Mills College is a private women's liberal arts college in Oakland, California. Mills is an undergraduate women's college for women and gender non-binary students with graduate programs for students of all genders. Mills was founded as the Young Ladies Seminary in 1852 in Benicia, California; it was relocated to Oakland in 1871, and became the first women's college west of the Rockies. In 2014, Mills became the first single-sex college in the U.S. to adopt an admission policy explicitly welcoming transgender students.
Mills College offers more than 45 undergraduate majors and minors and over 30 graduate degrees, certificates, and credentials. It is home to the Mills College School of Education and the Lorry I. Lokey School of Business & Public Policy.
In March 2021, the school announced that it planned to cease conferring degrees in 2023, and become a research institute instead.
Mills College was initially founded as the Young Ladies Seminary in the city of Benicia in 1852 under the leadership of Mary Atkins, a graduate of Oberlin College. In 1865, Susan Tolman Mills, a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, and her husband, Cyrus Mills, bought the Young Ladies Seminary renaming it Mills Seminary. In 1871, the school was moved to its current location in Oakland, California. The school was incorporated in 1877 and was officially renamed Mills College in 1885. In 1890, after serving for decades as principal, Susan Mills became the president of the college and held the position for 19 years. Beginning in 1906 the seminary classes were progressively eliminated. In 1920, Mills added graduate programs for women and men, granting its first master's degrees the following year.