Graduate Dance Application Information

Application Deadlines

The priority deadline for receipt of all application materials is February 1 for fall admission. Late applications are accepted on a space available basis - please contact us to learn more. The Dance program does not accept applications for spring admission. Additional details about the admission and application process can be found in the Graduate Catalog.  

Required Materials

The MA and MFA degree programs require that students possess an intermediate level of modern dance technique upon admission, applicants to the MFA program should also possess significant choreographic and performing experience.

All applicants are required to submit the following:

  • Graduate Application with $50 application fee. 

  • Statement of purpose. See further details below.

  • Resume.  See further details below.

  • Dance portfolio. See further details below.

  • Audition. See further details below.

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. See further details below.

  • Two letters of recommendation. See further details below.

  • English Proficiency Requirement. (For non-native English speakers) See further details below.

  • Additional requirements for international students. See further details below.

Statement of Purpose

A general framework for your statement of purpose should include a brief intellectual autobiography describing the formation of your academic or artistic interests and present concerns; your reasons for wanting to study at Mills College; and a description of tentative plans for the use of your degree and the special areas of interest upon which your study would focus.


Your resume should include the following information, if applicable:

  • Dance training. Please include dates, names of teachers, names of schools or studios, and types of dance studied.
  • Composition studies. Please list courses, teachers, and dances you have choreographed outside of class work.
  • Performance experience.
  • Teaching experience. Please list dates, names of schools/studios/camps, subjects taught, and age of students.
  • Technical production skills, such as costume design, costume construction, stage management, lighting design, stage production skills, and audio and video experience.
  • Administrative experience, such as organizing or producing shows, helping run a school, etc.

Dance Portfolio Materials 

All MFA dance applicants are required to submit a digital recording of original choreography via the online application. It may include up to two choreographic works. The submission must be non-edited and between ten and twenty minutes in length total. You may include a brief written synopsis of the work(s) along with the recording. 

MA dance applicants are required to submit a sample of writing in the form of written composition with the topic related to the field of dance studies. This writing sample can be submitted via the online application.


All MFA and MA applicants must audition and are strongly encouraged to attend an in-person audition consisting of an intermediate/advanced modern technique class, an information session, and an interview with faculty. Scheduled auditions for students applying to enter in fall will take place on January 23. Applicants who would like to visit the department and the campus in greater depth are invited to stay beyond the audition date for an extra day on January 24. Class visits, student discussions, and Bay Area cultural activities will be arranged during this additional stay. Please contact the Dance department to confirm your attendance at the audition and/or for details regarding the extended campus visit. Contact Sylvia Nuzzo Philis at or 510.430.2175.

Additional portfolio materials if unable to attend an audition: Any dance applicants who are unable to attend either of the scheduled audition dates in person must then submit a clear example of their technical skill via digital recording online through your admissions status page. The technical skills should demonstrate material covered in a modern technique class including postural alignment, traveling steps, jumping, and floor work. The excerpt may be presented as a class setting or a performance setting. Please include a brief written description of who you are in the video. You must be clearly visible and easily identifiable to be considered.


Transcripts with grades from each post-secondary institution attended toward receipt of bachelor's degree must be submitted as part of the application review process. One (1) official transcript from a students’ bachelor’s degree receiving institution is required, and official OR unofficial transcripts for all credited course work toward receipt of bachelor's degree, including courses taken at community college, must be submitted. Students should also submit transcripts from any relevant graduate level work they have completed.

If you obtained your bachelor’s degree outside the US, you are required to have your transcript evaluated by a NACES member organization. If the transcript is written in a language other than English, it must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

Please Note:
Admission to graduate or post-baccalaureate study at Mills College is contingent upon the successful completion of a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. If you are still completing your degree at the time of application, send official transcripts showing work completed and in progress. Immediately upon completion of the baccalaureate degree requirements, it is your responsibility to send a final transcript with the degree posted to our office.

Hard-copy transcripts should be sent to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
Mills College
5000 MacArthur Blvd.
MB #45
Oakland, CA 94613

Digital transcripts can be sent through a verified service to

Letters of Recommendation

Recommendation forms are part of the online application or sent directly by the recommender to the Office of Graduate Admissions via postal mail or email.

English Proficiency Requirement

All non-native speakers of English are required to show proof of English language proficiency unless they hold a bachelor’s degree from an English speaking, regionally accredited university or college located in the US, Canada, Australia, or Great Britain. Mills College accepts the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Duolingo English Test (DET), or the English Language School (ELS) Certificate.

The Dance graduate programs require a minimum of 550 on the paper-based TOEFL, 80 for the internet-based TOEFL, IELTS overall band-score of 6.5 or higher, a 60% on the DET, or the ELS Level 112 Certificate.

More information about these exams is available online at,, and

Additional Requirements for International Students

Prior to enrollment, applicants who require a visa for studying at Mills are required to submit a Certification of Finances form and bank statement. These documents do not need to be submitted with the application materials. An I-20 cannot be issued without these documents.

Additional information about these forms and all other requirements for international students can be found here.

If you have any questions about admission requirements, deadlines, or applying to Mills, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at 510.430.3309 or

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Student Handbook

Graduate Catalog

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Contact Information
P: 510.430.3309

If you have a specific question for a faculty member, please contact or call 510.430.2175.

Last Updated: 4/11/17