#11 Best Private Colleges in California

Pepperdine Admission Requirements

Malibu, California

 3 Reviews

Your chances of getting into Pepperdine University

Admission Rate & Difficulty

Percent Admitted 

Admission Difficulty for Pepperdine University
Measure Difficulty
Admission Standards Very High 
Applicant Competition Average 

Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate at Pepperdine is 48.7%.  Its admission rate is the 32nd lowest in California.

Admission Selectivity

How hard is it to get into Pepperdine and can you get accepted?

Pepperdine is a more competitive school to get into. You have a good chance of acceptance if you meet the admission criteria. Last year, 5,585 out of the 11,466 who applied were admitted.

Pepperdine University typically accepts and attracts "A-" average high school students with an average GPA around 3.74. Most incoming freshmen graduate in the top quarter of their high school class. 17% of those admitted chose to enroll in the school.

Can you get into Pepperdine?

49% are accepted, can you get in? Use the admission calculator to see if you have the grades and test scores needed to get in. See your admission chances based on your extracurriculars, intended major, background, and more.

Calculate your admission chances
Calculate your admission chances

Admission Requirements in Brief

To have the best chance of getting into to Pepperdine University you should:

  • Have a high school GPA of 3.74 or better
  • Earn A- grades in high school
  • Score 1380 on the SAT
  • Score 30 on the ACT
  • Graduate in the top 25% of your high school class

Pepperdine GPA

GPA Requirements & Average GPA

Avg. High School GPA 


Typical High School Grades 


What GPA do you need to get into Pepperdine University?

GPA Requirements

The GPA requirements for getting into Pepperdine are to have around a 3.74 high school GPA. You are required to have very good grades in high school.

Even with a competitive GPA, admission to Pepperdine will be challenging as the school denies more applicants than it admits.

Average GPA

The average unweighted GPA at Pepperdine is 3.74 on the 4.0 scale. To achieve the average GPA for admission, you need to earn A- letter grades and regularly score around 90-92 percent on tests and assignments in high school.  The school ranks #24 in California for highest average GPA.

Importance of GPA

Since Pepperdine is a test optional college, extra focus will be placed on your GPA when the school considers your application. As a result, it is very important that you meet the GPA requirements.

See additional colleges accepting applicants in the 3.7 GPA range.

Competitiveness by GPA Ranges

The table below outlines the number of admitted freshmen by GPA range as well as how competitive your GPA will be as compared with other applicants.

High School GPA's for admitted Pepperdine University students
High School GPA Freshmen Within Range Competitiveness 
4.0 14.0% Good
3.75 to 3.99 42.0% Avg
3.50 to 3.74 29.0% Reach
3.25 to 3.49 10.0% Reach
3.00 to 3.24 4.0% Reach
2.50 to 2.99 1.0% Low
2.00 to 2.49 0% Low
1.00 to 1.99 0% Low
less than 1.00 0% Low

 What do these chances mean?

GPA Data Source, Peterson's Data 2022

Calculate My Chances 

Pepperdine SAT Scores

Testing Requirements

Submission of SAT or ACT scores is not required for admission to Pepperdine University. If you optionally submit test scores, they will be considered with your application, but they are not mandatory. 16% of students submitted SAT scores and 13% submitted ACT scores for admission for the most recent academic year..

SAT Requirements & Average SAT Score

SAT Range 


Applicants Submitting SAT 

SAT Scores for Pepperdine University
SAT Test 25th Percentile Score
Reading 25th Percentile 650
Math 25th Percentile 635
Composite 25th Percentile 1285
SAT Scores for Pepperdine University
SAT Test 75th Percentile Score
Reading 75th Percentile 730
Math 75th Percentile 750
Composite 75th Percentile 1480
Average SAT Score 1380

SAT Scores you need to get in

What are the SAT requirements for you to be admitted to Pepperdine University?

Average Score & Range

The average SAT score at Pepperdine is 1380 out of 1600 and the range for the middle 50% of accepted students is 1285-1480. Students who get into Pepperdine University score in the top 100 percent of all SAT test takers..  Pepperdine ranks #13 in the state of California and #110 in the nation for highest average SAT composite score.

Score for Acceptance

You should target scoring 1380 or above to be most competitive with other applicants. Pepperdine regularly admits students with SAT scores down to 1285 on a 1600 scale. However, three quarter of admitted students score higher. If you score below a 1285, admission should be considered a reach. Some students may be accepted with minimum SAT's as low as 1190, but scores this low are outside the normal range.

Score Submission Requirements

Pepperdine University is a test optional school meaning do not have to submit SAT scores with your application. The position on SAT scores from the college is "not required for admission, but considered if submitted (test optional)".

View other colleges which accept students in the 1380 SAT score range.

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2022 starting class

Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

The table below outlines your predicted admission chances based on SAT score alone. If you are an average applicant with a score of 1382, you have around a 49% chance of being admitted. A 1480 places you well ahead of most other applicants and gives you about a 65% chance of getting in.

