Undergraduate Research

While many universities support original research by their graduate students, Mills professors encourage undergraduates to participate in and conduct original research of the highest standards, so you can get hands-on experience that could shape your future.

At Mills, you may practice research methods such as fieldwork, archival research, interviews, lab experiments, and interdisciplinary collaborations across numerous areas of study. You’ll delve into questions that no one else has answered before, develop creative problem-solving abilities, practice technical skills relevant to your chosen career, and gain insight into the topics and type of work that you’re most passionate about. In addition, Mills offers dozens of grants and special research opportunities exclusively for undergraduates.

What Will You Discover?

Here’s a sampling of the undergraduate research opportunities at Mills.

Art History

Student curators at the Mills College Art Museum research, catalog, and digitize the museum’s more than 10,000 collected works, the largest of any liberal arts college in the West.


The Jill Barrett Biology Research Program is a 10-week summer field research project in genetics, animal behavior, microbiology, and other biological sciences. Past projects have included tracking native squirrel populations and restoring rare California plant species.

Child Development

Students at the Center for Play Research learn the importance of play in healthy child development and early childhood education, including global perspectives and issues of gender and racial inequities. At the Language Development Lab, student researchers examine the social and linguistic influences that shape children’s communication skills.

Ethnic Studies

Through fieldwork in Bay Area communities of color, students have investigated local residents’ perspectives on safety, food access for low-income African American mothers, and the impact of the emerging Latino/a vote.


The extensive archives at our Center for Contemporary Music (CCM) contain rare recordings of early and influential electronic music, a fascinating historical resource for student musicians and composers as well as the general public.


Student researchers work with faculty in several psychology laboratories, including the Cognition Lab, which studies memory-related phenomena like the “positivity effect” in old age, and the complicated relationship between culture, personal attitudes, and emotional memory; the Social Psychology Lab, where investigators have explored topics such as intergroup relations and prejudice; and the Early Childhood and Family Research Lab, which focuses on infants and children’s early social and emotional development in the context of family, community, and culture.