As a Christian University affiliated with the Churches of Christ, Pepperdine treats everyone with the respect and kindness that we have been called to show one another. The University community is a space where lives intersect and knowledge is discovered, which fortifies the strength found in our differences and uncovers the virtues revealed in diversity, unity, and restoration. To that end, Pepperdine is committed to fostering an environment free from discrimination as described in California Education Code Section 66270 and reserves its right to remain a Christian University by favoring co-religionists in its admissions decisions.
Students and prospective students should read this catalog carefully. This catalog, along with other published policies, describes student rights and duties with respect to the University. Other published policies may be found online. Enrollment constitutes an agreement by the student to abide by the rules, regulations, and policies of Pepperdine University.
Admission Contingent Upon Truthfulness
Applicants are advised that the University’s decision to admit them is contingent upon the truthfulness of the information contained in the application files submitted by the applicant and/or persons on the applicant’s behalf, including letters of recommendation. Discovery of false information subsequent to admission, at the University’s discretion, is grounds for withdrawal of the offer of admission or for immediate dismissal at any point in the student’s course of study. Such dismissal shall result in forfeiture of all charges paid and academic credits earned.
Alcohol and Other Drugs
You can now find information on the Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy and other student-related policies for all graduate schools on Pepperdine’s Student Code of Conduct website.
Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance
Pepperdine University complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and state and local regulations regarding students and applicants with disabilities. Pursuant to these laws, no qualified individual with a disability, or those regarded as having a disability, shall unlawfully be denied access to or participation in any services, programs, or activities of Pepperdine University.
In carrying out this policy, we recognize that disabilities include mobility, sensory, health, psychological, and learning disabilities. It is our intent to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. We are unable, however, to make accommodations that are unduly burdensome or that fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity.
I. Disability Defined
A disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of the individual.
- Major life activities: normal functions such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, eating, standing, bending, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, learning, and working. It also includes operation of major bodily function, such as the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine and reproductive functions.
- Physical impairment: any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory and speech organs, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin and endocrine.
- Mental impairment: any mental or psychological disorder such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.
- Learning disabilities: a generic term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities.
These disorders occur in persons of average to very superior intelligence and are presumed to be due to central nervous system dysfunction.
II. Admission of Students with Disabilities
The University will make admission decisions using criteria that do not consider an individual’s disability, but rather the student’s individual qualifications to meet the essential elements of the program, service, or activity being offered, assuming incorporation or use of the proper academic adjustment and/or auxiliary aids, if necessary. The University believes that this carries out the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Students with disabilities desiring to enroll in any program, service, or activity of Pepperdine University must be able to meet the minimal standards of both the University and the particular school, program, service or activity to which admission is sought.
The University does not engage in any affirmative action programs for students with disabilities, nor does it consider a student’s disability in evaluating admission criteria. It is, of course, within the student’s discretion to inform the respective school’s Admissions Committee of a disability if they wish. If this choice is made, the University will not discriminate against the student on the basis of the disability and will make reasonable accommodations, when necessary.
III. Students Requesting Accommodations
Students with disabilities may request accommodations at any time. However, the University must have time to review and approve the request before making accommodations. In addition, some accommodations take more time to provide than others. Therefore, students are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Accessibility (“OSA”) as soon as possible after they have filed their intent to enroll with the University. A staff member will assist the student in understanding the process for putting together a disability related documentation packet for review (see Guidelines for Documentation of a Disability) and will set up an intake interview for the student with a director (or his or her designee) in order to assess the student’s needs. The documentation should be sent to the OSA either by fax or regular mail as soon as possible before the student’s first semester of enrollment at Pepperdine. Students should not assume that the University knows any information about his or her disability because it was included it in the student’s application for admission. If the student does not have documentation, or if the documentation is insufficient, an OSA staff member can refer the student to an appropriate professional for evaluation.
Students requesting accommodations must provide documentation from a qualified professional verifying their disability. The opinions and recommendations of a qualified professional will be considered in developing a suitable accommodation plan. A temporary impairment (e.g., a broken bone) is a disability only if its severity is such that it results in a substantial limitation of one or more major life activities for an extended period of time. Whether a temporary impairment is substantial enough to be a disability must be determined on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the duration (or expected duration) of the impairment, the extent to which it actually limits a major life activity, and the assessment of a qualified professional.
Physical and mental disabilities: a student with a physical disability must provide verification certified by a licensed physician, audiologist, speech pathologist, physical therapist, rehabilitation counselor, or other professional healthcare provider who is qualified in the diagnosis of the disability. The verification must reflect the student’s present level of functioning of the major life activity affected by the impairment. The cost of obtaining the professional verification shall be incurred by the student.
If the initial verification is incomplete or inadequate to determine the present extent of the disability and necessary accommodations, the University shall have the discretion to require a supplemental assessment of the disability. If the University requires an additional assessment for purposes of obtaining a second opinion, then the University shall bear any costs not covered by any third party payor.
Learning disabilities: a student with a learning disability must provide professional testing and evaluation results which reflect the individual’s present level of processing information and present achievement level. Documentation verifying the learning disability must be prepared by a professional qualified to diagnose a learning disability including, but not limited to, a licensed physician or learning disability specialist. This documentation should be no more than three years old.
IV. Implementation of Approved Accommodations
An OSA director has the responsibility to review each student’s documentation conscientiously and diligently in carefully considering the student’s request for accommodation. When a director has completed the evaluation and has determined that the student’s disability has a current functional impact on his or her academic work or ability to participate in Pepperdine’s programs, the director will work with the student to determine what accommodations are reasonable and appropriate. The OSA staff will also assist the student with the necessary paperwork required to request services.
