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Lincoln University is a private, non-profit, non-sectarian educational institution based in Oakland, California. It was founded in 1919 in San Francisco by Dr. Benjamin Franklin Lickey, and was chartered under the laws of California in 1926. In 1950, the University became a non-profit tax-exempt institution under Internal Revenue Form 990 Section 501 (C) (3). It is comprised of the College of Undergraduate, Graduate, and Professional Studies. From the school's founding in 1919, Lincoln has placed an emphasis on adult education and urban outreach, as well as keeping an international orientation. These characteristics became distinguishing marks of the institution. Lincoln University was among the first post-secondary education schools to offer programs with a focus on the needs of the working adults. The emphasis was further refined to meet the demands of internation­al students. Lincoln University serves the needs of the community and the school itself by continuously refining its programs, and following the needs of the job market. Constant growth and academic development were always a characteristic of the University. In the 1960's and 1970's, the University developed a curriculum for an outstanding, well-balanced Business Adminis­tration program. In the 1980's, LU developed a strong Computer Science Program (is not currently offered), and in 2005, it introduced programs in Administration of Criminal Justice (not offered), Diagnostic Imaging, as well as several certificates in Allied Health fields. Lincoln University is always looking toward the future, making sure its curriculum is well-suited for today's and tomorrow's needs, and its strong, professional faculty team can address those needs.

The University is located in a beautiful historic building at 15th and Franklin Street in downtown Oakland , in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area. Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and many bus routes are nearby. Situated only a few blocks from the center of a vital, growing city, the University provides an attractive environ­ment for college students. It has spacious, light-filled classrooms and seminar rooms; an auditorium; computer, ultrasound, and English labs; and a library. A vending machine and microwave ovens are provided in the cafeteria, where students may gather for informal conversa­tion.

In 1944, Dr. Bebe Patten and her husband, C. Thomas Patten, conducted evangelistic services in the Bay Area. Thousands of people filled the Oakland Auditorium Arena (now the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center) seeking purpose and meaning for their lives. Several hundred answered a call to active Christian service. Because of this response, Dr. Patten founded the Oakland Bible Institute, which was incorporated as a California nonprofit corporation.

The School was located for several years at its initial location, 1428 Alice Street. It moved moved to Telegraph Avenue in 1950, and then to the present campus on Coolidge Avenue in 1960. Later the school was renamed Patten University in response to its growth and expansion of academic programs and degree offerings.

While the University has continued to emphasize Bible and church-centered ministries, it has created options for students whose career interests lie in fields other than the professional ministry.

The University is supported by the Christian Evangelical Churches of America, Inc. (CECA), also founded in 1944 by Dr. Patten. This organization is a separate nonprofit corporation that establishes churches and ordains men and women to the ministry. Christian Cathedral, the CECA headquarters church located on the Patten University campus, provides some of the facilities used in the University program.

In 1997, Patten University became an affiliate university of the Church of God, Cleveland, Tennessee. Recognized as a "Church of God Institution", the University provides programs to further the ministry and the work of the Church of God in the western United States

In the new millenium, Patten University will continue to hold to its founding mission: to help men and women prepare for a life of leadership and service.

To be eligible for full admission into the undergraduate major, freshman must meet the following qualifications:

  1. A minimum high school grade point average of 2.5 or better or A minimum General Education Development (GED) score of 50 or better.
  2. An SAT score of 950 or higher, or an equivalent ACT score. Applicants who have been out of high school for greater than 2 years may not be required to submit SAT or ACT scores.

A candidate's application will be reviewed when all of the following materials have been received:

  1. An Admissions application and $30 nonrefundable application fee.
  2. Personal Statement
  3. Official* high school transcript (six semesters minimum).
  4. Signed Christian Environment form.
  5. Two letters of recommendation.
  6. Official Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or the American College Test (ACT) scores. Information about these tests may be obtained at your high school, SAT Scores at and ACT Scores at .

Facts About Mills College


  • Independent liberal arts college founded in 1852
  • California women's college located on 135 wooded acres in the Oakland foothills, on the east shore of the San Francisco Bay
  • Offers bachelor's degrees to women and graduate degrees and certificates to women and men
  • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges

College Rankings (2009–10)

  • Ranked fourth among colleges and universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report
  • Ranked second in the West by U.S. News & World Report in "Great Schools, Great Prices," for high academic quality relative to the net cost of attendance
  • Named one of the Best 371 Colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review
  • Named one of the 123 "Best Western Colleges" by The Princeton Review
  • Named a top 10 best all-women's college and ranked 55th among America's colleges by
  • Named one of the top producers of Fulbright award recipients by the Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Rated 98 out of a possible 99 green rating from The Princeton Review for environmental policies and practices
  • Named one of the 286 Green Colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review

Student Body (2009–10)

  • Total students: 1,510
  • 926 undergraduate women
  • 584 graduate women and men
  • 48 states represented
  • 12 countries represented
  • 39% undergraduate students of color
  • 37% graduate students of color
  • 22% undergraduate resumer students (23 years of age or older)
  • 16% of undergraduates identify themselves as multiracial
  • 9% of graduates identify themselves as multiracial

Entering First-Year Student Profile (2009–10)

  • Average high school GPA 3.70
  • SAT range 1570–1870 (middle 50%)
  • ACT range 22–27 (middle 50%)

Faculty (2009–10)

  • Total: 181
  • Full-time: 93 (female faculty 62%; faculty of color 25%; terminal degree 88%)
  • Part-time: 88 (female faculty 70%; faculty of color 25%; terminal degree 68%)

Courses (2009–10)

  • Course titles: 329
  • Average class size: 16
  • Class enrollments of 20 or fewer students: 75%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 12:1

