School of Public Policy COVID-19 Updates
The School of Public Policy is implementing plans to address COVID-19 for the fall
2020 semester in coordination with the Pepperdine Restoration Plan. Additional information
will be shared by the school as it becomes available.
Are you still accepting applications for Fall 2020?
The Fall 2020 application period is now closed. If you are still interested in applying,
please reach out to our SPP Admissions team at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
I started my application. What are the next steps?
First, please be sure to submit your application. You do not have to upload all your required documents before you press submit. When you are ready, you can go back into your application portal and attach your admission documents. You can also email documents to us at email@example.com and we will upload them for you. (Remember, you must submit your application in order for our Admission Team to attach documents to your applicant file). Please keep in mind that when you submit your application, your recommenders are automatically notified that you are requesting a letter of recommendation.
Submitting your application allows our admission team to monitor your application progress and notify you of missing items and when letters of recommendation come in. You may also contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 310.506.7493 if you have any questions or would like a real-time status update.
Will the Fall 2020 semester be online, remote, or in person?
Though our program is designed to be a "residential" program in person, given the current circumstances, the University has decided in order to best protect the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff, the fall 2020 semester will be conducted online. The University's Information Technology department has already installed technology in the classrooms to provide an excellent learning environment online.
I am an admitted international student, what are the next steps?
We know the current, rapidly changing health and travel situation has raised issues and concerns about visas and prospective students' ability to be able to travel to the US to attend school here at Pepperdine in Malibu, California.
First, know that the School of Public Policy is aware of these challenges and is actively working to provide options that address the issues and developments as they unfold. Second, and most importantly, make sure to move quickly with your appointments when the embassies do open, so that you will be ready to join us when it is possible.
We encourage students to reach out to Pepperdine University's Office of International Student Services for questions regarding visa processing.
Can I still sign up for housing?
Our ability to house students on campus is directly impacted by state and county restrictions. We are not presently permitted to reopen our Malibu campus for normal residential life. However, we expect to receive permission soon to house students who can demonstrate a compelling hardship which necessitates residing in on-campus housing this fall. Stay tuned for further communication and the application process for seeking a housing hardship exemption.
In the event the government's guidance changes during the semester, we may revisit our options for potentially broadening our on-campus housing availability.
Please reach out to housing directly at 310.506.7586 or email@example.com for more information about the application process.
Will tuition rates be adjusted for remote/online education?
At this time, there are no plans to change our published tuition rates for the 2020–2021
academic year. Our commitment to academic integrity and program design remains the
same whether our classes are delivered in person or via remote/online learning. As
a rule, 90 percent of our students receive scholarships, and we are committed to providing
this same level of support to the incoming class. At the ready are our experienced
faculty, our unique and innovative James Q. Wilson core curriculum, and the resources of Pepperdine University and our community to guide you academically
from start to finish while in attendance at the School of Public Policy.
Can I visit the campus?
Currently, access to campus is restricted to essential staff. However, we encourage
you to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 310.506.7493 for a video tour and meeting options and informative online brochures.
How has COVID-19 impacted admission requirements?
Our admission team is fully committed to helping our applicants during this challenging time. We understand and recognize the potential challenges caused by recent events. That being said, we have decided to make all GRE/GMAT/LSAT test requirements optional for our incoming applicants.
Required documents are:
- Online Application
- Personal Statement
- Ethical Moral Dilemma Essay
- Two letters of recommendation
- For International Applicants: Language exams. We accept TOEFL or IELTS. If you are unable to take these exams due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have other options available to you. Please contact us at email@example.com for details.
- Transcripts: please note that we will accept unofficial transcripts during the application process. If you are admitted, your academic institution(s) will be required to send us official transcripts indicating bachelor's degree conferral.
For more information about our admission requirements, check out our admissions page.
The application itself still requests standardized test scores. How can I confirm that these will be waived based on the guidance outlined above?
As these test scores are optional, the application system requires an applicant to
select a test. You will not be required to submit a test score unless you choose to.
For further questions, feel free to contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am an international student and cannot take the TOEFL or IELTS. Are these still required? Is there an alternative?
Language exams are still a requirement for admission. Please contact email@example.com for questions and alternative testing options. We are here to help.
When is my application considered complete and ready for review by the admissions committee?
In order for your application to be reviewed by our admission committee, you must
have submitted your application and uploaded all your required admission documents.
