Petition for Candidacy | Comprehensive Examination
Thesis or Dissertation | Dates for Conferral of Degree
Commencement | Diplomas
All degree candidates must submit a Petition for Candidacy to the M Center. The petition must be approved and filed before the candidate's final semester at Mills (see Academic Calendar for deadlines). The Petition for Candidacy form is available online and in the M Center.
Comprehensive examinations must be completed and grades submitted before a student will be allowed to graduate or participate in Commencement.
Dissertations for education and theses for dance are now electronically submitted. Once the dissertation or the thesis has been approved and signed by the dissertation chair or the thesis director and the committee members, please make an appointment with a reference librarian to electronically upload them. Reference librarians can be reached at 510.430.2385 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The provost will sign dissertations and theses at the library.
For all other theses, two copies of the approved thesis must be filed with the library approximately one week prior to the end of instruction for the term in which the student intends to graduate. Refer to the Academic Calendar for deadlines. These approved copies must be signed by the thesis director or dissertation chair and the committee members. The provost will sign theses at the library.
A nonrefundable $45 Thesis Binding Fee will be charged to the students’ Banner records when the student submits a Petition for Candidacy form.
If the type B thesis (a creative work in the fine arts, interdisciplinary computer science, or creative writing) is of such a nature that it cannot be duplicated, the original work will become the property of the College and will be deposited in the library. If the creator of a type B thesis intends to copyright the thesis, the College retains a nonexclusive copyright interest.
No student will be permitted to graduate or participate in the Commencement ceremony until the thesis or dissertation is turned in and a passing grade for the thesis submitted. Doctoral dissertations must be successfully defended in order for doctoral candidates to be eligible to participate in the Commencement ceremony.
Mills College confers degrees three times per year. Students who complete all requirements for the degree in the fall will have an official graduation date of January 2 of the following year. Students who complete all requirements at the end of the spring semester will have an official graduation date that corresponds to the date of Commencement. Students who complete all requirements in the summer will have a graduation date of September 1.
Master's degree candidates who have completed all of their course work except the thesis must apply for “In Progress” status and pay any associated “In Progress” fees (see In Progress Status).
The Commencement ceremony, which takes place each May, includes the formal conferral of the degree for students who have completed all requirements in the previous summer term, fall semester, or spring semester. For MA, MFA, MBA, and MPP candidates, this includes completion of all formal course work including the thesis, graduate research project, or comprehensive examination. For doctoral candidates, this includes completion of all formal course work and the defense of their dissertation. For certificate candidates, this includes the completion of all course work. The conferral of the degree is signified by the awarding of the doctoral or master’s hood, if applicable, and the symbolic presentation of the diploma or certificate.
Students with "Incomplete" grades or whose comprehensive examinations either have not been graded or have received a failing grade are not eligible to participate in the Commencement ceremony.
Formal academic regalia are required of all students participating in the graduation ceremonies.
Diplomas for students who have completed their requirements either in the previous summer or fall are mailed in February. Diplomas for spring graduates are mailed in June. The diploma bears the degree, the area of study, and the date of the student's actual graduation.
Diplomas will not be released under certain conditions: