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FAQs

General | First-Year | Transfers | Nursing | Resumers | International | Applicants


General Questions

>What is a liberal arts and sciences college?

>What is the application fee? Is there a fee waiver?

>Are interviews required?

>Can I provide extra material to support my candidacy?

>Who reviews my application?

>How will I select my academic advisor?

>When do I register for classes?

>Does Mills admit visiting students?

>Can I apply for admission and receive financial aid if I am an undocumented or AB 540 student?

What is a liberal arts and sciences college?
A liberal arts college offers a program of study that leads to a bachelor of arts (BA) or bachelor of science (BS) degree. The purpose of the four-year program is to give the student a liberal or general education—a broad intellectual foundation for life. Liberal arts colleges provide the courses required for entry to graduate or professional schools. A liberal arts program does not offer vocational or specialized education.

The liberal arts include subjects such as literature, history, philosophy, economics, languages, sociology, government, mathematics, and the natural sciences.

What is the application fee? Is there a fee waiver?
The application fee is $50. If your family has limited assets and income of less than $18,000 per year, you may request a fee waiver. A short letter stating these conditions and signed by your parents or high school counselor (unless you are at least 23 years old) should accompany your application. Without such a letter or the application fee, the Admission Committee will not review your application.

Are interviews required?
Interviews are not required. We do strongly recommend interviews as a means to acquaint you with all that Mills can offer. It is an excellent opportunity to get all your questions answered.

Can I provide extra material to support my candidacy?
You may submit supplementary material for review with your application. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to return these materials.

Who reviews my application?
Applications are reviewed by the Admission Committee. The committee is composed of the professional admission staff and faculty.

How will I select my academic advisor?
Each new student will be assigned an academic advisor at Orientation.

When do I register for classes?
New students will select classes during the orientation program at the beginning of each semester. Registration deadlines are announced at that time.

Does Mills admit visiting students?
A student may, by mutual institutional agreement, take courses at Mills as a visiting student to complete the course work necessary to obtain a degree from her home institution. A visiting student completes the admission application and submits all required credentials by the fall or spring semester deadlines for transfer admission. She must also submit confirmation from her home institution that credit earned at Mills will transfer to her home institution. A visiting student does not receive financial aid or merit scholarship from Mills. Students from institutions that participate in exchange or visiting programs with Mills are exempt from the undergraduate application process. Students can contact the M Center at 510.430.2000 or records@mills.edu for more information.

Can I apply for admission and receive financial aid if I am an undocumented or AB 540 student?
Yes, undocumented or AB 540 students may apply for admission to Mills. Students will be considered for our merit scholarship program, and may apply for need-based scholarships from Mills. For more information on the application process see Financial Aid Application Process for AB 540 Eligible Students.

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First-Year Students Questions

>Are there specific course requirements for admission to Mills?

>What are the average grades and test scores for admitted students?

>What is Early Action? Should I apply for Early Action?

>How are Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) classes treated?

>How do I meet guys?

>What is the policy regarding homeschooled students?

Are there specific course requirements for admission to Mills?
Our subject requirements are flexible, but we strongly recommend a full college preparatory curriculum. Positive consideration is given to students who go beyond the minimum requirements listed below. It should include:

English

4 years

Social sciences

2-4 years

Foreign languages

2-4 years

Mathematics

3-4 years

Laboratory science

2-4 years

What are the average grades and test scores for admitted students?
In a recent entering class, the average entering GPA was 3.67. The SAT scores for the middle 50 percent: 1570–1840. The ACT scores for the middle 50 percent: 23–29.

What is Early Action? Should I apply for Early Action?
The Early Action admission plan allows you to receive a decision from the admission committee in December. You must indicate that you are applying under this plan and submit all required materials by November 15. You will have until May 1 to make your decision about attending Mills, so the plan is not binding.

How are Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) classes treated?
Taking AP classes in high school is a great way to indicate your interest and motivation in school and to prepare for college. You may earn college credit by taking the AP examination. The amount of credit awarded is based on your examination score. Generally, scores of 4 or 5 will earn up to a year of credit in that subject area. Mills also awards credit for the higher level of the IB. Credit is granted for scores of 5, 6, and 7. Please check the online catalog for scores and credit awarded.

How do I meet guys?
Lots of ways! Mills students have no problem going out in groups to local cafes, clubs, or parties and meeting people there. Many students meet men through other students. Another way a Mills student can go about meeting men is by cross-registering at one of the nearby coeducational colleges. The most popular are UC Berkeley and California College of the Arts.

What is the policy regarding homeschooled students?
Homeschooled students may apply for admission to Mills, and follow the same guidelines for first-year admission. The SAT examination is required. If you have been homeschooled, we also require that you take two SAT Subject Tests. Homeschooled students must submit the official results of the GED or the California High School Proficiency Examination. Please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission early in the application process to discuss other required credentials.

