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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4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Excellent Options – Rice Village is a small upscale shopping center close by. They have scores of restarurants, and they are all pretty good. There is a free bus that goes from Rice to Rice Village on Friday and Saturday nights.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Poor Choices for Vegetarians – Every servery is different, so the food choices vary greatly. At north servery, there is really good vegetarian food only on tuesday lunch, but the rest of the week is rather lacking. however, other serveries sometimes have better options, but they are on like the opposite side of campus, so its generally not worth the walk.

5 College Freshman

Academics: The academics are very estimable here at Rice. As a freshman, I have not found the transition from public high school to classes here at Rice to be unmanageable.

3 College Sophomore

Parking: A person could get along with out a car, limited parking but easy campus to navigate.

2 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: You Pick – There is expensive and cheep ...but you get what ya pay for!

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: Nice Location – Rice is in the heart of Houston and is located by museums, the zoo and outdoor theater and loads of other cultural stuff. Campus is secure and has good aminities!

3 College Junior

Overall Experience: Good Education, Not a Great Crowd of People – Orientation week was perhaps the most exciting part of my entire experience at Rice so far. It's been downhill from there since I don't really like the campus life, but I'm a native Houstonian, so I've found my ways to cope. I wouldn't come here again if I had the choice since there's no active Greek life and the people are really stuck up.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Transportation: Mostly Just a Shuttle Around the Inner Loop – The shuttle seems to come right when you don't need it anymore all the time. Although it's supposed to come every 5 minutes or so, in reality you will often wait for about 10 minutes. This makes the shuttle fairly worthless in between classes.

3 College Junior

Diversity: Every demographic is represented at Rice, but without fail, social and racial cliques develop. It feels very much like high school all over again. It's possible to branch out, but the opportunities don't present themselves. You have to go out of your way to meet new people.

3 College Junior

Guys & Girls: Still a Bit Awkward – Considering most of us weren't the most sought-after kids in high school, Rice kids tend to be a bit "deer in headlights" about the whole courtship matter, and have been for years. Dress is very laid back; you don't have to worry about impressing anyone, but if you dress nicely people will appreciate it. You'll get urban kids, small town kids, farm kids, almost everything save rednecks. Nevertheless, since we're all nerds, even the "cool kids" are dorks at heart, and will nerd out with you when you want.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Rice is known in Houston as being one of the best schools in the city, if not the best; most people in the city are impressed to know that you attend it. You get free admission into a large portion of the enormous museum district, and discounts to many of the shows and performances downtown. You can take the metrorail downtown and easily go watch a concert or visit the rodeo; if you have a car, you have even more access to the city around you. And if you like to eat, Houston is perfect for you.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Weather: It's extremely hot, so the short walk to class might feel like it takes longer than it actually does; a bike helps with that. The campus deals with hurricanes extremely well. No snow! Winters are usually in the 50s here.

3 College Junior

Nightlife: Stay on Campus – Residential college parties are the most frequented, largely due to transportation issues (it's hard to get anywhere in Houston without a car). Nevertheless, they're usually free, themed, and well-loved by the campus population.

4 College Junior

Health & Safety: I always feel safe on this campus. The police are friendly and have an escort service; the EMT are trained peers, so you don't have to worry about getting in trouble for drinking. Doors lock automatically as well. Every now and then there's a problem - we are in one of the nation's largest cities - but for the most part it is extremely safe, both in daily life and during emergencies like hurricanes.

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: It's like living with family, in a sentence. It's very familiar and everyone is willing to help you, including staff and faculty.

5 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Wiess College – It depends on the residential college, but Wiess, where I am at, is very nice. It's cleaned by a crew every morning, and bathroom is kept clean every week. It's also very spacious with a suite-style living and a nice "living room" type common area per room. A large yard is also available as well as recording rooms, movie rooms, dance rooms, etc and a large common area for social reasons. There is also a computer lab on each college.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: All the restaurants we need, including fast food, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, American, Italian, Indian, etc. is all collected in Rice Village, and in the surrounding areas along Main and Holcombe where we can drive, walk, or take the bus to, so it's very convenient. Price is average.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Really Relaxed – Rice is a wet campus, and underage drinking happens all the time, even in public. The police seem to understand and accept this bit of Rice culture, and while they certainly will crack down on it if it's happening under their noses, they are usually quite lax about going out of their way to stop it.

