How to Apply to Mills Graduate Programs

The graduate application process gives you the opportunity to tell us about your academic, personal, and professional accomplishments to date and what you hope to accomplish in the future with the help of a Mills education. We've laid out the deadlines and application requirements for each program below and made it easy for you to apply online.

Note: If you’re an international student, please visit our application requirements for international graduate students page to learn how to apply to Mills.

Graduate Application Deadlines

A Mills education will help you advance your career and better the world while connecting you with a supportive community of peers and mentors. We strongly encourage all students to apply for admission by their program's fall priority deadline to receive the earliest consideration for Mills merit and need-based scholarships.

Fall Priority Application Deadlines by Program

JANUARY 15 FEBRUARY 1
  • Creative Writing & Literature (all programs)
  • Mills College School of Education (all education programs including infant mental health)
  • Music
  • Applied Economics
  • Studio Art
  • Computer Science
  • Dance
  • Lorry I. Lokey School of Business & Public Policy (all programs)
  • Pre-Med

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 510.430.3309 or grad-admission@mills.edu to connect with your admission counselor before submitting your application materials.

Graduate Application Requirements

To apply to Mills, submit the materials below along with any materials listed on the additional admission requirements page for your specific program. If you have any questions about the application requirements for your program, please reach out to us at 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

Statement of Purpose

All Mills graduate programs require a statement of purpose or artist's statement as part of the admission application. This is your opportunity to provide us with insight into who you are as a person and what you hope to gain from a Mills education. Follow the guidelines below and then add your statement of purpose to the Mills graduate application.

Mills Graduate Program Statement of Purpose Guidelines
  • Applied Economics
  • Computer Science
  • Creative Writing & Literature (all programs)
  • Dance
  • Music
  • Pre-Med
Your concise statement of purpose should include a brief intellectual autobiography describing:
  • The formation of your academic or artistic interests and present concerns
  • Your reasons for wanting to study at Mills College
  • The special areas of interest upon which your study would focus
  • Your tentative plans for the use of your degree
  • Studio Art
Visit the Studio Art: Additional Application Information page for detailed guidelines.
  • School of Education (all programs)
Visit the School of Education: Additional Application Information page for detailed guidelines.
  • Infant Mental Health
Visit the Infant Mental Health: Additional Application Information page for detailed guidelines.       
  • Lokey School of Business & Public Policy (all programs)
Visit the Lokey School of Business & Public Policy: Additional Application Information page for detailed guidelines.
School Transcripts

We ask that you send us official transcripts (with grades) from the college or university from which you earned your bachelor's degree. You will also need to send us transcripts (official or unofficial) from all other 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 have their 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.

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.

Mail hard-copy school transcripts to Mills at:

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

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

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. 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 are 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 are 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 are required.
Lokey School of Business & Public Policy—MPP only
  • Three letters of recommendation are 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 are 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 in addition to at least one from an academic source.
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

Additional Admission Requirements & FAQs by Program

Several 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 and answers to frequently asked questions:

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.