Founded in 1937 by a Christian businessman, Pepperdine University is an independent Christian university with an enrollment of about 7,700 students in five colleges and schools: Seaver College, the School of Law, the Graziadio School of Business and Management, the Graduate School of Education and Psychology,and the School of Public Policy. The university is situated on a picturesque 830-acre campus that overlooks the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, CA., and is just a half-hour from Beverly Hills and an hour from Disneyland.
Affiliated with the Churches of Christ, the school welcomes students of all faiths and races. In keeping with its foundation, however, the school expects its students to attend 14 spiritual “convocations” each semester and take Bible courses during their years at the university. There is a Church of Christ on campus, and some student-led ministries.
Letters, Arts, and Sciences
The Frank R. Seaver College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences offers undergraduates bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees in 42 majors and 37 minors.
Undergraduate degrees and majors include psychology, history, education, music education, physical education, chemistry, health and clinical sciences, philosophy and religion, communications and journalism, mathematics, global studies, nutrition sciences, English language and literature, drama/theater arts, music, fine/studio arts, international business, and business management and marketing.
Students enrolled in the George L. Graziadio School of Business and Management will be well equipped after graduation since this is one of the top business schools in the world, with the distinction of being accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which only 5% of the world’s business schools receive. Here, there are MBA, Executive, Master of Science, Bachelor’s, Executive Education, and Global programs for students to enroll in. Boeing, Disney, and Toyota are partners with the school and often recruit students for internships and for full time work. Students here also gain valuable experience by working in programs with companies to help find solutions to their real-world business situations.
The School of Law offers three degrees: The Juris Doctor (JD), the Master in Laws Dispute Resolution (LL.M), and the Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR). This school has the backing of the American Bar Association and graduates can practice law in any state in the nation. Professors here make time for students with their open door policies and instead of just solid lectures, the school offers special interest institutes, academic centers, seminars, and arranges events for students to gain real world experience. The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution is ranked first in the country for it’s high-level training.
This is a unique school in the academic world and a true testament to Pepperdine’s values, ethics, and morals. The school is very focused on developing leaders with a conscience, and they look towards the future when these students are the policy makers in our government, and private and nonprofit enterprises. The school wants to make sure the country will be in good hands. The Master of Public Policy is awarded or there are joint degrees available with the JD, MBA, or MDR.
Education and Psychology
This school offers nine master’s and doctoral programs in education and seven in psychology. Students are trained to become leaders in their fields and gain hands-on experience while conducting research using state-of-the-art resources. Courses often integrate into workplace practices, allowing students to apply what is learned in the classroom to their careers.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The school has a student acceptance rate of about 41 percent, and the average freshman retention rate is 89 percent. The admissions office expects its applicants to have a minimum high school grade point average of 3.0, and SATs or ACTs are required. No interview with the college is required for admission. The four-year graduation rate is 73 percent, which is relatively high for U.S. colleges.
Prospective students and their families can learn more by registering for one of the school’s guided campus tours and information sessions, which include a 60-minute, narrated walking tour of the campus led by current students and 30-minute presentations by admissions counselors. Prospective students can also attend a class during their visit, which must be scheduled in advance. You can also take a self-guided tour of the campus, and the website provides maps to guide you.
A variety of merit and need-based scholarships and loans are available, including special achievement scholarships through its athletics, business, communications/journalism, fine arts/music, natural science, social science, and theater departments.
The average need-based loan granted to students is $3,479, and the average need-based scholarship or grant is $31,000. Scholarships not based on need, but on merit, average $21,000.
Upperclass members can also apply for faculty-staff scholarships, which are based on merit and require endorsement from a faculty or staff member.
Student Financial Aid Details
The most obvious positive about student life on campus is its location, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is in the heart of beautiful and expensive Malibu, CA. In addition, Pepperdine is often noted for having some of the nicest residence halls in the country. But some students have issues with the university’s relatively strict policies, including the fact that this remains a “dry” campus, prohibits members of the opposite sex in dorm rooms between 1 and 10 a.m., and requires students to attend occasional religious convocations. About 52 percent of students live on campus, and 48 percent live in off campus housing.
Freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus in the Suite Residence Halls, 22 buildings housing 50 students in each building. Suites consist of four double rooms each and include large double bathrooms, and living areas with university-owned TVs and windows overlooking the Pacific. Bathrooms and common living areas are cleaned by university staff daily. There are no coed freshman dorms and random room checks are common. In addition, student spiritual life leaders live in each residence hall.
After freshman year, students can apply to live in Rockwell Tower, which features double rooms, shared bathrooms, and a main lounge with large-screen TVs and kitchenettes. Juniors and seniors can live in the Lovernich Residential Complex, which includes double apartments for 300 students, complete with kitchenettes with stoves and ovens, refrigerators and sinks. Upper class students can also move off campus, and about 25 percent move into one of the five fraternity houses or seven sorority houses, which are all located off campus.
If you want your own bedroom, keep your grades up. The university selects students with good grades to live in its coveted Honors Apartments, which feature four single bedrooms per apartment, a kitchen and a large living area.
The main dining hall, the Waves Café, is located in the Tyler Campus Center. It offers a comfort food station, an international foods station, pizza, grill, salads, a bakery, a vegan and vegetarian station, and a cereal/breakfast bar. There’s also an on-campus coffee house, a Jamba Juice, La Brea Bakery (offering sandwiches and paninis), a free standing coffee cart, and Nature’s Edge, which features vegan, organic and gluten-free options. Students can choose from one of four different dining plans, depending on the number of meals they will eat in the dining halls.
The school also comes well equipped with a pool, tennis courts, a gym, and a weight room. At the Howard A. White student center, students can play pool or ping pong. Student plays and musicals are usually well-attended as well. But in the evening and particularly on weekends, many students look to escape campus and explore nearby Los Angeles.
There is wireless access throughout the campus, and three computer labs, including a 24-hour lab at the Howard A. White Center. The campus also has two cyber cafes.
Student clubs and activities include Amnesty International, the African Alliance, the Asian Students Association, a Dance Team, Debate Club, an East Coast Club, the Pepperdine Film Society, a Latino Student Association, a Table Tennis Club and even the Swashbuckler Society.
Because of the strict no-alcohol policy on campus, students say that parties in the residence halls are almost non-existent or are quickly broken up by campus police. Students with cars tend to venture off campus to fraternity parties, or to some of the dance clubs and bars in nearby Malibu, which charge hefty prices for admission and drinks.
The weather in Malibu can be perpetually like spring, and palm trees on a campus can’t be a bad thing. But students in recent years have experienced the region’s occasional landslides and have been evacuated during a couple of the region’s damaging forest fires.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
It seems only perfect that the athletic teams are known as the Waves. The university’s teams are members of the NCAA, and sports include Division 1 Baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, Division 1 men’s and women’s cross country, Division 1 golf, men’s and women’s intramural golf, Division 1 men’s and women’s tennis, and Division 1 men’s and women’s volleyball.
Some students complain about a lack of school spirit because of the absence of a football team, and in fact, some of the school’s club and intramural sports are more popular than varsity sports. Clubs sports include lacrosse, triathlon, water polo, rugby and surfing, and intramural teams include dodgeball and beach volleyball.
Additional School Information
A wide variety of study abroad programs have been developed, including year-long programs in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Florence, Italy; Heidelberg, Germany; Lausanne, Switzerland; London, England; and Shanghai, China. The university also offers summer-long specialized programs that include a Spanish intensive language program in Madrid, a 19th century literature program in London, and a mission program in Fiji.
There are three libraries on campus, and the university collection contains an impressive 800,000 books and a large number of electronic databases, government documents, and periodicals.
The university offers students academic support services including a pre-admission summer program, tutoring and a writing center. Also available are alcohol and substance abuse counseling, a campus ministry, career counseling, financial aid office, health services and a freshman orientation program.