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Transfer Students Questions

>Do I need a certain GPA to transfer to Mills?

>How many units do I need to transfer to Mills?

>What is the maximum amount of units Mills will accept for transfer credit?

>How do you determine a student's GPA if she has attended more than one college or university?

>How will I know which of my courses will transfer?

>Can I attend Mills as a part-time student?

>What type of college classes are you looking for from your applicants?

>Do you require a high school transcript or test scores?

>If I already have a bachelor's degree, can I earn a second bachelor's degree from Mills?

>How many students apply to Mills as transfer students?

>Is there a limit to the number of credits that can be transferred?

>Are midterm or current grades required?

>If I am admitted as a transfer student, am I automatically admitted into my major?

Do I need a certain GPA to transfer to Mills?
The suggested minimum GPA to be admitted to Mills is a 3.0, but we also consider other factors such as writing skills, strength of curriculum, and number of credit hours.

How many units do I need to transfer to Mills?
There is no minimum number of units required. You may apply for transfer admission after one or more semesters of college work.

What is the maximum amount of units Mills will accept for transfer credit?
Course work in the liberal arts will be considered for transfer credit. Students transferring from four-year institutions can transfer a maximum of 77 semester hours. A maximum of 67 semester units or 100 quarter units will transfer from community college.

How do you determine a student's GPA if she has attended more than one college or university?
The admission committee will review each individual cumulative GPA from each institution attended. The admission committee will consider factors such as dates of attendance and trends when reviewing multiple college transcripts.

How will I know which of my courses will transfer?
Students who are offered admission will find a report in their acceptance packet. This transfer credit report is also available to view on the Mills portal. Enrolling students will recieve a final evaluaiton after submitting their final college transcript.

Generally, liberal arts courses that are similar in content and depth to courses available at Mills are offered transfer credit. For students attending California community colleges, courses that are UC-transferable will usually transfer to Mills as well.

Can I attend Mills as a part-time student?
Yes, part-time attendance is possible, although the majority of students attend Mills on a full-time basis. Mills scholarships are not available for part-time study.

What type of college classes are you looking for from your applicants?
General education requirements (mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, history, English, languages, etc.) offered at your current school are the most helpful for us to review and are more likely to be transferable. The admission committee looks for a well-rounded curriculum to ensure a student's success in Mills' liberal studies environment. The admission committee also looks closely at the strength of the curriculum.

Do you require a high school transcript or test scores?
Students who have completed 24 or more transferable semester units do NOT have to submit a high school transcript or test scores. Students who have completed less than 24 transferable semester units are required to submit a high school transcript, proof of high school graduation and SAT or ACT test scores. Resuming students (age 23 or over) may request an exception to the test score requirement.

If I already have a bachelor's degree, can I earn a second bachelor's degree from Mills?
Yes. The second BA or BS must be in a field that is unrelated to the first degree. Students will be required to spend a minimum of three semesters at Mills and complete at least 12 semester course credits, or more if needed to complete the new major. Students are not required to complete the Mills general education requirements or other degree requirements, except those pertaining to the major.

How many students apply to Mills as transfer students?
The number varies each year; however, we usually receive around 300 transfer applications for fall and 100 transfer applications for spring. Transfer students make up about a third of our overall student body.

Is there a limit to the number of credits that can be transferred?
Mills will accept up to 77 semester units from a four-year college and 67 semester units from a two-year college.

Are midterm or current grades required?
In certain cases, you admission counselor may request that you send midterm or current grades to help us better evaluate your application.

If I am admitted as a transfer student, am I automatically admitted into my major?
Students are admitted to Mills College and not to a major or department. Majors must be officially declared through the Office of the Registrar before the end of the student's sophomore year or before the end of her first-semester junior year if she transfers with junior standing.

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Nursing Students Questions

>What are the requirements to apply as a transfer student to the Mills Nursing Program?

>Can I apply if I have not taken classes in several years (or I have never taken college classes)?

>Can I transfer if I have taken all required classes? Can I repeat some classes at Mills?

>Can I transfer if I have taken three or four of the four core nursing science classes?

>How many classes can I transfer to the Mills Nursing Program?

>Can I transfer if I have taken more than eight courses?

>Will I receive credit for the classes I have taken that are not part of the Mills nursing curriculum?

>What GPA is needed to transfer?

>Can I start the program in the spring semester?

>Can I enroll in classes part time? Are classes offered in the evening or weekends?

>Are all courses at Mills offered every semester?

>How do I know if my courses will transfer?

>Is there a waiting period to enroll in Samuel Merritt University?

>What are the requirements to apply as a first-year student?

>What if I start the Nursing Program and then decide I prefer another major?

