Houston, TX
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 823 total reviews with an average rating of 3.9

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3 College Junior

Guys & Girls: The guys and girls at Rice might not look like supermodels, but I would have to say that a lot of them are attractive. It's the combination of looks, brains, and good personalities. The only thing is that Rice students hide behind the stereotype of being too awkward and busy to date. Not to say that nobody dates, but it seems to take a lot more effort than it should.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Off Campus Life Could Be Worse – Most Rice students try to avoid living off campus, because there's always so much going on on campus, especially with the residential college system. However, with our enrollment increasing, there's not enough room for everyone to live on campus, so some of us get kicked off for a year. Luckily, there are some good options for living off campus. You'll want to start looking for housing as soon as possible, especially if you want to live close to campus, but for the most part, you'll be able to find a nice apartment or house to rent. Most people can find very nice, affordable places; imagine living in an apartment three times the size of one a student would live in in New York City, but for a third of the price.

4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Food Is Amazing – The food tastes great, and each dining hall has its strong points. There's tons of variety. Meals are all-you-can-eat, which is wonderful (but also wonderful for the Freshman 15).
Tetra points are useful for the other locations on-campus and cut down on the amount of cash you need.
Late-night food is great off-campus, so most students do that. There's not a whole lot of choices on campus, but the Hoot is great.

5 College Freshman

Academics: Rice has Ivy League academics without the cutthroat competition that usually accompanies them. The professors are excellent and the course offerings are numerous. While the workload does get tough, the quality of life on campus makes it more than bearable.
Students collaborate and support each other quite well, which reduces the stress levels.
The Honor System is excellent, as it gives students tons of flexibility in taking exams and making their schedules and study habits work.
Registration can be somewhat stressful, but usually works out in the end.
The distribution system is excellent, because it allows tons of flexibility in meeting general requirements so that your life isn't taken over by courses you're not interested in.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Houston Is Great – There's tons of stuff to do in the city, and since the serveries are closed on Saturday, students really get to explore the dining options and the numerous other attractions.

The University is well-connected to the city, too, and offers tons of internship opportunities, plus the usual free public transportation and a host of discounts at local businesses.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Center of Attention – Located in the heart of Houston, Rice University offers a wide variety of entertainment opportunities. A shopping area located adjacent to the university, regular discounts to the opera and other cultural venues, and a culture of care that nurtures the personal growth of the students combine to make Rice one of the most unique experiences in the world.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Excellence in Education – Rice University offers a wide variety of excellent and challenging courses to pursue. With attentive and enthusiastic professors, a moderate workload, and a wide variety of options in undergraduate research, students are assured that they are receiving one of the best educations available.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Transportation: Houston TMC – Rice is next to the Medical Center and the Metro Rail, so there is convenient public transportation nearby. There are free shuttles on the campus's inner loop, between Rice and the Medical center, and shopping shuttles on Saturday.

3 College Sophomore

Parking: Some Dorms Have It Easier. You don't really need a car on campus. The shuttles are free and most buildings are within walking distance. For off campus housing students, parking can be a hassle. Some of the lots are rather far away. Many students manage to get convenient parking in lots at residential colleges, but that varies for Northern/Southern colleges.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: They Trust You – RUPD is rather lenient. Rice is a wet campus, and many students drink. Residential colleges are tasked with enforcing most of the rules. RUPD isn't looking to bust you, but they will enforce the rule if underage students drink in public.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Athletics: Intramural Trumps Varsity – With the exception of Baseball, Rice students aren't very enthusiastic about varsity sports. But the University does provide free tickets to sporting events all over Houston. Intramural sports between residential colleges are immensely popular.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Pretty Decent – Rice is very helpful in regard to student aid. Just do the CSS Profile and FAFSA. Under $80,000 is pretty much a free ride. After that expenses rise. Financial aid department is very approachable regarding concerns.

4 College Sophomore

Weather: This Is Texas! Weather is warm in the summer, cool in the fall, winter, and spring. We rarely get snow, but even the threat of snow can cancel classes. The weather is great great during the school year, but always carry an umbrella in your bag, just in case.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Pretty Cool – The Library is open 24 hours on weekdays, and long hours on Saturday and Sunday. The Rec Center is pretty new and has state of the art facilities. The RMC also has plenty of spots to hangout at, though they are most popular with graduate students. Each residential college has its own unique commons, which are open to students from other colleges. They often have TV/game rooms and are immensely popular.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Most of the Dorms Are Nice – The newest dorms on campus are the nicest. And they are distributed differently in different residential colleges. At Baker, freshmen have equal chances as upperclassmen at getting great rooms. And Baker is at the heart of the campus.

5 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Safe Within the Hedges – Within Rice's borders, there are no real concerns. the Rice Police Department also provides escorts if one ever feels threatened. Just make sure to lock the college doors during Beer Bike Pranks.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Computational and Applied Mathematics – The professors are great and very approachable. The department also has lots of money to offer students for summer internships.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Computers: Each residential college has its own computer lab. And then there's a few public one in the library, Mudd lab, and various academic department. WiFi is pretty fast at most of the dorms.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: The engineering and chemistry departments are simply amazing. Biology/medical connection with the TMC also provide a plethora of professors to talk to and do research with. Classes aren't easy, and there is plenty of work to do, but it's all very rewarding.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Most students prefer living on campus, even if they live in Houston. Parking can be a hassle. It's simply convenient to live on campus. Also, since it's next to the TMC, nearby apartments/houses aren't cheap since medical students also look for housing in the area.

4 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Rice has a very lenient alcohol policy. Administration trusts students to be responsible and foster a culture of care. However, at the moment alcohol policies are undergoing changes at Rice University. Peer pressure is basically non existent; students really can make their own decision here.

4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: There is something for everyone at Rice. There are cute guys and nerdy guys just like at every other school. The great thing about Rice University is that interests and social lives are diverse that there is something for everyone.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Academics: This Program Gets You Where You Need to Be – At Rice University, the architecture program is very intense. The work load is hard and expectations are high. However, the trade off for the work is the reward. Professors work closely with students and care about the education of each individual. Rice is none for having a tough architecture program, but the professors and the courses will get you to the level of education you need to be at to be great at architecture.

5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: NO Regrets Here! Rice is everything I wanted in a college and more! The professors are wonderful, the class selection is great, and the friends I have made are awesome. I love everything about campus. By far the best part is the college system - it gives you your own built in family and neighborhood. I've known people who have turned down Harvard for Rice and have never regretted it solely because of the social atmosphere of the campus, both through the college system and with the faculty.

5 College Sophomore

Diversity: Rice prides itself on diversity. In a single class, you can find people from Thailand, England, and Washington. It's great to get so many different perspectives!


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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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