In situations where a faculty member objects to providing a University-approved accommodation, such accommodation will be provided to the student until a final decision has been reached by an OSA director on the faculty member’s objection. The OSA will consider the student’s disability-related needs, the nature of the approved accommodation, the basis for the faculty member’s objection, whether the accommodation would alter or waive essential academic requirements or constitute a fundamental alteration, and whether an effective alternative accommodation is available. No faculty member may unilaterally usurp the duties and obligations of the OSA including, but not limited to, making determinations as to whether a student has a disability, the extent of a student’s disability, or the appropriateness of an approved accommodation.
V. Disability Accommodation Complaint and Appeal Procedure
In the event that there is a disagreement between the student and the University regarding the outcome of the OSA director’s evaluation of the student’s request for disability accommodation(s) (including whether the student is a qualified individual with a disability, the adequacy of the student’s documentation regarding the student’s disability, and decisions regarding the student’s academic adjustment or auxiliary aid, including denial of requested and/or approved services) and the student is not able to successfully resolve the disagreement informally with the OSA director, the student may submit a written complaint to the Office of the Provost. This written complaint should be submitted as soon as possible after the student knows of the subject problem. The complaint should specify the University policy, procedure, or norm violated and specifically set forth all relevant factual details (including relevant supporting documentation). A student may elect to withdraw a complaint at any time; however, the University reserves the right to investigate all complaints where necessary to protect the interests of the University community.
The Associate Provost (or his or her designee) shall serve as the grievance officer concerning student complaints regarding the OSA director’s evaluation of requests for disability accommodation(s). The Provost (or his or her designee) will serve as the reviewing officer if the student wishes to request an appeal of the grievance officer’s decision. The grievance officer will have the necessary training and expertise concerning (1) the student’s disability, (2) the applicable University policies and procedures, (3) the applicable legal standards, and (4) the appropriate methods for resolution, including the scope of remedies available to the student, or shall seek consultation as necessary and appropriate (which information can be obtained through consultation with the OSA).
The grievance officer shall read the complaint, all relevant records or other factual information, and all University policies and procedures as may be necessary to determine whether the student’s complaint warrants implementing the remainder of the procedures outlined below. If, for example, the allegations in the complaint, even if true, would not constitute a violation of a University policy, procedure, or norm, then the grievance officer should inform the student in writing that the student’s complaint is not subject to the Disability Accommodation Complaint and Appeal Procedure.
If the grievance officer determines that the complaint does warrant further investigation and consideration, then the grievance officer will initiate a reasonable investigation into the matter. The scope of any investigation shall be in the sole discretion of the grievance officer. The investigation may include, but is not limited to, meeting with the parties, talking with witnesses, and reviewing any supporting documents. If the grievance officer desires, he or she may appoint an ad hoc committee to assist in the investigation of the complaint and/or for advice concerning the handling of this matter. In such instances, the ad hoc committee should have the necessary training or expertise necessary to investigate the complaint and offer advice on the handling of the matter.
Within ten (10) business days of a receipt of the written complaint, the grievance officer shall make a decision by a preponderance of the evidence based on the written complaint and any other information the grievance officer determines is relevant. The decision shall be in writing and consist of factual findings, conclusions, and a remedy if one is appropriate. The grievance officer will provide a copy of the decision to the student and the OSA director.
The student may submit a written request for appeal to the Provost (“reviewing officer”) within three (3) business days from the date of the grievance officer’s decision. The request for appeal must specifically set forth all grounds for appeal. The reviewing officer shall be limited to addressing only the following questions:
- Did the grievance officer consider all the important and appropriate facts in the investigation of this matter?
- Did the student prove by a “preponderance of the evidence” (that is, more likely than not) that the OSA director’s evaluation of the student’s request for disability accommodation(s) violated a University policy, procedure, or norm or otherwise engaged in any unlawful or illegal activity?
- Was the process carried out in a fair manner?
- Was the decision one that a reasonable person might have made?
- Was the grievance officer biased?
Within six (6) business days from the date of receipt of the written appeal, the reviewing officer shall make a final decision based on the written complaint, the grievance officer’s written decision, and the written request for appeal. The decision of the reviewing officer shall be final. The reviewing officer will provide a copy of the final decision to the student, the grievance officer, and the OSA director.
All written decisions made and materials produced in connection with a grievance conducted under this procedure shall be retained by the Office of the Provost for seven years after graduation.
VI. Students Desiring Additional Information
Students and applicants who desire information beyond what is written in University publications may contact the Office of Student Accessibility. If after contacting this office there remains a desire for additional information, students may contact the University’s Equal Opportunity Officer.
This policy was adopted from title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12181 et seq. (1990), 28 C.F.R. § 36.101 et seq., The National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities, Journal of Learning Disabilities, Volume 22, Number 2, February 1987, pages 109-112, and The University of Houston Law Center Handbook for Students and Applicants with Disabilities, August, 1993.
Notice of Updated Privacy Practices
Pepperdine University respects that the privacy of your Personal Health Information (“PHI”) is important to you. Therefore, effective August 1, 2014, we have updated our Notice of Privacy Practices (“NPP”). This NPP describes the collection, maintenance, and use of your PHI in the course of our business operations.
To view the updated NPP, please visit the HIPAA Policies, Procedures, and Forms Manual. You may also obtain a copy by contacting the Pepperdine University Department where you last received care.
You can now find information on the Animals Policy and other student-related policies for all graduate schools on Pepperdine’s Student Code of Conduct website.
Applicability of Catalog Provisions
The academic offerings and policies in this catalog are applicable only to students who enroll prior to the fall 2019 semester and who attend Pepperdine University after August 23, 2018.
Campus Security and Fire Safety Report
A copy of Pepperdine University’s annual campus security and fire safety report is available at the Pepperdine University Department of Public Safety website. A hard copy of this report is available upon request by contacting the Department of Public Safety at (310) 506-4700.