What are the requirements to apply as a transfer student to the Mills Nursing Program?
Admission is typically offered to students who have a college GPA of 3.0 or higher and who demonstrate mastery in science. If you have not taken classes in the sciences, we recommend taking an introductory-level chemistry class and possibly a biology class before applying to Mills. See the Transfer Guidelines information for maximum numbers of courses allowed.

Can I apply if I have not taken classes in several years (or I have never taken college classes)?
We recommend refreshing your knowledge of chemistry and biology in order to make a successful application. Take community college classes in introductory chemistry, biology, and English before applying for admission.

Can I transfer if I have taken all required classes? Can I repeat some classes at Mills?
Students who have taken all required classes are not offered admission. You may not repeat courses you have already completed.

Can I transfer if I have taken three or four of the four core nursing science classes?
Admission is not offered to students who have completed three or four core science classes (Survey of Chemistry (organic chemistry), Anatomy, Physiology, and Microbiology). The maximum number of nursing science classes you may take and transfer to Mills is two. You may not repeat previously completed courses at Mills.

How many classes can I transfer to the Mills Nursing Program?
Eight classes, including two core nursing science classes.

Can I transfer if I have taken more than eight courses?
This will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. You may be able to transfer if you have taken a few more transferable courses, but not if you have completed the nursing curriculum. You must be enrolled full time at Mills for at least one academic year and take a minimum of two core science classes to be in the program.

Will I receive credit for the classes I have taken that are not part of the Mills nursing curriculum?
No, only classes that match classes in the nursing curriculum will transfer to the Nursing Program.

What GPA is needed to transfer?
A 3.0 or higher GPA is strongly recommended.

Can I start the program in the spring semester?
Admission to the spring semester will depend on course work previously taken. An introductory chemistry class must be completed prior to applying for admission to the spring semester.

Can I enroll in classes part time? Are classes offered in the evening or weekends?
Part-time enrollment is not possible. Classes are offered full time during the day only.

Are all courses at Mills offered every semester?
No, not every class is offered every semester. For example, Anatomy is offered in the fall semester only.

How do I know if my courses will transfer?
Students who are offered admission will find a preliminary evaluation of transfer credit posted to the Mills portal. Enrolling students will receive a final evaluation, often during the first semester of attendance. Generally liberal arts courses that are similar in content and depth to courses available at Mills are offered transfer credit. For students attending California community colleges, courses that are UC-transferable will usually transfer to Mills as well.

Is there a waiting period to enroll in Samuel Merritt University?
Our program guarantees admission to the fall semester at SMU. A limited number of places may be available for the spring class at SMU.

What are the requirements to apply as a first-year student?
A secondary school college preparatory curriculum, including courses in biology, chemistry, and mathematics is recommended.

What if I start the Nursing Program and then decide I prefer another major?
You may change your major and complete the requirements for a bachelor's degree at Mills.

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Resuming Students Questions

>What does Mills have to offer resumers?

>I am 25 (or 35... or 55...) years old. Will I be out of place with traditional-aged undergraduates?

>What if I can't get letters of recommendation?

>Is there child care on campus?

What does Mills have to offer resumers?
Mills College offers an exceptional liberal arts and sciences curriculum, including the foundation necessary for advanced study. Over 20 percent of our undergraduates are resuming students, and they find that the campus welcomes students of all ages

I am 25 (or 35... or 55...) years old. Will I be out of place with traditional-aged undergraduates?
With over 20 percent of the undergraduate population over the age of 23, you will find many resuming students at Mills. Classes have a lively mix of all ages at Mills.

What if I can't get letters of recommendation?
Applicants may substitute an employer letter of recommendation in place of an instructor recommendation if they have not attended school in the last two years. If you have any questions about letters of recommendation, please telephone the Office of Undergraduate Admission to discuss your particular situation.

Is there child care on campus?
Yes. The School of Education houses the oldest laboratory school on the West Coast. Founded in 1926, the Children's School offers programs for children from five months of age through fifth grade. While students receive priority consideration, early application is advised. For an application or further information please contact the Children's School at 510.430.2118.

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International Students Questions

>What is the Mills College calendar?

>When should I apply?

>Is financial aid available for international students?

>Could I cross-register at another college or university?

>Do many international students go on to graduate school after Mills?

>Can I get a job?

>Will I be lonely?

>Will I need a car?

>How do I meet or speak to a Mills admission representative?

>Where is Mills located?

>What is the weather?

What is the Mills College calendar?
Mills operates on a semester calendar. The fall semester begins in late August and concludes in mid-December. The spring semester begins in late January and ends in early May. There are no summer session classes.

When should I apply?
You should begin the application process approximately one year before the semester in which you would like to enroll at Mills. Please see deadlines for application; for example, applications and all required credentials should be submitted by February 1 for enrollment in the fall term.

Is financial aid available for international students?
International students may receive Mills College merit scholarships. The student must provide the balance of the cost of education and living expenses.