Our Admission Office will email to notify you that your application is complete. You
may also contact us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 310.506.7493 if you have any questions.
What are your plans for New Student Orientation?
As of now, New Student Orientation (NSO) is 100 percent virtual. NSO will take place Monday, August 10 through Thursday, August 13.
- August 10: NSO for international students
- Aug 11-12: Main NSO presentations
- August 13: Student Organization Fair offered online via Zoom
Matriculated students will receive NSO details in the next several weeks. Please continue to check your email for updates from the Admissions Office of the School of Public Policy for details.
Are you still awarding scholarships for Fall 2020? How do I complete the Financial
Yes, scholarship is still available for students applying for Fall 2020 term. Submit your application today. To be considered for non-institutional aid (federal student loans and work study) you still need to submit the FAFSA. If you do not submit a FAFSA, you cannot qualify for federal student loans nor federal work study. The application is free, and you can begin here. A student must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the Federal Student Aid Programs to determine financial need and apply for loans. The Federal Title IV School Code for Pepperdine University is 001264. Please note, financial aid packages will be made available to students beginning this summer. Please contact Christopher Jones, Director of Program Services and Admissions, at 310.506.7369 or email@example.com if you have any questions about the financial aid process.
Will be classes be online or in person in the Fall 2020 term?
Though our program is designed to be a "residential" program in person, given the
current circumstances, the University has decided in order to best protect the health
and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff, the fall 2020 semester will be
conducted online. Students may access the details the Pepperdine Restoration Plan on the University's COVID-19 Planning and Preparedness website.
How do I order books for my Fall 2020 classes?
Students can order their books online by clicking on the "Class Material(s)" link
after a course has been added to their Shopping Cart in WaveNet or by clicking on the "Bookstore" link while viewing their enrolled courses. Students
may also visit the bookstore's website directly and follow the drop-down prompts under "Find My Course Materials." Since,
in-store pick-up will be unlikely course materials may be shipped directly to your
home. In some instances, free ground shipping will be available with a minimum purchase.
My job offer was rescinded due to this unique situation what should I do?
We know there have been concerns related to the employment market for our second year students. We are regularly checking with our professional networks and job boards to seek out opportunities. Students should continue to reach out to Kirsten Vassie as their main point of contact for additional details. The Public Policy Job Board, SPP developed two years ago, continues to be a resource for open positions as well as the University's Handshake platform.
I am an international student. What should I do?
All international students who plan to travel or have Optional Practical Training
should contact the Office of International Student Services for detailed information or access the FAQ for international students. For an expedient
response, please contact the Office of International Student Services via email or call 310.506.7747 with your CWID, full name, and request.
What do we do about rented textbooks or textbooks we plan to sell back to the bookstore?
Students can mail rentals back at no charge or sell books back to the Pepperdine Bookstore in the fall semester.
When is Fall 2020 registration?
Fall 2020 registration for returning students will be June 19, 2020, and new student
registration will begin on July 16 for P4 students and July 17 for non-P4 students.
Registration information including class schedules, modalities, new course descriptions,
new faculty biographies, and time blocks are available on the registration website. Second-year students should be aware that MPP 619 is required for students interested
in pursuing individual capstones.
When will the Class of 2020 have a commencement ceremony?
In line with recommendations from multiple governmental and health agencies limiting
the number of people at gatherings, the University is postponing all commencement
ceremonies scheduled for the spring. Nonetheless, graduating students who complete
their coursework will receive their degrees as scheduled. Discussions with the president,
provost, and other deans continue around scheduling of postponed 2020 commencements.
The focus of the conversations has been to provide as much time as possible for your
planning purposes and the commitment remains to provide an on-campus ceremony in Malibu
to every graduating Pepperdine student.
As a graduating student, how long can I keep my Pepperdine email?
The University Registrar and Information Technology will extend email and WaveNet
access for graduating students to 90 days after commencement ceremonies. Commencement
dates are to be determined. This extension has been put in place to afford graduating
students extra time to update their contact information in WaveNet. Students will
be informed of this extension via automated email reminders when they complete their
Do I still need to do an internship this summer for the full 240-hour requirement? Are there alternative internships I could pursue?
Internships are an integral part of the experiential learning process and often lead students into career opportunities upon graduation. Students will still be expected to fulfill their 240-hour internship requirements and should be actively seeking internship opportunities if not already secured. We are regularly checking with our professional networks and job boards to seek out internship opportunities.