Code of Academic Ethics for Students
The Code of Academic Ethics for Students is intended to promote a spirit of community and foster a climate of mutual trust, respect, and interpersonal concern among students, faculty, and staff. Personal responsibility and integrity are central tenets in the creation and enforcement of the code. It aims to protect fair competition and independent intellectual effort and does not tolerate dishonesty, cheating, or plagiarism. In instances involving actions that undermine these principles, the code outlines the procedures and sanctions to address such conduct.
As members of the Graziadio School community, we have an individual duty to honor and adhere to the code. This requires a genuine sense of moral responsibility, maturity, and vigilance in confronting actions that compromise the integrity of our academic environment.
This code is limited to those areas of the Graziadio School that are directly related to academic ethics. Upon matriculation, each student is expected to abide by the Code of Academic Ethics throughout the duration of his or her academic career at the Graziadio School.
Violations of the Code of Academic Ethics may fall into one or more of the general categories listed below.
The examples listed under each category are for illustration purposes and not intended to be exhaustive of the range of behaviors that may constitute violations. By virtue of enrolling at the Graziadio School, each student is expected to comply with and support the Code of Academic Ethics. When members of the Graziadio School faculty or administration are made aware of circumstances involving a potential breach of this expectation, those cases will be handled in accordance with the judicial procedures delineated later in this section.
1.2.1 Misrepresentation of Academic Work
- Plagiarism and all related acts involving the use of outside sources and ideas in one’s own work without proper citation.
- Unauthorized multiple submissions of the same assignment.
- Submission of an assignment (or portions thereof) completed by another but presented as one’s original work.
- Misrepresentation of one’s level of contribution toward a team assignment or project.
- Expression of intent to commit any of the acts above.
1.2.2 Interference with Fair Competition and with Independent Intellectual Pursuits
- Collaborating with others on projects and assignments that require individual effort
- Aiding and abetting in the acts of others that constitute violations of the Code of Academic Ethics.
- Removing or otherwise impeding others’ access to course materials and resources.
- Using or attempting to access unpermitted resources toward the completion of a project/assignment submitted for credit.
- Knowledge of and failure to promptly report Code of Academic Ethics violations to Graziadio School faculty or administration.
- Making false or otherwise unsubstantiated claims of a faculty member or student having committed ethical violations.
1.2.3 Solicitation of Dishonorable Behavior
- Engaging in any attempt to obtain unauthorized aid on examinations, assignments, or grades.
- Offering to provide unauthorized aid on examinations, assignments, or grades, in exchange for other benefits.
2.0 Recommended Sanctions
Students found responsible for violating the Code of Conduct will be sanctioned by the judicial body handling the case. Sanctions will vary in amount and severity, based on the gravity of the code violation and circumstantial factors. The judicial body determining the sanctions may choose from the recommended list below or prescribe others that may be deemed more suitable for the given violation(s).
2.1 First-Time Offense
- Academic probation - probation has an adverse effect on academic standing by limiting certain opportunities and privileges (e.g., reduction in academic units allowed, loss of eligibility for scholarships and other awards). During the probationary period, a student’s record and conduct remain under close review, and any further policy violations carry a higher risk of dismissal.
- Failing grade for the exam or assignment pertinent to the policy violation
- Failing grade for the entire course in which the violation was determined to have occurred.
- Immediate suspension from the University for a minimum of one trimester; actual duration to be determined by the judicial body.
- Immediate and permanent dismissal from the University.
2.2 Subsequent Offense(s)
Given the firm commitment of the Graziadio School to principles of honesty and integrity, subsequent violations of the Code of Academic Ethics will likely result in immediate and permanent dismissal.
Final determinations regarding Academic Code of Ethics violations and resulting sanctions will be reported to the Office of Student Information and Services and remain in the student’s official record at the University.
3.0 Reporting and Notice of Violation
Alleged violations of the Code of Academic Ethics are to be reported to the Executive Director (ED) of Student Academic Services. The ED serves as the Judicial Administrator responsible for managing the judicial proceedings. Based on the nature and severity of the reported incident(s), the Judicial Administrator may directly adjudicate the case or assemble an Academic Ethics Committee to conduct a hearing.
In either scenario, the accused party will be provided written notification of the alleged policy violation(s) and a request to appear at a scheduled judicial hearing, either with the Judicial Administrator or the Academic Ethics Committee, to discuss the charge(s). This notification will be provided a minimum of five business days in advance of the scheduled hearing date. alleged violation.
In situations where a student is directly confronted by a faculty member (as described in the “Judicial Procedures” section below), this Reporting and Notice of Violation provision may not be applicable.
4.0 Composition of Academic Ethics Committee
In cases involving an Academic Ethics Committee, the voting members will minimally include one Graziadio School student, one Graziadio School staff member, and one Graziadio School faculty representative. The Judicial Administrator chairs the committee proceedings but does not cast a vote.
5.0 Judicial Procedures
- In advance of the hearing, the judicial body (either the Judicial Administrator or Academic Ethics Committee) will review all pertinent materials collected to date, including those provided by the accused party in support of his/her defense. Any information or evidence (or list of witnesses) the accused party wishes to present for pre-hearing consideration must be submitted to the Judicial Administrator by no later than 24 hours prior to the scheduled hearing. The Judicial Administrator is granted the discretion to exclude any of the submitted materials, requested witnesses, or testimonies deemed duplicative or irrelevant to the case.
- The hearing typically includes the following elements, not necessarily in chronological order:
- Summary statement describing the charges at hand.
- Statement by the accused party in response to the charges.
- Examination (questioning) of accused party by the judicial body.
- Examination of pertinent witnesses.
- Closing statement by the accused party (if desired).
- Questions regarding case-related materials, testimonies, or the hearing process itself shall be directed to the Judicial Administrator.
- After the completion of the scheduled hearing, the judicial body will deliberate and decide whether or not the accused party is responsible for the alleged violations. In the context of the Graziadio School academic setting, these deliberations are guided by the “preponderance of evidence” standard, whereby the judicial body must determine whether the accused party was more likely than not to have committed the alleged violation(s).