Pepperdine University admission chances by SAT score
SAT Score (1600 scale) Competitiveness  Admission Chances 
1480 and Above Good >65%
1382 to 1480 Avg + 49%-65%
1285 to 1382 Avg - 34%-49%
1188 to 1285 Reach 21%-34%
Less than 1188 Low <21%
Calculate My Chances 

Pepperdine ACT Scores

ACT Requirements & Average ACT Score

ACT Range 


Applicants Submitting ACT 

ACT Scores for Pepperdine University
ACT Test 25th Percentile Score
Reading 25th Percentile 28
Math 25th Percentile 25
Composite 25th Percentile 28
ACT Scores for Pepperdine University
ACT Test 75th Percentile Score
Reading 75th Percentile 34
Math 75th Percentile 31
Composite 75th Percentile 32
Average ACT Score 30

ACT Scores needed to get accepted

What are the ACT requirements for students to get into Pepperdine?

Score Range

The average ACT score for admitted students to Pepperdine is 30, while the middle 50% of students (25th to 75th percentile) score between a 28 and 32.  The school ranks #17 in California and #115 in the U.S. for highest average ACT composite score.

Score for Acceptance

For the best chance of admission, you should have an ACT of 30. This will place you in solid competition against other applicants. At a minimum, you should aim for a 28 and score in the score in the top 12 percent nationally. The lowest ACT score likely to be admitted is a 26.

13 percent of applicants submit ACT scores to Pepperdine University.

Score Submission Requirements

You do not have to to submit ACT scores with your application as Pepperdine University is test optional. The policy from the school on ACT scores is "not required for admission, but considered if submitted (test optional)".

Find other colleges with similar ACT score requirements

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2022 starting class

Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

Here are your predicted chances of getting into Pepperdine for different ACT score ranges. A typical applicant with a 30 score has around 49% chance of getting in. Your odds increase to about 65% with a 32 ACT score.

Pepperdine University admission chances by ACT score
ACT Score Competitiveness  Admission Chances 
32 and Above Good >65%
30 to 32 Avg + 49%-65%
28 to 30 Avg - 34%-49%
26 to 28 Reach 21%-34%
Less than 26 Low <21%
Calculate My Chances 

High School Class Rank

83% of Pepperdine University freshman are in the top twenty five percent of their high school graduating class and 45% are in the top ten percent.

High School Class Rank for admitted Pepperdine University students
High School Class Rank Freshmen Within Range
Top 10% of class 45%
Top 25% of class 83%
Top 50% of class 97%
Data Source, Peterson's Data


Admission Statistics

Admission and enrollment rates by gender are detailed the the table below.

Pepperdine University admission statistics
Women Men Total
Applied 7,276 4,190 11,466
Accepted 3,424 2,161 5,585
Acceptance Rate 47% 52% 49%
Enrolled 586 356 942
Percent of Admitted Who Enrolled (Admission Yield) 17% 16% 17%
Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2022 starting class

Fall 2024 Application Deadline

Applications Due

Jan 15, 2024

Days left to Apply


The application deadline for Fall 2024 has passed. Applications were due on Jan 15, 2024.

Application Fee

The cost for prospective students to apply to Pepperdine University is $65.

Application Requirements

What are the requirements for admission to Pepperdine University and what student information is used for admission decisions?

Pepperdine University Application Requirements
Test Scores Not required for admission, but considered if submitted (Test Optional)
High School GPA Required to be considered for admission
High School Class Rank Not considered for admission, even if submitted
Completion of College Preparatory Program Not considered for admission, even if submitted
Recommendations Required to be considered for admission
Demonstration of Competencies Not considered for admission, even if submitted

Credits Accepted

High School Credits Accepted at Pepperdine University
AP Credit Yes
Dual Credit Yes
Credit for Life Experiences No

Admission Requirements Summary

Because Pepperdine is fairly competitive, you have a decent chance of acceptance with the right GPA and test scores. If you have a 3.74 GPA, you have a good shot at getting in. An SAT score of 1380 will further improve your application. If you can get a 1480 on the SAT you will have a very good chance on getting in. Additionally a 30 on the ACT places you in a strong position.

Other Colleges to Apply To 

Students applying to Pepperdine University often consider these colleges

Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=121150 IPEDS survey data for Pepperdine University.


Does Pepperdine University prefer SAT or ACT?

16% of students submit their SAT scores to Pepperdine. 13% of applicants send their ACT scores when applying.

What is my chance of getting into Pepperdine University?

49% of those who apply are granted admission to Pepperdine. Admission competition is low and the college has very high admission standards. See if your grades and scores are good enough for admission.

What SAT score is required for Pepperdine University?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have SAT scores between 1285 and 1480. The average SAT score is 1382. See if your SAT score is good enough for admission.

What ACT score is required for Pepperdine University?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have ACT scores between 28 and 32. The average ACT score is 30. See if your ACT score is good enough for admission.