Professional Development

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Students must participate in a series of professional development experiences each semester. The School of Public Policy (SPP) hosts a range of professional development events throughout the academic year. These co-curricular activities are intended to provide both career-oriented professional preparation in areas such as job search strategies, career development, and networking, as well as hands-on opportunities to interact with leading scholars and practitioners in the field of public policy.


The program services manager for professional development and alumni affairs provides students with instructions on the Professional Development requirement at the start of each semester, including the points value for the different categories of events and procedures on how to receive credit. Throughout the semester (minimum of at least once), the program services manager for professional development and alumni affairs will update students of their progress for that semester's Professional Development requirement. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure they are attending and submitting for credit the required number of events per semester.

Review the Professional Development Procedures.


Fall 2019 Professional Development Points Summary (subject to change)

Event Type Professional Development (PD) Credits Earned
On-campus, SPP-sponsored event (or otherwise pre-approved on-campus event) 1
Pre-approved off-campus event 1.5

*If students have questions about what credit category an event counts toward, they should email the program services manager for professional development and alumni affairs PRIOR to attending the event.*

Approved Professional Development Events

All SPP events planned by the program services manager for professional development and alumni affairs, the Office of the Dean, or the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership are pre-approved (regardless of whether they are held on-campus or off-campus). All HSAC@SPP events are pre-approved as eligible off-campus events. Off-campus events are all those held at a location other than the Pepperdine Malibu campus (including events held at other Pepperdine campuses).

Student organizations must seek pre-approval from the program services manager for professional development and alumni affairs for events they plan, regardless of location. For non-SPP Pepperdine University events held on- or off-campus, students should seek pre-approval from the program services manager for professional development and alumni affairs.

To receive pre-approval for an off-campus event, students must email in advance of attending the program services manager for professional development and alumni affairs with the following details: Who, What, Where, When, and Why. Only pre-approved off-campus events will be eligible for credit. When reflections are submitted for off-campus events, the reflection must include who approved the event and when.

Students should reference the SPP events page for more details about upcoming events.

Deadlines for Submission of Professional Development Credits

  • Fall 2019 Deadline: Friday, November 22, 2019
  • Fall 2019 Incomplete Deadline (for students applying for 2020 graduation): Friday, February 14, 2020
  • Fall 2019 Incomplete Deadline (for student not applying for 2020 graduation): Friday, April 3, 2020
  • Spring 2019 Deadline: Friday, April 3, 2020

Non-Compliance Policy

The School of Public Policy commits to providing sufficient opportunities on-campus to satisfy the Professional Development requirement. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure they are complying with this program requirement. 

Students should review the procedures in the academic catalog and distributed by the program services manager for professional development and alumni affairs to ensure compliance with this requirement. Failure to complete this requirement by the semester deadline will receive a grade of incomplete ("I") for that semester. A grade of incomplete ("I") must be completed by the end of the deadlines posted or it will become a grade of no credit ("NC") for the course.

Students must successfully this requirement for all terms they are enrolled in at least one unit-eligible MPP course. Failure to do so will prevent the student from graduating.

Any questions regarding this requirement should be directed to the program services manager for professional development and alumni affairs. If the student has concerns about their ability to complete this requirement during a term, they should consult with the program services manager for professional development and alumni affairs to discuss appropriate arrangements.