International Campuses

University COVID-19 Updates

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Los Angeles County experienced a spike in COVID-19 cases in mid-July driven by the BA.5 variant. While case rates and hospitalizations peaked at the end of July, data indicates that positive cases are showing signs of slowing and hospitalizations appear to have plateaued. As University leadership continues to monitor conditions, community members are reminded of the following:

  • Pepperdine will require entry testing for all students 72 hours prior to arriving on campus for the fall semester in order to reduce the risk of transmission within the community. Students are required to complete the Entry Test Reporting Form and should take their entry test prior to arrival on campus, not at a COVID-19 testing site on any Pepperdine campus. Returning faculty and staff members are not required to test before arriving on campus for the fall semester. 
  • The University’s COVID-19 vaccination policy remains in effect. All new students accessing any University campus or facility must upload proof of compliance by August 15, 2022, to indicate that they have been vaccinated or to claim an exemption for medical, religious, or philosophical reasons. All new faculty and staff must also notify the University of their current vaccination status by completing the COVID-19 Vaccination Notification Form.
  • PCR COVID-19 testing sites remain open and free of charge on Pepperdine’s campuses. Testing remains optional for all community members. Face coverings are optional but encouraged for anyone who wishes to wear them indoors. All campus testing sites will continue to provide face coverings free of charge. 
  • Faculty, staff, and students who have tested positive for COVID-19 must continue to report positive test results using the START Form. Test results received from the on-campus PCR testing sites are automatically uploaded to the Start form. 

Further details on each of the items above are available at or by contacting the University’s COVID-19 information line at 310.506.8110 or via email at

COVID-19 Community Update – February 11

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University officials continue to monitor the evolving research, announced rules, and best practices surrounding the pandemic. As part of this effort, the University is announcing the following COVID-19 updates:

Masking Requirements

Recently, with the decline in COVID-19 cases, California Department of Public Health officials announced they would not extend the indoor mask mandate for vaccinated individuals when it expires on February 15, 2022 (though the State still mandates masking for those not vaccinated). As you know, county rules may be more restrictive than state protocols, and that remains the case in Los Angeles County. Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials have noted the County’s mask mandates will remain in place for all individuals regardless of vaccination status, and the County will not consider reducing these restrictions until certain specific thresholds regarding hospitalizations, vaccines, and weekly case rates are met. 

With the County mandates still in place, the University’s current face covering policy will remain in effect until further notice. As a reminder, the policy requires all students, staff, and faculty to wear medical grade masks while indoors. Masks continue to be available for pickup at weekly screening test locations. 

Post Spring Break Testing

As a precautionary measure, Pepperdine strongly encourages students who are traveling for spring break to take their own test before returning to campus. These tests do not need to be documented as entry tests were before the beginning of the term, but are important as one measure to protect against the risk of transmission after travel. At this time, the University does not have an inventory of home test kits to provide, but continues to pursue options to make kits available to the community. 

At University weekly screening testing sites, early testing on your first week back on campus following spring break is strongly encouraged. Please complete your weekly screening test within 48 hours of your arrival back on campus. 

Free Government COVID-19 Antigen Tests

As of January 19, every residential address in the US is eligible to order four, free, at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests from, and we encourage all community members to order your tests. Residential students should be sure to include their mailbox number in the address line. 

Remember, antigen tests are also available at pharmacies, large retailers, some county testing sites, medical providers, etc., and costs for these tests can be reimbursed through your health insurance if needed.

COVID-19 Boosters

Boosters are shown to protect individuals against severe illness from COVID-19. In support of the community, the University continues to offer vaccine and booster clinics. The next two clinics will take place on Tuesday, February 22 and Friday, March 11. 

Reserve your appointment for either vaccination clinic using these links:

Remember, if you are fully vaccinated and have received your booster, if eligible, you will not be required to quarantine if identified as a close contact with someone who tested positive. Students should document receipt of their booster dose in the Student Health Center Patient Portal.

Utilizing the START and EXIT Forms

Students, faculty, and staff members, please use the START Form to report  (1) a positive COVID-19  result from tests not taken at the on-campus weekly testing sites or the Student Health Center, or (2) an exposure to a positive case not in the Pepperdine community. The START Form is available on the COVID-19 Planning and Preparedness website.

