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Pepperdine | Graziadio Business School

Unlock Your Future: MBA Admission Guide

MBA admission

If you're considering an MBA from Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School, congratulations! You've taken the first step toward furthering your career just by inquiring about this prestigious graduate degree program. Every aspect of your application plays a vital role and contributes to the impression you make on the admissions committee. Below is a detailed look at each requirement to help you prepare a comprehensive and competitive application for your MBA admission journey.

The Online Application

When you start the online application for admission into the MBA program at Pepperdine University, you're taking a significant step in presenting yourself as a promising candidate to the admissions team. This process is where you compile and submit all your application materials, showcasing your suitability for the program.

Tip: Be sure to use the same email address consistently throughout this process to ensure clear and consistent communication with the admissions team.

As part of the application, you'll be required to pay an application fee, which varies depending on the specific program you're applying for. This fee is a standard part of the application process across many institutions.

While filling out the application, be thorough and accurate in providing information about your academic background, work experience, and other relevant details. 

Official Transcripts

Your official transcripts are a pivotal part of your application, offering the admissions team a detailed and authenticated record of your academic journey. These documents are essential as they validate your academic credentials and are a testament to your educational achievements.

Tip: Unofficial transcripts are not accepted. You must obtain official copies of transcripts from your past schools.

To procure these, you'll need to request official transcripts from every post-secondary institution you've attended, including any transfer programs or courses taken after earning your bachelor's degree. You have the option to submit these official scores either electronically or via traditional mail. Electronic submissions are often more efficient and secure, but if this option isn't available, mailed transcripts should be sent directly from the institutions to Pepperdine University.

It's important to ensure that these transcripts are comprehensive, including all courses you have taken and the grades you received, to provide a full picture of your academic background to the admissions team.

Crafting a Compelling Resume

Creating a compelling resume is a vital step in your application for admission, as it offers the admissions team a snapshot of your professional life. A standout resume showcases your full-time professional work experience, highlighting not just the roles you've held, but also your career progression.

It's essential to present this information accurately and clearly, ensuring that your job titles, dates of employment, and company names are all correct and easy to understand. This attention to detail speaks to your professionalism. Beyond listing your responsibilities, focus on your achievements in each role. This approach demonstrates how you've made an impact in your current career and can give the admissions committee insight into your potential for future growth.

Remember, a well-crafted professional resume does more than just recount your job history; it paints a picture of your career aspirations and readiness for the challenges of an MBA program.

Tip: If your current resume needs some work, consider hiring a professional to clean it up so it clearly presents your professional accomplishments. 

What to Include In Your Personal Statement

Your personal statement essay offers a deeper insight into who you are beyond your academic and professional credentials. This essay is your opportunity to align your career aspirations with the ethos of the school.

In crafting your essay, emphasize how your professional endeavors to date and your future career goals are in sync with what the MBA program at Pepperdine Graziadio Business School stands for. Discuss how the program's unique offerings can help you achieve these goals. Reflect on your experiences and lessons learned in your current career, and articulate how they have shaped your aspirations.

A compelling personal statement not only talks about where you want to go but also why you want to go there, and how an MBA from Pepperdine University will help you on that journey. This essay can significantly influence the admissions decision, so take the time to make it thoughtful, genuine, and reflective of your true aspirations.

Tip: Applicants are encouraged to submit an ‘Optional Essay’ to provide additional information to the Admission Committee regarding special circumstances that impacted your academic performance, test performance, and/or share information regarding gaps in your work experience.

Acing Your Interview

Some candidates may be invited to conduct a video interview as part of the admission application. This interview is more than just a formal conversation; it's an opportunity for the admissions committee to look deeper into your profile and understand how you fit into their vision of nurturing future business leaders. To excel in this interview, it’s essential to be well-prepared and to present yourself authentically.

Tip: Make sure you have a thorough understanding of the MBA program you're applying to. Familiarize yourself with how the program emphasizes real-world experiences and how it aligns with your desired career trajectory. Showing that you've done your homework on the program not only reflects your serious intent but also helps you articulate how the program is a good fit for your professional goals.

Be ready to discuss both your academic achievements and professional milestones. Think about instances where you've overcome challenges, demonstrated leadership, or made a significant impact in your current role. These anecdotes provide the admissions committee with a window into your problem-solving abilities and leadership potential.

Remember, the admissions interview is not just about assessing your past performance but also about understanding your future potential. Be clear and concise in explaining how the MBA program aligns with your long-term career goals. Discuss how you envision your career trajectory unfolding and how the experiences and knowledge gained from the MBA will play a role in that journey.

MBA admission

Does It Matter Where You Get Your Bachelor’s Degree?

Your undergraduate degree must be from an accredited university. This accreditation ensures that the education you received meets certain standards of quality and is recognized by the MBA program to which you are applying.

While the prestige of the undergraduate institution can be a consideration in the admissions decision, it's not the only—or even most important—factor. Admissions committees typically look at a range of elements, including your academic performance, professional experience, test scores, and how well your overall profile aligns with the program's values and goals.

