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College Counselor Resources


A Welcome Message from the Office of Admission

High school and college counselors are key partners in the work we do. We count on you to prepare and educate students for the admission process. Before jumping into the material, we would like to say thank you to all counselors who continue to work tirelessly, and often times thanklessly, in educating students about college. Your continued work makes a huge impact on the students we work with. Thank you for all you do!

To assist you in your work with students, we have provided details, tips, and information pertaining to all things regarding Pepperdine admission below. We hope to provide resources and answers here to help clarify any questions pertaining to applying to Pepperdine and becoming a Wave. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our office with any questions at admission-seaver@pepperdine.edu, or your region's specific admission counselor. We look forward to connecting with you!

Application Information

Pepperdine University accepts the Common Application for first-year applicants, while transfer applicants must submit the Pepperdine Transfer Application.  Transfer applicants are considered students who have both graduated from high school and completed college credits.

.An applicant's academic performance makes up the majority of the decision. 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 in academic classes, the transcript which shows course rigor and trends, the school report which shows the academic context, and test scores if submitted for review.

The admission decision is also based on a student's extracurricular activities, letter of recommendation, leadership roles, and response to our essay prompts. We value an applicant's achievements outside of the classroom and we look for strong leadership qualities, intellectual curiosity, and spiritual interest, as well as a student's potential to make a significant, positive contribution to the Pepperdine community.


Early Action Early Decision Regular Decision Spring Start Term

November 1 - Early Action Application Deadline

January 10 - Early Action Admission Decisions Sent

May 1 - Enrollment Deadline


November 1 - Early Decision Application Deadline

January 10 - Early Decision Admission Decisions Sent

May 1 - Enrollment Deadline

*Binding; admitted students are required to enroll


January 15 - Regular and Transfer Application Deadline

April 1 - Regular Decision Admission Decisions Sent

May 1 - Enrollment Deadline

*Transfer students must apply regular decision

October 1 - Spring Application Deadline

November 15 - Spring Decisions Sent

December 1 - Enrollment Deadline

Additional Resources

  Quick Links
  Test Optional

Pepperdine does not require SAT/ACT scores in order to apply. Applicants will receive the same consideration for admission regardless of whether they submit test scores. However, SAT/ACT scores are required in order to be considered for our top merit scholarships in the Regents Scholars Program. For detailed information and to understand how applications will be reviewed, please visit our FAQs.

  Counselor Events

counselor advisory board

Counselor Advisory Board

This is a nomination-only group of counselors who serve on two-year terms. If you are a college counselor and are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please contact our office at admission-seaver@pepperdine.edu.

SoCal Swing

SoCal Swing is hosted in partnership with the University of San Diego and Chapman University for high school counselors. During the SoCal Swing, you will visit each of our campuses to tour facilities, interact with current community members, gain greater insight into admission and financial aid policies, and experience Southern California in the winter! If you are interested in attending, please reach out to the admission counselor for your area.

  Financial Assistance

92% of our students receive some form of financial assistance. Our only required document to be considered for need-based financial assistance is the FAFSA. All applicants are automatically considered for academic merit scholarships, and no additional scholarship application forms are required. You can find more information about financial assistance by following the links below.

  Letter of Recommendation Tips

The admission process requires one academic letter of recommendation. For high school counselors writing letters of recommendation, we have provided below a list of things we have loved in the past and present within your letters for your reference when advocating for future Waves.

  • Highlight the student holistically - both inside and outside the classroom.
  • Use specific examples of ways a student exemplified the qualities listed in the letter of recommendation.
  • Address and discuss areas the candidate has grown and can continue to grow.
  • Use bright, descriptive language that is representative of the student's personality.
  • Admission staff members receive a high volume of letters, many of which contain the same look and content. Feel free to be creative with the structure of your letter. We love both bullet point and paragraph styles of letters- write in the style most comfortable to you!
  • Consider the high volume of letters received at the application deadline. The sooner a letter is submitted, the sooner your student can complete their application checklist!

For any trouble submitting your letter, you have the option to email it to admission-seaver@pepperdine.edu.

If you have any questions during the application process, please do not hesitate to contact us using the "Meet Your Admission Counselor" tool found here.

  Introduce Pepperdine to Your Students

Your students can schedule individual campus visits here, which include a guided tour of campus led by a current student and an application workshop with an admission counselor. If you would like to schedule a group tour of Pepperdine, please fill out our online group visit request form

If you are unable to visit our Malibu campus in-person, we encourage you, and the students you work with, to take advantage of our virtual options including an interactive tour, appointments with an Admission Counselor or a Financial Assistance Advisor, and online application workshops. For a complete list of virtual opportunities, please visit here.