Graduate Public Policy Application Information

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines are as follows:

Fall (August entry):
Round 1/Priority deadlineFebruary 1
Round 2–March 15
Round 3–May 1
Round 4–July 15

The MPP and MPP/MBA joint degree programs do not accept applications for spring admission.

Additional details about the admission and application process can be found in the Graduate Catalog.

Required Materials

All applicants are required to submit the following: 

  • Graduate Application with $50 application fee.

  • Statement of Purpose. See further details below.

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

  • Current resume.

  • Three letters of recommendation. See further details below.

  • Quantitative prerequisite. See further details below.

  • Admission Interview (not required). See further details below.

  • English proficiency requirement. (for non-native speakers of English). See further details below.

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

Statement of Purpose

The statement or purpose helps the admission committee learn more about your academic and professional background, your motivations for pursuing this degree, and your career aspirations. Your typed statement should be 500-750 words and written in direct and clear fashion. Please address the following prompts:

  1. Explain how your past education and experiences are relevant to your candidacy for this program.
  2. Describe the characteristics (skills, abilities, and motivations) you would bring to Mills that will enable you to succeed in our program.
  3. Share your future professional aspirations, indicating how this program will prepare you for these plans.

Additionally, if you believe some part of your record (e.g., transcripts) does not accurately reflect your academic aptitude, please address this issue in your statement of purpose.


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 can be sent directly by the recommender to the Office of Graduate Admissions via postal mail or email.  All students, including current Mills students and alumnae, must submit three letters of recommendation. It is recommended that at least one letter is from somebody who knows you in an academic context and at least one letter is from somebody who knows you in a professional context.

Quantitative Prerequisite

The Mills Public Policy Program does not require the GRE as part of the application process. However, admitted students are required to show evidence of basic algebra and graphing skills prior to starting classes. There are two options to fulfill this requirement:

Take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). If you obtain a score in the 35th percentile or higher, you will have met the quantitative preparation requirement for the program (code 004485)


If you do not want to take the GRE or you get a score that places you below the 35th percentile, take a short math prep course at Mills just prior to the start of the program. There is no additional charge for this course, but you must participate fully in it to meet the quantitative preparation requirement for the program.

Admission Interview

Applicants may be invited to interview with the admissions committee once your application file is complete. Interviews can take place in person, by phone, or via video call. Interviews are not a requirement or clear indicator of admission to the program.

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 Public Policy 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 College, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at 510.430.3309 or

 MPP Program Brochure

Internship Success

Living on Campus

Commuting to Campus

Student Handbook

Graduate Catalog

Online Application

Check Your Application Status

Contact Information
P: 510.430.3173

If you have a specific question for a faculty member, please contact or call 510.430.2194.

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Last Updated: 4/11/17