Departmental Assistance

General Information

Institutional financial aid policies and decisions regarding departmental aid vary from one academic program or department to another. Applicants should be aware that departmental assistantships and scholarships are limited. Second-year students who have had a chance to demonstrate their abilities to their department may be given preference for these awards in some programs. Students who have been awarded institutional financial aid are notified by email when the financial aid award is ready to be viewed in myMILLS via the Mills Resource Portal. Please note that there is no institutional financial assistance available for work toward the biochemistry and molecular biology certificate, nor for students who are taking the prerequisite courses for the MBA and the MPP programs at the reduced course rate.

Students should contact the individual departments directly for information regarding departmental aid.

Departmental Assistantships

Most graduate programs award a small number of assistantships to select students on a competitive basis. Graduate assistants typically serve their department for a minimum of 5 hours per week and normally not more than 20 hours per week for a full assistantship. The work each student performs depends on specific departmental needs, academic programs, and the student's areas of expertise. Assistants may help tutor or coach undergraduates and serve as assistants to faculty, as laboratory and audiovisual assistants, or as teachers in the Children's School.  Some departments require a departmental assistantship application. Assistantships offered and/or accepted do not appear on the financial aid award and do not directly pay for college costs.

Graduate Tuition Scholarships

Graduate tuition scholarships were originally funded from donations by Mills alumnae. These scholarships are awarded based on criteria determined by each academic department.

Art Department

In addition to departmental assistantships, the Art Department offers the Hung Liu Endowed Fellowship. 

English Department

In addition to partial tuition departmental assistantships and scholarships, the English Department offers a small number of competitive fellowships in Writing and Community Engagement to applicants entering the MFA and MA programs in the Department. These fellowships cover full tuition for the two- and three-year programs. Under the mentorship of Mills' renowned faculty, recipients will have the unique experience of pursuing their graduate degree while designing and implementing a writing-related community project.  Full descriptions and application instructions for these two assistantships, and others, can be found at on the English Department's graduate additional funding opportunities page.

Music Department

In addition to departmental assistantships and merit-based scholarships, the Music Department offers music lesson scholarships for performers and composers to help defray the costs of lessons.

Post-baccalaureate Pre-Medical Certificate Program

Students entering the program are not eligible to apply for teaching assistantships in biology, chemistry, or physics until they have completed a full academic year at Mills. A small amount of scholarship aid is available to students entering the program. Students completing the program and entering medical school may be eligible to receive Scheffler Pre-Medical Science Scholarships. Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of merit by a faculty committee.

Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business

The Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business offers partial tuition scholarships, including the Barbara Wolfe MBA Fellowship, the Barbara Pinnell McClellend MBA Scholarship, and the Jean and Y.H. Kwong Fellowship. A limited number of graduate assistantships may also be offered. MBA students targeting the corporate sector may also be considered for a Forté Foundation Fellowship, specifically designed to advance women in business. Please contact the department to learn more.

School of Education 

Applicants to the School of Education may be eligible for numerous external sources of financial aid, described here.