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Pepperdine | Graduate School of Education and Psychology

PsyD Admission Requirements

Applicants for the Psy.D. program must possess a master's degree in psychology or a closely related field that reflects a graduate-level foundation of knowledge in the following domains: biological aspects of behavior, cognitive and affective aspects of behavior, social aspects of behavior; psychological measurement, research methodology, and techniques of data analysis.

The Psy.D. Admissions Committee takes into consideration the breadth and depth of an applicant's foundation of general knowledge of psychology, and clinical and research experience in granting admission. Scores of the GRE, in addition to a review of undergraduate and graduate transcripts, provide an assessment of an applicant's general knowledge. The average undergraduate grade point average for students in the 2008-2012 entering classes was 3.36. The profession of clinical psychology requires individual and interpersonal competencies in addition to academic preparation. Interpersonal attributes and skills are therefore taken into consideration in assessing an individual's qualification for admission.

In an effort to process your application quickly, we only accept electronic application materials.

To apply for this program, please submit:

1. Your application for admission with a nonrefundable processing fee, which includes a Clinical and Research Experience form.

Transcript(s)- Official student transcripts from the regionally accredited colleges or universities that awarded your baccalaureate and master degrees can be sent through one of the following:

Pepperdine University-GSEP
5th Floor- Enrollment Processing
6100 Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90045, USA

2. Two professional recommendations using the Recommendation Section in our online application. While completing your online application, you will list your recommenders and an email requesting a letter will be sent to them. If possible, one should be from a college professor familiar with your academic performance and one from a clinical supervisor familiar with your clinical skills. Additionally, recommenders may also complete this form and email it directly to gsep-admissions@pepperdine.edu.

3. A 5-8 page autobiographical statement that addresses each of the following:(1) key life experiences (e.g., personal, family, social, educational, job, etc.) which led to your interest in clinical psychology, (2) why you believe you are a good fit for a career as a psychologist (e.g., personal qualities, values, strengths, skills, preparation, etc.), (3) current areas of scholarly and professional interest, (4) experiences and perspectives regarding the role of diversity and culture in your life, and in the work of a clinical psychologist, (5) your reasons for applying specifically to Pepperdine's PsyD Program, and (6) your vision for your career 10 years after graduating. The personal statement can be added to your online application or emailed to gsep-admissions@pepperdine.edu.

4. Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (General Test only), (taken no earlier that December 31, 2017, or later than December 22, 2022. Dates and locations can be found here. Please note: beginning with Fall 2019 applicants, the GRE Psychology Subject Test is no longer required. Note that the GRE is given year-round in most locations, however not all test centers are open on all test dates. Further information can be found on the GRE website.
The general GRE remains a requirement.  Results are good for a 5 year period.  Please revisit the site periodically for updates pertaining to cutoffs for the 2022 - 2023 application cycle.

5. A brief résumé of professional experience both inside and outside the field of psychology (include current professional activities) emailed to gsep-admissions@pepperdine.edu.

6. (Optional) If you're seeking an exception to our TOEFL test requirement, please fill out this Exception Request Form and email it to gsep-admissions@pepperdine.edu.

7. (Optional) Course descriptions of your master's degree courses to assist the Psy.D. Admissions Committee in assessing the breadth and depth of your academic preparation emailed to gsep-admissions@pepperdine.edu.

After the initial screening of the applications, the remaining candidates will be invited for interviews by the Psy.D. Admissions Committee. Special arrangements for telephone interviews may be made for applicants who reside outside the Southern California area. The committee bases its decisions on an entire mosaic of requirements rather than on any single factor. Students completing their master's degree at Pepperdine University should not assume automatic admission into the doctoral program.

International Student Requirements

8. All applicants who received or will receive their degree from a university outside of the US (unless the degree is from a university which is already regionally accredited within the US) are required to submit a detailed foreign transcript evaluation report from any National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) member, such as the International Education Research Foundation at ierf.org or the World Education Services, Inc., at wes.org.

A detailed foreign transcript evaluation report will contain the following:

  • Foreign transcripts translated into English.
  • Grade point average calculated on a 4.0 scale.
  • A determination of US degree equivalency (regional accreditation equivalency is required)

9. If you have not completed your bachelor's degree at the time of application, submit a current transcript. Upon degree completion, you are required to provide official transcripts in a sealed envelope directly from the institution who awarded your degree prior to enrollment.

Mailing Address:

Pepperdine University-GSEP
5th Floor- Enrollment Processing
6100 Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90045, USA

Note: 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 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 visiting the TOEFL website. Our TOEFL code is 4630. As an alternative to the TOEFL, you may submit a score of at least 6.5 on the IELTS exam. You can find out more at International Education Research Foundation.