- If the accused has been found responsible, the judicial body will make a recommendation to the Judicial Administrator regarding a suitable disciplinary sanction(s). Based on the recommendation from the judicial body, the Judicial Administrator will then make the final determination regarding any sanction(s). The final outcome of the case, including the sanctions, will be communicated to the accused party by the Judicial Administrator within seven business days of the hearing.
- If the alleged violation is handled directly between a faculty member and the accused student, and a mutually agreeable resolution is reached, the incident and outcome shall be reported by the faculty member to the Judicial Administrator for purposes of documentation.
If the judicial hearing is conducted by an Academic Ethics Committee, the minimally required number (3) of committee members must be present for a vote to be called. A majority vote will determine both the outcome of the case and the specific sanctions, if applicable.
Note: Judicial hearings are not court of law proceedings and should not be construed to be subject to courtroom technicalities.
7.0 Appeals Process
To maintain the integrity of the judicial process and ensure the consistent application of the Code of Academic Ethics, students are given the opportunity to appeal the decision from the original hearing. Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Office of the Dean, who serves as the single and final appellate body.
Appeals must be filed with the Dean’s office within five business days of the date on the hearing decision letter, indicating the specific grounds for disputing the original decision. In determining whether or not there are sufficient grounds for submitting an appeal, the following questions should be considered:
- In the investigation and review of the matter, did the original judicial body consider all the pertinent facts?
- Did the original determination regarding the case meet the “preponderance of the evidence” standard (i.e., the pertinent facts indicate that the accused party was more likely than not to have violated the policy(ies) in question)?
- Was the judicial process carried out in an impartial manner, in accordance with stated procedures?
- Was the issued sanction(s) within the guidelines specified in Section 2.0 above and proportional to the infraction?
Generally, the appellate process does not require a hearing nor does it require the dean to make any personal contact with either the student or the original judicial body. Where personal contact with either party appears necessary to the dean, such contacts can occur in the absence of the other party.
Where it appears that the sanction raises an issue of particular importance to the school or University, the dean may elect to convene an ad hoc appeals committee to assist in making a recommendation to the dean regarding the appeal. The dean will designate the committee members and may participate in all formal discussions with the committee. The committee will consist of at least three total representatives, at least one each from the faculty and staff. In making its recommendation, the committee may consider and review the appeal letter and response, supporting documentation, and interview involved parties and witnesses.
In the event that an ad hoc committee is not convened, the dean’s decision regarding the appeal will be based on the same questions outlined above. The dean may affirm, reverse, or modify the sanction. The dean also may return the case to the initial decision maker for further consideration. The dean’s decision shall be final and effective immediately.
Pepperdine University takes very seriously complaints and concerns regarding the institution.
If a student has a complaint regarding the Graziadio Business School, the student may present a complaint or grievance according to the applicable policies and procedures found in this catalog.
If the student believes that their complaint or grievance warrants further attention after exhausting the procedures set forth in this catalog, you may contact:
Visit the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) if your complaint is about the institution’s compliance with academic program quality and accrediting standards. WSCUC is the academic accrediting body for Pepperdine University.
If the student believes that their complaint or grievance continues to warrant further consideration after exhausting the processes of either WSCUC or Pepperdine, the student may submit a complaint to the Attorney General of the State of California by filing a complaint form with the Public Inquiry Unit of the California State Department of Justice at:
Public Inquiry Unit: 800.952.5225 (phone) or 916.323.5341 (fax); or online.
The Attorney General’s Office will review the process through which Pepperdine attempted to resolve your complaint. If the process complies with the University’s written policies and procedures, the Attorney General’s Office will, for the purposes of state oversight, consider the matter closed. If the Attorney General determines that the process through which the University attempted to resolve your complaint did not comply with the University’s written policies and procedures, the Attorney General may request reconsideration by the Graziadio Business School.
Students who are taking distance education courses may contact the appropriate agency in their state of residence. A directory of state authorizations and agency contacts is available online.
Nothing in this disclosure limits any right that the student may have to seek civil or criminal legal action to resolve his or her complaints.
Pepperdine University has provided this disclosure in compliance with the requirements of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, as regulated in CFR 34 §§ 600.9 and 668.43(b).
Computer and Network Responsible Usage Policy
You can now find information on the Computer and Network Responsible Usage Policy and other student-related policies for all graduate schools on Pepperdine’s Student Code of Conduct website.
Discrimination and Harassment Policy
You can now find information on the Discrimination and Harassment Policy and other student-related policies for all graduate schools on Pepperdine’s Student Code of Conduct website.
Distance Education Disclosures
In order to help ensure the integrity of education programs, the United States Department of Education requires that institutions comply with the state authorization requirements for each state in which the institution delivers distance education. Pepperdine University actively works with the relevant departments in each state to ensure that the University has the appropriate authorization (or exemption) to deliver its distance education programs to residents of the state. Additional information regarding the authorization status for distance education programs in each state is available online. Disclosure(s) required by specific states are noted below.
Pepperdine University is registered with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education pursuant to Minnesota Statutes sections 136A.61 to 136A.71. Registration is not an endorsement of the institution. Credits earned at the institution may not transfer to all other institutions.
Minnesota Office of Higher Education
1450 Energy Park Dr., Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55108
You can now find information on the Hazing Policy and other student-related policies for all graduate schools on Pepperdine’s Student Code of Conduct website.
Medical and Mental Health Emergencies and Withdrawals
Pepperdine University cares deeply about the physical and mental health of its students. Therefore, health and counseling services are available on campus. At times however, a student may experience such extreme medical or psychological conditions that the ability to function successfully or safely in the role of a student is significantly impaired. Students are encouraged to prioritize their health and safety and take steps toward recovery, even if academic progress must be delayed. The University will support student- initiated self-care plans, and/or initiate actions, that consider the welfare of the individual student and the University community.
