Jul 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Graziadio Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Graziadio Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies

The policies in this section apply to all Graziadio Business School programs, unless otherwise specified. Students are responsible for understanding and fulfilling all the requirements associated with the program in which they are enrolled. Questions regarding any of the information below may be directed to the relevant academic program office. 

Requests for any exceptions to the policies stated in this catalog must be presented in writing to the academic program office for consideration by the appropriate academic or administrative body. The program office staff will advise further on the specific review and approval process for the submitted request.

Add/Drop Policy

At the start of each academic term, a limited period is available for students to add or drop courses. For courses that meet throughout the full duration of the term, the drop/add window is designated as the first two weeks. For courses with a non-standard scheduling format (e.g., 7-week, weekend, hybrid modality), the add/drop period is proportionally adjusted. After the published start date, the addition of a course requires the consent of the instructor. Requests for course additions/drops must be communicated by the student in writing to the appropriate program office. Tuition refunds (if applicable) for dropped courses will be calculated based on the verified date of the student’s request. Students who drop all courses for a given academic term on or after the term start date through the end of the add/drop period are subject to a $150 withdrawal fee.


Regular class attendance and participation in related learning activities are expected of each student. Any conflicts or circumstances that preclude a student from attending class or participating in a required activity should be communicated to the course instructor as soon as possible. Whether an absence has been excused or not, the student is responsible for satisfying the pertinent course content or approved equivalent thereof. To ensure the fulfillment of all course objectives and deliverables, faculty may require attendance at certain class sessions without exception.

Auditing a Course

Auditing a course may be an option for students, subject to the approval of the course instructor and space availability. A request to audit a course, accompanied by a detailed explanation, must be submitted in writing to the appropriate Program Office. Audited courses carry no unit value and are, therefore, not applicable toward meeting any degree requirements. Courses taken on an audit basis may not be retaken for credit at a later time. In rare circumstances, a student may request to audit a course which has already been completed for credit. Such requests must be approved by the program-level associate dean.

Students are responsible for a $100 administrative fee associated with each course to be audited.

Basis of Academic Credit

Academic credit is awarded on the basis of the trimester system on which Graziadio Business School courses are scheduled. The minimum instructional time for courses is established to ensure equivalency with those taken in a standard semester system. 

For all Pepperdine programs, including but not limited to the undergraduate, master’s, juris doctorate, and doctoral levels, for each credit hour (unit) granted, students must have successfully met the academic requirements with an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

The above policy is applicable to all courses offered, regardless of the mode of delivery and/or session length (e.g. full term-length, weekend mode, abbreviated term, face-to-face, hybrid, online, etc.).

Completion of Multiple Graduate Degrees Policy

In support of the lifelong learning and professional goals of its students and alumni, the Graziadio Business School (GBS) provides avenues for the expedited completion of multiple graduate degrees. Up to 30% of the units earned through the completion of the initial GBS degree may be applied toward the subsequent degree. However, completion of the additional degree shall require no fewer than 24 units for MS programs and no fewer than 36 for the MBA. In all cases, the admission requirements for each degree program must be met. 

A course previously completed with a passing grade does not need to be repeated (except for programs requiring the completion of an internship, in this case the internship course must be repeated). In cases involving potentially similar courses, determinations regarding content equivalency will be made by the receiving program committee. In the event that the student has previously earned more than 30% of the units required for the second degree, the student must complete additional elective units to ensure that the 70% new unit minimum is met.

Continuation of Academic Programs

Pepperdine University reserves the right to modify or discontinue any academic offerings or degree programs. In such cases, the University will make reasonable efforts to allow current students to complete the program or will assist in their transfer to other acceptable programs or institutions.

Course Numbering System

Upper-Division Courses

Courses numbered 300-599 are open to students who have completed 40 units of work. Courses numbered 500-599 are open to upper-division or graduate students. These courses represent advanced upper-division work or graduate-level courses. Students taking 500-level courses for graduate credit will be required to do assignments in addition to those required of undergraduates.

