Office of Admission
Mills College
5000 MacArthur Blvd
Oakland, CA 94613


800-87-MILLS (toll-free)

Fax: 510-430-3314


Room and Board:
Fees, books, misc.:

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Mills College
Oakland, California

Nestled in the midst of the urban San Francisco Bay Area, Mills College is a hidden gem. It is an idyllic, pastoral setting that might—at first glance—belie the pulse of activity that beats within the gates. As many have discovered, Mills is home to one of the most dynamic, creative liberal arts educations available to women today.

For more than 150 years, Mills College has enjoyed a reputation as a vibrant center of academic excellence. Historically a college for women only, Mills continues that proud tradition today at the undergraduate level. To provide enhanced professional opportunities for all students, Mills also offers renowned graduate programs that are open to both women and men. Consistently ranked one of the top seventy-five liberal arts colleges in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Mills College is also recognized as one of the fifteen most diverse colleges in the country, as 35 percent of the student body are women who are members of minority groups.

Inspired by a teaching philosophy that grows out of a longstanding dedication to women’s education, Mills provides a collaborative, interactive learning environment that encourages intellectual exploration and self-discovery. The faculty of nationally and internationally respected scholars and artists is dedicated to developing the strengths of every student, preparing them for lifelong intellectual, personal, and professional growth. With an impressive student-teacher ratio of 10:1, Mills women are assured of access to and support from these inspiring and committed professors. The hallmark of a Mills education is the collaboration among dedicated students and distinguished faculty members that goes beyond the classroom and into meaningful work and innovative research.

Location and Community
Located in the foothills of Oakland, California, on the east shore of the San Francisco Bay, Mills offers students access to the diverse metropolitan centers that make up the greater Bay Area.
Outside the campus gates, students have access to the dynamic Bay Area with Berkeley, San Francisco, Napa, and Silicon Valley nearby. Students can enjoy educational and professional opportunities afforded through stimulating cultural, artistic, and political events or simply reap the benefit of the social and recreational activities and climate of the Bay Area.

Academic Life
To earn a Mills B.A., students complete thirty-four semester courses (usually four courses each semester). Grading is traditional, and a pass-fail option is available outside the major.

The innovative general education program is guided by a set of learning outcomes, not a generic list of required courses. Each student designs her own program under the guidance of her faculty adviser, ensuring that a Mills education is tailored to the student’s specific needs and interests. The program places the work a student does in her major in a larger context and ensures that she explores and appreciates realms of knowledge beyond her field. The general education requirements fall into three outcome categories: skills (written communication, quantitative and computational reasoning, and information literacy/information technology skills); perspectives (interdisciplinary, women and gender, and multicultural); and disciplines (creation and criticism in the arts, historical perspectives, natural sciences, and human institutions and behavior).

More than 50 percent of the Mills faculty members are women, enabling students to work with professional women mentors in every academic area. Faculty members are selected for their teaching ability and scholarly achievement; 90 percent of full-time faculty members hold the highest degrees in their fields. Twenty-two percent of the full-time faculty members and 30 percent of the part-time faculty are members of minority groups.

The Career Center offers a four-year counseling program to assist students in clarifying their career and life goals. Workshops, individual counseling sessions, an extensive internship program, a strong “old girl” alumnae network, and special opportunities to meet Bay Area business leaders and top professional women in every field all help students to focus their interests and plan career goals.

Mills has exchange or visiting programs with fifteen American colleges and universities: Agnes Scott, Barnard, Manhattanville, Mount Holyoke, Simmons, Spelman, Swarthmore, Wellesley, and Wheaton Colleges and Howard University. American University's Washington Semester program is available for qualified students.

Students with a spirit of adventure and a 3.0 GPA may participate in one or even two study-abroad programs in almost any country in the world or on an exchange program in Hong Kong, Japan, or Korea.

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors may cross-register for one course per semester at the University of California at Berkeley, California College of the Arts, the Graduate Theological Union, Holy Names College, and St. Mary's College of California, or they can pursue a subject as an independent study project under the supervision of a Mills professor who guides their work.

Majors Offered:
With more than thirty-five different majors at Mills to choose from, students find themselves active, engaged participants in their own learning. Students have the chance to work directly with nationally and internationally renowned faculty members and get involved in their innovative work and research.

Mills offers the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in American studies; anthropology and sociology; art (history and studio); biochemistry and molecular biology; biology; biopsychology; business economics; chemistry; child development; comparative literature; computer science; dance; economics; English; environmental science; environmental studies; ethnic studies; French studies; government; history; intermedia arts; international relations; Latin American studies; mathematics; music; philosophy; political, legal, and economic analysis; psychology; public policy; sociology; Spanish and Spanish-American studies; and women's studies. The major in child development meets the requirements for a state child development permit for teaching in preschool and day-care centers and provides a strong basis for graduate school and for many other careers.

Students can choose to create their own major, working with two faculty advisers to plan an individual program that draws courses from across the curriculum and creates an integrated and unique educational experience.

