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Graduate Catalog

Admission

Applying for Admission

Admission Requirements

Standardized Test Scores/Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

Application Deadlines

Application Fees

Application Forms and Materials

Application Process

Accepted Students

Concurrent Enrollment Policy

Deposit Policy

Deferment Policy

Readmission Process

Graduate Probationary Admission

International Applicants

International Students

 

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 standardized test scores. Applicants should review the program-specific section(s) of this catalog, the website, and the program's supplemental application 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 the Office of Graduate Admissions website for application deadlines.

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 Graduate Admissions for current information.

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Application Fees

Applicants are required to pay a $50 nonrefundable application fee. If applying online, applicants must pay by credit card or electronic check. Hard-copy applications should include this fee, payable to Mills College and drawn from a US bank as a personal check or money order. Cash is accepted if submitted in person to the Office of Graduate Admissions. We cannot accept credit card payments for hard-copy application fees. 

Payment by electronic check, rather than credit card, may delay processing by seven to ten business days.

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 Graduate Admissions. If approved, students can be considered non-matriculated for up to two terms. 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 Federal Stafford Loans. 

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Application Forms and Materials
A link to the online graduate admission application and a downloadable PDF application are available on each program's application webpage as well as the Office of Graduate Admissions webpage.

Most programs also require program-specific supplemental applications which are included in the online application. Students wishing to submit hard-copy applications can download the supplemental application as PDF documents from the program's application webpage. 

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

Transcripts
One (1) official transcript from each postsecondary institution attended must be sent in sealed envelopes directly from each institution, or sent electronically directly from the institution or through a verified e-transcript service. Official transcripts for all credited course work toward receipt of bachelor's degree, including courses taken at community college, must be submitted. Applicants may submit official transcripts with their hard-copy application as long as the original envelope from the institution retains its seal and signature.

Please note: Current Mills students and Mills alumnae/i may submit unofficial copies of their transcripts and transfer of credit reports (if applicable) printed 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.

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

The online application allows applicants to supply the email addresses of three recommenders. Once the application has been submitted and the application fee paid, recommenders are emailed links to an online recommendation form. Applicants may log back in to the online application system and send reminder emails to their recommenders through the Activity Log. Recommendation forms may also be downloaded as PDF documents from the program's application webpage and sent directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions via postal mail or e-mail. If sent via email, the recommender must use a professional email address.

Other Application Materials
Applicants may mail applications with completed materials (such as writing samples or transcripts) enclosed, or submit parts of the application piecemeal with her/his full name and program of interest on each page of all supporting materials. Applications will not be considered complete until all supporting materials (such as transcripts and recommendations) 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.

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Application Process
1. Upon completion of processing an online or hard-copy application and application fee, the applicant will receive an email from the Office of Graduate Admissions confirming receipt of the application. It may take 3-5 business days during peak application periods for the applicant to receive this confirmation.

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. Most programs begin reviewing applications approximately three weeks after the priority application deadline. Review times vary.

3. Departmental admission committees vary in length of time for review. If an applicant submitted all of their documents by the priority deadline, they might expect an admission decision in late March (for fall admission) or late November (for spring admission). 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 as well as any financial aid or scholarship, if awarded via email. To be considered for federal financial aid, applicants should submit the FAFSA by the February 1st deadline. The admission notification letter will come from the Office of Graduate Admissions via email.

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 Graduate Admissions has received their deposit.

7. General orientation materials are sent from the Division of Student Life; orientation information is also available online at mills.edu/orientation.

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

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Accepted Students

Concurrent Enrollment Policy
Concurrent enrollment in two graduate programs at Mills College may be possible only under some circumstances. A student interested in this option must apply to, and be accepted into, each of the graduate programs. Concurrent enrollment requires the consent of both graduate departments. It is the responsibility of the student to work with academic advisors in each program to develop an academic plan that allows for completion of the degrees. That academic plan should identify core courses that must be taken for completion of the degree in each program. The number of unduplicated courses in each field shall be determined by the departments. Rules concerning maximum course loads must be followed. Thus, completion of two programs will require longer than the time allowed for the completion of one program.

If accepted to two programs, students will only be offered one financial aid package.

Deposit Policy
Mills College requires a $300 nonrefundable tuition deposit for all programs except studio art. Mills College requires a $500 nonrefundable tuition deposit for the studio art graduate program. This deposit is applied toward the new student's first-semester tuition.

The deposit may be paid online via credit card or electronic check. Deposits may also be made by money order or check and be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Cash deposits are accepted if paid in person at the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Deposits are required to hold an applicant's space in a graduate program. A student's deferral deposit is applied against the first-semester's tuition. See Deferment Policy below.

An accepted and deposited graduate student who chooses not to attend Mills College forfeits her/his nonrefundable deposit. Refunds are not given.

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Deferment Policy
An applicant accepted into a Mills graduate program may request to delay her/his 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 her/his choice through the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Please note that any financial aid funding offered does not carry over from the original semester it was awarded, if she/he 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, she/he has up to two years to reactivate her/his status. Within that time frame, she/he is required to fill out the abbreviated Application for Readmission and submit it to the Office of Graduate Admissions. After two years' time, a new application with supporting materials must be submitted.

Graduate Probationary Admission
If a student applies for graduate work in a field different from her/his undergraduate concentration, or if the undergraduate GPA is below that recommended for admission, the applicant may be offered admission to graduate study on a probationary basis for one semester. This is a period during which the student must establish an academic record at Mills that qualifies her/him to advance to degree status. Some courses taken before admission to degree status may be accepted as fulfilling degree requirements by departmental approval only. Probationary students do not qualify for graduate-level student loan funding.

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Last Updated: 6/29/15