Graduate Courses

Courses numbered 600-699 are open to graduate students only. These courses may be taken for undergraduate credit in very rare circumstances and only with the approval of the associate dean.


Students who are not admitted to an established Pepperdine joint degree program may still enroll for a limited number of courses in the University’s other four schools. Permission must be given by both the appropriate associate dean or designated administrator of the other school and the instructor of the course. Students should also have the permission of their academic advisor to ensure that the course taken will apply to their degree program. Students must complete the cross-registration enrollment form and may enroll only if space is available in the course. For complete information regarding how tuition will be charged for students enrolled in cross-registered courses, please contact the Office of Student Accounts.

Definition of the Grade Point System

The quality of achievement in a course is measured as follows. For undergraduates, “A” indicates outstanding achievement; “B,” superior; “C,” average or satisfactory; “D-,” the lowest passing grade; and “F,” failure. For graduate students, “A” indicates superior work, “B” indicates average or satisfactory, and “C-” is the lowest passing grade.

A grade of “A” earns 4.0 grade points per unit; “A-,” 3.7 grade points; “B+,” 3.3 grade points; “B,” 3 grade points; “B-,” 2.7 grade points; “C+,” 2.3 grade points; “C,” 2.0 grade points; “C-,” 1.7 grade points; “D+,” 1.3 grade points; “D,” 1.0 grade point; “D-,” 0.7 grade point; and “F,” no grade points.

A “W” or “WM” (withdrawal due to military service) indicates a withdrawal from a course in good standing. A “WF” (withdrew failing) is recorded in cases where withdrawal has been approved for a student not doing passing work in the course. It is calculated as an “F” in the grade point average.

For certain specified courses, students receive the grade of “CR” (credit) in the event of acceptable work or “NC” (no credit) in the event of unacceptable work. In such courses where a grade of “CR” is given, no grade point value is assigned and the grade is not averaged into the cumulative grade point average. A grade of “CR” is assigned to indicate work equivalent to “A” or “B” and “NC” indicates “C” or lower. Credit/no credit grades are not computed in the overall or trimester grade point average, except where academic warning, probation, or dismissal is concerned. If there is a question of academic warning, probation, or dismissal, each “NC” will be computed as equivalent to zero grade points in figuring the student’s grade point average. In such cases, units for which a grade of “CR” was assigned will not be computed in the student’s grade point average.

A grade of “I,” indicating incomplete work, is assigned to a student who has attended class but who, because of a documented emergency, is precluded from completing all course requirements after the 10th week of the trimester (or 5th week of Session A/B courses). The “I” grade must be replaced with a valid grade (A-F scale or CR/NC) by no later than the end of the trimester immediately following the one in which it was assigned. If an official grade is not recorded by this deadline, the “I” will default to an “F” grade.

A grade of “IP” (in progress) is assigned only in courses that are allowed more than one trimester for completion; e.g., student teaching, graduate theses, and graduate projects. “IP” grades assigned for the MSOD Applied Research Project will remain as “IP” until the research project is complete. If the project is not complete after 6 units of the MSOD Applied Research Project have been taken, then all “IP” grades will automatically default to “NC” (no credit).

Earned Academic Credit for Study Abroad Coursework

Through various University partnerships with academic institutions around the world, students enrolled in eligible Graziadio School programs may participate in a trimester-long exchange program abroad. Unless otherwise specified by a program-level requirement or policy, students must maintain the equivalent of full-time enrollment status while studying abroad and earn the minimum passing grade for each course taken, as defined by the partner institution. If these conditions are met, the student will earn 12 units of elective course credit, applicable toward their degree requirement. The units will be awarded in the form of non-graded credits (i.e., CR/NC) and will not impact the student’s grade point average at the Graziadio School. 

