepperdine?
Pepperdine is a liberal arts university with excellent programs across all the academic offerings. The largest academic divisions at Seaver College are the Business Division, Communication Division, Social Science Division, and the Natural Science Division. We currently offer 45 majors and 40 minors across 8 academic divisions.
The top 5 majors by number of students are:
What is the average class size at Seaver College? What is the student to professor ratio?
The average class size is 17 students, and the student to professor ratio is 13:1.
Do you have Teaching Assistants or Graduate students teaching classes?
No. All classes are taught by a professor. 85% of full-time faculty have earned a doctoral or terminal degree.
Can I minor or double major?
You can only indicate one major on your application, but you will have the opportunity to add an additional major or minor during your time at Pepperdine. Academic Advising is available to help students plan out their curriculum once enrolled.
How do your study abroad/international programs rank compared to other universities?
The Institute of International Education (IIE) has ranked Pepperdine's international programs as number 1 for the number of students we send to study abroad, and in the top 10 for popularity of our study abroad programs. Over 60% of undergraduate students study abroad in one of 7 academic year programs that focus on the liberal arts/general education curriculum. The academic year programs include Buenos Aires, Argentina; Florence, Italy; Heidelberg, Germany; London, England; Shanghai, China; Lausanne, Switzerland, and Washington, D.C. Altogether there are 29 different opportunities to study abroad, including over a dozen summer programs. For further information, check out our International Programs website.
Do my AP or IB courses transfer to Pepperdine?
Typically, students receiving a "3" or higher on AP tests (a "4" or higher is required for the English exam) will receive credit for AP courses. In regard to IB credit, students receiving a "5" or higher on IB tests (a "6" or higher is required for the English exam) will typically receive credit. For a complete list of approved AP or IB course transfers, please visit the Academic Advising website.
What is Pepperdine's policy on granting transfer credit for college or dual enrollment classes?
Pepperdine grants unit credit for courses completed at regionally accredited institutions with a grade of "C" or higher, with the exception of remedial-level and/or non-academic courses (as determined by Academic Advising at Pepperdine). These courses must be completed within seven years of the term of matriculation to Pepperdine. Incoming students can receive a maximum of 64 semester units. Academic Advising will issue degree audit reports to accepted transfer students before the enrollment deadline.
Courses completed through a dual enrollment program will be considered for transfer credit using the same criteria as regular college classes.
What is Pepperdine’s four-year graduation rate?
Pepperdine's four-year graduation rate is 77%, which is approximately 36% higher than the national average.
What percentage of students are employed after graduation?
6 months after graduation, 89% of 2017 graduates were employed, accepted to graduate school, volunteering full time, or in the military. For a complete breakdown of graduate outcomes, check out the Success After Seaver page.
Where do Seaver graduates work?
Recent Pepperdine grads have gone on to work for companies including: Amgen, AT&T, the Academy of Country Music, Boeing, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Creative Artists Agency, Capital One, Deloitte, Disney, DreamWorks Animation, Ernst & Young, ESPN, Facebook, Fidelity Investments, Four Seasons, Fox, the Gary Sinise Foundation, Goldman Sachs, Google, Hughes Research Lab, International Justice Mission, Jumpstart, Kaiser Permanente, Live Nation, Mattel, Morgan Stanley, National Institute of Health, NBC Universal, Nordstrom, Oracle, Oprah Winfrey Network, Peace Corps, Sony, Target, Teach for America, Twitter, Wells Fargo, Zappos, and many more.
How many Pepperdine students are accepted to graduate school?
83% of Pepperdine students that applied in 2017 were admitted to graduate school. There was a 91% medical school acceptance rate and a 100% acceptance rate into dental, physical therapy, physician assistant, and veterinary school.
When are campus visits offered?
Campus visits are typically offered Monday through Friday at 10 AM, 1 PM, and 2 PM. Visits include a 60-minute student-led campus tour and 30-minute application workshop with a Pepperdine Admission Counselor. The application workshop reviews the timeline for applying, the application evaluation process, and financial assistance. You can sign up online or by calling the Office of Admission at 310.506.4392.
Can I sit in on a Pepperdine class or meet with an Academic Division?
Prospective students are welcome to sit in on a class or meet with a representative from their intended Academic Division, depending on availability. You will need to fill out the Division Contact and Visit Request Form at least one week prior to your visit.
Does Pepperdine host regional admission events?
Yes, Pepperdine offers information sessions in the fall and spring for prospective students around the country and internationally. Check out our current domestic event offerings here. International students can contact the Office of International Student Services (OISS) at firstname.lastname@example.org to check whether Pepperdine will be visiting their country.
Where can I stay near campus?
For hotel recommendations and other information about visiting Malibu, check out the Parents Program website.