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Reviews 993 total reviews with an average rating of 3.9

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2 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Housing: Almost everyone lives on campus. Living off-campus is a hassle. Rice provides information booklets that help you choose the best places to live off-campus.

3 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Dining: You will need to take the campus bus, the metro, or have a car to reach most of the off-campus places to eat. Rice Village has a wide variety of places to eat, but can be a little expensive. Rice provides an off-campus discount card that can give pretty good discounts on food off-campus.

4 Recent Alumnus

Administration: Rice uses the Honor code system. The university trusts you not to cheat. As a result of the honor code you can have take-home or unproctored tests which are nice. However, if you break the honor code Rice will be very strict. Honor code violations are arbitrated in front of the Honor Council, a student body.

4 Recent Alumnus

Party Scene: Rice has an opt-in party culture. If you want to party then there are plenty of fun parties you can go to. However if you don't want to party you can easily avoid them without facing any social stigma. The residential colleges each host one party a semester in their college commons. The parties are themed and will have music, dancing, food (usually pizza), and alcoholic drinks (usually a keg). A notable party is NOD, a decadent Halloween party that occurs a Weiss College. Individuals and groups will also host private parties in their dorm rooms. Residential colleges also host college-only parties with really, really good food.

3 people found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Campus Food: There are several serveries at Rice where you can get excellent food. There is always a wide variety of food to choose from. Each servery has an excellent salad bar, which has both make-your-own salad options as well as delicious pre-made salads. A meal plan gives you access to all-you-can breakfast, lunch, and dinner on weekdays, breakfast and lunch on Saturday, and lunch and dinner on Sunday. About once a week each servery has a special offering such as pho, crepes, cinnamon buns, depending on which servery it is. The main serveries (North, West, South) tend to have better food than the smaller single college serveries. At lunch and dinner times there are usually food trucks (not covered in meal plan) where you can buy tasty snacks or meals. You can also use your university money (tetra points) to buy food at convenience store, cafe, bar, or coffee store on campus.

2 people found this useful Report
5 Recent Alumnus

Campus Housing: Rice has a wonderful campus atmosphere! Most people live on campus for 3-4 years. Rice uses a college housing system similar to the house system in Harry Potter. You matriculate with a certain college and usually stay with the same college until you graduate. This system generates really friendly and close-knit college communities. Each college has a slightly different culture, government, dormitory style, and housing process.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Student

Athletics: best part of the school life

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Student

Off-Campus Dining: Some of the restaurants are expensive

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Student

Administration: Cars aren't necessary on campus

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Student

Scholarships: The parking fee is reasonable

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Student

Campus Food: The food is good and affordable

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Majors: I worked at an architecture from so I got to see what it is like to have a business in the architecture world, it is not quite like school. I learned a great deal about architecture, business, and customer service.

4 College Freshman

Local Area: As a pre-med nerd, I get excited seeing the vast greatness of the Texas Medical Center and the museums of Houston from my residential college. Rice students tend to stay on campus though. Everything I need like food, friends, work and fun are all on campus, so I don't feel the urge to explore the local area very often.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Rice University preaches about the culture of care. Students are meant to look after another's well-being. From my experience it seems true. At my first college party I drank too much and got sick. Several students with out hesitation helped me get back to my room and made sure I was ok. Since then, I always ask people at parties whether I know them or not if they are feeling well just to make sure they are fine.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Campus Food: I chose to attend Rice over Johns Hopkins because of the food. It is pretty epic. However, I am not a fan of no Saturday dinner. I prefer spending my Saturday evenings working on homework and studying, so when Saturday night comes along I can get trashed with out worrying about the homework I need to do on Sunday. It is very time consuming to have to go off campus to get food.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Scholarships: I would not have been able to attend Rice University had I not received the amount of aid I did. Rice is loaded!

4 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Diversity: Lots of Damn liberals if that's what you're into.

7 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Administration: I'm fairly confident Rice has the best administration of any top college. The school actively seeks feedback and input from students and even has current students active on university governance committees. The student government itself can be disorganized and terrible, but Rice's administration is top-notch.

1 person found this useful Report
College Freshman

Scholarships: I come from a well-off family and got no financial aid from Rice, but did get some from other external sources. Rice has a ton of socio-economic diversity (11th in the country) and therefore does not give quite as much aid to rich families, but this diversity makes for a much richer (hah) college experience in my opinion.