Enrollment Verification

Enrollment verification will not be processed by the Office of Student Information and Services (Registrar’s Office) until a student is officially registered. Future enrollment will not be verified. To obtain enrollment verification, send a written request, or the appropriate enrollment verification form(s), to the Office of Student Information and Services on the Malibu campus. The request must include the specific trimester(s) of enrollment to be verified. Please do not mail verification requests prior to the first week of the semester. Additional information may be found on the Enrollment Verification Website.

Full-Time and Part-Time Student Status

For a BSM student, full-time enrollment is defined as 12 units per trimester, three-quarter enrollment as 9 to 11 units, and half-time status as 6 to 8 units. For graduate students, full-time enrollment is defined as 6 units and half-time enrollment is 3 units. This information is critical to students whose eligibility for federal, state, and institutional aid and loan deferment is based on their enrollment status.

Grade Appeals

The Graziadio School provides a multi-level process by which students may dispute a grade assigned by a course instructor, in the event there are sufficient grounds for doing so. A grade appeal may pertain to either the final course grade or a specific assignment, project, or exam within a course. In either case, students have up to 30 calendar days from the date the grade was assigned to initiate the appeal process.

Criteria for Disputing a Grade

  • To merit consideration, a grade appeal must meet one or more of the criteria below, as supported by documentation provided by the appellant.
  • The grade was assigned in a manner that is inconsistent with the performance assessment method/standard specified in the course syllabus.
  • There was substantial deviation - enough to impact the grade in question - between the course requirements articulated in the syllabus (or modified through advance communication by the instructor) and those to which the student was ultimately held.
  • An error was made in the grade computation.
  • A grade was assigned without relevant feedback or rationale from the instructor.

Level 1 Appeal

As the initial level of appeal, a student is expected to directly engage the course instructor in an effort to resolve the grade dispute. From the date on which the appeal is initiated, the student and instructor have 14 calendar days to resolve the matter.

Level 2 Appeal

If, in the allotted time frame, a mutually agreeable resolution has not been reached between the student and instructor, the student is given 7 additional calendar days to submit a formal appeal in writing. The written petition shall be submitted to the Program Office and include the following:

  1. Explanation of how the appeal meets one or more of the aforementioned criteria.
  2. Description and documentation of attempts to directly resolve the grade dispute with the course instructor (e.g., email exchanges, conversation summary, etc.).
  3. Copy of the course syllabus, specifically notating the items involved in the grade dispute
  4. Other documentation or exhibits pertinent to the case (e.g., assignments/exams, grading information posted on Sakai, etc.).
  5. Any other materials, as requested by the Program Office or Department Chair.

The petition and all pertinent materials are logged by the Program Office and routed to the Department Chair for review. Upon receipt of the formal petition, the Department Chair has 30 calendar days to review, investigate, and make a determination on the case. At the conclusion of the review process, the Department Chair will communicate the outcome to the student in writing.

Level 3 Appeal

This final level of appeal is available to students who have reason to believe that the Level 2 review was conducted in an incomplete or biased manner. The final appeal is due within 14 calendar days of the Level 2 decision and must include the following:

  1. Explanation as to why the student believes the Level 2 Appeal was not handled thoroughly and/or impartially.
  2. Evidence to support the claim above.
  3. Any new information that may not have been available or considered in the original review.

Unless dictated otherwise by extenuating circumstances, the final level review will be conducted by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. The Associate Dean will have an additional 30 days from the submission of the Level 3 appeal to render a decision on the case. Level 3 decisions are final and not eligible for further appeals.

If a review at any level results in a modification of the final course grade, the official grade change process will be handled by the Program Office.

