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Housing
Frequently Asked Questions

What is HMDS?
How do I apply for housing?
Who can live on campus?
As a first-year student, where will I live on campus?
As a transfer student, what are my housing options?
As a graduate student, what are my housing options?
As a student with a family, where can we live on campus?
Will I have a roommate?
How large are the residence hall rooms? Are they furnished?
How are housing assignments made?
When will I know my housing assignment?
How much does it cost to apply for housing?
When can I move in? When must I move out?
If I live in a residence hall that is closed for winter break, is it possible to stay on campus?
What are the rules about curfews and visitors?
How do I get a Mills ID card?
What do I use my Mills ID card for?
What are some suggested items I can bring (and not bring) to Mills?
What size sheets will I need for my room?
How can I hang decorative items in my residential space?
What are Health and Safety Checks?
Does Mills have a smoking policy?
Do I need a parking permit?
Where will my mail be delivered?
Can I send packages in advance of my arrival?
Can I have pets at Mills?
I have a service dog. How do I get it registered at Mills?
Does Mills have guest housing?

  

What is HMDS?
HMDS stands for Housing Management and Dining Services. The HMDS Office is located in the center of campus, in Sage Hall 138. The HMDS staff can assist students with License Agreements, room assignments, keys, meal plans and Points, and Mills ID cards. For assistance call 510.430.2127 or email housing@mills.edu

How do I apply for housing?
As part of our efforts to be sustainable, Mills has gone paperless with its Residence Application. The online housing application and information about the application process can be found on the Living at Mills page. If you are unable to access a computer and need to fill out a paper application please contact HMDS and we will mail one to you. 

Who can live on campus?
All undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a minimum course load of 0.25 credits are eligible for campus housing (unless housing privileges are revoked due to policy violations). See the Eligibility for Campus Housing section of the Student Handbook for details.

As a first-year student, where will I live on campus?
All first-year students who are traditional-aged (17–19 years old) and are attending college for the first time live together in Warren Olney Hall and Orchard Meadow Hall, our first-year halls. Trained student staff, Living Learning Communities, and intentional programming are highlights of this experience. First-year students with families may apply for the Underwood Apartments.

As a transfer student, what are my housing options?
Transfer students may request an assignment in any building except our first-year residence halls (Warren Olney and most areas of Orchard Meadow), or in any of the specialty living areas such as Ross House, the Prospect Hill Apartments, and the Larsen House Co-op. New students should be aware that continuing students have priority in room selection during our Room Draw process, held each spring semester to determine fall semester occupancy. Transfer students with families may apply for the Underwood Apartments.

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As a graduate student, what are my housing options?
Graduate women have the option of living in Orchard Meadow Hall, Mary Morse Hall, Ethel Moore Hall, Hettie Belle Ege Hall, Lynn Townsend White Hall, Ross House, the Larsen House Co-op, and the Courtyard Townhouses. Graduate men may live in the Courtyard Townhouses, Hettie Belle Ege Hall, and Lynn Townsend White Hall. Graduate students with families may apply for the Underwood Apartments.

As a student with a family, where can we live on campus?
The Underwood Apartments are our on-campus housing option for students with families. Each apartment has two bedrooms, one bathroom, a living room, and an eat-in kitchen. The apartments house up to four individuals; there can be two adults and two children, or one adult and three or fewer children. Please contact HMDS for an Underwood Apartments Waiting List application or download it here.

Will I have a roommate?
Mills offers both single and a limited number of double rooms. Some rooms are “porch rooms,” in which a porch is shared by students in one double or two single rooms.

How large are the residence hall rooms? Are they furnished?
One of the special features about the residences at Mills is that each room is unique. These are not cookie-cutter halls with identical rooms; each one is slightly different. All rooms (with the exception of the Underwood Apartments, which are unfurnished) have a standard twin bed, desk, chair, small bookshelf, and dresser. In contrast to many other college housing facilities, Mills housing is spacious and charming. Check out the Residential Options page of the Mills web site for descriptions and pictures of our residential spaces.

How are housing assignments made?
In all cases, assignments for new students are made on a first-received, first-assigned basis. Each student’s preferences are considered based on room availability at the time the Residence Application and accompanying deposit are received. First-year students’ room assignments are within their assigned Living Learning Communities (LLCs).

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When will I know my housing assignment?
New students entering Mills in the fall who have submitted their Residence Application and deposit before the Priority Housing Deadline (June 1 for first-year undergraduate students, or June 15 for all other students) are notified of their housing assignments in July. Applicants who apply after the Priority Housing Deadline are notified as assignments are made. New students entering in the spring receive their assignments upon arrival in January.

How much does it cost to apply for housing?
A security/reservation deposit must be submitted after completing your Residence Application online (http://www.mills.edu/apply-housing). You can call HMDS at 510.430.2127 and pay your deposit by Visa or MasterCard. You can also send your deposit in the mail; checks must be payable to “Mills College” and sent to:

Mills College
HMDS
5000 MacArthur Blvd
Oakland, CA 94613

The deposit is held as security and cannot be applied to housing charges. The deposit amounts are:

  • $150 for the residence halls, Ross House, or the Larsen House Co-op
  • $300 for the Prospect Hill Apartments
  • $500 for the Underwood Apartments and the Courtyard Townhouses.