Student Care Team
The vice president for student life has appointed a Student Care Team to meet regularly to address student needs. One of the goals of the team is to provide a safety net for students to ensure their academic and interpersonal success. Anyone in the Pepperdine community may identify students to this team who may be experiencing problems or encountering obstacles, setbacks or challenges to their success and retention at Pepperdine. Sometimes there is a crisis or a situation discovered by concerned others and brought to the attention of the University. In such circumstances, the vice president, in consultation with the Student Care Team (SCT), will determine what, if any, role the University may need to take to assure the health and safety of a student or the University community.
The SCT is chaired by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Title IX Coordinator for Students. Members include representatives from OneStop, housing and residence life, and the counseling center. Depending on the emergency or concern, the chair may include other members on the team (e.g., director of the health center, director of disability services, associate dean of student affairs for community standards).
Student situations that might be considered by the SCT include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Acute decline in physical health;
- Suicidal threat, intent and/or behavior; self-injurious behavior;
- Destructive, threatening, or other disruptive behavior;
- Drug and alcohol abuse, including overdose or misuse of over-the-counter or prescription medications;
- Eating disorders which are not responding to treatment and/or are posing safety concerns;
- Any physical or mental health problem that points to possible imminent or foreseeable danger to oneself or another member of the University community, or requires intensive monitoring to prevent such danger.
In responding to these situations, the SCT reserves the right to determine appropriate response including, but not limited to, the following options:
- Allow the student to remain in school, but require a specific mental health or physical health evaluation, within a certain period of time (typically 10 days). The student may be referred to the Health Center, Counseling Center and/or off-campus options (e.g., licensed mental health or physical health care providers, eating disorder or substance abuse programs/hospitals). The student will be responsible for any cost incurred by the evaluation and/or treatment. In the interest of gaining a better understanding of the student’s ability to function in the University community, the University may require the student to sign appropriate release forms allowing designated Pepperdine staff to consult with the evaluating and/or treating clinician(s) serving the student. Based on the evaluation results, the SCT will determine appropriate next steps, including the possibility of allowing the student to remain on campus if a commitment is made to the recommended treatment plan.
- Invoke a Medical Interim Restriction; encourage a Voluntary Medical Withdrawal; or invoke an Involuntary Medical Withdrawal (see below).
- Notify the student’s parent(s) and appropriate University officials (e.g., the student’s professors, Registrar’s Office) about a mental or physical health or safety emergency. Note: University notifications will respect confidentiality, and will share limited information on a need-to-know basis only.
All requirements and conditions determined by the SCT will be outlined in writing in a letter from the chair, delivered or mailed to the student.
Medical Interim Restriction
The SCT may invoke a medical interim restriction upon a student’s medical or psychological hospitalization, emergency, or during a medical evaluation period. Students who are medically restricted for any health reason are temporarily not allowed to participate in any University activities, attend classes, reside in or visit on-campus student housing, and may not be on campus except to attend a meeting or hearing related to his/her case. This interim period allows time for a student to receive the needed medical and/or psychological care, and for all parties to consider an evaluation of readiness to return to the University. The student must follow the clearance procedures listed below before returning. Students who are medically restricted will be notified in writing and will have the opportunity to address the basis for the decision by contacting the vice president for student life.
Voluntary Medical Withdrawal
Students are encouraged to request a voluntary medical withdrawal when they believe their physical or mental health problems are preventing successful engagement in, and completion of, academic course work; when safety is in question; or when the demands of university life are interfering with the ability to recover from, or adjust to a significant physical or mental health challenge.
Students interested in pursuing a voluntary medical withdrawal may wish to discuss this option with providers at the Health Center or the Counseling Center, or they may independently initiate the process through OneStop. After the voluntary withdrawal is approved, the person is no longer considered a student and must immediately leave campus and, if applicable, officially check out of on-campus housing
Involuntary Medical Withdrawal
In rare circumstances, the SCT may determine that a student must be involuntarily medically withdrawn. Those who are medically withdrawn for any health reason are not allowed to participate in any University activities, attend classes, reside in or visit on-campus student housing, and may not be on campus except to attend a meeting or hearing related to his/her case. Examples of situations that might result in an involuntary medical withdrawal include the following:
- Professional evaluations following a medical interim suspension do not support a student’s readiness to return;
- A student fails to complete the required assessment during a medical interim suspension;
- A known condition has deteriorated (e.g., a student with an eating disorder), rendering the student to be in possible imminent danger and/or incapable of functioning as a student.
In most cases, these situations can be handled through voluntary medical withdrawals; however, if the student is unwilling to pursue a voluntary withdrawal, the SCT may invoke its right to involuntarily withdraw a student. The SCT will recommend assessment and/or treatment conditions needed to return to Pepperdine. The student must follow the clearance procedures listed below.
If a student believes that a decision for an involuntary medical withdrawal made by the SCT is unreasonable or that the procedures used were unfair, the student may appeal. The appeal must be made in writing to the vice president for student life. Appeals should clarify what facts the student believes were not considered, or explain what procedures were unreasonable or unfair. Once notified of the involuntary medical withdrawal, the student has three business days to submit his/her appeal. The vice president (or designee) will respond in writing to the student’s appeal within three days. The response will clarify whether the vice president concludes that all relevant facts were considered and led to fair and reasonable conclusions. The vice president’s (or designee’s) decision is final.
Any student who has been placed on a medical interim restriction or an involuntary medical withdrawal will need to complete the following clearance procedures before being allowed to return to the University. The SCT may also require a student who takes a voluntary medical withdrawal to complete the clearance procedures. The following steps are designed to ensure that a health emergency no longer exists and a treatment plan for continuing good health and safety is in place. Note: Depending on the situation, students may complete these procedures on different timelines. Some students may complete these steps within days of the medical interim suspension notice or medical withdrawal while others may wait several months before pursuing a return to the University.