Information for Veterans

Veterans, armed services personnel, and qualified dependents who desire to be counseled regarding VA benefits should contact the Office of Student Information and Services (Registrar’s Office/vabenefits@pepperdine.edu). All VA forms and VA counseling are handled by the Office of Student Information and Services. Students intending to use VA benefits should be aware of the following policies:

  1. It is the students’ responsibility to notify the Office of Student Information and Services immediately when they increase or decrease their unit load, withdraw, or take a leave of absence. It is also the students’ responsibility to inform this office every trimester of the number of units in which they are enrolled.
  2. All students using VA benefits must make satisfactory progress toward their educational objectives. In general, unsatisfactory progress is considered attainment of less than a “C” (2.0) grade point average for undergraduate students and less than a “B” (3.0) grade point average for graduate students for two consecutive trimesters. Students who withdraw from the University will have their benefits terminated as of the beginning of the trimester of withdrawal. If a student is dismissed for academic reasons, benefits will be terminated as of the date of dismissal. Students who have had their benefits terminated in this manner must be counseled by the school official before their benefits will be restored. Students who fail to complete all courses attempted in a trimester will have their benefits adjusted.
  3. Students who drop a course (or courses) in the middle of the trimester will have their benefits adjusted accordingly, effective as of the date of the drop or withdrawal. In cases where students do not return for the next trimester, benefits will be terminated on the ending date of the previous trimester. If a student withdraws after the add/drop period, the student will be penalized.  The VA will only pay up until the date the respective class is withdrawn.  Any outstanding tuition charges for the remainder of the term will be the student’s obligation/responsibility.

The Registrar’s Office is responsible for certifying students’ eligibility for VA benefits. The VA requires that Pepperdine certifies enrollment based on the class session dates students are enrolled in as outlined in WaveNet. In order to receive the maximum amount of the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) benefit, students must be enrolled full-time in their program of study continuously throughout the academic term. If at any time within a term, a student is enrolled in less than full-time, it will impact the amount of the BAH benefit. Full-time enrollment is defined as 12 units for undergraduate students and 6 units for graduate students within a standard term. For additional details, please refer to Pepperdine University’s Veteran Affairs website.

Intent to Graduate

The Intent to Graduate form should be completed online and filed by the deadline dates indicated in the academic calendar.

Students failing to file their Intent to Graduate form and pay their graduation fees (where applicable) by the deadline printed in the academic calendar for the trimester in which they plan to graduate will not be allowed to graduate in that trimester. Attendance at the graduation exercises is expected.

Interpersonal Competencies

The successful completion of programs at the Graziadio Business School requires individual behavioral and interpersonal competencies in addition to academic ability and aptitude. As such, evaluation of students will take into account non-academic factors such as the ability to work with others, listen, communicate effectively, incorporate feedback, and multicultural competency. In addition, demonstration of a capacity for personal awareness, and critical self-reflection. Students are expected to consistently display these behaviors and attitudes and to maintain a professional demeanor, both in and outside the classroom setting, whether in-person or virtual. Failure to meet these standards could jeopardize a student’s status in their degree program and require intervention, including and not limited to mandated psychological evaluation, probation, interim restriction, or suspension from the program. If these interventions do not result in sufficient improvement within the time frame specified by the University, the student may be dismissed from the program.

Involuntary Military Service

Students who are involuntarily called to active military duty may withdraw from courses and the University at any time during the term. Transcripts will be coded as “WM” (withdrawal due to military service) for withdrawals that occur after the add/drop period. The student will receive a 100 percent tuition refund. No withdrawal fees will be charged.

If the involuntary withdrawal occurs during the period of a term where the grade of “I,” indicating incomplete work, could be granted, students may request a grade of incomplete from the professor. All appropriate rules for incomplete courses apply, with one exception: If the student is still on active duty when the expiration date to complete the course and revoke the incomplete occurs, the grade will default to “WM” (rather than “F”) and a full refund will be issued to the student.

Furthermore, once students complete their involuntary tours of duty, upon request, Pepperdine will reactivate their status within the first 12 months following completion of their tours of duty without requiring them to reapply to the University. The students’ tours of duty time will not count as part of the time limit set for degree completion.

Pepperdine will reactivate the status of service members with the same academic status they had when they last attended the school or when they were accepted for admission to the school. This requirement applies to any student who cannot attend school due to military service.  The student must notify the school of their military service and intention to return to school as follows:

  • Notification of military service. The student (or an appropriate officer of the armed forces or official of the Department of Defense) must give oral or written notice of such service to the school as far in advance as is reasonable under the circumstances.  
  • Notification of intent to return to school. The student must also give oral or written notice of their intent to return to the school within three years after the completion of the period of service.

A student’s right to reactivate terminates in the case of a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge, general court-martial, federal or state prison sentence, or other reasons as described in 34 CFR 668.18(h) federal regulations.

Please contact the VA School Certifying Official for additional information at (310) 506-7999 Office of Student Information and Services.

“MBA Plus” Alumni Lifelong Learning Program

The “MBA Plus” Alumni Lifelong Learning program is designed to provide Pepperdine MBA alumni an opportunity to update or extend the knowledge and skills acquired during their MBA studies by completing additional Part-Time MBA courses.

Pepperdine MBA alumni may choose to complete the set of courses associated with a Part-Time MBA concentration: Business Analytics; Digital Innovation and Information Systems; Entertainment, Media, and Sports Management; Entrepreneurship; Finance; General Management; Global Business; Leadership and Managing Organizational Change; and Marketing. The Dispute Resolution concentration is not available under the “MBA Plus” Alumni Lifelong Learning program. The availability of concentrations and courses are subject to change. 


Students are assigned a priority registration window for enrolling in courses in advance of each academic term. Course registration is allowed anytime between priority registration and the established drop/add deadline for the given term. Course registration beyond the standard drop/add deadline must be approved as an exception to policy by the appropriate academic program office and course instructor. In such cases, an administrative fee of $150 applies.

Policy Exceptions

Exceptions to academic policies stated in this catalog must be reviewed by faculty and approved by the associate dean. Petitions must be made within one trimester of completion of the course work on which any petition focuses.

Standards of Achievement for PGBS Students

Standards of achievement and methods of assessing student performance in each course are delineated in each course syllabus at the outset of the academic term. 

Standards for Graduate Programs

Each graduate course must be passed with a grade of “C-” or better. A core course in which a grade lower than “C-” was earned must be retaken and completed with a passing grade. A grade lower than “C-” in an elective course may be made up by completing either the same course or a different elective with a passing grade. A course may only be repeated once, and in all cases, both grades will remain on the student’s transcript and be factored into the cumulative GPA. 

Through the duration of a graduate program, a minimum overall grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0 is required to maintain satisfactory academic standing. Student academic performance is monitored by the Program Office at the end of each term, and students falling below the 3.0 CGPA minimum are subject to Academic Monitoring. Students placed on Academic Monitoring will be notified in writing of the conditions outlined in an academic success plan. Examples of these conditions may be a reduction in academic unit load, per trimester while the student is on Academic Monitoring status. Additionally, graduate students that fall below a 2.7 CGPA will be placed on SAP Warning for the following term. Students will be notified in writing of the change in status and potential adjustments to the academic success plan. Students who fail to regain good standing within the time frame specified in the SAP policy will be subject to dismissal from the Business School. Please refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for more details. 

Additionally, students must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 to earn a graduate degree at the Graziadio Business School. In cases where it is mathematically impossible to achieve a 3.0 CGPA at the time of graduation, a student will be dismissed from the Business School.

For the MSOD and PKE programs where student achievement is not measured by a cumulative grade point average (CGPA), the academic standards are alternatively evaluated by equivalent measures that are outlined on the program-specific page under Standards of Achievement.

MSOD Standards of Achievement

PKE Standards of Achievement

The appeal process for dismissal and regaining federal financial aid eligibility is outlined as part of the SAP Policy.

Standards for Undergraduate Program

All BSM courses must be completed with a minimum grade of “D-” to be awarded academic credit. Any course in which a student earns a grade of “F” or “WF” must be repeated within two terms. In such instances, the grades earned from each attempt are factored into the overall grade point average.

The completion of the bachelor’s degree requires an overall minimum grade point average (CGPA) of 2.0 in both programmatic coursework and overall undergraduate coursework. The minimum CGPA must be maintained at all times throughout enrollment in a program. 

