Founded in 1937 and ranked 54th in the Best Colleges of 2013, Pepperdine University is a private Christian college nestled in the Santa Monica Mountain foothills in California. The University is a strong upholder of the New Testament-based traditions of the Churches of Christ and in the same tradition, it is mandatory for students to attend at least 14 spiritual events in every semester and pursue at least three Bible courses while studying at the Pepperdine University though there may be some exemptions that may apply to students of other denominations and religious traditions. The campus has its own student run ministries along with a Church of Christ cathedral.
Apart from its faith based activities, the university also encourages students living towards a healthy life by encouraging athletic pursuits. The university’s Pepperdine Waves, successfully compete in the Division I West Coast Conference each year. There are also numerous sports clubs on campus for students to join, like the lacrosse, triathlon group, dodgeball and beach volleyball teams. Freshmen and sophomores are required to live on-campus. A spiritual leader resides in each residence hall for the benefit of the students. Almost 25 percent of the university’s student population belongs to one of the seven sororities and five fraternities.
Almost 3,474 undergraduates enroll in Pepperdine each year. Though as a private university, the tuition fees are expensive, the university’s financial aid program ensures that students from all backgrounds are able to attend the school. Apart from its main campus in Malibu, Pepperdine University also offers graduate courses at its California campuses in Los Angeles, Irvine, Santa Clara, Enrico, and Westlake Village. The school also has study abroad programs in Germany, England, Italy, Switzerland and Argentina as well as arrangements for programs in the nation’s capital, Washington DC.
While academics is the core of Pepperdine University’s prowess as a top ranking school, it is also able to hold its own on the sports fields. Many of the top athletes in the United States are graduates of Pepperdine, such as baseball player Randy Wolf, golfer Jason Allred, basketball player Alex Acker, and beach volleyball Olympic medalist Nicole Sanderson, are some of its most celebrated alumni.
Academically some of the most popular degree programs offered at Pepperdine are Advertising, Business Management and Administration, Marketing and Communication Studies, International Studies, Psychology and Journalism. Studying at Pepperdine is an expensive option, yet the university’s financial aid program for needy students, helps keep this institutes doors open for students from every background. In fact almost 56.5 percent of all full-time undergraduates receive need-based financial aid in some way or the other.
A loud and clear declaration of Pepperdine University’s popularity amongst students is the fact that it enjoys a 93 percent of first year student retention. The student-faculty ratio at the university is 13:1, with an average class size of less than 20 students. The undergraduate population at Pepperdine stands at 3,474, out of which 44.4 percent are male students and 55.6 percent are female students. 58.0 percent of all students prefer to live in university-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing with just 42.0 percent living off campus. Each year the Pepperdine University participates actively in the NCAA I athletic conference and its student body has that elusive varsity spirit which you may not find elsewhere.