Details on deposit refunds can be found in section G. of the License Agreement for On-Campus Housing: Terms and Conditions, found in the Student Handbook.

When can I move in? When must I move out?
The move-in date depends on whether a student is new or continuing and is usually one to five days before classes start each semester. The move-out date is the day after the last scheduled final exam of the semester, unless otherwise indicated in section E. of the License Agreement for On-Campus Housing: Terms and Conditions, found in the Student Handbook. You can also see the Mills Academic Calendar for quick reference dates.

All residence hall occupants are required to leave when the residence halls close during the winter break, but students returning for the spring semester do not need to remove their belongings from their rooms. Students may stay in the residence halls during the Thanksgiving and Spring Break periods.

Ross House, Larsen House Co-op, Prospect Hill, the Courtyard Townhouses, and the Underwood Apartments are open during the winter break. Underwood Apartments (family housing) are also open during the summer, as are some of the apartments at the Courtyard Townhouses. 

If I live in a residence hall that is closed for winter break, is it possible to stay on campus?
Winter break housing may be available for a few days or the entire break period. There are additional charges for room and board during this period. Space is limited, and students do not live in their normal rooms. Those interested should call 510.430.2127 or email housing@mills.edu for details.

What are the rules about curfews and visitors?
There is no curfew. Outer doors to residential spaces are always locked and each resident has her/his own key and/or keycard to the building. Overnight guests are allowed for limited stays (see the Guest Policy Section of the Student Handbook for details). All visitors must be escorted by their student host at all times.

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How do I get a Mills ID card?
A Mills ID is issued to each Mills student after account clearance and arrival on campus during Orientation. Students are encouraged to email ID photos (in a .jpg format) to housing@mills.edu by the end of July for the fall semester or by the beginning of January for the spring semester. By sending your image in advance you will avoid waiting in line to have your picture taken during Orientation. You will also facilitate the printing of your AC Transit EasyPass card, which you should then be able to pick up during Orientation instead of having to wait three weeks after Orientation.

When emailing a photo for your ID card, please keep in mind:

  • Photo must be a close-up with your face and neck clearly visible (no hats or sunglasses).
  • This image will be the first impression many Mills employees (professors, Public Safety, etc.) will have of you; please select it accordingly.
  • Photo must be a baseline/standard (not "progressive") .JPG file.
  • .JPG file name must be changed to your Banner ID number (example: B00XXXXXX.jpg).

What do I use my Mills ID card for?
The Mills ID card is also a keycard which lets you in to certain buildings on campus, and a meal card and Points Plan card, if applicable. This card is valid for a student’s entire stay at Mills College and must be presented at the HMDS Office each semester for an updated validation sticker. A meal card without a current validation sticker will not be accepted in the dining hall or by other departments on campus. Each student with a meal plan must present a Mills ID card to the cashier before entering the dining hall. A Mills ID card is for the exclusive use of the student to whom it is issued. Misuse of the Mills ID card may result in a fine of $20. A replacement fee of $20 will be charged for lost or damaged cards.

What are some suggested items I can bring (and not bring) to Mills?

Items to bring:

  • Sheets (beds are standard twin size, not extra-long twin)
  • Mattress pad (mattresses have plastic covers for hygienic purposes, and are more comfortable with a mattress pad)
  • Pillows
  • Towels
  • Alarm clock
  • Bathrobe and slippers
  • Hangers
  • Iron
  • Shower flip-flops
  • Shower caddie for toiletries
  • Desk lamp
  • Laundry basket or bag
  • Liquid laundry detergent (our laundry vendor reports that powered detergent tends to generate too many suds in our high-efficiency washers)
  • Electrical surge protector
  • Coffee maker and/or electric kettle (no exposed heating coils, please)
  • Mini-fridge (shared refrigerators are provided in the common areas, but some students wish to bring their own—fridges must be under 4.5 cubic feet in size, and the use of Energy Star appliances is strongly encouraged)
  • Small stereo/radio or portable music device
  • Digital converter box for personal television, if analog format (cable television is provided in recreation rooms, but not in individual student rooms)
  • Flashlight, batteries, bottled water, and other personal safety supplies (also see First Aid items, below)
  • Renter’s insurance or a rider on a family policy

First Aid items to bring:

  • Bee sting medicine
  • Medication for allergies and bites
  • Instant hot and cold packs
  • Bandages (in several sizes)
  • Bandage wraps
  • Pain relievers
  • Something for an upset stomach
  • Sterile cleansing wipes
  • Tweezers
  • First aid ointment 

Do NOT bring:

  • Quarters for laundry (usage of laundry machines is included in housing fees)
  • Laundry detergent sheets (they clog the pumps in the washing machines; dryer sheets are OK)
  • Telephone with cord (telephones are provided by Mills)
  • 2.4 GHz phones; personal wireless access points/bridges (these conflict with the wireless network)
  • Microwave oven
  • Toaster
  • Hot plate or other cooking appliances (student-provided cooking appliances are only permitted in the kitchens of Independent Living facilities)
  • Candles
  • Incense
  • Halogen lighting
  • Pets (other than fish in a 10-gallon or smaller tank)
  • Too much stuff—be selective 

What size sheets will I need for my room?
All mattresses are standard twin-sized. There is no need to purchase extra-long sheets.

