Facebook Pixel Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership | Pepperdine University | Graduate School of Education and Psychology

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 in the fall.

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 a standardized test (ex. GRE, GMAT or MAT)?

Yes.  All applicants must submit scores from the MAT, GRE, or GMAT. We are unable to waive this admission requirement regardless of an applicant’s academic or professional experience. 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.

Our institutional codes for these tests are: 2729 (MAT), 4326 (GRE), and 37B-KT-28 (GMAT).

For more information on the tests and to register, please visit:

When is the application deadline?

Please see our Application Deadline webpage for current information.

When does the program start?

This program only begins in the fall of each year. We accept applications throughout the year. There is a mandatory three-day Community-Building Workshop in August for all accepted students.

What does rolling admission mean?

We begin reviewing applications at the start of each calendar year. Once an application is complete, 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 a phone interview with one our faculty members. A brief writing sample may also be required.

How long does the program take to complete?

The first two 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.

On average, students complete the program 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?

You'll need to:

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 trip takes place during the first summer of the program. Students will have the opportunity to explore China, India, or South America.

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?

  • Our Traditional Programs (face-to-face) are located at our West Los Angeles Graduate Campus. Our Global Access Program is a 60% face-to-face and 40% online blended program with weekend face-to-face sessions two weekends per semester at our West Los Angeles or Irvine Graduate Campuses.

When are classes held?

Traditional Format classes in West Los Angeles meet once a week on Thursday and on occasional Friday evenings and Saturdays.

Our Global Access Program classes are online with face-to-face meetings for two weekends per term in West Los Angeles or Irvine. For more specific details, contact the Admissions and Recruitment Team at gsep-recruitment@pepperdine.edu.

What is the difference between an EdD and a PhD?

The PhD is research focused and the EdD is oriented toward educational practice and the application of theory and research. Both degrees require dissertation.

What kind of job opportunities will be available to me once I graduate from this program?

Most graduates seek executive positions with various private and nonprofit organizations, as well as post-bacccalaureate teaching positions and consulting.

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 gsep-recruitment@pepperdine.edu to schedule a personal consultation.