College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greek Life simply doesn't exist at Rice, although there have been attempts to recreate the feeling. The college system provides students with a social base that they don't have to be hazed into.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: Not Such a Big Deal – Although there is moderate interest in IM sports, few people care about varsity sports. The student section at football games is just laughable, while basketball games aren't much better. Baseball gets the most attention, but is still not a hugely significant event for most students. However, Rice athletes are ranked highly academically; Rice prides itself on putting the "student" first in "student athlete", and this is something to be commended, I feel.

4 College Junior

Campus Strictness: In respects, Rice is totally laid back. The police won't bust a party unless it's loud and disruptive of others. There is a "closed door" policy, meaning that the cops won't go into your room and get you in trouble for possession of alcohol. The only time they can do that is if the door is open, thereby making whatever drinking is going on inside a "public party", in which case they can fine you for being a minor in possession of alcohol.

One thing to keep in mind, is that the cops at Rice don't want to get you in trouble, they want to keep you safe. There are only certain instances where they will intervene, and that's usually when you are either jeopardizing safety for yourself or for others.

The only thing that Rice is really strict about, is the Honor Code. If you are reported as to be cheating, you can be tried in front of the Honor Council (this includes any kind of plagiarism, working on assigments/tests with unapproved sources of aid (either books, internet or other people), or even not properly citing quotes and ideas in essays). Consequences can include academic probation, expulsion, or you may be faced with the choice of leaving rice for a year, and then nothing would go on your record. However, with the existance of this honor code, students are allowed to do about all of their tests as take home, which makes taking exams a lot easier, and a lot less stressful.

4 College Junior

Drug Safety: No Pressure – There are some drugs on campus, but I'd say it's mostly pot. Harder Drugs are frowned upon, and if one were to use them, it'd be in the safety of their own room, it's not public.

There's lot's of alcohol available (Rice is a "wet" campus, with 2 bars and several alcohol stores nearby), but there's no pressure to drink or not to drink, it's just there if you want it. About 1/3 of students don't drink at all.

3 College Senior

Nightlife: Rice is a wet campus, and the administration are very lenient with it's students... that being said, campus parties are LAME. I think its more a reflection of the student's than the university itself, but public parties usually consist of a big dark room, with lots of akward nerds trying to hook-up, and a couple of way overcrowded, extremely hot and sweaty dorm rooms with alchohol for those underage who can't get served at the public parties. These "private parties" consist of those same (more sober) akward nerdy kids desperately trying to get to the keg so they can work up the nerve to dance with someone.

Thankfully, once you turn 21 that all changes. There are so many bars and clubs in Houston that you will never get bored. Be careful though because drinks and taxis are expensive and you pretty much need to drive to anyplace you want to get drunk.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: Unlimited Food – Houston has restaraunts EVERYWHERE. If you have a car, you can find pretty much any type of food in any price range in a half-hour radius. If you don't have a car, Rice Village is easily within walking distance or you could ride the shuttle on weekends. Rice Village has a good mix of food, although it may be a little pricier since it is in a really nice shopping neigborhood. There is also easy access to the metro which goes downtown where there aren't that many affordable restaraunts, but there are lots of bars/clubs/ other entertainment.

2 College Senior

Campus Dining: College System – The way it works is, as a freshman you are assigned to a particular college which has its own dining hall, student government, faculty 'masters' that live on campus near the dorms... basically it's set up liek the houses in Harry Potter. So as far as meal plans go, you can choose to go to any of the 6 or so dining halls. The halls that feed more than one college usually have more variety and they always have edible food liek pizza, hamburgers, chicken fingers, and a full salad bar, but the smaller serveries usually try to make something a little less ordinary, which either turns out great or horrible. The larger serveries are also more crowded. The TERRIBLE part about dining at Rice is that if you are on campus you have to buy the full meal plan (3 meals a day, 6 days a week) which is expensive and you don't get Saturday dinner. The didning halls are also only open for short times around meals. Theres pretty much no late-night dining options. If you don't live on campus, the partial meal plans are also not very good. You have the choice of buying either 5 meals a week or breasfast and lunch 5 times a week. These plans are basically the same price as buying each meal seperately that day, so they are really pointless. We don't have anything that you can buy say 20 meals a semester and use them whenever you want, so if you have a variable schedule or are only on campus for lunch and/or dinner a few times a week (or semester) you should bring your own food.


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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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