- The student must be assessed by an appropriate outside professional, whose opinions will be advisory to the University. The professional, who is selected by the student, must be a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist if evaluating mental health concerns, and must be a licensed physician if the evaluation is regarding other medical concerns. Further, all providers must be unrelated to the student and must have specialty/credentials appropriate for the condition of concern (e.g., an eating disorder or substance abuse specialist). To make an accurate assessment, before conducting the evaluation the provider must be given information related to the precipitating events that led to the leave. This typically would involve the student signing a release allowing the University (e.g., the Health Center, Counseling Center, or vice president for student life) to share information regarding relevant incidents or concerns, and if applicable, recent hospital records. The student will be responsible for any cost incurred by the evaluation. The student shall sign a release permitting two-way communication between the provider and the University SCT representatives, and allowing all relevant information to be provided to the University SCT representatives who are involved in the decision-making and review process.
- The outside mental health or medical professional must provide an assessment of current functioning of the student and provide written recommendations regarding: a) given the precipitating events, the student’s readiness to return to the academic and co-curricular demands of university life; b) the student’s readiness to live in the on-campus residential community; c) ongoing treatment or testing needs; d) any conditions or restrictions that the University should impose; and e) the student’s readiness to return to competitive sports, if the student is a collegiate athlete. Note: The University team physician, in consultation with the Pepperdine director of the Health Center and/or Counseling Center, will ultimately make the decision regarding athletic involvement but will consider this outside evaluation in making such a determination. NOTE: Documentation of the assessment (conducted within 30 days of application for re-entry) and documentation of required treatment completion must be provided to the Office of the Vice President for Student Life no later than December 1 for the spring semester and July 1 for the fall semester. Those planning to return to a summer session must provide documentation no later than 30 days before the summer session begins.
- After the evaluation results and treatment documentation have been provided, the student must meet with a SCT representative (typically the director of the Counseling Center or Health Center). The evaluation and the student’s own perception regarding readiness to return, needs, and plans for treatment will be discussed. Additionally, the representative will consider how the outside evaluator’s recommendations fit with the realities of student life at Pepperdine and services that are available on campus or in the community.
- The SCT will meet and consider the outside evaluator’s recommendation and the results of the student’s meeting with the SCT representative to inform its re-entry decision. Students will receive written notification of the SCT’s decision.
- There may be occasions in which the SCT requires, and may pay for, an additional evaluation.
- The SCT reserves the right to require the student to comply with a treatment plan recommended by the outside and/or Pepperdine healthcare/mental health professional as a condition of returning to, or remaining in, the campus community. Review and monitoring of the student’s required treatment plan may be assigned to a University designee assigned by the SCT. Failure to comply with requirements may result in the University issuing an involuntary medical withdrawal.
- If a student was living on-campus prior to the emergency, approval for return to the University usually includes approval to return to housing. However, a student’s on-campus housing status may be restricted if the student’s behavior poses a health or safety threat to him/herself or others.
- If a student was required to complete specific treatment (e.g., eating disorder or substance abuse treatment), the student must provide documentation regarding the completion of this requirement.
Academic Credit, Tuition and Housing
For all approved medical withdrawals, the student receives Ws on the academic transcript (or, if the withdrawal occurs during the add/drop period, is completely dropped from classes, without any notation on the transcript of having left for medical reasons). Thus, a medical withdrawal will not affect the student’s grade point average. University room and board charges are pro-rated from the date of checkout for residential students. All tuition actually paid by the student (total tuition less any grants, scholarships, refunds, and loan adjustments) for courses not completed during the term in which the approved withdrawal occurs is credited as a scholarship for the next semester in which a student re-enrolls.
Every effort will be made to consider a student’s financial situation and insurance coverage in making referrals for treatment or evaluation. Students who may need additional financial assistance or other consideration in meeting the requirements should contact the vice president for student life.
Nonacademic Student Grievance Procedure
I. Purpose & Applicability
The purpose of this Non-Academic Student Grievance Procedure is to provide for the resolution of student grievances, including allegations of discrimination and harassment pursuant to the University’s “Non-discrimination and Anti-harassment Policy.” This procedure is applicable to non-academic student grievances filed by a student against faculty, staff, or any nonstudent third-party. This policy is not applicable to grievances filed against another student. To file a grievance against another student, please see the “Reporting Misconduct” section of the “Student Code of Conduct.” Additionally, this procedure does not apply to complaints made by a student regarding sexual misconduct and/or sexual harassment. Such complaints shall be governed according to the University’s “Sexual Misconduct Policy.”
This procedure is designed to allow students to address complaints in a prompt, fair, consistent, and objective manner. Any act of reprisal by a University employee or by one acting on behalf of the University, including the intimidation of a grievant, respondent, or witness during the pendency of an investigation, will result in prompt disciplinary action. (This procedure shall not be used to bring frivolous or malicious complaints. If a complaint has been made in bad faith, appropriate disciplinary action may be taken against the person bringing the complaint.)
II. Informal Resolution
Before initiating a formal grievance, a student has the option to-but is not required to-discuss the matter in dispute with the person against whom the student has a grievance and seek a mutual resolution of concerns. The student may be encouraged to return to this informal level of resolution at any time during this procedure. It is the University’s belief that most grievances can and will be resolved at this level.
III. Initiation of Complaint
If an informal resolution does not result, the student must submit a complaint to the grievance officer to initiate a formal grievance. Initially the student’s concerns may be communicated orally; however, they must be in writing before any review or other action takes place. (Assistance will be provided to students with disabilities who are unable to write a complaint.) This written complaint should be submitted as soon as possible after the student knows of the subject problem. The complaint should specify the University policy, procedure, or norm violated and specifically set forth all relevant factual details (including any supporting documentation). A student may elect to withdraw a complaint at any time; however, the University reserves the right to investigate all complaints where necessary to protect the interests of the University community.
