Pepperdine University School Overview: Acceptance Rate, Tuition, and More

Malibu, CA


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About Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University is a medium-sized private university located on a suburban campus in Malibu, California. Pepperdine has one of the most beautiful college campuses in the world, with an 830-acre campus in the Santa Monica Mountains that overlooks the Pacific Ocean and the Pacific Coast Highway. The main campus is home to the liberal arts undergraduate college and four graduate schools, but students have the opportunity to travel to one of the international campuses in Buenos Aires, London, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland.

Pepperdine has a total enrollment of 8,824, and admissions are highly selective, with an acceptance rate of 32%. The university offers 66 bachelor's degrees, has an average graduation rate of 86%, and a student-faculty ratio of 13:1. Tuition and fees for students are $55,892.

School Type: Private
Length: 4-year
Status: Non-profit
Campus Setting: Suburban
Campus Housing: Yes
General Information: (310) 506-4000
Religious Affiliation*: Christian,Churches of Christ
*While the student experience is largely unaffected at most schools with religious affiliations, some schools place more of an emphasis on religion. Learn how religious affiliations may impact students' experience.
Military Friendly*: N/A
*Military-friendly schools are Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges, offer the Yellow Ribbon Program, and have a dedicated point of contact to support veterans, military service members, and their families. Explore our college guide for service members and veterans to learn more.

Pepperdine University Rankings by BestColleges

Learn more about how Pepperdine University compares to other schools with rankings by BestColleges.

#3 Ranked in Best Master's in Applied Behavior Analysis Programs

#5 Ranked in 2022 Best Online Colleges in California

#6 Ranked in Best Online Business Management Programs of 2022


Pepperdine Admissions Breakdown

Pepperdine Acceptance Rate


32% of students were accepted during the 2019-2020 school year. Sometimes schools with midrange acceptance rates have higher standards of entry but are still accessible to many students who apply.

Pepperdine Retention Rate


91% of full-time students stayed to continue their studies the following academic year. These students started in Fall 2018 and returned in Fall 2019. This means that out of 100 students who started their studies at the school, 91 of them returned the next year to continue their education.

Pepperdine Graduation Rate


86% of students graduated out of all full-time, first-time students who began their studies in Fall 2013. Keep in mind many students who enroll are not typically first-time students, as most are adult learners. Therefore, the number of first-time students is traditionally low.

Pepperdine University Admissions Requirements

To apply to Pepperdine University, students must submit an application, high school transcripts, and SAT or ACT scores. The school has a holistic admissions policy, meaning the admissions committee looks at more than just numbers when making their decisions.

Pepperdine also offers early action options. Early action is non-binding, meaning students will receive their admissions decision early but are not required to commit to the school.

Pepperdine Application Considerations

Test scores: Required
High school rank: Not required or recommended
High school GPA: Required
Completion of college prep program: Recommended
High school transcript: Required
Letter of recommendation: Required
Open admission: No
Test of English as of foreign language (TOEFL): Required

Pepperdine Transfer Credit Policy

Dual enrollment: Yes
Advance placement (AP) credits: Yes
Credit for qualified life experience*: Implied no
*This can include previous jobs, trainings, licenses/credentials, or seminars. You may need to complete an exam or provide a portfolio to earn credit.

SAT & ACT Requirements

SAT 25th-75th Percentile: 1230-1450
ACT 25th-75th Percentile: 27-32

Pepperdine University Learning Environment & Student Life

Pepperdine University has approximately 9,000 students enrolled, with 82% of students attending on-campus classes. At Pepperdine, 91% of freshmen return for their sophomore year, and 86% of students successfully graduate. The student-to-faculty ratio at Pepperdine University is 13:1, or thirteen students for every faculty member. Fewer students per faculty member can create an opportunity for more individualized attention and support for students. Most class sizes are small, with approximately 19 students in each class.

Classroom setting: Small classes
Number of students in each class: 19
Student to faculty ratio: 13:1
Number of undergraduate students: 3,700
Undergraduate degree programs offered: 60+
Graduate degree programs offered: 40+
Housing opportunities on campus for undergraduates: Yes
Number of Students Enrolled: 9,000
Online Student Enrollment: 82%

Ways Students Can Learn

On-campus: Yes
Online: Yes
Hybrid: Yes
International*: Yes
*Online classes are available for students around the world.

Pepperdine Demographics

Non-U.S. Citizen: 13%
White: 42%
Asian: 10%
Unknown: 7%
Hispanic: 15%
Black: 8%
Two or more races: 5%
American Indian/Alaska Native: 0%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0%

Female student population: 63%

Socio-economic diversity: 18% of students received an income-based Federal Pell Grant intended for low-income students.

Pepperdine Online Programs

Online Availability

Offers Online Programs: Yes
Online Programs: 13
Total Online Enrollment: 1,623

Student Location Breakout

Online: 18%
On-campus: 82%
Hybrid: 0%

Percent of Programs Online

On-campus: 88%
Online: 12%

Types of Online Programs Offered

Certificates: Not offered
Associate: Not offered
Bachelor’s: Yes, 2% online
Graduate Certificate: Not offered
Master’s: Yes, 35% online
Doctorate: Not offered

Pepperdine Financial Aid Breakdown

Students Receiving Aid

Federal Grant Aid: 20%
State Grant Aid: 14%
Institution Grant Aid: 91%
Pell Grant: 18%

Average Aid Awarded

Federal Grant Aid: $6,590
State Grant Aid: $8,441
Institution Grant Aid: $28,108
Pell Grant: $4,540

Financial Outlook Post-Graduation

Students who attend Pepperdine University can expect to make a good return on their investment. The average salary of someone six years after starting school is $54,000. The average student debt after graduation is $26,000.

