Oakland campus will have largest incoming class in history after Mills’ merger with Northeastern

woman with dark hair and jean jacket on the left, man with blue sweater and brown hair on the right
Incoming Northeastern students Hannah Mok and Quinn Martin. Photos by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

OAKLAND, Calif.—The numbers tell an immediate success story and promise for the future.

Two years ago, Mills College welcomed 191 first-year undergraduates. When Mills College at Northeastern University opens its doors in two months, the number of new students on the Oakland campus will total 520, the most in history.

“It’s the largest first-year group of students we’ve ever had,” says Jillian Mosley, Mills’ director of orientation and family programs.

The Northeastern-Mills merger is expected to become official July 1, bringing together a thriving university with campuses in 12 cities in three countries with a historically all-women’s liberal arts college rooted in social justice, women’s leadership and gender equality.

About 300 returning Mills undergraduate and graduate students will join the 520 incoming Northeastern students.

In addition to taking a full course load of classes, the incoming Northeastern students in Oakland will participate in several activities during the semester, including two overnight excursions. Day trips include a civil rights walking tour of Oakland, LGBTQ walking tour in San Francisco and a panel discussion with local Northeastern alumni. Students will also visit the Muir Woods National Monument and West Oakland Urban Farm.

Students will reside on the Mills campus in one of five residence halls. The Mills campus is known for its verdant 135-acre campus and beautiful Spanish-style buildings.

“California and the Bay Area offer their own culture to learn and live within,” says Shannon Fairley-Pittman, director of Northeastern’s global network pathway programs.

Quinn Martin is one of the incoming Northeastern students who will study on the Oakland campus in the fall.

“I’m looking forward to the beautiful landscape of California [and] the nice climate,” Martin says. “I’ve heard San Fran is nicest in the fall. Also the wonderful architecture of Mills College.”

While she considered studying in another country as part of the N.U.in program, Mills and Oakland provide the best of both worlds for Hannah Mok, who plans to study international affairs and economics at Northeastern.

“Going abroad is nice, but it’s also nice to be in the same country, because I have family in California,” Mok says. “So it’s nice to be close to them, too.”

Mosley recently traveled from Oakland to Northeastern’s Boston campus to help coordinate orientation sessions for Northeastern students headed to the Bay Area. She offered students advice on how to live in a global learning community.

Mosley believes that more than doubling the number of first-year students on the Mills campus will also have a positive impact on the college’s East Oakland neighbors. MacArthur Boulevard hot spots like Sequoyah Diner, Peter’s Kettle Corn and Farmer Joe’s Marketplace are sure to see an uptick in business.

“They will be thrilled to see Mills College at Northeastern students,” Mosley says. “I know I will be!”

For media inquiries, please contact media@northeastern.edu