IV. Review by Grievance Officer
The Associate Dean of Academic Affairs of Graziadio Business School (or his or her designee) shall serve as the grievance officer concerning complaints against faculty, staff, or nonstudent third-parties. The Dean of Graziadio Business School shall serve as the grievance officer concerning complaints about the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, and in this instance, the Provost will serve as the reviewing office if the case involves a request to appeal the grievance officer’s decision.
The grievance officer shall read the complaint, all relevant records or other factual information, and all University policies and procedures as may be necessary to determine whether the complainant’s allegations warrant implementing the remainder of the procedures outlined below. If, for example, the allegations in the complaint, even if true, would not constitute a violation of a University policy, procedure, or norm, then the grievance officer should inform the student in writing that the student’s allegations are not subject to the grievance process.
If the grievance officer determines that the allegations in the complaint do warrant further investigation and consideration, then the grievance officer shall forward, via university email (@pepperdine.edu or other relevant email addresses for third-party respondents), notice of the complaint and its substantive allegations to the person against whom the complaint is made (“respondent”) and, if discrimination or harassment is alleged, the University Equal Employment Officer. This shall be done as soon as possible, but in no event later than twenty-one (21) business days after the grievance officer receives the student’s written complaint.
The respondent shall be given fourteen (14) calendar days from receipt of the complaint to return a written response to the grievance officer. Necessary extensions may be granted at the discretion of the grievance officer.
The grievance officer will initiate a reasonable investigation into the matter. The scope of any investigation shall be in the sole discretion of the grievance officer. The investigation may include, but is not limited to, meeting with the parties, talking with witnesses, and reviewing any supporting documents.
If the grievance officer desires, he or she may appoint an ad hoc committee to assist in the investigation of the complaint and/or for advice concerning the handling of this matter. In such instances, the ad hoc committee should have the necessary training or expertise necessary to investigate the complaint and offer advice on the handling of the matter.
Within twenty-one (21) business days of a receipt of the respondent’s written response, the grievance officer shall make a decision by a preponderance of the evidence based on the written complaint, the response (if any), and any other information the grievance officer determines is relevant. The decision shall be in writing and consist of factual findings, conclusions, and a remedy if one is appropriate. The grievance officer will provide a copy of the decision to all parties. In instances where discrimination or harassment is alleged, the grievance officer will provide a copy of the decision to the complainant and/or target of the alleged discrimination or harassment, and the University Equal Employment Officer. The decision will explain the investigative process and contain a summary of the facts gathered, a determination as to whether discrimination or harassment occurred, the reasons for the decision and any appeal procedures. If discrimination or harassment is found to have occurred, the decision will also include any remedial or corrective actions that have, or will be, taken to prevent any retaliation or recurrence (1) institutionally and (2) directly relating to the complainant, including notice of all sanctions against the respondent in order for the sanctions to be fully enforced.
V. Request for Appeal of Grievance Officer’s Decision
Any party may submit a written request for appeal to the Dean of Graziadio Business School (“reviewing officer”) within fourteen (14) calendar days from the date of the decision. The request for appeal must specifically set forth all grounds for appeal. The nonappealing party must be given the opportunity to respond in writing to the request for appeal. The reviewing officer shall be limited to addressing only the following questions:
- Did the grievance officer consider all the important and appropriate facts in the investigation of this matter?
- Did the student prove by a “preponderance of the evidence” (that is, more likely than not) that the person against whom the student has a grievance in fact violated a University policy, procedure, or norm or otherwise engaged in any unlawful or illegal activity?
- Was the process carried out in a fair manner?
- Was the decision one that a reasonable person might have made?
- Was the grievance officer biased?
Within fifteen (15) business days from the date of receipt of the written appeal, the reviewing officer shall make a final decision based on the written complaint, the written response, the grievance officer’s written decision, the written request for appeal, and any written response to the request for appeal. The decision of the reviewing officer shall be final. The reviewing officer will provide a copy of the decision to all parties, and to the University Equal Employment Officer.
All written decisions made and materials produced in connection with a grievance conducted under this procedure shall be retained by the grievance officer for seven years after graduation.
Provisions Subject to Change
The provisions of this catalog, including, but not limited to, rules of conduct, academic offerings and requirements, time for completion of degrees, and all financial charges, are subject to change at any time by Pepperdine University. It is anticipated that costs will increase in future years due to inflation, strengthened academic and extracurricular offerings, and/or other factors.
Reporting a Threat
While shootings in schools are rare episodes, when they occur, they are often devastating. As an institution of higher learning, it is important for Pepperdine to view these types of incidents with the appropriate perspective. Since 1966, there have been about 100 shooting deaths at U.S. universities and college campuses; Virginia Tech was the largest. Compare that to the approximately 1,100 that commit suicide on college and university campuses every year, or the 1,400 to 1,700 alcohol-related deaths on college and university campuses each year. Despite shootings on campuses being rare, we as a community must be vigilant and prepared. It is important to note a few facts about these types of shootings. The Secret Service has studied the 30 major shooting incidents that have taken place at schools (elementary through college) since 1974. They found remarkable similarity in them. First, almost all of the individuals who committed these crimes have been male, and were known for being isolated socially. Almost all of them planned out their actions in advance, and over three quarters of them actually shared their plans with others before putting them into effect. Unfortunately, in only two cases did anyone report the plan to authorities before the attack. With these facts in mind, it is critically important that members of our community report threats and potential threats in a timely manner.
If you believe an individual poses an imminent threat to a member or members of the University community please contact our Department of Public Safety immediately. If you do not believe that harm is imminent, but an individual’s behavior seems threatening or seems like it could lead to harm to the individual or to the community, you should report the concern. If you are a student or a faculty member, contact Public Safety or your dean’s office. If you are a staff member or other member of the community, contact Public Safety or the Center for Human Resources. In the event you would like to submit a report during non-business hours, the Department of Public Safety is open every day, 24 hours a day. It is better to err on the side of notifying the appropriate individuals than to remain silent; the institution has resources with which to assess these situations and the individual of concern.
