3.5 out of 5 Stars
The academia is actually really superb. It's very focused.Quality of Life
Housing is very clean and comfortable. The dining, compared to most other universities, is actually very delicious. The library is very useful. The campus, in every aspect is beautiful. It feels very welcoming.Admissions
The interviews are very crucial. They can either make or break your admission. It helps put a real face and personality to an otherwise lackluster application.Level
there are a lot of specialized classes in my area of major, as well as extensive classes in other areas of interestQuality of Life
It is very easy to consider Mills College its own community and never want to leave!Admissions
There are 10 general education requires called perspectives. There is a lot of wiggle room within each perspective; for example Analytical and Mathematical Perspective could mean Calculus or Intro to Econ. You end up really exploring on your own, in conjunction with your academic advisor who is always a professor from your major field. Class sizes are generally small. A select few intro classes will have up to 40 students (Intro to Psychology for example) but generally my classes have ranged between 28 and 18, the smallest one was a 12 person research class.
Because only a few departments have graduate students, undergrads have the opportunity to TA (something that would likely not happen at a larger university). I've been a TA for two Anthropology courses and will now TA for Intro to Women's Studies this coming semester. I'm also participating in Directed Research with my advisor.
In the Fall I proposed a project I really wanted to work on, one I had started planning and writing a human subjects proposal for during the summer, to the women's Studies faculty. Though I was not one of their majors, the head of the department asked me if I wanted to be part of their fieldwork class so I could get credit for the work I was doing.
Professors come here because they want to teach. Mills is quite a family friendly place, and I have met most of my professor's significant others and children through different department and campus events.
The workload is really what you make of it. This school is very reading and writing heavy, and if you learn anything here it is to analyze and convince people of your ideas quickly and well. We are not harsh to each other and we know that participation is expected as well as making sure our classmates have a chance to talk and encourage them to share their own ideas.
There is no seperation of lecture and discussion, and the students often have a say in the way the course is structred, sometimes adding readings or optional class weekend field work.Quality of Life
Mills is not located in the best neighborhood, so walking off campus by yourself is not encouraged. The campus itself is like a beautiful park (lots of trees, ponds, meadows, hiking trails, etc.) The food is actually quite good, certainly in comparison to other college cafeteria food, but the meal plans are a bit overpriced. Everyone generally has our own rooms which are in very nice and older dorms. There are apartments and co-ops on campus,an Environmental co-op and another for resuming students 23 and older.
There is no immediate reason to leave the campus since everything is provided within the walls if a student is living on campus with a meal plan. Some students complain about the "Mills bubble", but just like everything else noone is going to make you go have fun. There is a shuttle that goes to a BART station and UC Berkeley everyday that is free for students. We also have bus passes that can get us just about anywhere we want to go.
Students are really friendly and welcoming. My hall bonded very quickly my first year and it's very easy to meet now people in class.Admissions
Mills requires either ACT or SAT scores, an application (either Mills online or paper or the Common App), family profile, a copy of an analytical paper written and graded for one of their previous classes, and an early action option. Financial aid has one application that automatically puts you into consideration for any scholarships or grants you may qualify for.Level
I enjoyed taking classes to satisfy my general education requirements. It is the hallmark of a liberal arts school, and I am glad I was able to have this opportunity. My major requirements were very flexible, and I was able to take a bunch of different Economics courses. Academic Advising is great and very helpful. Class sizes can be small and intimate depending on the course. Professors are VERY accessible and helpful. I took advantage of professor's office hours a lot when I had questions. It allowed me to get to know them and them to get to know me. I was fortunate to be able to do my own research project for my senior thesis. It was a great experience! The environment at Mills isn't very competitive, it's very nurturing and supportive. Grading can be difficult. I've had great professors, and not so great professors. Those of full professor status and faculty are usually great at Mills, the visiting professors/lecturers... not so much. I was also lucky to study abroad in London. It was a great experience, and Mills allowed it to be financially and academically possible for me! I know if I went to my state school, I would not have been able to go to London. Workload is tough, and heavy, as compared to my experiences at other universities. However, I feel like I have learned and done a lot, which is important to me.Quality of Life
I didn't enjoy my first couple of semester at Mills because I was still adjusting to being so far away from home. However, as I soon as I started becoming more involved, I loved it! Housing is very convenient and a great social atmosphere. As I have been here the social scene has dramatically improved. I still don't venture out in Oakland enough, though! I like to go shopping, and eating. I wish there was more of that around Mills. My experience first and second year would have been different if Mills was located by a more commercial area. It's easy to be on campus for weeks without leaving the gates. That's not necessarily a good thing.Admissions
I applied by Common Application after being refered by my college counselor. I recieved the Presidential Scholarship and had additional scholarships on top of that. This made the cost of attendence cheaper than if I were to attend my home state school.Level
The housing and community are great. I feel safe and we are close to San Francisco. However, I do not enjoy the cafeteria most of the time.Admissions
The Distinctive Student application is sent out to a few students and is free and doesn't require an essay.Level
I believe the general education requirements in theory are good as the require branching out from your primary major, but I believe there should be a relax of this for people doing double majors or major and two minors. It is very difficult to complete either of those with the additional requirement of fulfilling all the Gen. Eds.
Academic advising is very helpful because the teachers are very knowledgeable in their particular fields and if they do not have an immediate response to your questions will look for them to assist you.
Competitiveness in classes is not an issue I have come up against here at Mills. I have heard back things about other science programs where people refuse to help other people for fear of changing the class curve, but in my experience at Mills, everyone in my science classes is quite willing to help out those who have difficulties, both in the lab setting and lecture setting.Quality of Life
Housing is quite expensive, but it is do-able. I no longer am required to purchase a meal plan as I live in the on-campus apartments, but those in the dorms are required to and I really dislike the food there. There are a lot of complaints about our catering/dining company here, but I have heard that it is far better now than with the company who previously managed the dining hall.
I think it's absolutely essential to find a place for yourself in the school community. I did not particularly enjoy my second year here at Mills, but in my (current) third year, I found groups to work with and took advantage of many of the opportunities I had previously left unnoticed. Doing this gave me a place in the Mills community and kept me continually busy, so I've enjoyed it here more.Admissions
There is the option for early action that many students applying take advantage of, but I applied with the application Mills offers itself called the "Distinguished Student App." This application was much shorter to fill out (though I required much of the same information as the Common App.
I was offered an excellent scholarship, but financial aid beyond that was not available.Level
The academic level of discourse is great nd the professors are exceptionally available to students.Admissions
I have no ideaLevel
Unique and thought provoking application questions, interviews that encourage me to be as selective as the school is and help with financial aid and scholarships.Level
I applied using the common app, but Mills does have its own application as well. I provided a personal essay, and applied regular admission.Level