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Colleges / Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University

Malibu, CA 4-Year Private
Acceptance Rate49%

Pepperdine University Admissions

Around 49% of applicants get into Pepperdine University each year. Out of 11,466 applications received in 2023, 5,585 students were offered admission.

If you are thinking about applying to Pepperdine University, the regular decision application deadline is January 15 and the application fee is $65.

Students who submit their applications to Pepperdine University for fall should receive an admissions decision no later than April 1.

Pepperdine University Admissions Stats at a Glance

The following is an overiew of some of Pepperdine University's admissions stats.

Pepperdine University 2023 Admissions Statistics
Mean Unweighted GPA 3.8
Mean SAT Score 1367
Admissions Test Policy Test Optional
Applicants Who Submit SATs 16%
Applicants Who Submit ACTs 13%
Waitlist Yes

Pepperdine University Application Deadlines

These are the application deadlines for Pepperdine University.

Application Type Offered Application Deadline Notification Deadline
Early Decision I No
Early Decision II
Early Action Yes November 1 January 10
Regular Decision Yes 1 15 April 1

Applying Early to Pepperdine University?

Pepperdine University does not offer early decision but does offer early action.

🗓️ The Early Action deadline is November 1. Pepperdine University will release EA admissions decisions no later than January 10.

Some students apply early to college because they hope it will boost their chances of acceptance. When you apply early, your application is considered before all the regular decision applicants apply. Applying early may increase the chance of acceptance, since it demonstrates that you are very interested in a school.

➡️ See a list of some selective colleges that accept significantly more applicants during early decision or early action than during regular admission.

More on Pepperdine University Admissions

Transferring to Pepperdine University

For more information on transferring to Pepperdine University, contact the school directly.

For Students Waitlisted to Pepperdine University

In 2022, Pepperdine University waitlisted 1,651 students and 987 accepted a place on the waitlist.

What Does Pepperdine University Look For in an Applicant?

Colleges consider a range of factors when determining who to admit for their next incoming class. Each college has a different way of determining which factors are they consider most important in the admissions process. When creating your list of schools to apply to, you may want to consider your strengths and any possible weaknesses in your application, and choose schools that put the most emphasis on the areas where you're strong.

Admissions Factors at Pepperdine University

What does Pepperdine University consider during the admissions process? Take a look at the list below to see which factors are most important during the admissions process.

Admissions Factor Level
Character/Personal Qualities Very Important
Application Essay Very Important
Extracurricular Activities Very Important
Religious Affiliation/Commitment Very Important
Talent/Ability Very Important
Academic GPA Very Important
Rigor of Secondary School Record Very Important
Recommendation(s) Important
Volunteer Work Important
Alumni/ae Relations Considered
Interview Considered
Racial/Ethnic Status Considered
Standardized Test Scores Considered
Work Experience Considered
First Generation Considered

Make sure to check with Pepperdine University for more information on admission factors.

Pepperdine University Application Requirements

To apply to Pepperdine University, all applicants must submit the following items. Make sure to check in with Pepperdine University's admissions department to confirm all application materials and requirements.

Area Required Recommended Required for Some Details (If Any)
Transcript(S) of College Record
Letter(s) of Recommendation 1
Written Essay or Personal Statement
Transcript of High School Record

GPA and Testing

What GPA Do I Need To Get Into Pepperdine University?

Students admitted to Pepperdine University have an average unweighted GPA of 3.8.

About GPAs

Your high school grade point average (GPA) is a number that highlights your high school academic performance. A weighted GPA or an unweighted GPA are the two possible GPA scores considered by colleges.

An unweighted GPA is an average of your scores from each class on a four-point scale. Unweighted GPAs range from 4.0 to under 1.0. A weighted GPA considers your average grade and the difficulty of your classes. A weighted GPA boosts your average by adding extra points for honors or Advanced Placement courses.

Standardized Test Scores

Pepperdine University is test optional. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

In 2022, 16% of Pepperdine University's first-year students submitted their SAT scores with their application. 13% of admitted applicants sent ACT scores.

