Location
Houston, TX
Undergrads
3,803
Tuition
$37,292
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 786 total reviews with an average rating of 3.9

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4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Lots of Serveries – Rice food is pretty good compared to different colleges. Every residential college has their own servery so if you do not like something you can always go to another servery to get a variety.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Majors: Engineering Is Amazing – The engineering program at Rice is amazing!!! It is definitely a lot of work, but it is totally worth it. The engineering program prepares you very well for life after you complete your undergraduate.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Parking: There is plenty of parking on campus, but parking permits are very expensive. The closer the lot, the higher the price.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: It's Required – At Rice University, students are only guaranteed 3 years of housing, so students usually move off during their junior year. There are several options ranging from apartments to actual houses. There is a large price range available.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: We've been ranked as having one of the most beautiful campuses in the US. The architecture has a somewhat consistent theme, but the buildings are varied and interesting. There have been a lot of capital improvements over the past few years and many of the buildings on campus are brand new. Students have access to some top-notch facilities.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Facilities: Usually when you get a university of this caliber, its focus is relatively narrow and other parts of the college experience fall by the wayside. Conversely, at bigger state schools that fulfill the valuable social component of college, the quality of one's education suffers.

Rice is absolutely unique in the way that it harnesses the best of both worlds. A Rice student gets a a top-notch education from a world-class research university. For many students, it'll be one of the hardest things they'll ever do. At the same time, they can take advantage of a social scene that is flourishing, varied, and most importantly, all-inclusive. Rice takes the best parts of college and puts them together in a way that you'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

Rice students are the happiest students around.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Great Options – There are sooo many places to live off campus. If you choose to go this route, you will need a car otherwise it's too inconvenient. Most students choose to live on campus because it's so amazing, but those that choose to live off have lots of options and actually can save some money. Rice is in a really wealthy neighborhood and people will even rent out rooms in their houses. There are lots of good apartment options as well

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: Being a physics major at Rice is challenging, but rewarding. The workload is consistent but the number of physics majors is relatively small so the professors are VERY accessible. Making a personal connection with professors makes all the difference. Our physics department facilities are state of the art. Lots of cool research going on at Rice.

4 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Repetitive Drinking and Smoking With Not Much Other Drug Use – Alcohol is extremely visible, with about half of campus drinking, some for special occasions, some every weekend. You need to be 21+ or pay someone 21+ to procure alcohol. However, when I've talked to people who don't partake, they are annoyed with the drinking scene at Rice for being noisy, and the drinkers are annoyed with non-drinkers for being 'lame' and complaining. We all live together in the same small buildings where you hear everything through the walls. Wet campus means alcohol is everywhere. Freshman are known for being more out of control than the other grades every year trying to impress. Most weekends though, people end up sitting with their friend groups in their rooms drinking and possibly smoking weed. Repetitive and uninteresting party scene.

Policy enforcement ranges from unfair hospitalization to free bagels for drunk students(Rice Emergency Medical Services and Rice University Police Department both vary in their treatment of drunk students). Noise policies are rarely enforced, which adds to the annoyance for non-drinking students who want to study in their rooms.

Drug scene is not very happening, many many people smoke weed (entire floors and rooms smell like weed at my residential college) anywhere from occasionally to all the time. Other drugs I've heard of people doing here are cocaine, shrooms, and MDMA (Ecstasy). They're out there if you make an extreme effort to look and can pay. Prescription drugs (Adderall, etc...) not as common as would be expected with all the hard workers, but it may be I just haven't seen them being used myself.

5 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Outdated Residential College System – Everyone is placed randomly (supposedly) into one of the 11 residential colleges (basically dorms) on campus upon matriculation. You are not allowed to transfer colleges except under extreme circumstances. Generally people find their friend groups quickly freshman year, due to fear of being alone, and they stick with these groups for the next 4 years. Social interactions are repetitive and require a lot of fakeness to deal with the same people every day. Most colleges kick you off campus for 1 out of your 4 years at Rice, and off campus living is horrendously inconvenient if you do not own a car, and Rice does not help you with living OC. So even though on-campus is more expensive (due to overpriced mandatory meal plan), most people prefer it to off.

Quality of dorms depends. The two new colleges, Duncan and McMurtry, were built in the last 5 years and are extremely nice. Martel and Wiess also have nice facilities, with common rooms for each suite of about 4 people, and many opportunities for singles. Other colleges, such as Hanszen, Will Rice and Lovett, have terrible facilities in comparison and mean that you must live in a cramped space with 3 other people throughout your time at Rice.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Majors: Don't Come Here to Major in Arts – I am majoring in Visual and Dramatic Arts with a double in Mathematics, but the arts are sorely ignored here. The VADA department concentrations (Studio Art, Film/Photography, Theatre) do not have their own buildings, nor are they even located in one place. Each of the 3 concentrations is split up across campus between buildings such as the Social Sciences building and the lobby of Rice's theatre (yes, I've had class there). The departments themselves are good, particularly Theatre, but with few faculty and few resources. For example, at this time, Theatre has 2 full-time faculty. A new athletic stadium is in talks to be built, but the new arts building, which should have been constructed in the past 5 years, is nowhere to be found. In terms of other arts programs, the Shepherd School of Music resources are only open to music majors, and they have no good classes or ensembles open to non-music majors (99% of campus). Rice has no dance program or department, and the only regularly performing dance group on campus is student-run (Rice Dance Theatre). I have many concerns about finding a job in the arts especially coming from Rice's non-prestigious program, which is why I am also majoring in Math.

