Undergraduate Catalog
» Graduate Catalog
Course Descriptions
Academic Calendar
Directions
Contacts

Home > Academics > Graduate >
Graduate Catalog
Degree Requirements
To earn a degree, each student must meet the minimum course requirements as specified by the department concerned. A student's degree requirements, including sequence requirements, are those stated in the catalog in the year in which she/he is admitted to Mills. Master's degree candidates must take a minimum of 4 course credits at the 200 level toward the total required for the degree. For these students, some advanced upper-division work (100 level) may be accepted by the department. Candidates for the credential enroll in courses at the 300 level; doctoral degree candidates enroll in courses at the 400 level. Post-baccalaureate certificate students enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.

All graduate students should consult the departmental or program listing for information regarding appropriate course levels and complete degree requirements.

Thesis/Dissertation and Comprehensive Examinations
Most departments offering an advanced degree require a final project or examination. For MA candidates, it may take the form of a comprehensive examination of at least six hours and may be written, oral, or a combination of both, at the discretion of the department. For MFA candidates, it may be a substantial essay relating to their project or performance, to be approved by the department.

Master's candidates in certain departments are required to complete a thesis with 1 or 2 graduate course credits (refer to specific degree requirements for details). The thesis may be a critical written exposition (type A) or a creative work in the fine arts, interdisciplinary computer science, or creative writing (type B).

The bibliographical format of the thesis must be approved by the reference librarian. Certain programs of study require a thesis or formal paper in conjunction with a performance or compilation of an artistic work. Students must enroll in the appropriate thesis class by their last semester of regular enrollment. Students may take up to three additional years to complete their thesis, but must maintain “In Progress” status during this period (see In Progress Status). Thesis guidelines are available from the academic department.

A nonrefundable $45 Thesis Binding Fee will be charged to the student's account.

Doctoral candidates are required to complete 20 credits toward the EdD as well as the dissertation. Upon completing 20 credits, students who need additional time to complete the dissertation must petition for "In Progress" status (see In Progress Status).

Dissertation in-progress status (dissertation only) for doctoral students signifies that you have completed the required 20 credits toward the doctoral degree and have successfully completed the proposal hearing for the dissertation. Students will remain on in-progress status every semester after completion of course work until completion of the dissertation. The maximum time allowable to complete the EdD, including the time for "In Progress" status is eight years. Extensions may be granted, under exceptional circumstances, with permission from the dean of the School of Education. The fee for registering for in-progress status is $635 per semester.

Courses Outside Degree Field
As a liberal arts college, Mills encourages students, even at the graduate level, to take some courses in a related discipline but outside the degree field. These courses count toward the degree only with department approval.

back to top

Residency Requirement

A graduate degree at Mills, with the exception of the MBA and MPP, and the accelerated degree programs, requires full-time enrollment for a minimum of four semesters. The MBA and MPP require full-time enrollment for a minimum of two semesters. Degree candidates must be enrolled in course work leading to the degree, or enrolled as a continuing candidate “In Progress” in the semester in which the degree is awarded.

Part-time graduate study is considered on a case-by-case basis and must be approved in writing by the department. Students who are in attendance part time in any semester must enroll for five or more semesters before completing the degree with the exception of the MBA and MPP. If part-time study is approved, all policies and stipulations must be followed. Note: The MFA program in studio art and teacher credential programs do not permit part-time studies. No exceptions will be made.

A student may not receive a degree in a semester in which she/he is officially on a leave of absence.

Program Limits

The maximum period of time allowable to complete programs on the master's level, with the exception of the master’s in teaching, is five years; for the doctoral level, three years following completion of course work and the qualifying exam, generally eight years total. The Master's in Education with Emphasis in Teaching (MEET) Program allows for eight years maximum for the completion of the degree. Students in this program complete their credential course work first and then have up to five years in which to teach and gain experience before returning to complete the master’s degree.

Concurrent Enrollment in Two Graduate Programs at Mills

Concurrent enrollment in two graduate programs at Mills is 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.

Transfer Credit Policy

Students who have attended another college or university as graduate students and have not applied the work done there to an advanced degree may have, with department approval, up to 1.5 semester course credits (6 semester units) transferred toward a master’s degree at Mills. Up to 6 semester course credits (24 semester units) of course work done at another college or university toward a master’s degree may be used toward the doctoral degree at Mills. An official transcript of such credits must be submitted at the time of admission. Transcripts are reviewed by the student’s department, which then authorizes the M Center to place the credits on the student’s record.