What is a Good SAT Score for Pepperdine University?

To be competitive with other Pepperdine University applicants, you should strive to score between 1290 and 1460 (or higher!) on the SAT. At Pepperdine University 25% of admitted students scored higher than 1460 and 25% of scored lower than 1290, but the majority of students scored somewhere in between these two numbers.The mean composite SAT score for a Pepperdine University student is 1367.

On the SAT Math Section, 25% of Pepperdine University students scored 750 or higher and 75% of students scored 650 or higher. On the SAT Critical Reading section (formerly called the Verbal section), 25% of Pepperdine University students scored 730 or higher, and 75% scored a 650 or higher.

To be most competitive at Pepperdine University, you should strive to earn between 28 and 32 on the ACT.

An ACT score of 32 means you fall in the 75th percentile for Pepperdine University's admitted students. One out of every four students scored above a 32, and three out of four students scored lower than 32 on the ACT.

A 28 on the ACT is the 25th percentile for Pepperdine University students. Only one out of every four students scored below 28.

More Information on Transferring to Pepperdine University

For transfer students wishing to start in the fall, the deadline to apply is February 15. Applicants should hear back by April 1.

Transfer students can enroll in Pepperdine University during the following terms:

• Fall Term

• Winter Term

• Spring Term

• Winter Term

• Summer Term

Pepperdine University Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to Pepperdine University?

❌ Students who are admitted to Pepperdine University must attend in the term they start. Deferring admissions is not encouraged. If you have a unusual circumstance, contact the admissions department.

Does Pepperdine University accept transfer credits?

✅ Pepperdine University accepts eligible transfer credits from accredited institutions. Pepperdine University accepts:

• CLEP subject tests • DSST/DANTES

Does Pepperdine University accept Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credits?

✅ Pepperdine University accepts International Baccalaureate credits (IB) credits.

Do I have to submit test scores to Pepperdine University?

❌ No, Pepperdine University is test optional, so it's up to you if you want to submit test scores or not. If your scores are higher than the school's average, you probably want to include them. If you scored lower than a school's average, you may want not want to include them in your application.

What is Pepperdine University's acceptance rate?

✅ Pepperdine University's acceptance rate is 49%.

What is the early decision acceptance rate at Pepperdine University?

❌ Pepperdine University does not offer early decision.

Want To Learn More About Pepperdine University?

To learn more about Pepperdine University, choose from the options below:


Student Life


Tuition & Aid

See what others are saying about Pepperdine University in the College Confidential forums

Explore other colleges in California or use the college admissions predictor to calculate your chances of getting into some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S.

Pepperdine University Admissions Requirements

Admission Difficulty




Pepperdine University Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Jan 15

Transfer Applications are Due

Feb 15

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to Pepperdine University is Jan 15.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to Pepperdine University is Feb 15.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs

Pepperdine University SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

1290 - 1460


Math SAT Range

635 - 750


Reading SAT Range

650 - 730

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

SAT Score

Estimated Chance

1460 and Above


1290 to 1460


1290 and Less


SAT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median SAT score for Pepperdine University students is 1367. Applicants with SAT scores of 1460 and above have a good chance of being admitted to Pepperdine University, while applicants with SAT scores between 1290 to 1460 have an average chance of admittance, and prospective students with an SAT score below 1290 have a low chance of being offered a spot at Pepperdine University.

Pepperdine University GPA

Avg. High School GPA (non-weighted)


GPA Needed to Get Accepted

At Pepperdine University, the average unweighted high-school GPA for admitted students is 3.75. This is the average, which means that some applicants submit GPAs lower than this and some applicants submit GPAs above this level. If your GPA falls below the average, strong test scores or other qualifications may help you make you a more competitive applicant.

Data Source: IPEDs and Peterson's Databases © 2022 Peterson's LLC All rights reserved

Quick Facts

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Acceptance Rate


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Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Jan 15
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