Pepperdine School of Public Policy

The Master of Public Policy offered by the Pepperdine School of Public Policy is a two-year program that is designed to train leaders who will affect change in government agencies and in the nonprofit and private sectors. Pepperdine University is an independent institution located on a campus that overlooks the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, California. The university was founded in 1937 by George Pepperdine, a Christian businessman. It is affiliated with the Churches of Christ, but students and faculty represent all races and religious beliefs.

The first year of Pepperdine’s MPP program is composed of core courses that provided a foundation in public policy analysis. The second year consists primarily of courses related to a student’s chosen area of specialization. The Pepperdine School of Public Policy takes pride in the unique perspective reflected in its core courses, which provide students with a broad understanding of the philosophy behind free institutions and the history of their development. Students are exposed to the ideas of extraordinary leaders and courageous thinkers, and to the belief that public analysis can and should be based on personal moral certainties.

Areas of special interest available for students to choose from include economics, American politics, state and local policy, and international relations. Students who are interested in international relations may focus on one geographical area, such as the Middle East or Latin America (depending on interest among the current student cohort). Pepperdine has recently instituted a City Manager in Residence program. This program provides students with the opportunity to hear directly from experienced California city managers. Over the course of two days, students attend formal lectures and meet face-to-face with resident city managers, who answer questions and offer career advice.

The final semester of the Pepperdine MPP program includes a capstone policy seminar that allows students to work in teams on the design and development of a major public program for a real agency. The program implementation and results are presented to a board of visiting academics and public agency leaders. The capstone policy seminar challenges students to integrate their training and leadership skills with real-world experience, preparing them to assume roles as public policy analysts and leaders.

The Pepperdine School of Public Policy enrolls about 100 students. Admission requirements for the Pepperdine School of Public Policy include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. For more information about applying, visit the Pepperdine MPP Admission website.