Pepperdine University Acceptance Rate | Strategies and Insights for Admission Success 2024

Pepperdine University stands out as a unique institution, earning a spot among the top 50 schools according to U.S. News, while boasting an acceptance rate exceeding 50% last year. Nestled in the stunning locale of Malibu, this private Christian university welcomes approximately 3,700 undergraduate students. If you aspire to become part of this vibrant community come fall 2023, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we’ll delve into the Pepperdine acceptance rate and explore every aspect of the admissions process.

What is The Pepperdine University Acceptance Rate?

The Pepperdine University Class of 2025 received 11,855 applications for admission. Among them, 6,249 individuals, constituting 53% of the applicant pool, secured acceptance. This marks a notable decrease compared to the 42% acceptance rate observed in the preceding year.

What is The Pepperdine University SAT, GPA, and Class Rank?

Pepperdine University follows a test-optional policy, and a majority of admitted applicants opted not to submit standardized test scores. For those in the Class of 2025 who did submit, the mid-50% SAT range fell between 1280 and 1430, while the ACT range spanned from 25 to 30. Additionally, 56% of accepted students boasted a GPA of 3.75 or higher. Among the incoming first-year students of the 2021-22 academic year, 45% hailed from the top 10% of their high school class, with an impressive 83% securing a spot within the top 25%.

What is The Admission Insights at The Pepperdine University?

Here are the key trends and notes for Pepperdine’s admissions:

  • Pepperdine received a total of 12,371 applications for the Class of 2026.
  • The university aims to enroll 900 students for the 2022-23 freshman class.
  • Pepperdine has transitioned to a test-optional policy. They emphasize that applicants opting not to submit test scores will not face any penalties.
  • Approximately 18% of admitted students are the first in their family to attend college.
  • Notably, just two years ago, Pepperdine had a 32% acceptance rate, indicating a significant decrease in admission rates over recent years.

What is The Admission Criteria at The Pepperdine University?

Pepperdine University places significant emphasis on seven key factors in its admissions process. These factors include the rigor of the high school curriculum, GPA, standardized test scores, essays, extracurricular activities, character/personal qualities, talent ability, and religious affiliation.

According to the admissions office, the admission committee meticulously evaluates an applicant’s academic record, GPA, standardized test scores, history of service and leadership, as well as their character as demonstrated in references and short answer/personal statements.

What is The Pepperdine University Demographics?

Let’s delve into the demographics of Pepperdine’s undergraduate student body:

Regional Representation:

  • The states with the highest number of students attending Pepperdine are California, Texas, Washington, Colorado, and Arizona.
  • The top countries contributing international students are China, Indonesia, Brazil, Canada, and Thailand.

Ethnic Identity:

  • White students make up 48% of the undergraduate student body.
  • Asian students represent 12%.
  • Hispanic students account for 16%.
  • African American students make up 5%.
  • Two or more races constitute 7%.
  • International students comprise 10%.

Religious Affiliation:

  • Among Pepperdine students, 53% identify as Christian.
  • Catholic students make up 19%.
  • Those affiliated with the Church of Christ constitute 12%.
  • Approximately 10% identify as having no religious affiliation.

Gender Split:

  • Pepperdine enrolls a slightly higher percentage of women compared to men.
  • Men make up 42% of the undergraduate student body, while women account for 58%.

What is The Pepperdine Yield Rate?

The university’s yield rate stands at just 16%, indicating that only 16% of accepted students choose to enroll. This figure is notably lower compared to many other highly ranked institutions.

The Pepperdine Application Process Key Tips

Here are some essential tips for applying to Pepperdine University:

  1. Consider applying early action by November 1st, as Pepperdine does not offer early decision.
  2. Be prepared for interviews, as Pepperdine University includes them as part of their evaluation process.
  3. Don’t worry about demonstrating interest, as Pepperdine does not consider it in their admissions decisions.
  4. Dedicate ample time and effort to crafting your supplemental essay, as it is the only one required by Pepperdine University.


Pepperdine University offers a unique blend of academic excellence and a welcoming campus community. Despite its competitive admissions process, with careful preparation and attention to detail, aspiring students can increase their chances of joining the vibrant community at Pepperdine. From its stunning location in Malibu to its commitment to holistic admissions, Pepperdine University provides an enriching environment for students to learn and grow.