The School of Public Policy has approved a "Flexible Internship Strategy" that has additional options beyond those we reported to you in March. Students who are still looking for internships, finding it difficult to secure traditional and or remote internship opportunities, or concerned about meeting the 240-hour requirement may now consider the options below. Each request to pursue "flexible" options will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will need to be approved by Kirsten Vassie PRIOR to pursuit. Students' demonstration of significant progress in securing an internship (meetings with Kirsten, updated resume, cover letters, number of organizations where applications submitted are examples) will be considered in the approval process.
- Remote work will continue to be an option for approved organizations.
- Students, who cannot complete the full 240-hour requirement with a single organization, may request to have a "second" internship approved to supplement the hours for the full credit. "Flexible" hours may be split between no more than two organizations.
- Students, who can continue working with their current organization in future terms, will be allowed to carry-over their enrollment across consecutive semesters.
- Research projects from current full-time SPP faculty will be considered. Faculty member(s) would provide structure and oversight. Students are responsible for securing their own research project, which must be approved.
- Volunteering with an organization, ideally related to the student's area of specialization, may be considered. This option would require a writing component as part of the assessment.
- LinkedIn learning sessions may be a supplement to hours needed. A student would first complete a soft-skills assessment with Kirsten and then complete recommended learning modules to improve professional skills.
- Alumni informational interviews in an area that aligns with the student's career objectives may supplement hours needed. Students would be required to work with Kirsten on outreach and this option is subject to alumni availability. Students would prepare a written assessment of the informational interview.
- Employer informational interviews in an area that aligns with the student's career objectives may supplement hours needed. The employer would need to be approved in advance by Kirsten and a written assessment of the informational interview will be required.
In all instances, students will be expected to assemble a portfolio of experiences that is equivalent to the 240 hours required from the policy internship experience. Students seeking credit for these alternative activities will need to receive prior approval and to provide the documentation necessary for Kirsten to validate and approve the hours. Policy internship forms will still be required and students should continue to reach out to Kirsten Vassie as their main point of contact for additional details.
What if I have an emergency financial situation?
Students should contact Christopher Jones regarding student accounts and financial aid questions. Students with a financial
emergency unrelated to tuition, aid, or their student account may contact Sheryl Covey, Melissa Espinoza, or Jaclyn Ramirez.
How do I complete federal exit counseling?
Am I eligible for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funding from the Department of Education?
University financial aid administrators are currently reviewing eligibility of the CARES Act emergency funding grants for students. The University will provide an FAQ of eligibility and an application will be developed. Students may contact CJ Jones for additional questions.
Will graduate campuses be open?
Beginning Monday, April 13, the Calabasas, Encino, Irvine, and West L.A. campuses
will be closed, with no graduate campus staffing. However, critical support faculty
and staff may continue to access these campuses to do essential work that must be
Will I be able to use the library during the Fall 2020 term and what if I need to do research?
The Drescher Graduate Campus Library will be open to current Pepperdine students, faculty, and staff beginning August 17 with the following hours:
- Monday - Thursday 8 AM - 12 AM
- Friday 8 AM - 9 PM
- Saturday 10 AM - 6 PM
- Sunday 1 PM - 12 AM
During the week of August 10-16, only library team members are allowed inside the building. However, requested books will be available to pick up.
Social distancing measures will be in place with seating for study placed at least six feet apart. Traffic flows will be indicated along with six feet spacing demarcations at the circulation desk and other high-traffic areas. All persons entering the library must wear a mask and keep it on at all times. Study rooms must be reserved ahead of time and have a maximum occupancy of one person at a time. At this time, all books and physical materials must be requested ahead of time. More information regarding the library's social distancing efforts and materials pick-up will be made available as the Fall 2020 semester draws closer.
Pepperdine Libraries offers a wealth of information that is accessible online. This includes access to more than a half-million Ebooks, more than 63,000 journal titles, and more than 129 research databases. For more information about Public Policy Research Sources, please consult this research guide.
The Drescher library staff are available to answer research questions and assist in finding sources of information for student and faculty research. You can contact the library's liaison to the School of Public Policy, Lauren Haberstock (firstname.lastname@example.org), directly or use the library's Ask a Librarian service. Research consultations are available via Zoom.
How do I access library resources remotely?
