College Spotlight: Rice University
College Expert at Exploring Educational Excellence
Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown
June 1, 2015
Rice University is in the spotlight. For the past eight of nine years, the university has secured either the #1 or #2 ranking in the Princeton Review for “best quality of life.” With 300 acres in the heart of Houston’s museum district, Rice’s hedge-lined campus with a Mediterranean flair is home to over 3,700 undergraduates and 2,600 graduate students who “live by the honor code,” said Sheila Baisden, Associate Director of Admissions.
Sixty percent of undergraduates do research before graduation, and there are over 40 research consortiums on campus. To create a balanced perspective, Rice students are required to take four humanities courses, four courses in the natural sciences, and four courses in the social sciences. Fifty percent of classes have ten students or fewer, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 6:1. With a consistent Top 10 rank for both undergraduate and graduates programs, admission to the School of Architecture is competitive. And for those interested in studying public policy, the Baker Institute for Public Policy is one of the leading nonpartisan think tanks in the country, offering both coveted internships and research opportunities for Rice undergraduates.
Student life at Rice centers on the residential college system. Incoming freshmen are assigned randomly to one of eleven residential colleges, and they remain affiliated with that residential college during all four years. Rice alumni are unusually loyal to their residential colleges. When they meet up, it’s the norm to first identify one’s name and then one’s residential college — no matter how many years have passed since graduation. Each residential college has a unique student government with elected officers and funds.