Credit earned at other institutions through the cross-registration program is treated as transfer credit.

Transfer Credit Equivalents
Mills College follows the semester course credit (SCC) system, as opposed to the semester or quarter unit systems commonly used by other colleges and universities. As such, transfer credit from institutions not on the semester course credit system must be converted upon transfer to Mills.

Semester and quarter units will be converted to Mills semester course credits using the following equivalents:

  • 4 semester units equal 1 Mills credit
  • 6 quarter units equal 1 Mills credit

The sum of the converted credit for a given institution is rounded to the nearest .25 semester course credit.

Cross-Registration
Graduate students must be enrolled at least part time at Mills to cross-register at another campus. One cross-registration course may be taken per semester. Information regarding cross-registration is available online and in the M Center.

Transfer Credit and Cross-Registration for Graduate Programs

Departmental approval of all graduate transfer credit and graduate cross-registration credit is required.

The Studio Art graduate program does not accept either transfer credit or cross-registration credit. The Dance graduate program only in rare cases accepts transfer credit and it accepts up to 2.0 semester course cross-registration credits. The graduate programs in Music, Book Art, Creative Writing, and Public Policy accept up to 2.0 semester course credits either as transfer credit or as cross-registration credit. The ICS, MBA and the joint MPP/MBA programs accept up to 3.0 semester course credits either as transfer credit or as cross-registration credit. The MA programs in Education accept up to 2.0 semester course credits either as transfer credit or as cross-registration credit; the EdD program accepts up to 6.0 semester course credits either as transfer credit or cross-registration credit. The Pre-Med Post Bac program accepts up to 5.0 semester course credits or up to 2 of the scicence courses with labs as transfer credit.

back to top

Student Status

Full-time Status

Full-time Status

Credits per Semester

MBA students

3 credits per semester

Non-MBA students

2 credits per semester

Course Load

Degree Program

Maximum Course Load

MFA in Studio Art or MFA in Dance 5.0 semester course credits

MBA, MPP, Joint MBA/MA in Ed Leadership, Joint MPP/MBA

5.5 semester course credits
Teaching credentials/certification programs 6.5 semester course credits
All other graduate programs

5.0 semester course credits

Overload
Students seeking to enroll in an overload in excess of the specified program maximum course loads may petition the Academic Standing Committee (ASC). (See Tuition and Fees for related overload charges.)

In Progress Status
Graduate students who are not enrolled in courses but who are working on their thesis, dissertation or comprehensive exam must file for "In Progress" status. 

Students must submit a Petition for Candidacy to the M Center the semester before their anticipated semester of graduation.

Master's Degree Students

The one time fee for "In Progress" status for master's degree students is $500 (subject to change without notice). 

Students who are “In-Progress” may not register for courses nor take a leave of absence.

Students have a maximum of three years to complete the thesis or the comprehensive exam. Students who do not complete the thesis or comprehensive exam within the required time will become “Candidacy Lapsed” and must apply for readmission through Graduate Admission. The IP reinstatement fee is $700.

Master's degree students with In-Progress status are not considered enrolled students at Mills and are reported as such to the National Student Clearinghouse.

International MEET students

  • are allowed up to five years (10 semesters) of IP status; and,
  •  are registered in a “Continued Practical Training” course (0 credit, “P/NP”) each semester. This course, used by the advisor to track the student’s progress, requires a “Pass” (“P”) each semester to remain in the program.

Doctoral Degree Students

The fee for "In Progress" status for doctoral students is $635 per semester (subject to change without notice). 

Doctoral candidates are required to complete 20 credits toward the EdD as well as the dissertation. Upon completing 20 credits, students who need additional time to complete the dissertation must petition for "In Progress" status.

Dissertation in-progress status (dissertation only) for doctoral students signifies that you have completed the required 20 credits toward the doctoral degree and that you have successfully completed the proposal hearing for the dissertation. Students will remain on in-progress status every semester after completion of coursework until completion of the dissertation. The maximum time allowable to complete the EdD, including the time for "In Progress" status is eight years.

Students who do not complete the dissertation within the required time will become “Candidacy Lapsed” and must apply for readmission through Graduate Admission. The IP reinstatement fee is $700.

Students must submit a Petition for Candidacy to the M Center the semester before their anticipated semester of graduation.

Students that are “In-Progress” are considered enrolled half-time and reported as such to the National Student Clearinghouse.

