Applying for Admission

Admission Requirements

Admission to graduate study at Mills is contingent upon the completion of a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. US institutions must be accredited by one of the six regional accreditation associations listed at the Council for Higher Education Accreditation website. The criteria used for admission decisions vary according to each program. They reflect an evaluation of the applicant's potential for graduate work.

Mills does not discriminate in its graduate admission policy on the basis of race, color, marital status, age, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, or disability, but reserves the right to refuse admission to anyone on the basis of previous academic record, letter of recommendation, or, in the case of the fine arts areas, auditions, portfolios, manuscripts, or other works submitted.

Standardized Test Scores

Most graduate programs at Mills do not require GRE or other standardized test scores. Applicants should review the program-specific section(s) of this catalog and the website for program application requirements.

For those taking the GRE or SAT, Mills College’s code is 004485 and a department does not need to be specified. For those taking the ACT, Mills College's code is 0332. For those taking the GMAT, Mills College’s code is 4485.

Application Deadlines

Fall: Please refer to Graduate Admissions for application deadline details.

Spring: October 15 priority deadline for receipt of spring admission applications.

Many of our programs do not accept applications for spring admission. Please contact the Office of Admissions for current information.

Application Fees

Applicants are required to pay a $50 nonrefundable application fee via credit card, personal check, or money order. Cash is accepted if submitted in person to the Office of Admissions. 

Special Status/Non-Degree Applicants

Prospective students who possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and who wish to enroll in graduate classes for credit but not a degree program must submit one official transcript confirming the baccalaureate degree and one letter of recommendation in addition to completing an abbreviated application for admission available through the Office of Admissions. If approved, students can be considered non-matriculated for up to two terms, maximum of 8 units. At that time, students must apply for formal admission to a specific program, demonstrate the need for continued status as non-matriculated students, audit courses for no credit, or withdraw. Special non-degree students are not eligible for institutional or Federal aid. 

Application Forms and Materials

A link to the online graduate admission application is available on each program's application webpage as well as the Apply section of the Mills College website.

All applications and supporting materials submitted to the Office of Admissions are the property of Mills College and cannot be returned to the applicant for later use.


Transcripts must be sent in sealed envelopes directly from the sending institution, sent electronically directly from the institution, or through a verified e-transcript service. One (1) official transcript from a students’ bachelor’s degree receiving institution is required. Unofficial transcripts for all credited course work toward receipt of bachelor's degree, including courses taken at community college, are required. Students applying to an Ed.D. program must submit official transcripts from the master’s degree receiving institution.

Please note: Current Mills students and Mills alumnae/i may submit unofficial copies of their Mills College transcripts and transfer of credit reports (if applicable) from the Mills student portal in lieu of an official transcript.

Applicants who are still completing their degree should send official transcripts showing all completed and in-progress academic work. Upon completion of bachelor's degree, accepted applicants must also send one (1) official transcript confirming the awarded degree and degree received date in order to be eligible for enrollment.

Applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree from outside the US should reference the International transcript guidelines in this catalog.


Letters of recommendation are required for all programs. Please see the program webpage for specific recommendation requirements. The Office of Admissions strongly recommends applicants contact recommenders as early in the application process as possible.

Applicants should supply the email addresses of their recommenders via the online application. By doing this, recommenders are emailed links to an online recommendation form for electronic submission. Recommendation forms may also be downloaded as PDF documents from the program's application webpage and sent directly to the Office of Admissions via postal mail or e-mail. If sent via email, the recommender must use a professional email address.

Other Application Materials

Applicants may submit the online application prior to other materials (such as transcripts or recommendations) being received by Mills. Applications will not be considered complete until all supporting materials have arrived. Faxed and photocopied materials are not official and will not be accepted. Please note that during peak application times, it may take 3-5 business days to process receipt of materials.

Applicants should consult the program-specific section(s) on the Mills College website for program application requirements, such as art portfolios, writing samples, or standardized test scores.

Application Process

  1. Upon submitting an application, the applicant will receive an email from the Office of Admissions confirming receipt of the application and confirming submitted and missing materials. 

    Applicants may check the status of their application materials using their application status page. This page allows the applicant to view missing application materials and upload certain documents for their application. 
  2. Once an application is complete, it is forwarded to the program for review. 
  3. Departmental admission committees vary in length of time for review. Some programs invite applicants to interview as part of the review process. Applicants will be notified of any additional materials or meetings required for an admission decision.
  4. Applicants are notified of the admission decision via an email instructing them to login to their status page to receive their decision. Graduate aid information is included in this decision letter, if awarded. To be considered for federal financial aid, applicants should submit the FAFSA. 
  5. In order to ensure a place in a program, admitted students must submit a $300 nonrefundable enrollment deposit.
  6. Deposited students receive an email confirming that the Office of Admissions has received their deposit.

Application materials are maintained for three years. Students seeking reapplication must contact the Office of Admission by posted deadlines to be considered for admission to the upcoming term.

Financial Aid
Please see the Financial Aid section for more information.

Accepted Students

Concurrent Enrollment Policy

Concurrent enrollment in two graduate programs at Mills College is not allowed. Graduate program enrollment is offered to interested students sequentially. As a student reaches completion of their currently enrolled graduate program, they may apply to the next graduate program of their choosing. Application materials are maintained by the Office of Admission for three years and may be used for application to the new program.

Deposit Policy

Mills College requires a $300 nonrefundable tuition deposit for all programs. This deposit is applied toward the new student's first-semester tuition.

The deposit may be paid via credit card, money order, or check be sent to the Office of Admissions. Cash deposits are accepted if paid in person at the Office of Admissions.

Deferment Policy

An applicant accepted into a Mills graduate program may request to delay their studies and defer admission for up to two semesters with written approval from the department. In addition to the enrollment deposit referenced above, an additional $150 deposit is required to hold the applicant's space in the program for a future term. After two semesters, the applicant must reapply to the academic program of their choice through the Office of Admissions.

Please note that any financial aid funding offered does not carry over from the original semester it was awarded, if a student chooses to defer. Deferred accepted students must reapply for any departmental assistantships, scholarships, and/or governmental financial aid.

Readmission Process

If a student is enrolled in a graduate academic program at Mills College and then withdraws, they have up to two years to reactivate her/his status. Within that time frame, their is required to fill out the abbreviated Application for Readmission and submit it to the M Center. Students seeking to reactive their status beyond the two year deadline, must submit a new application with supporting materials to the Office of Admissions.