Mills also provides the first two years of courses leading to a nursing degree from Samuel Merritt College. Special prelaw and premedicine advising is available.

Mills offers four dual-degree programs that enable undergraduates with clear career goals in certain fields to streamline their college and graduate school programs. These include the five-year B.A./M.A. Interdisciplinary Computer Science Program, the 4+1 B.A./M.B.A. Business Administration Program, the 3+2 B.A./B.S. Engineering Program, and the Integrated B.A./M.A. Program in Mathematics.

Facilities and Resources
The beautiful, open-stack, computerized F. W. Olin Library attracts students to study as well as research among its 267,187 volumes and 22,000 rare books and manuscripts. A Web-based catalog and more than 60 databases, including Academic Search, LexisNexis, PsycInfo, and SocioFile, are available 24 hours a day via the Library's Web site. The academic computer center, electronic music studio, and excellent laboratory facilities in the physical and life sciences are widely used by students in all majors. The highly regarded Children's School provides a daily laboratory for students preparing for careers in early childhood education. Lisser Hall contains a flexible proscenium stage as well as a small experimental theater. The Mills College Art Museum is a wonderful resource with its collection of 6,000 works of art, the largest permanent collection of any liberal arts college on the West Coast.

Campus Life
Amid the green rolling hills and the century-old eucalyptus trees of the Mills campus, students find a safe place to live and learn, with new friends and new ideas at every turn. The campus is heavily accented with Mediterranean-style buildings, many designed by architectural innovator Julia Morgan. Paths and streams wind their way through tree groves and meadows, adding to the serene, pastoral feeling that pervades the 135-acre campus.

An important goal of an education at Mills is to develop leadership skills, and participating in student government can be instrumental in furthering this goal. The Associated Students of Mills College (ASMC) is run by an Executive Board of fifteen elected or appointed positions. Under the governance of a student-drafted Constitution, the board supports up to forty student organizations, student publications, campuswide events, and various student initiatives. From academic issues to social events to honor code concerns, the Associated Students of Mills College is the voice of the student body to the College administration.

Sports / Varsity Athletics
College is a great place to exercise your mind, but Mills offers a wealth of opportunities that give your body a workout, too. You can become a competitive intercollegiate student-athlete, a fitness enthusiast, or just enjoy some great recreation in the beautiful Bay Area. No matter which program you choose, our incredible educators will help you to extend beyond your limits and develop a passion for putting your body into motion.

Mills is a member of the California Pacific Conference, National Collegiate Athletic Association (Division III), and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Mills Cyclones compete in six sports: cross country, rowing, soccer, swimming, tennis, and volleyball.

Financial Aid / Scholarships
Mills College is committed to ensuring that a Mills education is within reach for those who have the desire and the qualifications to attend. Financial aid options at Mills include grants and scholarships, loans, and student employment. Some are funded by Mills directly and others are state and federal programs.

Eighty-five percent of Mills students received some portion of their aid directly from Mills. Awards are based on need and academic merit. Scholarship grants range from $200 per year to full tuition. Mills makes a special effort to provide financial aid to all students who demonstrate need. Financial aid applicants are expected to apply for assistance from appropriate outside sources, such as the National Merit Scholarship, Federal Pell Grant, and California State Grant programs. More than 40 percent of Mills students have some of their determined need offset by such outside awards. Loans may be obtained by most students, and 45 percent of undergraduates are offered campus work opportunities.

All first-year students and transfer candidates who are California residents must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for all types of government aid, and they must also file the Cal Grant GPA Verification Form. Students who seek Mills scholarship funds must also file the Mills Financial Aid Form. Priority is given to applicants who meet the published deadlines.

Admission Requirements / Application
Most first-year students admitted to Mills have a strong B average and have followed a full college-preparatory course in their secondary school, including 4 years of English, 3 to 4 years of mathematics, 2 to 4 years of foreign languages, 2 to 4 years of social sciences, and 2 to 4 years of a laboratory science. Many students have special talents or have taken course work in the fine arts. Mills is interested in individuals, not statistical averages, so each application is carefully reviewed. Credit for precollege courses is granted under certain conditions, and students are encouraged to take the College Board Advanced Placement tests. Applications from transfers are welcome, as are those from students resuming their education or older women who have delayed their entrance to college or who wish to continue work on their B.A. degrees. The SAT requirement is waived if 24 or more transferable semester hours are presented. For international applications, both the SAT and the TOEFL are required. Applications should be accompanied by transcripts, letters of recommendation, and SAT/ACT scores. An interview, either on campus or with an alumna representative, is strongly recommended for all applicants. The priority scholarship deadline for admission applications is February 1. All students are encouraged to meet this deadline; however, international students and merit scholarship applicants must apply by February 1. The regular decision deadline date is March 1. Admission decisions are mailed approximately one month after the deadlines.
For admission to the spring term, the deadline is November 1.

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