How can I hang decorative items in my residential space?
You can use push pins, small picture hangers, removable mounting strips, and painter’s tape or drafting tape. Products that leave adhesive damage or stains on paint, ceilings, walls, floors, doors, windows, or Mills College furniture—such as glow-in-the-dark stars and adhesive putty—may not be used. Excessive use of pins is forbidden, as is use of screws and large nails. Bulletin boards should be hung to display small items. No wall-hangings or fabric are permitted on the ceiling or over plugs, lights, doorways, or heaters, for safety reasons.

What are Health and Safety Checks?
Residential Life and/or HMDS staff may conduct a walk-through of any residential space with 48 hours' advanced notice, to look for health and safety hazards, policy violations, and maintenance concerns. Walk-throughs of the entire Independent Living community (apartments, townhouses and houses) will be conducted once per semester with 48 hours' advance notice. During inspections staff will be looking at the cleanliness of kitchens and bathrooms including stoves, floors, and tubs, and will check each individual bedroom.  After closing the traditional residence halls for winter break, staff will walk through all of the traditional halls to assess the safety and security of the building.

For information on forbidden items and potential policy violations please see What are some suggested items I can bring (and not bring) to Mills? and the Student Handbook. In preparation for Health and Safety Checks, students should also be sure that their living spaces are clean.

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Does Mills have a smoking policy?
Smoking is not allowed in any student residence, any campus building, or within 30 feet of building entrances, doors or windows. Smoking of medical marijuana is not permitted on campus (see the Smoking Policy and Alcohol and Drug Policies sections of the Student Handbook for details).

Do I need a parking permit?
Yes. All faculty, staff, and students must have a parking permit to park on campus. Students can register their vehicles in the Mills Portal and pick up permits in the Public Safety Office with proof of vehicle registration. One parking permit per student is included in Mills student fees and the permit is valid for the entire academic year.

Where will my mail be delivered?
Each Mills residential student receives a Private Mailbox (PMB) for the duration of her/his Residence Agreement. Students will register for a PMB with the Mail and Copy Center on campus at Adams Plaza. Mail should be addressed as follows:

[Your Name]
PMB [Your PMB Number]
5000 MacArthur Boulevard
Oakland, CA 94613

Can I send packages in advance of my arrival?
Beginning three weeks in advance of your scheduled move-in date you may send packages to the following address:

[Your Name]
[Your Building Name and Room Number]
5000 MacArthur Boulevard
Oakland, CA 94613

After move-in, packages should be sent to your PMB (see Where will my mail be delivered?, above).

Can I have pets at Mills?
Pets or other animals, other than service animals, are not permitted in or around the residence halls, Underwood Apartments, Prospect Hill Apartments, Courtyard Townhouses, Larsen House, or Ross House, with the exception of fish in a 10-gallon or smaller aquarium (see the Animal Policy section of the Student Handbook for details).

I have a service dog. How do I get it registered at Mills?
Animals required as aides for students with disabilities must be registered with Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) and the Department of Public Safety (DPS). DPS requires all canines on campus to have a current city canine license. The city license and all information regarding vaccinations must be presented to DPS for a Mills College canine license to be issued to the canine owner. Questions regarding service animals should be addressed to Services for Students with Disabilities at 510.430.2130. More information can be found on the Services for Students with Disabilities webpages.

Does Mills have guest housing?
For a charming, lower-cost alternative to a hotel, guests should consider staying on the Mills campus. Mills College has guest rooms and apartments that can be rented at varying prices for short term stays by members of the Mills community (exclusions apply to Mills Hall). We have a limited number of apartments that consist of a full kitchen, living room, and private bath, and guest rooms with private bathrooms, some of which have sitting rooms as well. All our apartments and guest rooms are suitable for one or two people. All accommodations include bed linen and towels. You may also purchase Meal Points to use at Founders Commons and the Tea Shop. Contact HMDS at 510.430.2127 for more information.

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Overview

Living at Mills

Residential Options

Living Learning Communities

Rates

Application Fees and Refunds

Occupancy Periods

ID Validation and Move In

Room Draw

Move Out

Residential Life

Staff

FAQs

Contact Information

Housing Management & Dining Services (HMDS)
Sage Hall, Room 138

P: 510.430.2127
F: 510.430.2155
E: housing@mills.edu
Last Updated: 4/16/14