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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5 College Sophomore

Diversity: Rice is insanely diverse, and it's possibly the most wonderful aspect of the community.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: The servery is great. People inevitably will get tired of it midway through the semester, but there is a good variety of food options on campus.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Drinking culture is a little difficult to avoid being around, but no one will ever pressure you to partake. If you do want to drink, the options are endless. The drug scene is a more behind the scenes. If you look for it, it's definitely there, but you probably wouldn't notice it otherwise. It's not highly visible, but the community that partakes in drugs is super inviting.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Weather: Humid, but livable once you buy rainboots and an umbrella. The worst of the heat goes away after September, and it becomes paradise for the rest of the year.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Houston is an incredible city. There's something here for everyone. (Also, despite being in Texas, Houston is super liberal. It's an oasis of leftism in this red state. Don't let the Texas Conservative stereotype be a deterrent.)

3 College Sophomore

Academics: Economics is a small program here, because it is a largely engineering-focused school, but it forces you to learn the material backwards and forwards.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Rice is hard academically but doable and endlessly rewarding.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: It's a nice mix. Of course there are occasional awkward boys who couldn't be assertive with a boy to save their lives, but for the most part, people are friendly and outgoing. Even more than that, 95% of them are legitimately brilliant and being able to hold intelligent conversations while drinking and having fun is completely underrated.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Facilities: Student life is great. There is always something going on on campus. I live three hours away and have only been able to make it home once this last semester, because events pop up every single weekend. It's a lot of fun and hard to find the motivation to step away for even two days.

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: Campus is beautiful. The people are wonderful. Professors are incredible. This is honestly the best place in the world.

5 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: The Rice University Police Department is honestly wonderful. They are there exclusively for our safety, and they do a great job of ensuring that campus is protected.They offer a free escort service for late night transportation across campus, and have a response time of (what it always seems like to me) less than five minutes. We're encouraged to call RUPD instead of 911 because they're so incredibly efficient, and everyone does. The officers themselves are lovely people who adopt a don't ask, don't tell policy when it comes to students. If you need help, they're there to provide assistance without any fear of probing questions. This is so important because it allows for students to feel comfortable in seeking medical help. RUPD is the best.
We also have an on campus clinic that is staffed by really friendly people. It's usually not very difficult to schedule an appointment. They're only open until 5, so the afternoon slots get filled fastest because students don't want to miss class, but I've never not been able to get a same-day appointment if I set an early alarm reminding me to make the call.

3 College Sophomore

Transportation: Transportation is definitely doable. Houston itself isn't the friendliest city for pedestrians, but Rice's Passport to Houston gives students a free refillable metrocard that makes transportation more convenient. Parking kinda sucks, but only by Rice standards. If you missed the shuttle and don't want to wait 10 minutes for the next one, it only takes 15 minutes to walk from the opposite end of campus to the farthest parking lot. Our campus is very small, and so those 15 minutes are comparatively massive to the 7 minutes it takes to get anywhere else. The biggest complaint is the cost, but it's semi-understandable given that the lot is in a highly demanded area in downtown Houston alongside the medical center.

2 College Freshman

Parking: Unless you're an upperclassman, you can't get a parking space in the lots by the dorms. Instead, you park in West Lot, which is by the stadium. It's a 5-10 minute walk, but there's a shuttle that can take you around faster.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Weather: It's always warm in Houston, which is great, in my opinion! However, it's humid and it rains a fair amount.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: I haven't encountered too much casual dating on campus... I think that the guys are a little bit scared, honestly. A lot of them don't have a ton of experience.
Most people either are
1. in a long term relationship
2. are into casual hookups
3. don't really date.

1 person found this useful Report
College Freshman

Greek Life: It's in the school charter that we can't have Greek life. Some people don't like this, but the residential college system basically replaces it. Colleges are more inclusive than Greek life, but still offer a social group. They also throw plenty of parties, if you're worried about that.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Transportation: Getting around campus is easy- it's a small school, and there are shuttles that run almost everywhere that you need to go, including Target and Rice Village for dinner on the weekends.
Getting off campus is a bit more difficult, but we get free lift rail passes, so if something is along the metro line, then you can get there easily as well (downtown, museum district).

4 College Freshman

Computers: There are enough computers in the library and the residential college labs that you can get by without one. However, most students have their own computer for personal use and schoolwork.

5 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Rice has a residential college system- everyone gets placed into 1 of 11 colleges, and they are affiliated with that college for all 4 years (kinda like the houses in Harry Potter).
Each college is the physical space where students live, study together, have meetings, and eat. It really helps build relationships with people from other years, other academic programs, and other social groups.

7 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: The residential colleges don't have enough space for everyone, so people get kicked off. Each college makes the decision as to who gets kicked off, but at my college it's the sophomores who get kicked off. A lot of people move back on campus after that.

3 College Freshman

Athletics: Rice students don't care too much about sports- at least not varsity sports. Inter-college inter mural sports are a big deal, though, especially basketball, freshman flag, and powderpuff.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: I love Houston! Rice is in a great neighborhood with lots to do and see. Also, the Texas Medical Center is right across the street, so there are abundant opportunities.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: I've never really had a problem with campus police. We have a police liaison for our residential college, which is nice because we have someone on the force who we trust and can ask questions.
The police aren't really concerned with breaking up parties or anything- they mainly respond to extreme situations.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: Campus parties are a big deal, and OC parties to a lesser extent. There's usually a good variety of activities on weekends (Thursday-Sunday); however, it's not a big deal if you don't want to party or drink.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: I have never felt unsafe at Rice, however there was one incident a few weeks ago near campus that frightened me. Just be smart


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Students Often Come From

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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