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How To Write Every Pepperdine Supplement Essay 2018-19: Showcase Your Critical Thinking Skills

UPDATE:  There's a new Pepperdine supplement essay prompt for 2019-20.  Take a look at our updated guide!

As you develop your Pepperdine supplement essay topics, you’ll need to reflect on what is important to you and how you want to grow and change in college. Our guide will help you write thoughtful, compelling responses to both of the prompts.

Let’s take a look at the first Pepperdine essay prompt!


Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

A liberal arts education challenges you to think critically, reflect purposefully and broaden perceptions. Describe ways in which you seek to step outside of your comfort zone and challenge the world views you hold. (50-300 words)


In this 300-word Pepperdine supplement essay, you’ll need to answer two questions: How do you want to change while you’re in college? How will Pepperdine help you do this?

Stepping out of your comfort zone: As you develop your topic, identify one specific way you want to change or broaden your worldview. What kind of comfort zone do you want to step out of? How will you do this? And why is this important to you?

At Pepperdine: How do you want to challenge yourself and gain a new worldview at Pepperdine University? How will Pepperdine’s resources help you broaden your horizons?

As you brainstorm, explore Pepperdine’s website and look for specific opportunities that will help you do this. Remember to take notes!


Let’s take a look at some example students’ brainstorming notes.

Student 1:

  • Stepping out of comfort zone: I want to broaden my worldview by learning about cultures that are different than my own
  • At Pepperdine: Global learning is encouraged - 65% of Pepperdine students study abroad. I’m interested in the cultural immersion program in Buenos Aires.


Student 2:

  • Stepping out of comfort zone: I like theater, but I tend to stay behind the scenes. I want to push myself to perform more.
  • At Pepperdine: The Pepperdine Student Players, Pepperdine Improv Troupe


Your Faith

Faith is a big part of the Pepperdine student experience. In the next 300-word Pepperdine supplement essay, admissions readers will want to see that you can think critically about faith.

Pepperdine is a Christian university committed to the highest standards of academic excellence and Christian values, where students are strengthened for lives of purpose, service, and leadership. Students, faculty, and staff members of all faith traditions are welcome to become part of the Pepperdine University community. How has faith influenced your life thus far and what will you add to the continued conversation of faith on campus? (50-300 words)


Step one: Faith in your life

First, identify one way that faith has influenced your life so far. Why is faith important to you?


Step two: Faith at Pepperdine

Identify 1-3 ways that you will explore faith on campus. Why is Pepperdine a great place for you to explore faith in college?


As you brainstorm, try exploring Pepperdine’s website. Look for opportunities that interest you, and take notes! For example, you might be interested in exploring faith in the classroom through the unique Faith and Vocation minor, participating in faith-based extracurriculars like the Campus Ministry, or attending the Convocation Series.

But if you’re not religious, what’s the best way to answer this prompt?

Write about an experience where you reflected on faith or learned about it. For example, maybe you had a friendly debate with a religious friend that gave you a new perspective. Or maybe you love history and you’re fascinated by the role of faith in historical conflicts.

Also explain how you plan to join the ongoing conversation about faith at Pepperdine. For example, maybe you’re looking forward to joining the Interfaith Student Council to foster an inclusive community. How will you get involved?


Click here for our guide to writing the Common App Essay



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