In addition, Rice offers very few options for majors, and the Humanities and Social Sciences schools are known to not be as rigorous as the school of Engineering. The school of Natural Sciences is hit or miss with its major departments. Rice is great for Architecture and Music, but those students make up 2% of the undergraduate population at most. Rice is mainly a research university, and administration is not focused on undergraduates.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Houston is a big city and a car is necessary to get anywhere. I do not have a car so like most others, my plans are limited to what people with cars want to do. Some parts of Houston are unsafe and you wouldn't want to drive or walk around there. Area attractions are few, some activities and cultural events exist, but all of these cost money. Difficult to find any free things to do. Shopping is limited, but the basic stores exist downtown. Locals do not seem to have any sort of affinity, negative or positive, for Rice students.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Good Process, Nice Endowment – I come from a single-parent lower-middle-class household and am the oldest child. That being said, most people here are from upper-middle-class and higher families. Rice gave me a good financial aid package without which I would not be able to attend. Even so, it is expensive for me to attend and not sure the cost is worth it. The process was fairly complicated but everything worked out in the end.

3 people found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Repetitive and Disappointing – School parties are the same every year, and they happen about once every 2 or 3 weeks, hosted by a residential college (e.g. Sid Schoolgirls). They are usually crowded and filled with awkward drunk people looking for hookups. Most weekends, campus is dead, and events rarely occur during the week. A lot of people end up drinking in groups in their rooms, weekend after weekend. However, it is nice to have a wet campus, even if it is seldom needed. Bar/clubbing scene is only open to 21+ and you need a designated driver in order to get to the bars and clubs. Underage nightlife is lacking. Again, to get off campus, you'll need a car, because the metro rail has limited routes and hours.

4 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Computers: Bring Your Own – Nearly everyone has their own computer and it's better to have a printer. Library computer labs and printers are extremely crowded around midterms and finals. Printers and computer labs in the residential colleges (dormitories) have iffy internet and printing capabilities. Wireless access is provided most places on campus. Network is pretty reliable.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Transportation: Rice pays for your metro tickets, which will bring you practically anywhere you need to be. Downtown Houston is compact, so everything is within walking or biking distance. I don't have a car, and I don't need one at all!

5 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Dean Is Fair – Rice is known for drinking. The biggest event of the year is "Beer Bike," where alumni, professors, and students all come together and drink beer while watching a bicycle race. However, when the drinking gets out of control, the dean puts his foot down. Last year, after too many hospital transports, the dean implemented a "hard alcohol" probation for anyone underage. Fortunately, that probation has been lifted since students became more responsible.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Good Safety Considering Large City – I have never felt unsafe at Rice. Whenever anything comes up, RUPD (Rice University Police Department) handles it quickly and with ease. Houston is a huge city, so I thought there would be a lot of crime within the university. I was wrong! Rice is an extremely safe haven.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Weather: If you're not from Houston, you may feel like a warm blanket is smothering you for the first few months of school. However, as the year progresses, the humidity and heat go down and except for a few downpours, the weather is pretty good. If you're from the Northern US and you're tired of the cold, you will definitely enjoy winter in Houston.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Diversity: Very Diverse, Just Like Houston – Rice is very diverse, and provides a safe and accepting environment for all of its students. However, while I do have a fairly diverse set of friends, certain people do tend to segregate themselves.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Transportation: Everything but the Parking Is Great – The cheapest parking lots are ages away from the rest of campus, and they're still not that cheap. However, cars aren't really needed on such a small campus, and students get free access to the Houston Metro system, so you can get pretty much anywhere in the city easily. There's a shuttle system to the Hobby airport that's also free at Thanksgiving, so no trouble there.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: Plenty of Fun – As long as you're friends with someone who has a car, there's usually little problem getting to one of the Houston clubs or bars. There are plenty of 18+ shows as well, and they aren't all lame... The

3 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Wet Campus – Rice police are pretty good about letting the students handle the alcohol policy on their own, but they will get involved if there's too much noise or drunken carousing and someone complains.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Facilities: Fondren Library – Fondren library's study rooms are superb, until you get to the fourth floor. Then, it's basically a maze, and you can only hope that you find your room among the stacks. However, almost every other floor in the library is quiet, clean, and quite pretty.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Overall Experience: For Nerds, by Nerds – Rice is simply perfection. Between the awesome o-week and party themes and the wonderful cultures that develop at each residential college and the excellent academics, there's no way Rice can go wrong.

2 people found this useful Report
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Photos More photos . . .

Lovett Hall
Lovett Hall
Lovett Hall Lovett Hall Visible in front is a statue of the founder, William Marsh Rice
Photo by Daderot under Public Domain | Source

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Overall, Rice students are highly satisfied with their college experiences. While they complain about some of the negative aspects of Houston (pollution, transportation, traffic, panhandlers), they also admit that there are many positive aspects to Rice’s location (cultural and social opportunities of a big city, great restaurants!). Similarly, students have gripes about the University, including the increasingly bleak parking situation and a somewhat repetitive social scene (the same parties every year). Many aspects of Houston and Rice can be seen as both positive and negative. Houston weather is warm and temperate for the winter months, but it is oppressively hot and humid in the summer. Rice’s small campus and student body are nice because they create a personal environment and allow students to meet more people and not just feel like faces in the crowd.

Rice students love the residential college system. They also find their courses to be challenging but manageable. With few exceptions, the instruction is very engaging, and professors are accessible and personally interested in students. Rice University is steeped in tradition, and some of these traditions (O-Week, Willy Week, and Beer Bike) are the most anticipated social events of the year. Rice is small enough that these events bring together almost the entire student body. The traditions, high academic standards, and amazing people that make up the Rice community create an extraordinary and irreplaceable environment, making Rice an incredibly unique and unparalleled university.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

Applicant Status At Rice University

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