4 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Health & Safety: I feel incredibly safe on campus, though I recognize I am a very tall male and there may be others who feel differently. However, other students I have interacted with seem to find Rice as safe as I do. Rice's sexual assault policies are very clear and progressive. There are many sexual assault prevention/awareness discussions and events throughout the year, put on by both students and administration. Rice has its own very large police department and extensive security measures. The area around Rice is very affluent and nice, though a few assaults have happened near campus. As it is in the fourth largest city in the US, the campus will be more dangerous than somewhere rural.

Healthcare on campus is top-notch. I had food poisoning (from somewhere far outside Houston!) and went to the student health center and they did a great job helping me. For more serious injuries, there is the world's largest medical center right across the street from campus with loads of trauma centers and Rice offers a cheap college insurance policy.

The excellently maintained gym, pools and sports fields also promote health and wellness around campus.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: I consider academics at Rice to be too difficult and constantly feel stupid compared to my peers. The community is very nurturing and competitive and students rarely if ever discuss grades, but I find classes incredibly challenging. Though Rice is known more for its innovations in science and math, humanities classes are equally respected in my experience and just as challenging. Students often continue academically-minded work outside of the classroom setting in clubs, research activities or just dinnertime discussion. There is an intellectual air around campus distinct from other equally prestigious but less nerdy schools. Some potential students may find it off-putting, but Rice students love to geek out.

I'm on the staff for Catalyst, Rice's undergraduate research journal, and help with the ICSJ, a similar journal drawing from Rice and 10 other peer colleges in the US and UK. I'm also in Owlchemy, Rice's chemical society, which has provided some amazing travel/research opportunities and introduced me to some great friends on campus. Whatever academic interests you have, Rice probably has at least two clubs for each and you will be accepted by all.

Rice's size allows for two other nearly unique instances to happen:

1. the registration process is a BREEZE and students can pretty much get whatever classes they want, but Rice is big enough to offer a huge variety of classes

2. professors hang out with students all the time outside of classes, giving this rich research university a liberal-arts feel

Distribution requirements are very lax as well. Rice is probably second only to Brown among top colleges for flexible curriculum requirements. There are 3 distribution areas student must take 4 classes in, at least one of which will be covered by your major. They are humanities (study of things made by humans), social sciences (study of humans) and science/math (study of nature). AP credit can count towards many of these and classes can be taken pass/fail.

6 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Campus Housing: The residential college system, as you've probably heard by now, drives a significant part of Rice's social structure. It is also how on-campus housing is sorted, and each of the (currently 11) residential colleges has its own building on campus. Some are most aesthetically pleasing or newer than others, but they all have individual perks/charms which wins over almost all students in the end. Whatever college one is placed into, they pretty much always end up loving it. The sense of camaraderie bred by residential college allows for strong relationships to easily be formed.

A vast majority of students share a bathroom with one other person (their roommate), though a few places still have bathrooms shared by 4 or rarely 6 (suite style). Freshmen usually get their own bathroom with a roommate though, and the bathrooms are cleaned by staff every other day. My room as a freshman is HUGE, about double the size my room was at home, and has a killer view. Choosing on campus housing varies by residential college but housing is guaranteed for at least 3/4 years and is a very good bargain.

3 people found this useful Report
College Freshman

Greek Life: Rice does not have a Panhellenic system on campus.

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Houston is an enormous, diverse city and offers a wide variety of food. Right near campus there are several grocery stores and restaurants ranging in cost and quality from Target's grocery store to gourmet French cuisine. I've tried Turkish and Ethiopian, both a short walk from campus, and they were delicious. Many vegan/organic options as well, which surprised me as I had my stereotypes about Texas shattered. There's plenty of that good Southern BBQ around too though. Basically every type of food one could want is a 15 minute drive away at most, and there are lots of 24-hour places close to campus too. The late night food tends to be unhealthy however.

5 College Freshman

Local Area: With the world's largest medical center, a thriving museum district, a gorgeous shopping mall, an enormous park complete with a theatre, zoo, science center and golf course AND the metro rail all literally bordering campus, Rice's location can't be beat. The Texas Med Center conducts amazing research and has killer internship opportunities, there are over 20 museums/galleries within walking distance of campus, Rice Village has a great selection of stores and restaurants, Hermann Park is stunningly beautiful with loads of attractions and Rice pays for public transportation around Houston. It is an absolutely ideal environment for a college campus, I cannot imagine a better one.

The area around campus is also incredibly safe, even when walking back from Whattaburger at 2am. It is in a protected and affluent part of Houston.

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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?

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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 . . .

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