We report on the exploration of perpendicular exchange bias in iron platinum/nickel oxide (FePt/NiO) bilayer thin films grown using pulsed laser deposition (PLD) on MgO (100) substrates. Exchange bias is an important property for giant magnetoresistance, and, as such has promise for applications in spin valves, magnetic sensors and magnetic random access memory. The magnetic L10 phase of FePt is known for having high perpendicular magnetic anisotropy, tunable coercivity/grain size and large magnetic storage density. The FePt layer was first deposited directly on MgO, followed by the deposition of the NiO layer on top of the FePt layer. The coercivity of the L10 FePt layer was tuned during growth to form a hard or soft magnetic layer. The FePt/NiO thin films grown for this study exhibit perpendicular exchange bias at 5K, as quantified using our SQUID measurements. XRD confirms parallel plane ordering between the MgO (200), FePt (002) and NiO (111) atomic planes while cross sectional TEM confirms the epitaxial growth of L10-FePt(001)<100>//MgO(100)<001> and the preferential growth of NiO on top of the FePt. Films of only FePt were grown to examine the surface architecture of the ferromagnetic layer and thus the interface of the FePt/NiO bilayer. The results from our XRD, TEM and magnetometry characterization of the FePt films and FePt/NiO bilayer thin films will be discussed.