Pepperdine Tuition Cost, Fees & Student Expenses

While tuition may be the largest expense for students, there are many other costs associated with attending college. At Pepperdine, tuition makes up approximately 74% of living expenses for students living on campus and approximately 74% of living expenses for students living off campus.

Estimated Expenses for Full-Time Beginning Undergradute Students


Beginning students are those who are entering postsecondary education for the first time.

HTML Table Generator
Estimated Expenses for Academic Year 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022 % Change 2020-2021 TO 2021-2022
 Tuition and fees  $53,932  $55,892  $58,002  $59,702  2.9%
 Books and supplies  $1,250  $1,250  $1,250 $1,250   0.0%
 Living arrangement          
 On Campus
   Room and board  $15,320  $15,670  $16,160  $16,700  3.3%
   Other  $2,500  $2,500  $2,500  $2,500  0.0%
 Off Campus          
   Room and board  $15,320  $15,670  $16,160  $16,700  3.3%
   Other  $2,500  $2,500 $2,500   $2,500  0.0%
Off Campus with Family           
   Other  $2,500  $2,500  $2,500  $2,500  0.0%
 TOTAL EXPENSES  2018-2019  2019-2020  2020-2021  2021-2022  % CHANGE 2020-2021 TO 2021-2022
On Campus   $73,002  $75,312  $77,912  $80,152  2.9%
Off Campus  $73,002  $75,312  $77,912  $80,152  2.9%
Off Campus with Family   $57,682  $59,642  $61,752  $63,452  2.8%

Pepperdine University Net Price for Full-Time Students

Average Net Price for Full-Time Beginning Students


Full-time beginning undergraduate students who are awarded grant or scholarship aid from federal, state or local goverments, or the institution.

2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021
 Average net price $42,135 $46,550 $40,945
 Average Net Price by Income  2018-2019  2019-2020  2020-2021
 $0-$30,000 $31,185 $36,264 $28,204
$30,001 - $48,000 $29,593 $25,909 $26,285
$48,001 - $75,000 $31,918 $32,267 $27,667
$75,001 - $110,000 $33,611  $35,375  $32,775
$110,001 and more $45,561  $44,598 $43,673


*Average net price is generated by subtracting the average amount of federal, state/local government, or institutional grant or scholarship aid from the total cost of attendance. The total cost of attendance is the sum of published tuition and required fees, books and supplies, and the weighted average for room and board and other expenses.

**Beginning students are students entering postsecondary education for the first time.

***Title IV aid to students includes grant aid, work study aid, and loan aid. These include: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG), National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant), Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Perkins Loan, Subsidized Direct or FFEL Stafford Loan, and Unsubsidized Direct or FFEL Stafford Loan. For those Title IV recipients, the net price is reported by income category and includes students who received federal aid even if none of that aid was provided in the form of grants. While Title IV status defines the cohort of students for which the data are reported, the definition of net price remains the same – total cost of attendance minus grant aid.

Pepperdine Programs & Majors

Pepperdine offers over 60 undergraduate degrees and over 40 post-graduate degrees and certificates. Learn more about available programs and the number of students who received these degrees during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Programs Offered

Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender and Group Studies
Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Business, Management, Marketing and Related Support Services
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs
English Language and Literative/Letters
Foreign Languages, Literatures and Linguistics
Legal Professions and Studies
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities
Mathematics and Statistics
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, Fitness and Kinesiology
Philosophy and Reigious Studies
Physical Sciences
Public Administration and Social Service Professions
Social Sciences
Theology and Religious Vocations
Visual and Performing Arts

Pepperdine Varsity Athletic Teams

Pepperdine University is an NCAA Division I school with 16 varsity sports teams.

2021-2021 Varsity Athletes

All Track Combined  - 61
Basketball  18 15
Baseball   36  -
Beach Volleyball   - 17
Golf   11  6
Soccer   - 27
Track and Field, Outdoor   14 -
Track and Field, X-Country   14 -
Swimming and Diving   - 34
Tennis  8
Volleyball   21  15
Water Polo   24  -

Pepperdine Campus Security and Safety

Campus safety data is reported to the U.S. Department of Education by the institution and is not independently verified. For more information, please visit
- The crime data reported by the institutions have not been subjected to independent verification by the U.S. Department of Education. Therefore, the Department cannot vouch for the accuracy of the data reported here.
- The crime statistics displayed only include On-Campus data associated with the main campus as listed on College Navigator. For statistics associated with each campus location, off-campus data, and additional information covering Hate Crimes and Fire statistics, see
- The On-Campus data do not include incidents that: (a) took place on public property, including thoroughfares, streets, sidewalks, and parking facilities, that are within the campus or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus; (b) took place on any building or property owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the institution; or (c) took place on any building or property owned or controlled by an institution that is used in direct support of, or in relation to, the institution's educational purposes, is frequently used by students, and is not within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area of the institution.
- For more resources on Campus Security, see