If you have any questions, please contact the Department of Public Safety. For convenience, contact information appears below:
Department of Public Safety 310.506.4442
Seaver College Dean of Student Affairs 310.506.4472
School of Law Dean’s Office 310.506.4621
GSBM Dean’s Office 310.506.5689
GSEP Dean’s Office 310.506.5615
SPP Dean’s Office 310.506.7490
Center for Human Resources 310.506.4397
Campus Safety App
LiveSafe is a campus safety smartphone application that makes it easier than ever for the Pepperdine community to connect with Public Safety and look out for each other. When submitting a tip, it is possible to attach a photo, video clip, or audio clip, with the option to report anonymously. In emergency or non-emergency situations, users can chat with Public Safety in real time within the app. If users are in an unfamiliar location, SafeMap will help them get their bearings and learn more about the resources near their location. It is possible to use the SafeRide feature to request a medical or security escort on the Malibu campus or a ride back to the Malibu campus from any location in the Los Angeles metro area. The SafeWalk feature allows users to provide a virtual security escort for friends and loved ones to make sure they reach their destination safely. Users also can immediately access critical information resources and emergency procedures anytime, anywhere. Plus, all of these features function internationally, allowing the app to match the University’s global footprint. The app is free and available to all members of the Pepperdine community: students, faculty, staff, parents, visitors, family members, and friends. For more information and details regarding how to sign up, please visit http://emergency.pepperdine.edu/livesafe.
Security of Student Belongings
The University is not responsible for loss of, theft of, or damage to students’ personal possessions. Theft and security concerns should be reported immediately to the Department of Public Safety. Students are responsible for their possessions while on University property and are encouraged to lock their rooms when they leave and to utilize laptop locks and other devices to safeguard their property while using University facilities. Residence hall lobby and suite doors must remain closed and locked at all times. Additionally, students are encouraged not to leave valuables unattended and unsecured. The University encourages students to obtain their own theft and casualty insurance. Such coverage may exist as part of parents’ homeowner insurance policies or may be added for an additional fee. It is also recommended that students record the serial numbers of electronic devices such as laptop computers and digital cameras. Residents are encouraged to take valuables home with them during University breaks.
Sexual Misconduct Policy
You can now find information on the Sexual Misconduct Policy and other student-related policies for all graduate schools on Pepperdine’s Student Code of Conduct website.
You can now find information on the Smoking Policy and other student-related policies for all graduate schools on Pepperdine’s Student Code of Conduct website.
Student Code of Conduct
You can now find the Student Code of Conduct and other student-related policies for all graduate schools on Pepperdine’s Student Code of Conduct website.
Student Records Policy
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as the Buckley Amendment or FERPA, provides, generally, that (1) students shall have the right of access to their educational records, and (2) educational institutions shall not release educational records to non-school employees without consent of the student, subject to the exceptions provided by law. “Students” as used in this notice includes former students but does not include applicants who have not attended Pepperdine University.
Right of Access
With a few exceptions provided by law, students at Pepperdine University may see any of their educational records upon request. Access must be granted no later than 45 days after the request. Students further have the right, under established procedures, to challenge the factual accuracy of the records and to enter their viewpoints in the records.
Students may waive their right of access to recommendations and evaluations in the cases of admission, applications for employment, and nominations for awards. Pepperdine University may not require students to sign a waiver of their right of access to their records, but students and prospective students should be aware that users of recommendations and evaluations made without a signed waiver may discount their helpfulness and validity.
Disclosure of Student Records
With several exceptions provided by law, Pepperdine University cannot release information concerning students to prospective employers, government agencies, credit bureaus, etc., without the written consent of the student. Students and alumni applying for jobs, credit, graduate school, etc., can expedite their applications by providing the University with written permission to release their records, specifying which records and to whom the release should be made. The student’s written consent is not required for the disclosure of grades, disciplinary action, or other information to parents of students who are dependents for federal income tax purposes. Parents requesting information may generally be granted access upon submission to the University of a signed statement or other evidence of federal income tax dependency.
The University has designated the following categories of information as “directory information,” which may be released to the public without notice or consent of the student: student’s name, student ID number, address, telephone number, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, enrollment status, classification, thesis titles/topics, photograph, e-mail address, and the most recent previous public or private school attended by the student.
The student may request that certain categories of directory information not be released to the public without the student’s written consent. Such requests shall be submitted in accordance with the Student Records Policy of the University.
Student Theses, Dissertations, and Group Projects
Certain student academic works, including student theses, dissertations, and group projects, may be made accessible to the public in hard or electronic copy. Such works may be available in the University’s libraries, public online databases and repositories maintained by the University, and by professors in their classes and off-campus presentations.
This notice is not intended to be fully explanatory of student rights under FERPA or California law. Students may obtain copies of the official Student Records Policy, which contains detailed information and procedures, upon request to the Office of the Student Information and Services (Registrar’s Office), Malibu, California 90263. Copies may also be obtained online.
Right to File a Complaint
Any student alleging failure of the University to comply with FERPA may file a complaint with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA), Department of Education, 330 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20201. Students are encouraged to utilize the internal University grievance procedures to resolve complaints prior to contacting outside agencies.
Use of the Name of Pepperdine University or the Graziadio School
Students in the Graziadio School, either individually or collectively, shall not, without consent of the proper authorities, use the name of Pepperdine University or the Graziadio School in connection with any activity of any kind outside of the regular work of the school. Violation of this rule may result in disciplinary sanctions.
You can now find information on the Vehicles Policy and other student-related policies for all graduate schools on Pepperdine’s Student Code of Conduct website.