Founded in 1852, Mills College is the second-oldest college in California and the first women’s college west of the Rocky Mountains. Students make it clear that it’s not a party school. 25-30% of the students are the first in their family to go to college, and nearly 30% are what Mills calls ‘resumers,’ women over the age of 23 who are returning to finish their degree.
Mills’ philosophy is that education has to impact the world in a positive way – they believe their role is to help students learn how to “stand up and stand out.” Students find ways to incorporate their passions into their education, either with internships, independent study or volunteer work. With just under 1000 undergraduate women, Mills students have close relationships with professors and receive hands-on attention in the classroom. “We have a women-centered campus and curriculum; we aim to help women become empowered,” says Dr. Sandra Greer, Provost and Dean of the Faculty.
The most popular majors are English, Psychology, Biology and PLEA, Mills’ interdisciplinary major incorporating political, legal and economic analysis. The average class size is 15 and classes are rarely larger than 30. Recently Mills collaborated with ATC (American Theatre Company) in San Francisco to provide a liberal arts and conservatory-style Theater Studies degree; more on that option here. Mills also has a 3+2 engineering program with USC – not all types of engineering programs are an option. This is a very rigorous program; more about this here.
Mills has consortium agreements with UC Berkeley and California College of the Arts, so students may take courses and use those colleges’ libraries. The campus shuttle takes students to Berkeley and an Oakland bus pass is included in the campus fees.
Mills has a beautiful campus, blending hundred-plus year-old architecture with new, LEED-certified buildings with sustainable landscaping. Food options include vegan, Kosher and gluten-free choices. Mills requires test score submission, but cares more about grades, strong writing and character, expressed through the essay and recommendations.
Your emotional support pet is welcome at Mills College! First-year students are grouped into themed housing options.
Admissions stats: About 60% of admitted students had a 3.5 GPA or higher. Middle 50% SAT CR: 540-640; M: 500-610; Wr: 520-620.
Magellan counselors visited Mills in 2012 and again in 2015. You can see all of our photos from both visits here.