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Pursue Your MBA: Part-Time Program Admission

Part-time MBA admission

For ambitious business professionals, a leadership journey often includes advanced education such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA). For those working full-time jobs, a part-time MBA program offers prospective students more flexibility to continue working than a full-time MBA program. We'll outline everything you need to know about this graduate school program, including all the details of part-time MBA admissions requirements and how to strengthen your application.

What is an MBA and Who Should Get One?

An MBA, or Master of Business Administration, is a graduate degree focusing on business administration and management. Students can expect to leave an MBA program with advanced knowledge in various business disciplines.

An advanced degree like an MBA can be a great asset for anyone working in the business world, or even in the non-profit sector. Part-time MBA programs, specifically, are great for working professionals who need the flexibility of remote education while also offering opportunities for in-person learning and networking. They're a great alternative to an online MBA program, which does not offer the opportunity for in-person interactions.

A Master of Business Administration can be a great asset for:

Current or Aspiring Executives

Professionals eyeing executive roles or higher management positions should seriously consider an MBA. The program gives them essential strategic thinking and leadership skills necessary to lead organizations effectively. It provides part-time MBA students with a comprehensive understanding of various business functions, including finance, marketing, and operations, which is crucial for making informed decisions at a senior level.

Entrepreneurs and Business Owners

Those looking to start a business or who already run their own companies can greatly benefit from an MBA. This degree program offers invaluable insights into business strategy, financial management, and market analysis, which are essential for successfully launching and scaling a business. The networking opportunities provided by an MBA can be instrumental in establishing business connections and finding mentors.

Career Changers

Professionals who want to pivot to a new industry or role find that an MBA opens doors to opportunities that may have previously been inaccessible. The diverse range of subjects taught in the program, along with internship opportunities, helps in gaining the requisite knowledge and business acumen to make a successful transition.

Professionals Seeking Specialization

For those who already have several years of professional work experience but are looking to specialize in a particular area—such as digital marketing, finance, or international business—an MBA offers the opportunity to hone in on these specialties. Specialization can lead to more targeted career opportunities and a higher salary.

Pepperdine University Part-Time MBA Program Admissions Requirements

Part-time MBA admission

Pepperdine's Part-Time MBA caters to working professionals by combining the flexibility of remote education with valuable in-person interactions. Aspiring part-time MBA students must meet all the application requirements to be considered for the graduate programs.

Personal Statement or Essay

The personal statement or essay is a significant part of the whole admission process and decision. It showcases who you are beyond your academic and professional accomplishments. It provides the opportunity to narrate your unique journey to the admissions committee—the experiences that have shaped your decision to pursue an MBA and the driving forces behind your ambitions.

In your essay, you should clearly articulate your career objectives, both short-term and long-term, and reflect on how an MBA from Pepperdine University will facilitate these goals. What sets you apart? This is your chance to highlight the unique skills, experiences, and perspectives you'll bring to the program. Your story should not only reflect your past but also your potential to contribute uniquely to the Pepperdine community.

A Current Resume

Your resume acts as a summary of your professional journey. The key to making it impactful is in its clarity and brevity. Structure it in a way that’s not only easy to read but also highlights your key achievements, moving beyond just listing job responsibilities. Tailor your resume to reflect experiences and skills relevant to business and leadership roles. Use quantifiable data to illustrate the impact you've had in your previous positions, such as significant sales increases or successful project implementations. This approach turns your resume into a testament to your professional growth and potential.

Official Transcripts

Your official transcripts narrate your academic journey. Use them to showcase the strengths of your academic background, especially in areas related to business studies. If your academic performance has varied, be prepared to offer context in your personal essay or interview. This could include discussing any personal challenges you faced and how they have shaped your resilience and character. A thoughtful explanation can provide depth to your academic record and demonstrate your growth mindset. Note that unofficial transcripts cannot be accepted, and international students will need to submit transcripts in English.

An Undergraduate Degree in a Related Field

Holding a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution is a foundational requirement for the MBA. It's essential to ensure that your degree is recognized by a legitimate accrediting agency. If you've studied at a non-U.S. institution, take steps to verify that your degree is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree. This verification not only confirms your academic preparedness but also ensures the diversity of your educational background is appropriately valued.

Letters of Recommendation 

A recommendation letter is a required part of the admissions process. It offers an external perspective on your potential as an MBA candidate. Choose a recommender who can speak with authority about your leadership qualities, problem-solving skills, and ability to work effectively in teams. This could be a supervisor, a colleague, or even a client. It's helpful to provide your recommender with insights into what the MBA program is looking for so they can tailor their letter to highlight aspects of your character and professional experience that align with these values.

A Complete Online Application

The final step in your application process is the completion of the online application. This is where all the elements of your application come together. Pay attention to detail to ensure all information is accurate and complete. Your application should narrate a coherent and compelling story about your qualifications and aspirations. Additionally, be mindful of submission deadlines and plan your application process to avoid any last-minute complications.

Tips for Improving Your Part-Time MBA Application

When it comes to impressing the admissions committee and strengthening your application for a program like the one at Pepperdine University, every element of your submission plays a crucial role in painting a comprehensive picture of your potential as a candidate.

