Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a Master’s degree to apply to this program?
Yes, all applicants must have a master's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. We do not require that applicants have a master's degree in a specific field; we take a holistic approach to application review. If you are currently pursuing your master's degree, you can still apply for the program as long as your degree is posted before the doctoral program begins.
What is the required GPA?
We ask that candidates have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA from both their master's and baccalaureate programs; however, we review all applications holistically for individuals who show potential for success in our program. If you are concerned about your GPA, you are welcome to include a brief "GPA Statement of Explanation" with your application.
Do I have to take GRE?
All applicants are required to submit scores from the GRE or GMAT exams. This includes the general test; verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections. We take a holistic approach to reviewing applications, including standardized test scores. We do not adhere to a strict minimum score for any exam. Admission decisions are based on an applicant's potential for success in our program.
Applicants may submit a GRE Waiver Request which will be reviewed by the PhD admission committee.
Our institutional code for the GRE is 4326.
When is the application deadline?
Please see our Application Deadline webpage for current information.
When does the program start?
This program begins with a Community-Building Workshop and Orientation in August. Classes start mid-September, which will be face-to-face at our West Los Angeles Graduate Campus.
What does rolling admission mean?
We begin reviewing applications once the full completed application is received. It typically takes 4-5 weeks to receive an admissions decision.
If an application is received after the deadline, it will be reviewed on a space-available basis. If the program is full, the applicant will be considered for the following year.
Is there an interview process?
Yes. Qualified applicants with completed applications will be invited to participate in an interview with the program director or designee.
A writing sample and/or critical thinking assessment may be assigned to a candidate before the potential admission at the discretion of the program director.
How long does the program take to complete?
The first three years of the program are dedicated to completing coursework. Following coursework, all students are required to complete their comprehensive exam and dissertation in order to graduate.
For our doctoral programs, students generally complete the programs in 3.5- 4 years, but students have up to 8 years to complete their entire program.
I am an international applicant. What additional admission requirements do I need to submit?
1. Send all international transcripts to be evaluated by either the International Education Research Foundation (www.ierf.org) or World Education Services, Inc. (www.wes.org) for a comprehensive report that they will send directly to Pepperdine. This process can take a few weeks.
2. Submit all original certified transcripts in English to Pepperdine directly.
3. If your first language is not English, you must submit a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL). If taking the computer-based TOEFL test, you will need a minimum score of 220. If taking the Internet-based TOEFL test, you will need a minimum score of 80. Information concerning the availability of this test outside of the US can be obtained by contacting TOEFL, Educational Testing Services, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA or online at www.toefl.org. As an alternative to the TOEFL, you may submit a score of at least 6.5 on the IELTS exam.
How much does the program cost?
Please visit our Financial Aid page for current information on program costs, financial aid, scholarships, and grants.
Our financial aid award packages can consist of Colleagues grants, federal direct loans, and departmental scholarship. To be eligible for the most amount of aid, we encourage all applicants to submit their FAFSA applications.
When are the policy trips?
The international policy experience and national policy trips are course requirements. The international policy trip takes place during the first summer of the program. Students will have the opportunity to explore an international location.
The national policy trip takes place in the second summer of the program in Washington D.C. Actual dates vary by year.
Where is the program offered?
This program is primarily online with required meetings at the West Los Angeles Graduate Campus.
When are classes held?
This program is online with face-to-face meetings two weekends per term at the West Los Angeles Graduate Campus.
What is the difference between a PhD and EdD?
The PhD is research-focused while the EdD is oriented toward educational practice and the application of theory and research. Both degrees require dissertations.
What kind of job opportunities will be available to me once I graduate from this program?
Graduates of the program are likely to hold senior-level positions in NGOs, think tanks, higher education, health care, military leadership, federal and state government, and other organizations.
How can I learn more about this doctoral program?
You are welcome to attend one of our formal in-person or online information sessions. To see the upcoming schedule and to RSVP for a meeting, please visit our page on information sessions.
If you are unable to attend an information session, you are welcome to connect with the Admissions and Recruitment Team at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a personal consultation.