Majors (2009–10)

The top 5 undergraduate majors:

  • English
  • Psychology
  • Political, Legal, and Economic Analysis (PLEA)
  • Child Development
  • Biology

Graduate Programs (2009–10)

The top 3 graduate degree and certificate programs:

  • Education (MA)
  • Management (MBA)
  • Creative Writing (MFA)

Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2009–10)

  • Full-time tuition: $35,196
  • Student activity fee: $140
  • AC Transit fee: $96
  • Campus Comprehensive Fee: $896
  • Kaiser Student Health Plan: $2,024
  • Room and board: $11,480

Undergraduate Financial Aid (2009–10)

  • In fall 2009, 95% of all undergraduate students received financial aid
  • 91% received some portion of their aid directly from Mills
  • Average award: $33,250
  • Total aid: $29 million of which Mills funded $15.3 million

Graduate Tuition and Fees (2009–10)

  • Full-time tuition: $26,326* (2 or more credits/semester)
  • Campus Comprehensive Fee: $896
  • Kaiser Student Health Plan: $2,200
  • Room and board: $11,480

*Full-time studio art tuition: $31,576

*Full-time doctorate in education tuition: $27,580

*Full-time post-bac pre-med tuition: $25,698

Graduate Financial Aid (2009–10)

  • In fall 2009, 86% of all graduate students received financial aid
  • 80% received some portion of their aid directly from Mills
  • Total aid: $13.8 million of which Mills funded $4 million

Finance (2009–10)

  • Annual budget: $80.2 million
  • Endowment value as of 6.30.09: $156.6 million

Giving to Mills (2008–09) $18.2 million

  • Trustee gifts: $2.5 million
  • Alumnae gifts: $2.9 million
  • Gifts from parents, friends, and others: $2.5 million
  • Foundation and corporate gifts: $1.4 million
  • Estate gifts: $8.9 million

Mills College Annual Fund: $1.9 million (includes gifts from several categories above)


  • Mills College alumnae: 21,440
  • Countries represented: 58

Our Mission

Mills is an independent liberal arts college for women with graduate programs for women and men. The College educates students to think critically and communicate responsibly and effectively, to accept the challenges of their creative visions, and to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to effect thoughtful changes in a global, multicultural society.

Mills encourages openness to experimentation in the context of established academic disciplines. Programs are designed to reflect the importance of global issues, provide an understanding of the natural world, and enhance opportunities for women in their developing roles throughout society. The curriculum combines traditional liberal arts with new educational initiatives that recognize the value of cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity.

Inspired by a teaching philosophy that grows out of its longstanding dedication to women's education, Mills provides a dynamic learning environment that encourages intellectual exploration. The faculty of nationally and internationally respected scholars and artists is dedicated to developing the strengths of every student, preparing them for lifelong intellectual, personal, and professional growth.

Our History

Founded in 1852 as the Young Ladies' Seminary in Benicia, California, Mills College boasts a rich history as a leader in women's education. Mills was founded two years after California was admitted to statehood and the same year the city of Oakland was established. The University of California and Stanford had yet to exist, and miners, farmers, and merchants wanted to educate their daughters without sending them on the perilous journey to East Coast schools.

The Young Ladies' Seminary was established by nine citizens in what became the state capital, and it gained a strong reputation under the direction of Oberlin graduate Mary Atkins. With a vision of equal education and opportunity for women, missionaries Cyrus and Susan Mills bought the Seminary in 1865 for $5,000, renamed it Mills College, and moved it in 1871 to its current 135-acre oasis. At the time, Oakland was a bustling metropolis of about 10,000.

The student body quickly grew, with students of diverse faiths and backgrounds enrolled from many states and countries. Among the first institutions for the higher education of women, Mills has become the oldest women's college west of the Rockies.

Over the decades, Mills “firsts” have been numerous: the first women's college west of the Rockies (chartered 1885); the first laboratory school west of the Mississippi for aspiring teachers (1926); the first women's college to offer a computer science major (1974) and a 4+1 MBA degree (2001); the first business school in the West for women (2005); and the first MFA program in book art and creative writing in the nation (2009).

Always a leader in the arts, Mills was among the first liberal arts colleges to offer a modern dance degree (1941), and it became the national center for modern dance outside New York City. The Center for Contemporary Music, dedicated in 1967, is a preeminent center for electronic music.

Many of the world's foremost artists, politicians, and scholars have taught, lectured, and performed at Mills, including Gertrude Stein, Mark Twain, Darius Milhaud, Alfred Neumeyer, John Cage, Isabel Allende, and Gloria Steinem. Mills continues to draw people interested in experimentation, leadership, social responsibility, and creativity—the hallmarks of a 21st-century Mills education.

Your college years will be a time of great discovery and personal growth. Mills can help you make the most of this experience with an environment that values intellectual exploration. At Mills, you'll enjoy intimate, collaborative classes that encourage a spirited exchange of ideas and allow your voice to be heard.

You'll learn from distinguished professors who are truly dedicated to teaching. They will not only know your name, they'll use it as they explore and discuss ideas with you. You'll interact with dynamic women of different backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures, ages, and mindsets, making your learning rich and inspiring. The classroom debate will be your intellectual catalyst, but you'll find plenty of opportunities to express yourself, both in and out of the classroom.

With more than 40 majors to choose from—including a self-designed program—you'll have many educational options. You'll also have the chance to work directly with faculty and get involved in their innovative work. As part of the Mills community, you will find yourself an active, engaged participant in your own learning. The people you'll meet and the lessons you'll learn will prepare you to succeed in both your professional and personal lives.

Mills College


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