Continued Practical Training

Candidates for the master's in education with an emphasis in teaching (MEET) are allowed up to five years between the completion of the credential component of the program and readmission to the master's component of the program.

During this period of non-enrollment, international students must apply for “In Progress” status and are registered in a Continued Practical Training course (0 credit, "P/NP"). This course, used by the College to confirm that the training is continuing, requires a “Pass” (“P”) each semester in order for the student to remain in the program. The fee for "In Progress" status for International MEET students is $500 (subject to change). For more information, contact the international student advisor in the Division of Student Life.

Special Non-Degree Student Status

Students taking courses for credit can be considered non-matriculated for up to two terms; at that time, students must apply for formal admission to a specific program.  Contact the Office of Graduate Admission for additional information. 

Leave of Absence

Students in good standing may take a leave of absence from the College for a maximum of four semesters. A student wishing to take a leave of absence should contact the M Center to complete the required paperwork. Enrolled students who wish to apply for a leave of absence or a withdrawal effective for the term in which they are currently enrolled must file the petition by the last day of instruction.

Students should contact the M Center to learn the financial ramifications of taking a leave of absence. (See Tuition and Fees Adjustment Policy and Return of Federal, State, and Institutional Financial Aid.)

Students who wish to take college work elsewhere while on leave from Mills are advised to discuss this with their department, as limited transfer credit is available to graduate students. Upon completion of the courses, the student should request official transcripts to be mailed to the M Center. These transcripts must be received by the end of the student's first semester of return to Mills.

Students who wish to extend a leave of absence or return early from a leave of absence must contact the M Center.

If, after two years, the student does not return to Mills, a formal withdrawal must be filed with the M Center or the student will be considered as terminated enrollment without notifying the College (see Withdrawal).

International students are not permitted to take a leave of absence and should consult with the international student advisor in the Division of Student Life regarding any breaks in attendance.

Leaves of absence are generally not granted in the Studio Art Program. In addition, students who have filed for “In Progress” status are not permitted to take a leave of absence.

Withdrawal
Students wishing to terminate their enrollment in the College should contact the M Center to complete the required paperwork. Students should contact the M Center to explore the financial ramifications of withdrawing from the College. (See Tuition and Fees Adjustment Policy and Return of Federal, State, and Institutional Financial Aid.)

Students who fail to register for courses without petitioning for a leave of absence or withdrawal are considered to have terminated their enrollment without notifying the College. A $150 processing fee will be charged to all students who are reinstated.

Candidacy Lapsed
Students who have not completed their thesis, comprehensive exam or dissertation at the end of their eligibilty for “In Progress” status, will be considered as "Candidacy Lapsed" and will have a students status of "Candidacy Lapsed" ("CL") recorded. A grade of “NC” ("No Credit") will be entered for the thesis. If the student wishes to be reinstated in the program and finish the thesis, a readmission application and current readmission fee must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admission. If readmitted, the student must then submit a Request for In Progress Status form to the M Center along with the $700 "In Progress" fee for the reinstatement of the "In Progress" status. The student will have an additional three semesters to complete the thesis.

Readmission
A student who has withdrawn, with or without notifying Mills, has been disqualified, or whose candidacy has lapsed and who wishes to return must contact the Office of Graduate Admission to request an application for readmission. A $50 readmission application fee must accompany the application. Contact the department concerned for information about readmission deadlines.

Students who initially enrolled in the master's in education with an emphasis in teaching (MEET) may leave the College for up to five years after completing their credential and then return to the College to complete the master's portion of their program in one additional year. MEET students must contact the Education Department about their plans to return and complete an Education-Returning MEET Application. There is no fee for students returning within five years. MEET students who do not return within five years and who then wish to complete the master's portion of the program must apply for readmission through the Office of Graduate Admission, pay the $50 readmission fee, and will be required to complete the full two years for the master’s degree.

 
Students who have completed the formal course work for the master's degree may need additional time to complete their thesis or comprehensive exams. These students may petition for "In Progress" (IP) status.  Master's degree students must have already enrolled in the specific thesis course in their department (usually numbered 250) prior to the beginning of the “In Progress” period.  Students file for "In Progress" status by submitting the Request for "In Progress" form to the M Center.  The fee for "In Progress" status for master's degree candidates is $500 (subject to change).

Graduate Catalog
Table of Contents

About Mills

Admission

Expenses

Financial Aid

Advising and Registration

Academic Regulations

Last Updated: 6/16/14