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Seaver College Fall 2021 COVID-19 Expectations

July 23, 2021

We are excitedly anticipating the fall semester and having you on campus. New students, we want to welcome you to Pepperdine! We are looking forward to New Student Orientation where we will meet you in person, you will meet and make new friends, and you will engage with our amazing faculty and staff to learn about exciting academic, spiritual, extra-curricular, and other unique opportunities. Returning students, we are thrilled to welcome you back to campus and know you are eager to be back and connect with friends, faculty, and staff. 

You will be hearing more from us in the coming weeks, but today we want to address COVID-19 and community safety. We want you and all members of the Pepperdine community to remain healthy throughout the year! Because the health and safety of our community is a paramount priority, we want to be sure that you are very clear about Pepperdine’s COVID-related policies and expectations, even before you arrive. We each need to take our responsibilities seriously to care for our community and beyond. Our message today is both important and timely as you will need to address some COVID-related policy expectations prior to July 31 and your arrival to campus. 

Pepperdine complies with all state and county COVID-19 guidelines and mandates. To maintain this compliance, we will enforce all University policies, including those developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the upcoming academic year. In the remainder of the letter, we highlight several key pre- and post-arrival expectations to make certain that you are informed and well prepared. You can find all Pepperdine University COVID-19 information on our COVID-19 Planning and Preparedness website.

Pre-Arrival Expectations

Vaccination Policy

The University’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, released on July 9, requires all faculty, staff, and students to be vaccinated in advance of their return to campus for the fall semester. However, the policy does entitle community members to claim a medical, religious, or philosophical exemption to the vaccination requirement in good faith. 

All students are required to provide proof of vaccination or a completed exemption by July 31, 2021. Returning students who do not submit one or the other will have their fall registration canceled. New students who do not submit one or the other will not be registered for fall classes. On-campus residential students also will not be permitted to move into residence halls. 

If you have previously complied with this requirement, thank you. If you have not already done so, please submit your COVID-19 vaccine documentation (either proof of vaccine or a completed and signed exemption form) via the Student Health Center Patient Portal. Instructions for this required task may be found on the University’s COVID-19 website.

Pre-Arrival Testing Requirements

All unvaccinated students or those who are not fully vaccinated must provide results from a negative COVID-19 test that was administered within the three days prior to arrival. The test results must be uploaded to the student’s patient portal. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last recommended dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines must be authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration or World Health Organization.

Ongoing Expectations Once in Community

For the safety of our community and to enable the University to remain open for in-person classes and activities, all Pepperdine students are required to cooperate with existing University COVID-19 policies, including, but not limited to, wearing masks over the nose and mouth; daily wellness checks; screening testing; contact tracing; relocation of housing, if necessary; and quarantine and isolation requirements. The details of these expectations may be modified as infection rates, vaccination rates, and Los Angeles County guidance change. Updated information can be found on the University’s COVID-19 website.

Testing, Contact Tracing, and Quarantine and Isolation Expectations

Unvaccinated students, or those who are not fully vaccinated, will be required to participate in ongoing periodic screening testing as directed by University officials. Unvaccinated individuals are also required to participate in contact tracing if they are suspected of having contact with someone with COVID-19. At all times, students must cooperate fully with all testing, contact tracing, and both quarantine and isolation processes (including relocation). 

Fully vaccinated students may not be required to participate in screening testing but are expected to cooperate with all contact tracing efforts. Fully vaccinated individuals will not be required to quarantine if exposed to a suspected positive COVID-19 case unless they become symptomatic or test positive, in which case they will be required to isolate and follow other instructions from the Student Health Center.

Face Covering/Masking

Pepperdine will comply with all Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) guidelines regarding face covering or masking. Current LACDPH guidelines require that all community members be masked in indoor public settings. This includes all academic buildings, dining facilities, administration buildings, recreational facilities, office settings, etc.

In residence halls, individuals sharing suites or apartments are considered a household and are not required to wear face coverings while in their “home” area, but they are required to wear face coverings when exiting their suite/apartment and in public areas of the residence halls. Current guidelines do not require a face covering for either vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals when outdoors.

Face coverings are required for all individuals riding a University shuttle or bus or when in University healthcare settings (including the Student Health Center and the Counseling Center) regardless of vaccination status.


All Seaver College classes will be conducted in-person on Pepperdine’s Malibu campus and select international program campuses.

All aforementioned requirements for testing, contact tracing, face covering, etc. will be enforced in all academic settings including classrooms, laboratories, studios, and other educational spaces. In some cases, other restrictions may apply. Students will be expected to comply with guidance provided by their professors and other University personnel.


In these challenging times, there is a tremendous level of support at Pepperdine for all students. You can access assistance as needed from the Student Health Center, Counseling Center, Chaplain’s Office, or a wide range of other offices on campus. Please also know that all faculty and staff are ready to welcome you to this very special place and address any questions or concerns you may have. 

If you have questions regarding the contents of this letter or any COVID-related issue or concern, please contact Pepperdine’s COVID-19 Information Line at 310.506.8111 or via email at covid19info@pepperdine.edu. We look forward to welcoming you to Pepperdine in a few short weeks.