A Visit to Rice University

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By Sue Luse


Rice University, a private university which leads in research, is located in Houston, Texas. A small and very diverse campus of 3,800 students, Rice provides rigorous coursework in various sciences as well as humanities & music. Competitive programs that are consistently top rated include engineering, architecture, pre-med, and pre-law.


Undergraduate research both on and off campus allows students exposure to a variety of unique opportunities, with partners including NASA, Texas Medical Center (conveniently located across the street), as well as 26 Fortune 500 companies.

Student Life

Every incoming student is assigned to one of 11 residential colleges, each having students of all different backgrounds. This system is considered the heart of campus life, providing a small community where students live, dine, and interact, as well as emphasizing self-government, faculty-student interaction, and intellectual & cultural activities outside the classroom.


Rice sports are at the NCAA Division I level with 14 teams, so student athletes are common and sporting events are high in attendance, particularly baseball. The campus is gated and secure with light rail access to anywhere in Houston. Museums are close by and the Houston Zoo is across the street. Living in the middle of the fourth largest city in the nation, students can attend professional sporting & theater events with discount tickets, as well as Houston’s 10,000 restaurants and vibrant downtown night life.


  • Seven schools of study: Architecture, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Business
  • The School of Humanities provides a variety of degrees as well as coursework (but not majors) in Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Portuguese and Russian
  • The Jones School of Business only offers minors
  • The Shepard School of Music does not provide a Music Education Degree, but offers degrees in Theory, History, Composition, and Performance
  • 6/1 faculty to student ratio with 95% of classes taught by professors, the remaining 5% taught by graduate students
  • Experiential learning through Rice’s 40 institutes, centers, and consortia offer students research opportunities alongside faculty members or independent
  • Center for Civic Leadership offers experience with research & design in Houston and around the world, as well as community service and leadership preparation
  • One third of students study abroad through more than 500 university-approved programs in 60 countries
  • The well-known Rice/Baylor Medical Scholars Program is a very competitive 8-year medical program, picking up to 10 out of a thousand applicants (Due date December 1st)
  • 90% of graduate students are accepted to med school, with even higher percentages for Law and MBA


  • Utilizes the Common Application and Universal College Application sites
  • Average ACT scores range from 32 to 35
  • Interviews are optional – if you want an alumni interview your application must be submitted a month early
  • Music auditions must be request by December 1st
  • Must indicate which school of study when you apply, and then major is declared second semester of sophomore year
  • Look for intellectual curiosity and vitality as well as engagement to community
  • A teacher recommendation from one who taught your class related to a possible major is beneficial

Costs/Financial Aid

  • Tuition, room & board totals $ 58,283
  • Offer merit scholarships (no separate application needed) that range from $3,000 to full tuition and 17% receive them
  • The Rice Net Price Calculator provides an estimate of need based financial aid package eligibility

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