In compliance with minimum federal guidelines, students whose CGPA falls below 2.0 are placed on SAP Warning and will be dismissed at the end of the following term if the cumulative GPA remains below 2.0 at the end of that term. Please refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for more details. 

The appeal process for dismissal and regaining federal financial aid eligibility is outlined as part of the SAP Policy.

Time Limit

All requirements for the degree must be completed within seven calendar years from the date on which the student begins work at Pepperdine University. Some degree programs have shorter time limits for completion; refer to the appropriate program section for specific requirements. In some cases, the associate dean may grant a limited extension of time. A written request, together with supporting evidence of extenuating circumstances, must be presented to obtain this extension of time.

Transcripts of Academic Records

Official transcripts of Academic Records are furnished upon payment of a fee for each transcript issued. Normally, official transcripts are delivered by mail. Official transcripts can be given to the student only in a sealed envelope. If the seal is broken, the transcript ceases to be official. Students may request transcripts at OneStop or at pepperdine.edu/registrar/transcripts. For pick-up or walk-in service, the request should be filed at OneStop at least one day before the transcript is needed. More time may be required for transcripts from semesters prior to January 1987. At the end of each semester, two weeks may be required to process a transcript request due to grade processing and degree postings. Requests for partial transcripts will not be accepted. No transcript will be supplied for course work taken at other institutions. Current students may obtain unofficial transcripts through WaveNet.

Outstanding balances on a student account, or defaulting on other financial obligations with the University by the student, will prevent them from registering for classes and will result in the University not publishing the student’s grades for the last term in attendance on their transcripts. 

Additionally, degrees and/or certificates will not be conferred nor posted on the student’s transcript until all University obligations (academic, financial, and otherwise) are fulfilled. Every student with a loan must complete an exit interview with the Office of Financial Assistance before their student records will be released.

University Academic Freedom Policy

The University realizes that academic freedom and economic security are essential for acquiring and maintaining a strong faculty. More information on academic freedom and economic security can be found within Section XI Tenure Policy of Pepperdine University.

Withdrawal from Classes

For full-trimester classes, a student may withdraw from any class without academic penalty from the beginning of the third week of a trimester through the end of the eighth week. The withdrawal period for courses not meeting on a regular trimester schedule, such as seven-week courses or weekend mode courses, is adjusted in the same proportion as the class time is to the total class time for a regular trimester. The permanent record will indicate a grade of “W” for such withdrawals. After the eighth week of a trimester, a student may not withdraw from any course without obtaining written permission from the Petitions Committee. No petition for special withdrawal will be considered during or after the final week of the trimester. Based upon the instructor’s indication of the student’s academic status at the time of withdrawal, a grade of “W” or “WF” will be assigned. Students who do not officially withdraw from their classes automatically will be assigned a grade of “F” by the instructor. No financial adjustment will be made for withdrawal after the eighth week of a trimester. Withdrawals are official only upon timely notification to the Office of Student Information and Services (Registrar’s Office) or the Program Office. Information on registration changes of any student receiving veterans’ benefits or government financial aid will be forwarded to the Veterans Administration and appropriate lending agencies whenever such changes occur. The Veterans Administration also is notified whenever a student receiving veterans’ benefits allows a grade of “I” to lapse into the grade of “F.” International students in F-1 visa status must obtain permission from the Office of International Student Services before withdrawing from classes if they cannot maintain full-time enrollment, consisting of at least 6 units for graduate students, 12 units for undergraduate students.

Withdrawal from the University

A student who leaves the University during a term, but after the add/drop period, must officially withdraw from all classes and obtain clearance from appropriate campus offices (e.g., Financial Aid, Student Accounts, Program Office). Only those students who follow these procedures and return all appropriate documents to the Office of Student Information and Services are considered to be officially withdrawn. International students in F-1 visa status must obtain clearance from the Office of International Student Services before withdrawing from the University.