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Academics > Undergraduate

The Mills College Music Department offers a unique undergraduate major in music that promotes a dynamic interaction between performance and improvisation, cultural studies, composition, and sound technology. We encourage our students to investigate and to play music from a broad spectrum of styles and traditions. Above all, the fostering of creativity, which can lead to innovative and even revolutionary ideas, lies at the core of our undergraduate music program.

Our students study composition, electronic music, and media technology with ground-breaking artists. They learn how to compose spontaneously with world-renowned improvisers, and to explore music from both the past and the present under the guidance of our outstanding performance faculty. They also examine the intersections of music and its myriad global, historical, and cultural contexts with passionate scholars.

Performance students work with top San Francisco Bay Area musicians and participate in a range of groups, including Early Music, Performance Collective (Chamber), and the Vocal, Percussion, Gamelan, African Drumming, Music Improvisation Ensemble, and Contemporary Performance Ensemble.

The Mills Music Department has stood at the forefront of experimental music and its allied arts and sciences for decades. Our program provides undergraduate women the opportunity to assume roles in music technology, recording engineering, and composition that were traditionally inaccessible to them. All music students at Mills can work in the recording facilities of our Center for Contemporary Music, a world-renowned facility for electronic and computer music that has played an influential role in the development of contemporary musical culture and is an important link in the long chain of innovation at Mills.

Just as all musical activities should be interrelated, music should not be isolated from other disciplines in the arts, the humanities, and the sciences. We therefore enthusiastically support interdisciplinary work and language study, and are committed to courses of study that fit the needs of students with special interests. In keeping with the liberal arts mission of the College, we also offer courses suitable for non-majors that not only introduce students to a wide variety of styles and repertory, but also place musical activity within the broader context of intellectual history and global culture.

Our undergraduates are encouraged to think critically, to collaborate, to explore and refine their creativity, to expand their vocabularies and techniques, and forge their own diverse paths.

Prospective students: See the catalog for information regarding financial aid.

Mills College’s innovative Bachelor’s-to-Master’s Accelerated Degree Programs allow you to earn a master’s degree in one additional year of study. Combining a master’s degree with a liberal arts undergraduate education prepares you for career success and increased options upon graduation. Mills students in this major should consider one of these options:
Business Management (MBA)
Teacher Education
Interdisciplinary Computer Science
Public Policy

Program Information
» Overview

Faculty and Staff


Full Course List

Music Course List

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the Current Semester

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Center for Contemporary Music

Musicnow: Concert Series/Songlines

Go To: Graduate Music

Contact Information

P: 510.430.2171
F: 510.430.3228

Last Updated: 6/22/17