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Pepperdine University Acceptance Rate: 2023 Stats

Pepperdine University has its name origin from George Pepperdine, the Western Auto Supply Company’s founder and president, which he founded in 1937.

His dream was to provide students with an institution of higher learning, particularly one that firmly focused on the Christian faith and principles. These strong values are still present at Pepperdine University to this day.

The Pepperdine Waves, a total of 17 varsity sports teams, represent Pepperdine University and the majority of the school’s athletic teams compete at the Division I level. These competitions are in conjunction with the NCAA’s West Coast Conference.

The women’s tennis team is one of Pepperdine’s strongest athletic programs, as the College Factual has ranked #5 among the 21 teams in its category. Pepperdine University also has a world-class women’s soccer team alongside a competitive tennis team. In 3 out of the 306 programs included in the rankings, the college ranked as the #13 top for Division I women’s soccer.

The Waves are now among the nation’s top 5% of women’s soccer groups, and the men’s basketball squad at Pepperdine is just as prominent. Pepperdine has won three tournaments and 12 regular-season conference championships in this sport. Furthermore, the Pepperdine Basketball Waves have participated in 13 NCAA tournaments over 68 seasons.

So many criteria make Pepperdine University a reputable and highly-ranked university. Aside from its enticing athletic prowess, alumni like LA actor Eric Christian Olsen attended Pepperdine University to study child psychology to become a doctor before entering the acting business.

To join the league of students in this institution, it’s best to understand essential criteria like the acceptance rate, which we’ll cover in this article.

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Table of Contents

Overview of Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University campusPin

Pepperdine University is a privately-owned Christian university founded in 1937 on a suburban campus in Malibu, California. The university’s campus covers 830 acres in picturesque Malibu, California, which is the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains.

Seaver College, Pepperdine’s undergraduate institution, is on Malibu’s main campus. It’s important to note that this institution has five distinct graduate and undergraduate schools, with the liberal arts undergraduate college and four graduate schools located on the main campus.

Most of the graduate programs get taken at other locations across Southern California, as the Caruso School of Law and Public Policy is at Pepperdine’s Malibu campus. The Graduate School of Psychology and Education and the Graziadio Business School also hold parts of their programs at this location.

University values are firmly based on purpose, service, and leadership, as students are to uphold these objectives and Christian principles in their pursuit of academic success. In fact, before graduating from Pepperdine, students must participate in a minimum of 14 religious activities each semester. Furthermore, they must complete three religiously-related courses.

The university has a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1, 66 bachelor’s degree programs, and an average graduation rate of 86%. It has a small undergraduate enrollment with roughly 3,800 undergraduates and 10,500 total students.

Pepperdine University Acceptance Rate

There are about 8,824 students enrolled at Pepperdine, and in 2020, only 39% of applicants get accepted. However, 3,459 undergraduate students enrolled in Pepperdine’s undergraduate programs as of the autumn of 2020.

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In recent times, 11,855 people applied to get admitted into the Pepperdine Class of 2022. However, in the end, only 6,249 people, or 53% of that group, got in. Although the acceptance rate is higher than the previous year’s 42%, even with the 53% acceptance rate, Pepperdine University admission seems more stringent.

Applying appears challenging and demanding, but trust me when I say it’s not impossible! All you have to do to have a chance of getting into Pepperdine University is to submit a solid and effective application!

GPA requirements at Pepperdine University

The GPA of a candidate is a crucial academic consideration for admissions officers at Pepperdine. Using sampling GPA data from over 150 schools, we estimated the average GPA (3.55–3.78) of admitted students at Pepperdine University. A 3.66 GPA or higher is necessary for admission to Pepperdine.

This grade is above average in a high school class. So, a minimum of a B+ with a preference for an A is what you should aim for. If your GPA is below 3.66, you will need to improve your chances with your SAT or ACT score. To apply to Pepperdine, it’s compulsory that you either take the SAT or ACT.

Most accepted applicants did not submit a test score because Pepperdine is a test-optional university. 45% of the first-year students enrolling in 2021–22 ranked among the top 10% in their high school class, and 83% placed in the top 25%. Additionally, 56% had a GPA of 3.75 or higher.

You’ll need a better SAT or ACT score to make up for a GPA at or below the 3.66 school average. You will be better able to compete with applicants who have GPAs that are higher than yours owing to this.

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Grounds of Pepperdine UniversityPin

SAT and ACT Requirements for Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University admissions officers do not consider a candidate’s high school class rank; however, letters of recommendation are. Half of the applicants accepted by Pepperdine University have excellent scores, with the SAT range for the middle 50% of Class of 2022 applicants ranging from 1280 to 1430 proving this.

Many applicants who applied to Pepperdine University often received SAT scores between 1230 and 1450. However, SAT scores range from 1220 in the 25th percentile to 1420 in the 75th percentile. To put it another way, an SAT score of 1220 places you below average, while a score of 1420 puts you above average.

The acceptable ACT score ranges between 25 and 32; the ACT score for the 25th percentile is 26, and the ACT score for the 75th percentile is 32. Unless you have anything else in your outstanding application, you will have a tough time getting in if you apply with a 26 or lower.

How Pepperdine Scores Candidates

Seven factors are significant to the admissions process at Pepperdine University. These include the difficulty of the high school curriculum, GPA, and test scores. Furthermore, the rest are essays, extracurricular activities, character traits, talent, and religious affiliation.

Factually, there is only one supplemental essay that applicants to Pepperdine must complete. This information means you only have one essay to impress Pepperdine admissions officers and enroll as an undergraduate student.

So, it would help if you focused on giving it your all and putting in your best effort to make the best impression possible.

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Application Guidelines for Pepperdine University

If you want to be one of the 11,000+ applicants to Pepperdine University for the upcoming admissions cycle, you should be aware of the following:

  • First, early decision is not available at Pepperdine.
  • The evaluation procedure at Pepperdine University does include interviews.
  • Additionally, the school does not take “demonstrated interest” into account. This detail means that you won’t get evaluated based on whether you visited the campus. Or if you spoke with an admissions officer, and so on.
  • Lastly, spend enough time and effort on the essay Pepperdine University requires.


Those who graduated in the top quarter of their high school class are strong applicants. Students choose Pepperdine University for various reasons, including its outstanding academic offerings, essential athletic programs, Christian beliefs, stellar reputation, and more.

Now that you know this ensure that you take your application process with all forms of diligence. Also, remember that Pepperdine University is highly competitive, so put your best foot forward.

About Martin Vernon

A lifelong learner, educator, and advocate for education as a means for individual and social change. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great day!

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