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Commencement: Academic Requirements

Graduation Application

Undergraduate candidates for graduation must complete the Undergraduate Application for Graduation. Graduate candidates for graduation must complete the Petition for Candidacy.

Undergraduate students who will have no more than 2 credits to complete and who plan to participate in the Commencement ceremony must also complete the Undergraduate Application for Graduation. In addition, if these credits will be taken outside of Mills, the student must petition the Academic Standing Committee for “In Absentia” status at the time they are completing the Undergraduate Application for Graduation. To qualify for In Absentia, the remaining credits must be outside the major. The actual graduation date for the student will depend on when the remaining courses are completed. Students have two years within which to complete their remaining requirements and must notify the M Center when and where they intend to complete them.

Final Examinations/Theses

Bachelors degree candidates must take final examinations in courses scheduled for finals.

Graduate Student Thesis and Dissertation Deadline: Submit to the Reference Desk of the F.W. Olin Library by the deadline listed on the Academic Calendar. Click here for Thesis Guidelines.

Transfer Credit Deadlines

Transcripts for any transfer credits that need to be applied to a degree must be received by the M Center no later than the end of the semester after the course is completed. Students who have transfer credits from a previous semester that have not been reported or evaluated since their admission to Mills must ensure that official transcripts are received at the M Center by the first Friday in December for January graduates and first Friday in February for May graduates. Failure to adhere to this deadline may delay the recording of the student's degree. This deadline does not apply to students who are cross-registered during their final semester, but the degree will not be recorded until the final transcript for the course is received and reviewed. While cross-registration in a student's final semester is permitted, concurrent enrollment is not.

Deadline for Incompletes

Students must submit all work to instructors for removal of “incomplete” or “in progress” grades by the date agreed upon by the student and their instructor, or the last day of instruction, whichever is earlier. The deadline to complete coursework for an incomplete is the last day of instruction (see academic calendar for more information).  Due to the time required to update incompletes and in progress grades, this deadline is strictly enforced. Students cannot graduate if “incomplete” or “in progress” grades appear on their Mills transcript, even if the courses are not required for their degree.

It is possible to request up to two incompletes in the final semester of attendance and still participate in Commencement. The degree will not be recorded nor the diploma issued until all courses are complete.

Failing a Course in the Final Semester

It is possible to fail a course in the final semester of attendance. If work is unacceptable in a course, a student should not assume that an instructor will give a passing grade just because the student is a degree candidate. An undergraduate student who is enrolled in a class on a pass/no pass basis should be particularly mindful of her academic performance. A passing grade in a course for a letter grade is D- or higher, but a passing grade for a pass/no pass course is C- or higher. Students who have failed a course may still participate in Commencement but will not receive their degree or their diploma unless the failure does not affect the satisfactory completion of their requirements.


Diplomas for students who have completed their requirements in the summer are mailed October 1st, for fall graduates February 1st, and spring graduates in late June. The diploma bears the student's full name, as it appears in myMILLS, major, and the actual date of graduation. Minors and major concentrations are not recorded on the diploma. Latin Honors, if applicable, are also noted on the Mills College diploma.

Diplomas will not be released under the following conditions:

If a student is in financial default, the College may withhold the diploma until the financial obligations are met. If a student has any outstanding grades, the diploma will be held until all grades are received and recorded. If a student attended another institution through cross-registration during the final spring semester, the diploma will be held until an official transcript from the institution is received and reviewed and credit is granted. Diplomas for doctoral students will be released only upon receipt of the School of Education Diploma Release Form.

Conferral of Degree

To graduate, all academic requirements must be fulfilled. If all requirements are fulfilled at the end of the Fall semester, the degree will be recorded no later than February 1st with the graduation date of January 2. If all requirements are fulfilled at the end of the Spring semester, the degree will be recorded no later than June 30th with the graduation date equivalent to the Commencement date.

A cumulative Mills grade point average of 2.0 for undergraduate students and 3.0 for graduate students is required for graduation.

Students who are cross-registered will have their degree conferred and the diploma mailed after the cross-registration transcripts are received and reviewed.  Diplomas will be mailed to the student’s permanent address. Students may not enroll elsewhere except through the cross-registration program during their final sememster.

Graduate students who have not yet completed the thesis are not eligible to participate in the Commencement Ceremony.

Honors and Awards

It is a Mills tradition that recognition of academic achievement in the form of special awards is not disclosed until the public announcement at Convocation or Commencement. As such, graduates will not find out if they received honors before the Commencement ceremony. 

Adulting: Preparing for Life After Mills...THE event for all graduating seniors

General Information
Commencement Overview
January Grads
Weekend Activity Schedule

Academic Requirements
Graduation Application
Final Examinations/Theses
Transfer Credit Deadlines
Deadline for Incompletes
Failing Last Semester Course
Conferral of Degree
Honors and Awards

Financial Requirements
Mandatory Exit Loan Counseling

Preparing to Leave
Senior Survey
Expiration of Computing Accounts
Library Deadlines
Health Insurance after Degree Completion

Preparing for the Commencement Ceremony
Academic Regalia
Student Speakers
Walking Cards

You and Your Guests
Weekend Meal Service
Seating Information
What to Wear
Accessability Needs
Safety & Transportation
Lost and Found
Photographing Commencement
Commencement DVD
Private Parties on Campus
Family and Friends Invitation

Contact Information

College Events
Sage Hall 125
P: 510.430.2145

Last Updated: 3/20/17