Graduate Dance Requirements & Deadlines

Application Deadlines

The priority application deadline for fall is February 1. Applications are reviewed when all supporting materials have been received. Once reviewed, official notification of an admission decision is sent from the Office of Graduate Admissions. 

Visit our application page to apply online or download forms. Additional details about the admission and application process can be found in the Graduate Catalog

The Dance Program does not accept applications for spring admission.

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 to the graduate degree program in Dance at Mills College are required to submit the following:

Graduate Application for Admission: Applications can be completed online or hard-copy. Complete all sections of the application as indicated, including:

Statement of Purpose: Please follow the essay guidelines provided on the main application form.

Supplemental Application: Dance students are required to submit a supplemental application for admission which details additional program-specific admission requirements and short answer questions.

Resume: The resume should include dance training, composition work, performing experience, teaching experience, technical production skills, and electronic experience. Please see the supplemental application for more information.

Application Fee of $50: Credit cards and electronic checks are accepted for online application submission. The application fee is also payable to Mills College by check or money order, drawn on a US bank. Cash is accepted if paid in person to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Official Transcript: One official transcript with grades from each post-secondary institution attended toward receipt of bachelor's degree should be sent directly by each institution to the Office of Graduate Admissions. 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.

Two Letters of Recommendation: Recommendation forms can be sent as part of the online application or sent directly by the recommender to the Office of Graduate Admissions via postal mail or email.

Audition: 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 2016 will take place on January 25. Please call 510.430.2175 to confirm your attendance in advance. Applicants who would like to visit the department and the campus in greater depth are invited to stay beyond the January 25th audition date through to January 26th. Class visits, student discussions, and Bay Area cultural activities will be arranged during this additional stay. Please phone or email Sylvia Nuzzo Philis for details.

If you are unable to attend a scheduled in-person audition, you are required to provide additional portfolio material in your application. Please see below.

Dance Portfolio Materials: All MFA dance applicants are required to submit a digital recording of original choreography online here. 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. Please note you must submit your online application prior to uploaded portfolio materials.

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.

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. 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.

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), or the English Language School (ELS) Level 112 Certificate.

Graduate programs in English require minimum TOEFL scores of 600 on the paper-based test, 100 for the internet-based test, or an IELTS overall band-score of 7.0 or higher.  All other programs require a minimum of 550 on the paper-based test, 80 for the internet-based test, or an IELTS overall band-score of 6.0 or higher.

More information about these exams is available online at and

Certification of Finances and Bank Statement: 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.

All application materials should be sent to:
Office of Graduate Admissions
Mills College
5000 MacArthur Blvd.
MB #45
Oakland, CA 94613
Via email:

Digital portfolio materials can be uploaded 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

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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: 4/26/16