International Graduate Students: How to Apply to Mills

Whether you are a citizen of a country other than the United States or a resident of a US territory, as an international graduate student at Mills, you’ll be welcomed into a community of talented scholars and artists. You'll also find a home-away-from-home in Oakland, California, one of America’s most culturally diverse and vibrant cities.

Graduate Application Deadlines

We strongly encourage all students to apply for admission by their program's fall priority deadline to receive the earliest consideration for Mills merit scholarships.

Fall Priority Application Deadlines by Program

JANUARY 15 FEBRUARY 1
  • Creative Writing & Literature (all programs)
  • Mills College School of Education*
  • Music
  • Applied Economics
  • Studio Art
  • Computer Science
  • Dance
  • Lorry I. Lokey School of Business & Public Policy (all business and public policy programs)
  • Pre-Med

*The School of Education accepts international student applications for the following programs only: MA in early childhood education, MA in child life in hospitals, MA in infant mental health, MA in educational leadership, and EdD in educational leadership.

After the fall priority deadline, applications are considered on a space-available basis until July 15, our final application deadline for students wanting to start in the fall term. Be sure to visit the additional application requirements page for your program to learn if there are preferred application deadlines that fall between the priority deadline and July 15.

Spring Application Deadline

The following Mills graduate programs also accept applications for spring admission.

OCTOBER 15
  • Applied Economics
  • Computer Science
  • Creative Writing & Literature
    • MFA in creative writing (poetry or prose) only
  • Mills College School of Education
    • MA in early childhood education 
  • Lorry I. Lokey School of Business & Public Policy
    • MBA, MM, and joint MPP/MBA
    • MPP on a space-available basis only**
  • Music
  • Pre-Med on a space-available basis only**

**If you are interested in a program that allows spring admission on a space-available basis only, contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at +1.510.430.3309 or grad-admission@mills.edu to connect with your admission counselor before submitting your application materials.

Graduate Application Requirements for International Students

To apply to Mills, submit the materials below along with any materials listed on the additional admission requirements page for your specific program. Please note that we must receive all required application materials before we can process your admission application. To help guide you through the application process, we've created a downloadable International Applicant Packet (PDF).

If you have any questions about the application requirements for your program, please reach out to us at +1.510.430.3309 or grad-admission@mills.edu to connect with your admission counselor.

Admission Application

It's easy to start your admission application process. Just complete the Mills application online and submit the $50 application fee.

Mills Graduate Application

School Transcripts

If you earned your bachelor's degree in the United States, we ask that you send us official transcripts (with grades) from all colleges and universities that you’ve attended. If you’ve already taken graduate-level courses, please submit transcripts for that course work also. Your current name needs to appear on all transcripts.

Students who earned their bachelor's degree outside of the United States will need to send us three separate documents:

  1. One official transcript in the native language
  2. One certified English translation of the transcript
  3. One official credential evaluation by a NACES member organization to verify equivalence to a 4-year bachelor’s degree

If you are still in the process of completing your bachelor's degree when applying to Mills, send us official transcripts documenting your completed and in-progress undergraduate courses. Immediately upon completion of your bachelor's degree, you must send a final transcript to Mills to complete the admission application process.

Digital transcripts can be sent by a verified service to us at grad-admission@mills.edu.

Mail hard-copy school transcripts to Mills at:

Office of Graduate Admissions
Mills College
5000 MacArthur Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94613
USA

Letters of Recommendation

For the majority of Mills graduate programs, you'll need to ask two academic instructors to complete and submit letters of recommendation on your behalf. The recommendations should speak to:

  • Your abilities with written and spoken English
  • Your potential for success in graduate studies
  • Your commitment to your field of study

You can easily send these requests to your instructors through the Mills online application. Please note the programs below that require (or prefer) three letters of recommendation instead of two.

Computer Science
  • Three letters of recommendation required.
  • Mills students and alumnae, however, are only required to submit one letter of recommendation.
School of Education (all programs including infant mental health)
  • Three letters of recommendation preferred.
  • At least one recommendation should come from a person who knows you in an academic context and at least one should come from a relevant practitioner in the field of education.
Lokey School of Business & Public Policy—joint MPP/MBA only
  • Three letters of recommendation required.
Lokey School of Business & Public Policy—MPP only
  • Three letters of recommendation required.
  • At least one recommendation should come from a person who knows you in an academic context and at least one should come from a person who knows you in a professional context.
Pre-Med
  • Three letters of recommendation preferred.
  • If it has been five or more years since you have been in college, your letters of recommendation can come from people who know you in a professional context instead of an academic one.
English Proficiency

If you hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in the United States, Canada, Australia, or Great Britain, then you do not need to provide proof of your English proficiency. Otherwise, we ask non-native English speakers to submit scores from one of the following English proficiency exams:*

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Minimum of 550 on the paper-based TOEFL or 80 for the Internet-based TOEFL
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Overall band-score of 6.5 or higher
Duolingo English Test (DET) 60 percent or higher
English Language School (ELS) Level 112 Certificate

*Graduate creative writing & literature programs at Mills have slightly higher proficiency requirements:

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Minimum of 660 on the paper-based TOEFL or 100 for the Internet-based TOEFL
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Overall band-score of 7.0 or higher
Duolingo English Test (DET) 70 percent or higher
English Language School (ELS) Level 112 Certificate

If you meet all application requirements other than English proficiency, you may qualify for conditional admission to Mills. In that case, you will have one year to fulfill the English language requirement without having to re-apply to our graduate programs.

Certification of Finances
In accordance with US government regulations, all international students should have sufficient funds to meet the costs of tuition, fees, and living expenses in the United States. You will need to submit a completed Certification of Finances form and official supporting bank documentation before Mills can issue your form I-20. Bank documentation must include an official English translation and show available funds in US dollars. Photocopied or faxed documentation is not considered official, and unfortunately, we cannot accept it. A Certification of Finances form is included as part of our downloadable International Applicant Packet (PDF).

Additional Admission Requirements & FAQs by Program

Most Mills graduate programs require auditions, portfolios, or specific course work as part of the admission process. Consult the following links for program-specific application requirements:

Mills College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, marital status, age, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, or disability in our admission policies, in our scholarship and loan programs, or in the educational programs, cocurricular activities, and residential facilities which we operate. Students of all genders are eligible for admission to our graduate programs. Self-identified women and people assigned female sex at birth who do not identify with the gender binary are eligible for admission to our undergraduate programs.