Pepperdine University

Updated November 30, 2022 · 3 Min Read

Learn more about the various counseling degree programs available at Pepperdine University. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Pepperdine University is one of the largest non-profit private colleges in California. George Pepperdine founded the college and named it after himself in 1937. Though it originally opened in Los Angeles, the university later moved to Malibu, which gave the campus more room to expand. The campus now has a number of buildings that overlook the Pacific Ocean and provide students with a relaxing setting for working or hanging out with friends. Sometimes called PU or just Pepperdine, the university has a number of famous alumni who once attended the school. In addition to business leaders, those who work in academia, politicians, professional athletes and writers, some of its graduates now work in the entertainment industry. Chace Crawford, Kim Fields, Tamera Mowry and Kelly Hu are just a few of the actors who attended Pepperdine.

Pepperdine appeared on lists of the country's best schools produced by U.S. News and World Report, Forbes and Washington Monthly, but it also appeared on other lists and in other rankings. The Princeton Review included in on the lists of the country's most beautiful campuses and schools with the best dorm rooms. The Peace Corps highlighted the school for the number of its students who later work or volunteer for the service organization. Certain programs on the campus also rank among the nation's best, including its law and MBA programs.

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Pepperdine University Accreditation Details

Students looking for accreditation information will find that Pepperdine has accreditation from six different groups. The most important form of accreditation is has is its institutional accreditation, which comes from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The WASC conducts a large amount of research on a school before granting it accreditation. The organization looks at the number of students who graduate on time and the amount of graduates who gain employment. This type of accreditation also ensures that students can get financial aid after completing and filing the FAFSA.

Pepperdine also has specialized accreditation, which some may call program accreditation because it only applies to some of the programs the university offers. For example, its program in dietetics has accreditation from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It also has accreditation from the American Bar Association for its legal program, which lets students take the Bar exam after college. Other accreditation comes from the American Psychological Association (APA), National Association of Schools of Music and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Businesses (AACSB).

Pepperdine University Application Requirements

As Pepperdine is one of the most prestigious schools in California, it uses an extremely selective admissions process. It looks at a student's grades, test schools, extracurricular activities, hobbies and other factors when making a decision. Undergraduate students must use the online application system. The system asks them to create an account that uses a valid email address and a password they choose. This allows them to complete the application over the course of several days or weeks rather than in one sitting. Students are also responsible for ensuring that the university receives their official scores from the ACT or SAT and an official transcript from their high school.

Pepperdine requires that all upper level students complete a separate online application. They will need to select the program they want to enter and explain why they deserve a spot in the university. The application will also ask for a list of fieldwork or experience they have in that topic outside of college. Many students did internships, research projects or independent study projects while in college. All students must also pay an application fee. Pepperdine will waive this fee for those who cannot afford to pay, but those students will need to request a fee waiver before applying.

Tuition and Fees

As Pepperdine is a private university, students expect to pay more than they would at a public school. Pepperdine charges around $48,000 a year for undergraduate tuition. This figure does not include books, room, board or supplies. The university estimates that students living on campus will pay more than $67,000 a year. Its graduate school charges separate rates that vary based on the program. Many of these programs charge around $1,100 per unit that a student takes. Pepperdine estimates that graduate students will pay around $11,000 a term.

Though the university is expensive, more than 75% of all students attending Pepperdine receive some financial aid. All students must submit the FAFSA a few months before classes start, which gives the university enough time to determine the amount of need each student has and the type of aid to give each student. Undergraduate students can get grants and scholarships, work on campus and take out loans. Graduate students also have access to work-study programs, grants and loans, but some students may apply for alternative loans as well. Pepperdine recommends that graduate students also apply for assistant jobs on campus for additional help. They can work as a resident adviser, as a teaching assistant or in a research assistant position.

Psychology and Counseling Programs

Pepperdine offers psychology and counseling programs at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Its undergraduate program award students a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and the university has a minor available in industrial organizational psychology. The minor programs looks specifically at ergonomics and behaviors found within workplace settings, while the major program provides students with a general overview of various psychological topics.

Pepperdine also offers several degree programs at the graduate level, including an MA in psychology, MA in behavioral psychology and an MA in clinical psychology. The clinical psychology program has an emphasis on marriage and family counseling. This program is available with a concentration in working with Latino families that will require students demonstrate a proficiency with the Spanish language. The general marriage and family counseling program is available in a day or evening format. The evening format is perfect for students who work during the day.

Those who already have a graduate degree may enroll in the Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology program, which awards graduates a PsyD degree. It typically takes students four years to complete this program. Students spend more than 1,000 working in a clinical setting before they graduate, which gives them the experience necessary to obtain a counseling license in California. Pepperdine University alumni now operate their own clinics and work for clinics throughout the state and across the country.

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