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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Admission Requirements

The Certificate in Dispute Resolution is offered as part of the law school's graduate programs. Admission to the Certificate requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.

In addition to our graduate Certificate program, the Straus Institute offers an undergraduate Certificate in Conflict Management with Pepperdine's Seaver College. This program is available to juniors and seniors pursuing a Pepperdine bachelor's degree.

Those not holding a bachelor's degree can receive dispute resolution education through our various training programs and conferences. Please visit our Training Programs and Conferences page for a list of upcoming programs.

All applicants are required to submit:

  • Application form for Pepperdine Students or External Candidates
  • A three to four page personal statement
  • Current resumé or CV
  • Three complete Personal Evaluation Forms or narrative letters of recommendation
  • $50 application fee


Current Pepperdine Students

Students pursuing a Pepperdine graduate degree including a JD, MBA, EDOL, MFT, MSML and more can complete the Certificate Application for Current Pepperdine Students. This application form, along with a copy of their resume/cv and responses to the three questions on the application can be submitted to the Straus Institute office at the Caruso School of Law.

External Candidates

The Certificate in Dispute Resolution is available as a stand-alone program. Applicants for the Certificate program can complete the Application Form for admission and submit the below requirements.

Personal Statement

The LLM, Master's Degree and Certificate Programs in Dispute Resolution are designed to combine a graduate level academic experience with a commitment to the development of professional skills, especially those related to dispute resolution.

Please include a three to four page personal statement indicating your reasons for wanting to study dispute resolution, why you chose to apply to Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law, what use you anticipate making of the education you receive, what contribution you will make to the program, and any further information that you feel should be considered by the Admissions Committee.

Please include in your personal statement a discussion of any economic, educational, or social disadvantages that you have encountered, what you have done to overcome these disadvantages, community service endeavors that you may have participated in, and your plans as they now relate to future community service.


A copy of a current resumé or vita outlining professional and educational experience is required.


Transcripts are required for all applicants for the Certificate, Masters, and LLM program. We must receive Official Transcripts to consider your application, and must be received directly from the university or in a university sealed envelope from the applicant. Transcripts must be included from all institutions attended. If you are currently a student in another graduate program or undergraduate program, we will need your current transcript to date.

Transcripts from international institutions need to be submitted through an approved credential evaluation service.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required for applicants applying for any of our academic programs. Applicants can have their recommenders complete the Prospective Student Evaluation Form, or have their recommenders write a narrative letter of recommendation. This form/letter is an opportunity for the admissions committee to learn about your potential or current work in the dispute resolution field.

If you are currently a working professional or attorney, and are interested in making the transition into mediation or arbitration, this is a good opportunity for you to approach your professional colleagues and talk with them about your interest in making a transition. Through this opportunity you will be able to receive feedback on how you are perceived in your profession while completing this application requirement.

Recommendations can be from co-workers, supervisors, mentors, professors and others that can talk about your experience or potential experience in the field. Applicants are encouraged to provide recommendations from different sectors, professional and academic, to provide the committee will a well-rounded understanding of your experiences. Recommendations should not be from family members.

Testing Requirement

Applicants applying for our Certificate program are not required to complete a graduate testing requirement.

Application Fee

A $50 application fee is required and payable via check or money order.


International Applicants

In addition to the requirements listed above, international students are required to submit their application with these additional requirements.