International Students


Mills College welcomes applications from international students, which includes applicants seeking a student visa or US citizens living abroad. Mills College is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant students. Admissions is selective and is based on a holistic review of the admissions application and the required supporting documents.

All international applicants must submit the Common Application or Mills College Application with a $50 application fee and the credentials outlined in Applying for Admission.

Transcripts/Academic Records

A candidate must be eligible for a diploma from an approved secondary school and should be recommended for admission by their school. Students should submit certified copies of secondary school records and of all internal and external test results, college records, if any, and school certificates or matriculation examination scores. Courses in progress must also be included.

If the transcript is in a language other than English it must be accompanied by a certified English translation. Applicants that have college or university level classes are required to have an official course-by-course evaluation done prior to admission by one of the member organizations of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES.)

Proof of English Language Proficiency

Non-native English speakers or students who have been in a non-English speaking culture for three or more years must show proof of English language proficiency.  Mills College accepts the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the English Language School (ELS) Certificate or SAT Critical Reading Test to satisfy the language proficiency requirement. 

Mills College accepts certain conditions to fulfill the English Language Proficiency Requirement:

  1. Minimum TOEFL score of 213 CBT or 80 IBT
  2. Minimum SAT Critical Reading Test score of 600
  3. Minimum ACT English and Reading subsection scores of 22
  4. Minimum IELTS score of 6.5
  5. Minimum IB English score of 4
  6. Minimum AP English Language score of 3
  7. English Language School (ELS) Certificate for Level 112
  8. Minimum of three year’s attending an English speaking secondary school or four-year college or university
  9. Completion of US transferable coursework equivalent to English 1A (writing) and/or English 1B (literature) with a grade of B or better
  10. Successful completion of Education First (EF) C1 for undergraduate study.

The College makes every effort to determine if a candidate is able to do successful college-level work in English. If, after the student arrives, it appears that they need additional help in English, they may have to obtain the services of a tutor at their own expense.

Conditional Admission 

Conditional admission may be granted to students who have met the program academic requirements but have not yet satisfied the minimum English language proficiency requirement. This admission condition is determined by the Office of Admissions after a holistic review of all application credentials.    

Students admitted under conditional admission must enroll in an English for Academic Programs course at an ELS Language Center and complete the ELS Level 112 Certificate, or meet the minimum TOEFL or IELTS requirements prior to enrolling at Mills. Conditional admission is valid for up to one year. Students who do not complete the language requirement in that time period must re-apply. To learn more, please visit the ELS Language Center.


We strongly recommend that international students take the opportunity to get to know the college and their admission counselor by scheduling an admissions interview. Interviews can be done while visiting the college campus or can be scheduled through Skype or FaceTime. To request an interview, email

Certification of Finances

Certification of Finances form and official supporting bank documentation must be submitted prior to issuing an I-20 and before enrollment. Per US government regulation, an international applicant should have sufficient funds to meet the costs of tuition, fees, and living expenses in the United States for at least two years. Bank documentation must have an English translation and show available funds in US dollars. Faxed and photocopied materials are not considered official and will not be accepted.

International students may be eligible for a Mills College merit scholarship. The scholarship awards are based on academic performance, and the application evaluation. Since these scholarships do not meet the total cost of education and living expenses, international students are expected to meet these costs with their own funds. Unfortunately, international students are not eligible for any other type of financial aid at Mills.

US government regulations prohibit students with an F-1 student visa from off-campus employment. While the visa does allow for on-campus employment, Mills College is, regrettably, unable to offer on-campus jobs to international students.

Obtaining an I-20

It is important for international students to follow US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations. International students must be in continuous full-time enrollment in order to maintain their valid student visa status.

The I-20 (also known as the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant -F-1 Student Status) will be provided only after the student has been offered admission, submitted a $300 nonrefundable enrollment deposit, and submitted the I-20 Request Form.

The I-20 Request Form allows for international applicants to apply for an F-1 student visa to study in the United States. If the student has attended another US institution just prior to enrolling at Mills, they must complete the I-20 Transfer Request Form to have their SEVIS record transferred to Mills. A student may not obtain an I-20 from one institution and use it to attend another.

Deferrals/Gap Year

An admitted undergraduate student may request, in writing, to delay entrance for up to one semester. Students must submit a $300 non-refundable enrollment deposit to secure their space in the next academic term. If a student defers from a fall to spring term, initial offers of financial aid will be honored for the new spring entry term. Spring to fall deferrals will result in a request for an updated financial aid documentation and be subject to a revised award. Students wishing to take a gap year will not have their offer of admission extended beyond the one semester deferral policy, but will have to reapply for admission in the subsequent application pool. Offers of merit scholarships are not guaranteed to carry over beyond one concurrent semester