Houston, TX
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 829 total reviews with an average rating of 3.9

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3 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Pretty Safe – There's very little crime on campus, though I have heard of two muggings nearby. Only thing I worry about is alcohol safety.

4 College Freshman

Academics: Lots of Internship Opportunities – I'm a freshman, so I haven't had a ton of time to get into my major, but I'm impressed by the amount of internships available.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: I wouldn't trade my experience at Rice for any other college experience. The community here is incredible. Everyone is really caring, and supports each other. This is fostered by the residential college system, which is one of my favorite things about Rice.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Sophomore

Parking: parking for commuter students is way farther than some residential students, even after you are forced to move off campus due to shortage. our parking is significantly more expensive than University of Houston, and parking enforcement looks to generate revenue. they are really inconsistent with their ticketing

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Diversity: Incredible. Just Incredible. People are judged here based solely on what they do. It's awesome.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: Great Classes, Great Profs – Every semester here, I have had at least one professor who has been absolutely brilliant, as well as several who I consider to have changed my life. That makes for a more-than-fair trade-off for the handful of very mediocre classes and professors I have had.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Lots of Alcohol – All you need to know is, the university placed its students under an alcohol probation policy which included a zero-tolerance liquor ban this past year. It was generally ineffective, reducing the number of alcohol-related medical emergencies but not curtailing the availability or usage of hard alcohol. Rice likes to party (shocking but true) and loves to drink. If you are thinking about applying here, this is absolutely vital knowledge.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: No One Cares – Off-campus housing is generally easy to find thanks to a high rate of turnover among students thanks to the residential college system which leads to a propensity to live off-campus for only one or two years, & only when on-campus housing is unavailable.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: The diversity of backgrounds and cultures at Rice is, in my mind, unparalleled. The residential college system, while it can be socially limiting at times, is generally incredible & really facilitates the forging of close friendships.

5 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Residential Colleges FTW – Living at Martel is literally like living at a 5-star hotel

4 people found this useful Report
2 College Junior

Transportation: No Public Transit – Rice runs buses around campus all day, but the campus is not particularly big, so it is often better just to walk. The run buses to the Village area on Friday/Saturday nights (again, usually not worth waiting for the bus), and to Target on Saturdays (necessary, but slow and inconvenient). There is a night escort service, which is fabulous.

The public transit system in Houston itself is really inadequate. They have the light rail, which Rice is right next to and Rice students can ride for free. However, it only runs a few places. You can go to the museum (which is basically walking distance from campus anyway) or to Reliant Stadium, but that is about it.

5 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Food in Houston – Rice students all have to go off campus for food on Saturday night.

If you don't have a car (and most underclassmen don't) you end up going to the Rice Village area every weekend. This is close walking distance from campus, and has a lot of great little restaurants. These are all non-chain, very friendly to large groups of students who all want separate checks, and really good. As a bonus, many offer discounts to Rice students.

If you have a car, then all of Houston is open to you (if you've never been there, Houston is really a driving-oriented city, not a walking-oriented city). You can find almost anything you want within about a 10-15 minute drive of campus, and Houston has some great restaurants.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Campus Dining: Residential College Dining – Since life at Rice is defined by the residential college system, dining is no different.

If you live on campus, you are required to purchase the all-inclusive meal plan, which covers every meal except for Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast (serveries are closed then).

There are four serveries that serve multiple colleges (North, South, West, and East). Sid Rich and Baker have their own serveries. Your meal plan allows you to eat at any of the serveries whenever you wish, although most people choose to eat at their own colleges with their friends. That makes dining a very social experience, I always looked forward to dinners when I knew I was going to see all my friends. Food is only available in the serveries during very restricted times, which means everyone goes to lunch at 12:00 and dinner at 5:30 or 6:00 (and there really aren't classes during those times).

There really aren't many food options other than the serveries. Coffeehouse is great, but it is more for snacks than actual food. There are a few other options, and they all take Tetra, but since you already have the meal plan, they are more for off campus students or if you miss a meal than a substitute for the servery. The system really encourages you to eat in your colleges (which may sound odd, but when you understand residential college life, it makes more sense)

The servery food is pretty good, except for on the weekends.

5 College Senior

Majors: No Extra Process – There was no extra procedure to go through to get into my programs. However, lax work once in is not acceptable.

4 College Senior

Campus Strictness: Live and Let Live – There seems to be a strong live and let live policy in place for most everything. However, anything that is harmful in any way, shape, or form to oneself and most importantly to other is strictly prohibited. For the most part, however, we are trusted to police ourselves.

4 College Senior

Computers: Personal Infrequent Use – I personally prefer using my own computer, but the times I have used campus computers I've rarely had to wait for one to open up. Labs are understandably crowded at crunch times. Occasional problems occur with campus computers but they are solved almost as soon as they've been reported.

4 College Junior

Weather: It is never cold!! Ok...sometimes it is, but not often! It typically rains a lot so sometimes it can be very humid, but otherwise I love the weather.

5 College Junior

Facilities: Wonderful Gym and Delicious Coffee! The gym is large with plenty of machines, a recreation pool, and a lap pool. It is open at convenient hours and has plenty of other activities available.

4 College Junior

Academics: Studying earth science at Rice University has been an enriching experience. There are few earth science majors, so the student to teacher ratio is very low (about 5:1). In addition the professors take a great interest in the studies of their students, if you have any questions you can approach any one of the faculty members and they will be happy to help.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Food Is Ehh – We do have a variety(7) of serveries on campus, but for the places I've eaten at, the food is ok. But I do understand that they have to cook in a very short amount of time for a very large amount of students.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: The library is huge, 4 stories worth of books, and I'm afraid to enter lest I get lost. There is a rec center near with many things to do inside; swim, racketball, squash, pool, ping pong, work out, dance, etc. The campus is really beautiful with the Spanish Architecture and the oak trees.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Really Safe – With such a small campus, it takes the campus police a very short amount of time to respond to emergencies. I feel very safe here, there are gates that close every night and on the weekends and the dorm I reside in requires 3 locks before I actually am able to go enter my room.

5 College Freshman

Overall Experience: It's Awesome – I've never been so happy! The classes are challenging, but the students are not competitive and are more than willing to help you out if you need it. Weekends are the best! Our motto here at Rice is "work hard, party hard!"

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Rice Village has lots of places to shop and eat all within walking distance of campus. Also, students get a card that gives discounts to several of these places. Students definitely have to check out The Chocolate Bar!

5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: So Much to Do – Houston has so much to do! The Rice campus is located near several city hotspots such as Rice Village, the Medical Center, and the Museum District. Because of its location downtown, there are lots of free or discounted opportunities for Rice students.


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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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