In the fall, each first-year student resident will join a Themed Housing Community. The Office of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty, and the Division of Student Life collaborate to offer two types of themed communities to our first-year residents: Academic Fusion and Scholars in Action. Descriptions of the two options and the themes available within each program are listed below.
When completing the online housing application process (details available here) please indicate your interest and rank your preference among the choices offered. Mills College makes an effort to place every student in the course and community of her choice, but please note that only a limited number of students can be accommodated in each Themed Housing Community.
First-year residents who select Academic Fusion Themed Housing Communities will be automatically enrolled in the listed introductory course and will reside in close proximity to one another in Warren Olney Hall or Orchard Meadow Hall. Generally, the professor for this class will also serve as their first-year advisor. Over the course of the fall term, the professor, students, and resident assistants will attend lectures, films, museum exhibitions, and other activities related to the central theme of their community. Some classes will have an upper-division student assigned as a teaching assistant who is available to help with course work throughout the semester.
First-Year Book Themed Housing Community
Course: Mills 101
If you're inspired by the story of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor and her success in school, work, and life after reading this year's first-year book, Justice Sotomayor's My Beloved World, this community will provide you with an opportunity to reflect throughout the semester on how to create your own path to success as scholars, citizens, and family members. As a member of this Themed Housing Community you will participate in Mills 101, a series of workshops, lectures, and hands-on activities to introduce you to every aspect of campus life from developing a scholar identity and career plans to promoting wellness and managing time. You will also have opportunities to connect with the community beyond campus through service learning.
Music Themed Housing Community
Course: Music I, Exploring Music—Performance, Creation, and Cultural Practice
This course offers an introduction to music from the perspectives of performer, composer, improviser, instrument maker, and scholar. Music will be studied as a social art, as a performance practice, as acoustic architecture and as spontaneous creation, as historical artifact, and as cultural signifier. Projects for the class include playing music, listening and analysis, composing, recording, and writing. No knowledge of music, notation, or instrumental skill is necessary.
Nursing Themed Housing Community
Course: NASC 51N, Nursing Leadership
This course examines leadership principles and the role of leadership in professional nursing practice. Students will analyze management strategies (team building, conflict resolution, negotiation) while exploring leadership in the context of nursing history and today's healthcare system. Readings and speaker presentations will form the basis of discussion, reflection, and written analytical assignments to support the development of critical thinking skills as well as the personal and professional growth of the student.
First-year residents who select Scholars in Action Themed Housing Communitites will live in Warren Olney Hall or Orchard Meadow Hall. Over the course of the fall term, the professor, students, and resident assistants will attend lectures, films, museum exhibitions, and other activities related to the central theme of their community. Descriptions of each themed community can be found below. Each will have its own faculty advisor.
Art Themed Housing Community
This community brings together students interested in art and art history. If you enjoy working in the studio, visiting museums and galleries, or studying the history of art, the Art Themed Housing Community will appeal to you. Activities may include museum visits, special exhibitions, local gallery walks, films, and other exciting events that will enhance your understanding of both the history of art and the contemporary art scene in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Campus Farm Themed Housing Community
Does the thought of watching little seeds grow into fresh, nutritious food excite you? Students in the Campus Farm Themed Housing Community will bring the campus farm to life! Guided by sustainable principles, we will plant seeds that will grow into produce and herbs, support a worm compost bin program to provide nutrients to our soil, pull weeds, water, and harvest once per semester in order to cook a communal meal. Depending on interests, we can explore themes such as the local food movement, the importance of pollinators, the carbon footprint of food, efficient use of resources in farming, genetically modified seeds, vegetarianism, and human connection to the land and seasons. There will likely be a farm field trip and/or a service trip to an organization supporting local food in Oakland. The campus farm community is all about connecting to the land and to your community!
Cyclones Themed Housing Community
This community will provide a space for first-year student athletes and others who share an interest in athletics or Cyclone spirit to come together. The Cyclone Themed Housing Community will foster a culture of health, academic excellence, and Mills pride. This community will provide a living space with extended quiet hours, from 9:00 pm to 9:00 am, conducive to early morning practices and a healthy lifestyle. Possible activities may include attending local sporting events (e.g., UC Berkeley or Mills College athletic contests), wellness workshops, guest speakers from on-campus resources, and Mills College Blue and Gold spirit events.
Dog and Cat Lovers Themed Housing Community
If you miss your pet from home, this community will provide the opportunity to connect with animals on and near the Mills campus. We will learn about the individuals, government agencies, and nonprofit groups that promote animal welfare and rights. We will work with shelters and rescue groups on campus and in the community on a variety of service projects. In addition, we will explore the Bay Area's sometimes wacky and always colorful pet culture from San Francisco Pet Pride Day to the Golden Gate Kennel Club Dog Show.
Human Rights Themed Housing Community
You are a human rights defender! In this Themed Housing Community, we'll learn together how we can each make the world a better place. We will be learning together about a variety of human rights issues, and will visit human rights rallies, protests, and events that connect to our human rights interests and passions—and we'll learn to make our OWN change! We'll learn about and make effective change and inspire hope for a better world.
Science Themed Housing Community
This community is an excellent starting point for students considering majoring in any of the scientific disciplines. It will provide an opportunity to live and work with a cohort of students who are enthusiastic about science and intend to major in the biological, chemical, or environmental sciences at Mills College. Field-based excursions will expose students to marine ecosystems as well as to the rich geological and natural history of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Social Justice and Educational Change Themed Housing Community
Students in this themed community will engage in projects in partnership with local organizations such as Girls, Inc., the Oakland Unified School District, and the Oakland Housing Authority in collaboration with the Mills Center for Urban Schools and Partnerships and the Institute for Civic Leadership. If you select this community, you will have the opportunity to visit neighborhoods and learn about the resources of Oakland as you develop your vision for creating positive social change. Students will have the opportunity to explore their own definitions of social justice alongside a more formal analysis of what social justice is and how it operates within disciplines and communities. We will explore together, read together, and participate in local projects in neighborhood schools and community centers near the Mills College campus. Throughout the year, we will work to develop our capacities as social change agents. Possible activities include field trips to Bay Area neighborhoods and events, volunteer work with youth, dinners at faculty homes, panels and visits with local activists and scholars, and book discussions.
Living at Mills
Themed Housing Communities
Application Fees and Refunds
ID Validation and Move In
Housing Management & Dining Services (HMDS)
Sage Hall, Room 138