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Graduate Catalog

International Students

Mills College is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students and encourages applications from graduates of colleges and universities abroad that have the equivalent of a regionally accredited four-year US bachelor's degree, and international students who have graduated from US universities. Admission of international students is highly competitive and is based on a close examination of a variety of credentials.

International applicants must submit the same application materials as American applicants. In addition, international applicants are required to submit additional supporting materials; see below.

Certification of Finances
The Certificate of Finances form and official supporting bank documents must be submitted prior to enrollment. Per US government regulation, an international applicant should have sufficient funds for two years of tuition, fees, and living expenses in the United States. Faxed and photocopied materials are not official and will not be accepted.

International applicants should be aware that financial assistance is very limited. Even applicants who receive financial aid must be prepared to contribute significantly to the cost of their education. Failure to pay outstanding fees prevents students from registering for classes and endangers maintaining valid visa status.

US government regulations prohibit students with an F-1 student visa from off-campus employment. Mills College is, unfortunately, unable to offer on-campus jobs to international students except in situations where departmental assistantship opportunities are awarded upon acceptance. Mills financial aid is very limited, and the College cannot guarantee assistance to any graduate student.

Mills College requires all applicants who hold a bachelor's degree outside the US to submit an official transcript from their institution. If the transcript is written in a language other than English it must be accompanied by a certified English translation. Applicants are required to have their official transcripts evaluated by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). There is no exception to this requirement. For more information, contact a member organization of NACES. The Office of Graduate Admission advises students to request transcript evaluations and translations as early as possible in the application process.

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Proof of English Language Proficiency
All non-native speakers of English are required to show proof of English language proficiency unless they hold a bachelor’s degree from a university or college located in the U.S., Canada, Australia, or Great Britain. Mills College accepts the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the English Language School (ELS) Level 112 Certificate.

Most programs require a minimum of 550 on the paper-based test, 80 for the internet-based exam, or an IELTS overall band-score of 6.0 or higher. Graduate programs in English require minimum TOEFL scores of 600 on the paper-based test, 100 for the Internet-based exam, or an IELTS overall band-score of 7.0 or greater.

Graduate programs in the English department require minimum TOEFL scores of 600 on the paper-based test, 100 for the internet-based test, or an IELTS overall band-score of 7.0 or higher. All other programs require a minimum of 550 on the paper-based test, 80 for the internet-based test, or an IELTS overall band-score of 6.0 or higher.

More information about these exams is available online at the ETS website, the IELTS website, and the ELS website.

Conditional Admission
Conditional admission may be granted to students who have met the program academic requirements but have not yet satisfied the English language proficiency requirement. 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 for their program 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 are required to re-apply.

To learn more, please visit the ELS Language Center.

Letters of recommendation should testify to the international applicant's English writing and speaking ability, as well as potential for success in graduate studies. If, after the accepted applicant arrives, it appears that further help in language is needed, a tutor's services may have to be obtained at the applicant's expense.

I-20 Form
An I-20 form will be provided only after the admitted student has submitted her/his Statement of Intent with a $300 nonrefundable tuition deposit ($500 for studio art) to the Office of Graduate Admission. This deposit will be credited to the student's first-semester tuition.

The I-20 form will allow international applicants to apply for an F-1 student visa to study in the United States. Applicant students should make an appointment at their nearest U.S. consulate in their country and take the I-20 form, their passport, proof of their financial ability, proof of payment of SEVIS fee, and copies of their educational records to their appointment. Upon consulate approval, an official at the consulate will affix an F-1 visa inside the passport. Together with the I-20 form, this student visa will enable the student to enter the United States.

It is important for international students to follow US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations. A prospective student may not obtain an I-20 from one institution and use it to attend another. International students must be in continuous full-time enrollment in order to maintain their valid student visa status.

The College advises international applicants to communicate clearly with the US Consulate or Embassy in their country to receive the most accurate information and guidance in seeking opportunities for study abroad.

On-campus housing is available for graduate students. Please see the Housing section of the website for more information about on-campus housing.

If international students plan to live on campus, the College recommends they apply for on-campus housing early. If international students plan to live off campus, the Office of Graduate Admission advises them to research commuting options and neighborhoods.

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Last Updated: 11/3/14