Location
Houston, TX
Undergrads
3,803
Tuition
$37,292
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 828 total reviews with an average rating of 3.9

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College Student

Campus Housing: This question is different at Rice than at other universities, because nobody gets a choice about which residential college they wind up in (unless they have a parent or sibling who's a Rice alum, in which case they can request to be in the same college). The nine, soon to be eleven, colleges are architecturally varied, having been built at various times in the past 60 years, but in general they all offer comparable facilities. Renovations are continual, generally with one or two colleges per summer undergoing major work, so as to keep them all in a good state of repair. Newer colleges tend to offer more suite-like arrangements, with a few single bedrooms surrounding a central common room and sharing one bathroom.

1 person found this useful Report
College Student

Parking: The parking situation is getting worse everyday, although it is still very much tolerable. Cars are handy at Rice, but you can definitely get around without owning one. Several of your friends (especially those from Texas) will probably have cars, there's a MetroRail, a bus system, shuttles that run all over campus, and even a zip car program where you can rent cars from Rice.

College Student

Drug Safety: The drug scene is pretty minimal on campus. You'll here the occasional drug story, but these are definitely few and far between. You don't have to do drugs to enjoy the social scene at Rice. Many more students choose to drink rather than smoke or take pills.

College Junior

Drug Safety: Weed is very accessible here, and you probably will not get in trouble for it. I haven't seen any harder drugs here at all, although I'm certain a very small minority does them. You will not notice drugs at all if you or your social circle is not interested in them. Alcohol, on the other hand, is a very noticeable and popular drug. As far as tobacco, smoking cigarettes has caused a little controversy over here in terms of where you can light up.

College Student

Greek Life: We don't do Greek life. We are a residential college system. It's basically like Harry Potter. It's a really great environment, because there is a great deal of competition between each college, but we are all unified as Rice students. It makes for a great party scene too.

1 person found this useful Report
College Student

Campus Housing: At Rice, we live in Residential Colleges. Each college is different and is its own sort of family. They're all relatively nice, but setups vary. Some are suites, some are doubles and some have a mixture of both. Arguably, the best residential colleges are the ones at the north part of campus because the servery food is better there.

College Student

Campus Housing: The newer dorms (Martel and Weiss) are the nicest, with nicer amenities like bathrooms and common rooms in each suite. The older dorms, like Baker and Hanszen, have communal bathrooms in their old sections but the rooms are much more spacious (especially after freshman year.)

College Student

Health & Safety: I have always felt save here. The Rice police are very visible and they are super-friendly. You can call anytime for an escort, which is really great. There is some crime on campus, but overall I feel safe.

College Student

Greek Life: The residential colleges replace Greek life here. In my mind, it gives you most of the benefits of a Greek system without all of the negatives. There is no exclusivity; everyone is a member of a residential college from day one. You have a built-in network of people who are like your family - you eat with them, study with them, and party with them. That's not to say, however, that the residential colleges are insular; it is very possible to transcend the college system while still maintaining an active role in your own college. I'm in an executive position at Lovett, but one of my best friends is at Brown, and my girlfriend is from Will Rice.

College Student

Parking: Freshmen can bring a car, but parking is expensive and most of it is pretty far from civilization.

College Student

Health & Safety: There is not a lot of crime, although muggings and robberies have been known to happen. Rice has a 24-hour police force accredited with the city of Houston but that has undergone special training to understand college students. They are here to protect us and leave us alone and respect private space.

Niche User

Academics: I've gone to one professor's house for a BBQ, and my physics professor brings us donuts at every review session-and I'm just a freshman!

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: The professors at Rice are amazing. Almost every professor is incredibly receptive to questions and concerns. They are tough but willing to help you do well in any way possible. Most classes are interesting, and there are so many choices that you can always find something to take.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: Incredible. They are inspiring, very qualified, and passionate about what they do. They are also very friendly with students. Plus, the classes are virtually all small, so you get lots of personal interaction.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: It's like any university-you have your good ones and your bad ones. In smaller classes, you can get to know your professors better than in the bigger ones. If you take the time to ask them questions, visit their office hours, and show genuine interest, your profs will open up to you.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: Teachers are so nice and enthusiastic about their subjects. They are also very open-minded; they are willing to listen to your thoughts both in and out of class.

Niche User

Academics: Awesome profs! They know you by name, care about what you did last night, and even know the last prank you pulled! Classes are interesting, and thanks to their small size, very interactive.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: They're not strict at all, really. Since alcohol is allowed on campus, no one gets in much trouble for it. Underage drinkers are supposed to drink at`private parties,' though.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: I don't think drug use (that people know about anyway) is tolerated, but drinking is another story. The alcohol policy is brilliant because they realize that college students drink, but by allowing the closed-door privacy policy, things are kept on campus so that safety is at a premium. The Rice police officers are amazing, and they really are here to help students.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Campus Strictness: The campus police take a relaxed attitude towards drinking. If they don't see it, and it's not disturbing or harming anyone, then there's no problem. If someone is causing problems, they usually try to take care of it via on-campus means like U-court or some other disciplinary action instead of arresting people, unless the problem is extreme.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Campus Strictness: I can't speak about drugs, but in terms of drinking, they are not at all strict-as long as you stay out of their way and don't hurt yourself or anyone else, nothing bad will happen to you. If you do get hurt, the campus police will usually take care of you without any punitive action being taken, even if you're underage.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: The police here aren't very strict when it comes to alcohol, but they do crack down on drugs. They don't try to get students in trouble, but if they think you're doing something illegal, they will call you on it. Alcohol is handled pretty leniently, though, and unless you're underage and completely intoxicated and making a racket, they won't take you in. They want to make sure you're safe, so they're much more likely to slap you with a warning and then help you home.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: The campus police are primarily concerned with the safety of the students, and they are definitely not out to nail anyone for alcohol violations as long as they are being relatively sensible and safe. Proper identification is required to be served alcohol at any public event, but as long as private events remain in control and do not bother anyone else, there won't be any problems. Drugs are a different matter, and students who are caught with any illegal substance should not expect similar leniency.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: RUPD is strict with drug usage and consequences are very serious. The alcohol policy that the campus follows is quite lax and formed more for the safety of the individual students. If, however, a student chooses to leave the campus, the Houston Police department will employ a far stricter and harsher degree of punishment.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: Campos are really lenient with drinking. They know underage drinking happens, but they figure if it stays on campus and if you're not driving, you're safe. People look out for each other, so drinking is not a big problem. I'm sure stuff happens that I don't hear about, but it's nothing really bad. Drugs probably aren't a good idea to get caught with. It probably happens in small amounts, but if it can be smelled by people walking around, you'll get busted.

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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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