Graduate Music Requirements & Deadlines

Application Deadlines

The priority application deadline for fall is January 15. We wil review applications on a space available basis after thid date until July 15. The priority application deadline for spring is October 15. Applications are reviewed when all supporting materials have been received, and 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.

Required Materials

All applicants to the graduate degree at Mills College are required to submit the following:

Graduate Application for Admission: Complete all sections of the application as indicated, including:

Statement of Purpose. Please follow the essay guidelines provided on the supplemental application.

Supplemental Application: Music students are required to submit a supplemental application for admission. All applicants to the Graduate Music Program are required to submit program-specific essay responses as listed in the Music Supplemental Application. Please ensure to read through the music supplemental application for the additional program-specific application requirements.

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.

Portfolio: All applicants to the MA in Composition or MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media must submit a portfolio of their work online. Materials may also be sent via postal mail. Please refer to the music supplemental application for detailed, program-specific information.

Audition: An audition is required for all Performance and Literature applicants. Live auditions are preferred, but recordings may be submitted if necessary. Please refer to the music supplemental application for detailed, program-specific information.

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.

Note: If any of the application materials are considered insufficient by the Music Department, the applicant may be admitted as a graduate student-at-large. In such cases, upon completion of the equivalent of one semester's full course load, the student's advisor and instructors will evaluate the student's progress to determine whether the student will be admitted to degree status, given an additional semester to make up deficiencies, or asked to withdraw from the graduate program.

All application materials should be sent to:

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

Submit compositions, recordings, and samples of your work online here. Please note you must submit the application form before you are able to upload portfolio materials.

Music Department
Mills College
5000 MacArthur Boulevard
Oakland, CA 94613

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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Contact Information
P: 510.430.3309

If you have a specific question for a faculty member, please contact or call 510.430.2171.

Last Updated: 7/25/16