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Pepperdine | Graduate School of Education and Psychology

Admission Requirements

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

To apply for this program, please submit:

1. Application for admission with a nonrefundable processing fee.

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. Recommendations should attest to your competencies, character, and potential for the program. Additionally, recommenders may also complete this form and email it directly to gsep-admissions@pepperdine.edu.

3. A Statement of Purpose (1,000-2,000 words) addressing such topics as your view of leadership, ability to create followers, propensity to take risks, evidence of a purposeful research agenda, perseverance and demonstrated achievements, future career and life objectives, and reasons for pursuing a PhD program, emailed to gsep-admissions@pepperdine.edu.

4. Verified record of academic written and presented research: submitted via the PhD Research Experience Form on the online application.

5. Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE—verbal and quantitative sections) taken within the past five years*. Alternatively, applicants have the option to submit a two-page proctored essay on a selected topic. Applicants who do not perform satisfactorily on this essay may be required to attend a writing workshop course at GSEP such as ED 692.

*Please note: the GRE requirement is currently being waived for this program. GSEP is committed to equity and accurately assessing student attributes for acceptance, and the Education Division is in the process of investigating the GRE's predictive quality of all applicants' future success in its programs.

6. Your professional CV or resume emailed to gsep-admissions@pepperdine.edu.

7. A personal or group interview with a program director for qualified applicants who apply to the program.

8. If your baccalaureate or master's degree GPA is lower than 3.0 or you're seeking an exception to our TOEFL test requirements, please fill out this Exception Request Form and email it to gsep-admissions@pepperdine.edu.

A writing sample and/or critical thinking assessment may be assigned to a candidate before potential admission at the discretion of the program director

For current GSEP EdD students and alumni only: Current GSEP EdD students and EdD alumni who have graduated in the last seven years may transfer up to 39 EdD units to the Ph.D. in Global Leadership and Change program. The final decision of transfer is recommended in conjunction with a committee appointed by the program director which includes committee members and the director of student success, or designee. This committee will make the final recommendation to the Admission Office based upon analysis of official transcripts, syllabi, and other relevant material submitted by the candidate.

International Student Requirements:

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)

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 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.