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OISS Frequently Asked Questions

Confused about the international admission process? Click on the questions below to get the answers.

What is an international student?

For purposes of admission to Pepperdine University, international students are defined solely on their citizenship/residency status. If a student does not hold citizenship or permanent residency in the United States, the student is classified as an international student

Who is required to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)?

All students who have not completed one of the following are required to take the TOEFL:

The SAT I with a verbal recentered score of 450 or higher.

A 'C' or better in a regular (not ESL) college level English composition course at an accredited U.S. college or university.

A score of 'C' or better on the U.K. system A-Levels English Exam, or Hong Kong system HKALE English Exam.

The ELS Language Centers' Master level 112 class with a grade of at least 'B'.

A score of 6.5 or higher on the IELTS exam (International English Language Testing System) sponsored by Cambridge Examinations

What is the TOEFL requirement?

550 Paper based test

79 Internet based test

What is the purpose of the International Student Data (ISD) form?

This document, when completed by you, your financial sponsor, and the sponsor's bank, will serve as evidence of financial support for the duration of your program of study, and the information on this document will be used to prepare your Form I-20. We must verify that you will be able to complete the academic year and fulfill all financial obligations (tuition, room, board, insurance, books, travel, and personal expenses for two semesters) before we can issue the Form I-20.

What is considered an "OFFICIAL" transcript or test score report?

All documents regarding your previous education (marks, certificates, diplomas, etc.) and test scores (TOEFL, SAT) must be sent to us directly from the school(s) you attended, the ministry of education, or the testing authority.

The document we receive may be a photocopy, as long as it has been signed by a school, ministry, or testing authority official, and sent directly to us by the school, the Ministry of Education, or testing authority in a letterhead envelope.

In other words, we must be able to determine that the document we receive (whether the original or a photocopy) has been verified by the issuing institution and that the student (or anyone else) has not had the opportunity to see or touch the document from the time of the verification until we open the document in our office.

If you have any questions whether the document(s) you plan to submit are official, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

What documents are NOT considered "OFFICIAL"?

An original (regardless if it has been laminated) which has been mailed or presented to our office by the student or family.

Originals or photocopies of documents which have been "certified" and mailed by a translator or notary.

Preliminary marks or test scores.

If you have any questions whether the document(s) you plan to submit is official, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

Can I work during the time I am attending Pepperdine on an F-1 (student) visa?

An F-1 student may engage in on-campus employment if he or she is lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis. Employment must not exceed 20 hours a week while school is in session. Off-campus employment is limited to temporary employment for practical training directly related to the student's major area of study. There are two types of practical training: curricular and optional. In order to engage in practical training, students must apply for employment authorization with the OISS.

Can I correspond with a current Pepperdine student via email?

If you would like to correspond with a current Pepperdine student, please email OISS with the country you are from and the level of study you are pursuing. We will attempt to match you up with a current Pepperdine student.

Am I required to live on campus?

As an incoming freshman, on campus housing is required for the first two years or until you earn 60 semester credits. As a junior or third year student you have the option to live in campus residence halls, campus apartments, or off campus.

How far is Pepperdine University from the closest international airport?

Pepperdine University is located approximately 30 minutes by car from one of the largest international airports, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

What are Pepperdine's International Baccalaureate program policies?

International Baccalaureate program policies

What are Pepperdine's Advanced Placement program policies?

Advanced Placement program policies

Because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), my high school classes were moved online. Will this affect how my transcript and application for admission are evaluated?

Please be assured that we will evaluate students on the work they are producing, regardless of the method by which it is produced. We are aware of the widespread school closures and the alternative methods of instruction that are being employed. We are also proactively seeking the insight of school counselors in affected regions as well as trusted international education organizations. We advise applicants to communicate any disruption or change in their educational progress in order for our admissions team to have a better understanding of their academic context. This can be addressed in the academic letter of recommendation and in the Common Application itself.

For more information about the university's response to the virus, please visit our COVID-19 Planning and Preparedness page. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the OISS.

Email: oiss@pepperdine.edu

Phone: 310-506-4246