Could I cross-register at another college or university?
Yes, all Mills students, after their first year, may participate in our cross-registration program to a maximum of four courses. You have 16 choices, including UC Berkeley, California College of the Arts, Saint Mary's College, CSU East Bay, and more.

Do many international students go on to graduate school after Mills?
Many Mills students, including international students, pursue graduate studies in the United States.

Can I get a job?
No, the regulations regarding your student visa prohibit employment, other than employment on campus. Unfortunately, Mills does not offer campus employment to international students.

Will I be lonely?
Mills offers a community where you can easily meet other students and establish friendships. By reaching out and joining clubs and activities, you will soon find that you barely have time to think about being lonely. Activities begin the moment you arrive on campus for Orientation, and the faculty and staff will help you to make the transition to college in the United States a smooth one.

Will I need a car?
Most residential students do not have cars. Public transportation is accessible at Mills. Mills operates a shuttle service to a nearby BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station as well as to the UC Berkeley campus. Mills students receive a bus pass for AC Transit, the public bus transportation system in the area.

How do I meet or speak to a Mills admission representative?
You may wish to contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission via email or telephone to find out if we will have a representative in your area. You may also speak to an admission counselor by telephoning the Office of Undergraduate Admission between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm Pacific standard time.

Where is Mills located?
Nestled in a residential neighborhood, Mills is approximately 10 km from downtown Oakland and 24 km from San Francisco.

What is the weather?
Mild, Mediterranean temperatures year round. Typically 18-23°C (65-75°F) during the day and cooler at night. In winter the temperature can drop to 10°C (50°F) at night. Usually 280 sunny days each year, and it never snows!

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Applicant Questions

>What is a complete application?

>What is an official transcript of grades?

>What is an official copy of my SAT or ACT scores?

>How do I send my required school report form and teacher recommendations to Mills?

>How do I send the required graded paper to Mills?

>Can I have my athletic coach or music instructor submit a recommendation?

>How do I check my application status?

>My credential (transcript, recommendation, test score, graded paper, etc.) was sent to you but the Portal still shows that it is missing. Do you have my missing item?

>When will I receive an admission decision?

>What if I have a question that is not answered here or on the website?

What is a complete application?
Applications are complete when all required credentials have been submitted. Required credentials for first year applicants are:

  • official transcript of high school grades
  • school report/recommendation
  • teacher recommendations
  • official SAT or ACT results
  • graded analytical or research paper.

Only when an application is complete will it be reviewed for admission.

Transfer and international students, please see Application Requirements under the Transfer or International sections for your required credentials.

What is an official transcript of grades?
An official transcript of grades is an official copy of your high school transcript, sent directly to Mills by your high school either electronically via Naviance or Send.edu, or mailed to the Office of Undergraduate Admission. Faxed transcripts are not considered official.

What is an official copy of my SAT or ACT scores?
Official copies of test scores are sent to Mills directly from the testing agency.

How do I send my required school report form and teacher recommendations to Mills?
If you have submitted an online Common Application to Mills, your counselor may submit these forms electronically via Naviance. Naviance may be used only if your Common Application was sent to Mills or if you have submitted an on-line Distinctive Student Application. Your counselor may also submit recommendations via Send.edu. School Report forms and teacher recommendations may be mailed directly to the Office of Undergraduate Admission. We recommend providing your teachers with a stamped, pre-addressed envelope in addition to the recommendation form. Recommendations should be written on school letterhead and attached to the recommendation form.

How do I send the required graded paper to Mills?
You may send your graded paper electronically with your application or mail it to the Office of Undergraduate Admission. Be sure to include your name and address on your graded paper.

Can I have my athletic coach or music instructor submit a recommendation?
Yes, however, these are considered supplementary recommendations to the required recommendation(s) from teachers of academic subjects.

How do I check my application status?
To check the status of your application, go to the Mills Portal (a link can be found near the bottom of the Mills College website homepage,) or use the link, Mills College PORTAL. Type in your Banner ID number as your username, and you can request a password. The password is sent to the email address you provided in your application. Your Banner ID number will be mailed to you after we receive your application for admission.

My credential (transcript, recommendation, test score, graded paper, etc.) was sent to you but the Portal still shows that it is missing. Do you have my missing item?
Please be patient, particularly around deadline dates. We receive hundreds of credentials daily and it may take a few days for your credential to be logged into the Portal. Check the Portal every few days and contact your Admission Counselor only after waiting two to three weeks.

When will I receive an admission decision?
Applications are reviewed when all required credentials are received. Admission decisions are mailed on a rolling basis beginning in late November. Typically, decisions are sent two to three weeks after an application enters the review process.

What if I have a question that is not answered here or on the website?
Telephone or email the Office of Undergraduate Admission to contact your Admission Counselor. When emailing your counselor, remember to include your first and last name in your email.




Last Updated: 9/13/12