Additionally, students, faculty, and staff members should utilize the EXIT Form to document completion of isolation or quarantine, whether testing out early or completing the full 10-day period. This confirms a student is cleared to return to in-person classes or an employee is cleared to return to work. 

Thank you for your continued cooperation and partnership. If you have any questions, please contact the University’s COVID-19 information line at 310.506.8111 or

COVID-19 Updates and Reminders

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In an effort to keep the Pepperdine community informed, the University is announcing the following COVID-19 updates:


While Pepperdine’s COVID-19 metrics continue to improve, the University is extending the policy requiring students to wear surgical masks or KN95/N95 masks in all indoor campus settings until at least February 15. As a reminder, faculty and staff are also required to wear these upgraded masks. Please remember masks are required in all public indoor spaces, especially including classrooms, hallways, and the fitness center.

The University has so far been successful in procuring these types of masks, which will continue to be available for pick up by faculty, staff, and students at any of the Malibu or graduate campus COVID-19 screening test sites. Upon showing a Pepperdine ID card, community members will be provided with a weekly supply of medical grade masks.

START Form for Self- Reporting COVID-19 Positive Cases and Exposures

It is important the University is aware of positive tests and close contacts. As you know, the University automatically receives test results from tests taken at the Student Health Center and the weekly screening testing sites on campuses after which it begins contact tracing on these cases.

As a reminder, positive COVID-19 tests conducted outside the University and close contact exposures should also be reported by faculty, staff, and students. To simplify this notification process, the University is launching a new START Form to make it easier to report positive test results from tests NOT taken at the Student Health Center or at campus testing sites.

Students, staff, and faculty should use this START Form to:

  1. Report a positive COVID-19 test result taken anywhere other than at the Student Health Center or a Pepperdine screening test site.  
  2. Self-identify as a close contact if exposed to a COVID-19 case and if not yet contacted by University contact tracers. (Remember, close contact is defined as being within six feet of a positive case for 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period.)

EXIT Form for Release from Quarantine and Isolation

If you are in isolation or quarantine, the University is also simplifying the process to exit quarantine or isolation. When you qualify to end your quarantine or isolation period, you should complete the EXIT Form. This communicates to the University you have met the qualifications to exit and are leaving isolation or quarantine. It also generates an email sent to you, which can be used to confirm your ability to return to class or work if needed (class rosters will also be updated).


The well-being of the University community is integral to the Pepperdine mission, and boosters are shown to protect individuals against severe illness. In support of the community, the University will continue to offer vaccine and booster clinics. The University will host another vaccine and booster clinic on January 27 and will continue to add additional clinics throughout the coming weeks. 

You can reserve your spot for the January 27 clinic at the following link:

If you are eligible for a booster but have not yet received it, you will have to enter quarantine if exposed to someone infected with COVID-19. If you are fully vaccinated and received your booster, if eligible, you will not be required to quarantine if identified as a close contact with someone who tested positive. Once boosted, students should document this updated vaccination status within the Student Health Center Patient Portal to ensure the accuracy of University records.  

If you have questions, please contact the COVID-19 Information Line at 310.506.8111 or via email at

COVID-19 Community Update

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The University continues to prioritize the health and well-being of its community members and the academic excellence required of our mission in all of its decisions. Pepperdine promises a transformational experience for our students, and neither well-being nor excellence can be compromised if we are to fulfill our mission during the ongoing pandemic. Decisions are made carefully and with every community member in mind. Accordingly, the University has implemented a comprehensive list of guidelines to protect our community from serious illness, and will continue to evaluate conditions and adapt our approach appropriately. 

In accordance with our commitments to the community and students, based upon a thorough assessment of a wide range of data, and consistent with our previous announcements, all schools and programs which did not yet begin on-ground instruction earlier this week will do so, effective Thursday, January 13. Programs designed to be online will remain online.

Determining Academic and Community Guidelines

The University made this decision (like other decisions throughout the pandemic) while considering a number of factors including, but not limited to:

  • the goal of delivering in-person academic instruction for programs scheduled to be on-ground;
  • the mental health of our students and the quality of their educational experience;
  • the COVID-19 testing positivity rate within the Pepperdine community in relation to Los Angeles County;
  • the avoidance of severe illness and hospitalizations within the Pepperdine community;
  • vaccination rates within our community;
  • the impact on operational capacity within our faculty and staff communities;
  • isolation and quarantine capacity;
  • county, state, federal, and CDC public health mandates and guidance; and
  • varying needs of our community members.

We know this semester will be different, and there is no environment in which we will be without COVID-19 cases. We also recognize there are varying degrees of risk tolerance in our community. While we cannot eliminate all cases, our multi-layered approach to infection control best positions us to minimize virus spread, respond to community concerns, and keep our transformational education experiences in place.

Our approach includes health and safety guidelines which go above and beyond those which are required by the L.A. County Department of Public Health (one of the most cautious jurisdictions):

  • L.A. County requires upgraded masks for faculty and staff.  The University is also requiring and providing upgraded masks for students during this period as well.
  • L.A. County requires testing for those not fully up to date on their vaccinations. The University is continuing to require weekly screening tests for all community members, regardless of vaccination status.
  • The University also required all students to complete an entry test prior to returning to any of our campuses.
  • The University established an additional one-time requirement for students to provide negative test results from Pepperdine-administered PCR testing prior to attending their in-person classes for the first time this semester.
  • The University made available take-home tests free-of-charge for community members prior to the holiday break.
  • The University verified all HVAC systems for every academic and administrative space meet or exceed COVID-19 related guidance from (i) the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (ii) Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and (iii) American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers.

COVID-19 Testing Requirements Prior to Attending First In-Person Classes

As indicated above, all classes scheduled to meet on-ground will resume in-person academic instruction beginning Thursday, January 13. Before attending their first in-person class, all students must receive a negative PCR test result from a Pepperdine testing site (unless exempt due to a documented positive test for COVID-19 within the last 90 days). Faculty class rosters will include a column indicating compliance with this one-time requirement. To account for any lag in the upload of received results, students may show their Pepperdine-administered negative PCR test result to their faculty member if their compliance status has not yet been updated.

COVID-19 Booster 

Individuals are eligible to receive a booster five months after their second dose of Pfizer/Moderna or two months after their original dose of Johnson & Johnson. The University strongly encourages students, faculty, and staff to be fully vaccinated and to receive an mRNA booster shot (Pfizer or Moderna) as soon as eligible. Numerous studies demonstrate the booster’s effectiveness to drastically reduce instances of serious illness due to COVID-19. 

In accordance with new LACDPH guidelines, those exposed to someone with COVID-19 and identified as a close contact will be required to quarantine unless fully vaccinated and boosted, if eligible for the booster dose. Please take a moment to review the University’s quarantine and isolation guidelines.

The University will host several upcoming vaccine and booster clinics this month. RSVP using the following links:

Boosters and vaccines are readily available at many local pharmacies as well. After receiving a booster, students should immediately upload proof of the booster dose through the Student Patient Portal by following the instructions found on the COVID-19 Community Response Plan website.

Looking Ahead

The University remains attentive to the current pandemic conditions and is confident in our ability to deliver academic excellence with appropriate safety measures. The University’s COVID-19 screening test positivity rate is significantly lower than testing positivity in the wider Los Angeles County. Our campus has comprehensive, layered infection control measures in place and continues to respond to changing conditions. 

While the rise in cases due to Omicron has been steep, some modeling suggests that California’s COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant will peak within 1-2 weeks. If California follows the same progression as other areas which experienced earlier Omicron spikes, the case rates could decline as quickly as they rose. Additionally, unlike the winter COVID-19 surge in 2020, where most hospitalizations occurred because of COVID-19 complications, LA County reports the majority of patients at LA County hospitals infected with COVID-19 were admitted for reasons unrelated to COVID-19.Pepperdine is resilient and well-prepared to address the challenge in front of us. So many of you have been heroic in your service. Thank you for your dedication to Pepperdine and our students. As always, the University will continue to evaluate the incoming data and evolving best practices to prioritize the health and safety of our community. If you have any questions, please contact the COVID-19 Information Line at 310.506.8111 or via email at