Pepperdine University School of Public Policy

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The Pepperdine University School of Public Policy is a Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree program, located in Malibu, California. It is one of five graduate schools at Pepperdine University with specializations in American politics, economics, international relations, and state and local policy.

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) requires 64 units of course work with four four-unit courses taken each semester for two academic years (four semesters). The first year is primarily composed of core courses and provides a foundation for the student's specialization courses, most of which are taken in the second year.[1]


The School of Public Policy enrolls approximately 120 students and offers a Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree built on a distinctive philosophy of nurturing leaders to use the tools of analysis and policy design to effect successful implementation and real change. This requires critical insights balanced with personal moral certainties that only a broad exposure to great ideas, courageous thinkers, and extraordinary leaders can encourage. It prepares graduates for careers as leaders and seeks also to strengthen the institutions which lie between the federal government and the individual, including the family, religious organizations, volunteer associations, local and regional government, and nonprofit organizations.

Pepperdine's School of Public Policy was founded almost two decades ago by noted scholars and leaders like James Q. Wilson, Jack Kemp, and Michael Novak, as a response to many of the government-centric policy programs of the time. Because of these beginnings, Pepperdine offers students a comprehensive curriculum grounded in both policy analysis and an exceptional understanding of the many factors – cultural, historical, and constitutional – that affect the implementation of public policy. [2]

The current dean of the Public Policy School is Pete N. Peterson.

Joint Degree Programs[edit]

Joint degree programs include the MPP/Juris Doctor degree in conjunction with the School of Law, the MPP/Masters of Dispute Resolution degree in conjunction with the School of Law's number one ranked Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution [3] and the MPP/MBA degree in conjunction with the Graziadio School of Business and Management.

The Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership[edit]

The Davenport Institute at the School of Public Policy was founded in 1996 as a research platform for events, publications, and lectures on current policy issues. In 2000, the Institute was named in honor of David Davenport, the University's sixth president. In 2010, the Institute combined with a multi-partisan, non-profit called Common Sense California (founded 2005) to become the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership.

The Davenport Institute works to engage the citizens of California in the policy decisions that affect everyday lives. In today's world of easy access to information, and easy connectivity to others, California's municipal and education leaders are seeking ways to involve the residents of their communities in the important issues they confront. The Davenport Institute has had the opportunity to facilitate public processes, train staff and elected officials from, and support public engagement in over one hundred local governments and regional government associations across California.

The Davenport Institute partners with many different organizations committed to advancing public engagement and public dialogue throughout the United States. The institute is affiliated with the following networks and associations: Bridge Alliance, California Consortium on Public Engagement, National Civility Network, National Conference on Citizenship, and the University Network for Collaborative Government. [4]

Honor Society[edit]

The School of Public Policy has a chapter of the Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society. Pi Alpha Alpha is the National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration which was created to recognize and promote excellence in the study and practice of public affairs and administration. PAA membership identifies those with the highest performance levels in educational programs preparing them for public service careers. In order to become a member, students must attain a minimum of a 3.7 GPA, complete a minimum of 32 units, and express a desire to conduct themselves in a manner that brings honor to the chapter, the School of Public Policy, and the Pepperdine Community.

Pepperdine Policy Review[edit]

The Pepperdine Policy Review is a student-run journal that showcases the best scholarly work of School of Public Policy students at Pepperdine University. It features articles, commentaries, opinion pieces, and book reviews that address a variety of issues from health care and national security to political philosophy.[5]


Institutional Member:
The Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management [6]
The National Association for Schools of Public Affairs and Administration [7]
The Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship Program [8]

Notable Faculty[edit]

The School of Public Policy is guided by faculty who are the leaders of their fields, including political science, ethics and philosophy, statistics and economics, and international security. A few notable faculty members who lecture at the School of Public Policy are: Douglas Kmiec, James Q. Wilson (Medal of Freedom Winner), Bruce Herschensohn, Ted McAllister, Joel Fox, James Prieger, Robert Kaufman, Angela Hawken, Michael Shires, and Daniel Pipes.[9]

Notable Alumni[edit]

Hans Zeiger, Representative-elect for the 25th Legislative District of Washington

Student Groups[edit]

Pepperdine Policy Review
Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society (PAA)
Women in Public Policy
Churchill Society
Christianity in Public Policy


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°02′05″N 118°42′13″W / 34.0348°N 118.7035°W / 34.0348; -118.7035