Impress The Admissions Committee With Your Personal Essay

Starting with the personal essay, this is your opportunity to narrate your unique journey. A well-crafted essay goes beyond listing your achievements; it weaves them into a compelling story that reflects your personality, resilience, and determination. The key is to make your narrative align with Pepperdine's values and culture. Being specific about your career goals and how Pepperdine's program aligns with them can set your application apart. Remember, authenticity in sharing your story and clarity in your career objectives can make a significant impact.

Tailor Your Resume

Moving on to your resume, it's essential to tailor it specifically for the MBA application. This means focusing on aspects of your professional journey that demonstrate skills and experiences relevant to business leadership. Quantifying your achievements gives a tangible measure of your success, and maintaining conciseness ensures that your resume is impactful without being overwhelming. Highlighting significant roles, especially those that exhibit leadership and strategic skills, is crucial. Additionally, be sure to include any relevant professional certifications.

Address Any Academic Issues From Your Undergraduate Degree

Your academic history, as reflected in your transcripts, should showcase your readiness to thrive in a challenging academic environment. If there are any areas where your performance might not have been stellar—such as a low undergraduate GPA or low test scores—addressing these proactively in your personal statement can help. It provides context during the application review process and shows your ability to learn and grow from past experiences. Additionally, undertaking relevant coursework or professional development programs can further demonstrate your commitment to academic excellence.

Make Sure Letters of Recommendation Offer a Unique Perspective

Lastly, the recommendation letters are where you get to show a third-party perspective on your skills and potential. Choosing recommenders who have witnessed your professional growth and can vouch for your abilities is crucial. Providing them with enough context about the program and your reasons for applying can help them tailor their letters more effectively. Also, ensuring they have ample time to write these recommendations is key to getting thoughtful and impactful endorsements.

How to Choose the Right MBA Program

When it comes to selecting a program that aligns perfectly with your career aspirations and lifestyle, there are several critical factors to consider. This decision is not just about finding a reputable program, but about finding the right fit for you.

Program Format

The format of the MBA program is crucial, especially for working professionals. Pepperdine University's Part-Time MBA program offers a hybrid model, combining online education with in-person classes. This blend is ideal for those who need the flexibility to balance their studies with professional and personal commitments. It's essential to assess whether such a format aligns with your learning preferences and lifestyle. Do you thrive in face-to-face interactions, or do you prefer the convenience of online learning? How well can you manage the blend of both? Your success in the program will depend significantly on how well its format fits into your life.


The curriculum is the heart of any MBA. Pepperdine's focus on experiential learning is designed to provide practical skills and knowledge that can be immediately applied in the workplace. This approach is particularly beneficial if you are looking to enhance your current role or prepare for future leadership positions. Consider how the core curriculum and elective courses offered align with your career goals. Are there specific areas of business or leadership you're eager to explore? Does the program offer concentrations or electives that match your interests? A curriculum that resonates with your professional objectives will not only be more engaging but also more rewarding in the long term.

Location and Network

The location of your program can significantly impact your networking opportunities and career prospects. Pepperdine's strong presence in Southern California provides access to a vast and influential network of alumni. This is incredibly beneficial for networking, mentorship, and career opportunities, particularly if you plan to work in the region post-graduation. Consider how important geographic location is to your career plans.

FAQs About the Part-Time Master of Business Administration Program at Pepperdine University

How long is the program?

The part-time MBA program at Pepperdine University is designed with flexibility in mind to accommodate working professionals. While the duration can vary, it typically takes around 2-3 years to complete, depending on the number of courses taken each semester. Part-time MBA programs are specifically designed for working professionals, allowing them to balance their professional commitments with their studies. There is also an opportunity for a Part-Time MBA Fast Track Option.

What sets Pepperdine's program apart?

The part-time MBA at Pepperdine's Graziadio Business School is distinguished by its hybrid model, which combines online and in-person learning, a strong emphasis on experiential learning, and access to a vast and influential alumni network in Southern California.

Can I specialize in a specific area of business during the program?

The program offers various concentrations, allowing students to specialize in areas such as finance, marketing, or entrepreneurship. This specialization can help tailor the MBA experience to align with specific career goals.

Is there a capstone project or thesis requirement?

Yes, the program includes a capstone project where students apply their learning to real-world business problems. This project is a great opportunity for students to synthesize their knowledge and demonstrate their skills in a practical setting.

How does the program integrate practical, real-world experience?

Pepperdine's MBA program emphasizes experiential learning through client-based projects and case studies, providing part-time MBA students with hands-on experience in addressing current business challenges.

Aspiring Part-Time MBA Students Can Connect With Our Graduate Admissions Team Today

Part-time MBA admission

An MBA graduate program, especially at an institution like Pepperdine University, is a significant but rewarding journey. The part-time program is an excellent option for professionals looking to advance their careers without pausing their professional lives. With the right preparation and mindset, it can be a journey of self-discovery and growth. Embrace the challenge and step confidently toward your future in business leadership. For more details on Pepperdine’s Part-Time MBA Program admissions process, connect with one of our admissions team members.