Online library resources such as JSTOR archives, Vital Source textbooks, ProQuest
books, and many more are free to students and available through the Pepperdine Libraries Infoguides website.
What if I need to renew my book or request a resource through interlibrary loan?
Renewals of library materials, requests for interlibrary loans or collections online,
and online research support are available through the Pepperdine Libraries Online Support website.
Students are not permitted to gather in groups on any campus. How do I return my rental textbooks from the bookstore?
Visit the Pepperdine Bookstore website for information on rental returns and how to ship rentals back free of charge.
Will my meal plan points be refunded?
All students will receive a refund for their remaining meal points.
Am I expected to report to work on campus?
Pepperdine University is open only for essential tasks performed by faculty and staff.
Pepperdine is currently in a critical support personnel staffing model in which departments
work remotely except for essential tasks that must be handled on-site. All employees
who can perform their work from home should work remotely.
How will I implement accommodations during remote classes and assessments?
- Notes: The Office of Student Accessibility will continue to provide notetakers for classes where there is currently a notetaker. The note-takers will take notes in your online class in the same way they take notes in your face-to-face class.
- Extended time on exams: If a student has extended time on an exam, please provide the appropriate extended time to that particular student. Some students have time and a half extended time. This means for an hour exam, they would receive an hour and one-half for the exam. Some students have double time extended time. If the rest of the class receives an hour for the exam, this student would receive two hours. If you are providing your exam on Sakai (Courses), you may work with your technology liaison to create different exam links with different time parameters. If you are planning on proctoring the exams, remember to allow students with extended time to have their additional time without disruption.
- Other accommodations: Some accommodations may not be necessary to implement, such as word processors for essay exams, as the student will already be accommodated by using a computer.
- Captions: Please remember that everyone benefits when videos are captioned.
- If you have specific questions that are not answered, please contact the Office of Student Accessibility via email or by phone at 310.506.6500. They are here to support you as you provide access to your classes and exams.
What technology do I need for my online classes?
We want students to have the best possible experience during their online class sessions. In today's COVID‐shaped environment, technology plays an increasing role in the student's learning community experience. The guidelines below provide some parameters for ensuring your ability to participate fully. Because of local factors, these are only recommendations—additional or higher levels of tech investments may be needed in certain settings to provide an acceptable experience.
- For PC Users: Windows 10
- For Mac Users: OS X 10.13 or higher (10.15 preferred)
- At least 8 GB RAM, 2.8 GHz Dual Core or faster processor
- At least 11" screen (15" or larger preferred)—cell phones screens will not be adequate and tablets may not enable full class participation
- Intel i5 processor or faster (or AMD equivalent‐no Chromebooks)
- Speeds of no less than:
- 20 mbps download, 10 mbps upload, less than 45 ms ping
- Hardwired is preferred, but reliable Wi‐Fi can work If sharing connection with others
- Internal or external webcam (any can work—Zoom limits resolution to 720p)
- Speakers and separate microphone connected to computer (recommended)
- Headset or headphones with mic at a minimum (again smartphones will not be enough here)
Visit the Tech Central - Information Technology page for further information.
Can I share a Zoom session link with others?
Treat the Zoom session as a private event and share the Zoom meeting link only with
the intended participants. Participants should not share the link publicly or with
others who do not need to be in the meeting. Participants are also advised to not
post the meeting link in social public forums. Faculty are encouraged to post the
meeting link in their institutional learning management system for students to access.
How can I prevent "Zoombombing" during a Zoom session?
Some universities and school districts are reporting inappropriate and offensive activities known as Zoombombing, where unwanted participants enter the Zoom meeting room and screen-share and/or proceed to say or write very offensive things. Zoombombing can usually be prevented by following these best practices:
- Assign screen sharing ability only to the host. In Zoom, click the upward arrowhead (^) next to Share | Advanced Sharing Options | Only Host.
- Mute participants upon entry and disable their ability to unmute themselves. In Zoom, click Manage Participants | the "More" button and check both "Mute Participants On Entry" and "Allow participants to unmute themselves."
- Allow participants to chat with the host only. In Zoom, click Chat | the "ellipsis"
button and check "Host only."
What do I do if I experience offensive or disruptive activity during a Zoom session?
Zoombombing can happen in Zoom or any other video conferencing solution. If you experience such activities, please report the incident as soon as possible to a member of the University IT staff.