Additional Application Requirements

In certain circumstances, additional admissions materials may be required. For instance, those who aren't eligible for a waiver will need to submit GMAT or GRE scores. Additionally, applicants who earned their undergraduate/graduate degree(s) in a language other than English must show proof of English language proficiency.

GMAT or GRE Scores

GMAT or GRE scores provide the admissions committee with a standardized measure of your analytical, verbal, and quantitative abilities, offering insight into your potential for academic success in graduate-level studies.

When evaluating GMAT or GRE scores, admissions committees typically consider them in the context of your overall profile. This includes your academic record, professional experience, and other relevant qualifications.

While a high score can significantly strengthen your application, it's important to remember that it's not the sole criterion for admission. Programs often look for a well-rounded application, where your scores are part of a larger narrative that includes your career aspirations, leadership qualities, and other personal achievements.

For international applicants, who might have completed their education in a different educational system, GMAT or GRE scores can be particularly important as they provide a common metric for assessing academic readiness. However, every aspect of your application is considered in making the final admissions decision.


English proficiency is a critical requirement for international students applying to an MBA program. The TOEFL, PTE, and IELTS exams are widely recognized tests that measure your ability to understand and use English at a level necessary for graduate education.

For these tests, most universities set a minimum score requirement. This minimum score is essential to ensure that you can comfortably participate in class discussions, understand course material, and complete assignments effectively. 

Your performance in these tests is an integral part of your application, especially if English is not your native language. A strong score will demonstrate your readiness to engage in an intensive academic environment where English is the primary medium of communication. 

Tip: International students can find more information on the admissions process here.

Appealing a Denied Application

Receiving a denial for your MBA admission application can be disheartening, but it doesn’t necessarily mark the end of your journey to joining an MBA program. Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School offers the option to appeal a denied application. 

Begin by submitting a written request for an appeal. This should be a formal letter addressed to the admissions office, clearly stating your intention to appeal the decision. To strengthen your appeal, include new academic information that wasn't available during the initial review of your application. This could be updated test scores (like GMAT or GRE), recent grades that show academic improvement, or any additional qualifications you’ve acquired since your initial application.

Make sure to submit your appeal by the final deadline specified for the same program in the same term. Adhering to this deadline is crucial for your appeal to be considered.

Tip: When emailing your appeal, use a clear subject line, such as “Appeal Request - [Your Full Name] - [Your CWID #].” This helps the admissions team to promptly identify and process your request.

After submitting your appeal, you will receive an acknowledgment of your request. The decision on your appeal will typically be communicated within 14 business days from the acknowledgment date.

While an appeal offers a second chance, it's also important to be prepared for any outcome. Use this time to reflect on other options and potential paths forward, whether it’s reapplying in the future or considering other programs that align with your career goals.

MBA admission

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the basic requirements for applying to the MBA program at Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School?

To apply for the Full-Time MBA program, you need a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, official transcripts, a personal statement or essay, an updated resume, GMAT or GRE scores, and if applicable, English proficiency test scores like TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS. An interview is also part of the process.

How do I start the online application process for the MBA program?

Prospective students can start the application process by visiting the application page and creating an account. Remember to use a consistent email throughout the application process and pay the application fee, which varies depending on the program.

What should I include in my personal statement essay?

Your personal statement should align with Pepperdine Graziadio's goals of responsible business practice, entrepreneurial spirit, ethical focus, and global orientation. Discuss your past and future professional endeavors, your career goals for the next 3-5 years, and how an MBA from Pepperdine Graziadio will help you achieve them. The essay should be double-spaced and no more than one page.

What are the deadlines for the MBA admission application?

A: Application deadlines vary each year. It's essential to check the admissions deadlines page or contact the admissions office for the most current deadline information.

What should I focus on in my resume for the MBA application?

Your resume should be up-to-date, accurately reflecting all dates and experiences. Include details of your internships, work experience, volunteer involvement, and involvement in college, professional, and community organizations. Awards, special papers, presentations, and professional certifications should also be mentioned.

Are there scholarships available for graduate school programs?

Pepperdine University offers scholarships and alternative financial aid options to those who qualify. Admitted students are automatically considered for merit scholarships. Scholarship amounts vary based on several factors such as GPA, test scores, and work experience.

You can visit the financial aid page or contact the financial aid department via email at PGBSFinancialAid@pepperdine.edu or via phone at 310-568-5530 for more information.

Apply for an MBA Program at Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University's MBA program is not just about academic excellence, but also about shaping leaders ready to make a global impact. With options like the Global Business Intensive course, the Pepperdine E2B™ program, and the SEER Certificate, the program offers a blend of theory and practical experience, preparing you for a dynamic business environment.

Stay informed, stay prepared, and let this guide be your companion on your journey to unlocking your future with an MBA from Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School.

To get started, fill out your application form today!