Academics

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Academics

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5 College Freshman

Academics: The vast majority of my professors have been excellent and top of their fields.

3 College Freshman

Academics: I have had some good professors and enjoyed their classes but at times the workload is hard and takes over every minute of the day. Its particularly difficult to revise for exams when you have lots of homework to do.

Its often difficult to get into popular classes but you just have to keep trying.

There are rooms for private studying in College and the library.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Junior

Academics: At Rice, the emphasis is on quantity over quality. Students take up to 6-7 classes and this takes a huge toll on the quality of the classes: students can't read or study as much for each which takes away from the richness of discussion and engagement. In fact, the students created an uproar when the school tried to reduce the credit limit to address this problem. In that campaign, we saw the worst sides of Rice come together to reveal our more permeating issues. We have sheltered pubescent suburban kids who are pining to attach to a cause and are insecure about their intellect and think crusading to be able to take 20 credit hours will make them seem passionate and smart.

There's a lot of rote learning here. We have too many pre-meds, engineering students, and international students who come from toxic education systems and this makes the academic environment here very difficult for someone who is learning for the sake of learning. Very rarely do I walk through the commons or servery and hear conversations that are about anything other than the petty happenings around campus.

If you want to come here to prepare a neat portfolio of accomplishments, lab experience, and grades for medical school, come. If you want a rich campus culture of discussion and embracing of difference, don't.

The intellectual culture of Rice is dead.

7 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: Academics aren't a walk in the park, but you're definitely learning. If you work hard, you'll generally do ok. Just because you got straight A's in high school does NOT mean you'll get straight A's in college (in fact, it's very uncommon to do so). However, if you're smart enough to get into this school and you put the work in you're going to do fine.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: Professors are helpful, kind, and knowledgable. The curriculum is very well put together. You need a certain amount of credit from humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, but not too much – this gives a great time for exploration outside of your major. The workload isn't bad – I actually find it the most manageable load since middle school.

1 person found this useful Report
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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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According to most Rice students, the academic experience is incredibly positive. Students rave about the close personal relationships that they form with many of their professors. They are approachable, eager to connect with students, very knowledgeable in their fields, and make every effort to be accessible to their students. They not only meet with students before and after class or during their office hours, but many also frequently eat lunch at local restaurants and attend University functions (athletic events, plays, and even off-campus social functions) or live in colleges as RAs.

In order to earn a Rice diploma, you must complete a certain number of classes in different areas of study (social sciences, humanities, science and engineering). This allows students the opportunity to explore academic areas outside of their chosen major. For many students, elective courses are an exciting change from their major courses. Because these distribution requirements can also be very challenging, Rice allows students to take four classes (not required for their degree) pass/fail. This encourages students to take courses in subjects they are not familiar with, as well as allow them to put more effort into their major classes than their distribution classes. However, when you do have a choice about your courses or professors, there are many resources to help you avoid unwise decisions.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
9:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
645
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
103
Total FT Faculty
911
Faculty with Terminal Degree
96%
Average Faculty Salary
$114,357
Full-Time Retention Rate
96%
Part-Time Retention Rate
100%
Graduation Rate
92%
Programs/Majors Offered
53
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
No
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 60%
  • 20 to 49 students: 32%
  • 50 or more students: 8%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: Yes
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • George R. Brown School of Engineering
  • School of Architecture
  • School of Humanities
  • School of Social Sciences
  • The Shepard School of Music
  • Wiess School of Natural Sciences
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
Most Popular Majors
  • Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering: 3%
  • Business Administration and Management: 7%
  • Music History and Literature: 3%
  • Psychology: 2%
Graduation Requirements
  • Arts/fine arts
  • English (including composition)
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Social science
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
  • Weekend/evening college
Other Academic Offerings
  • Double major
  • Honors program
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Student-designed major
Best Places to Study
  • Brochstein Pavilion
  • College libraries
  • Fondren Library
  • Outdoor quads
  • Rice Student Center
Tips to Succeed
  • College goes by so fast. Live it up, and make the most of every opportunity!
  • Don't be afraid. Rice can be an intimidating place at first. You won't be the "smart kid" that you always were in high school because everyone here is exceptionally intelligent and hardworking. The cool thing is that once you are accepted, you can have full confidence that you belong here. For whatever reason, the Admissions decided that Rice needed a person like you, and they believed that you could handle the workload. So you should believe the same! Classes can be strenuous, but the work is manageable. You won't find the cutthroat competition at Rice that you find at other prestigious schools. So if you find that you need help, your fellow students are a great resource.
  • Professors, RAs, and masters are all on your side. Use them as connections; get to know them as friends. Make an effort to introduce yourself to your profs. Rice professors love that! And it will pay off later if you need an extension, hope for extra credit work, or want a letter of recommendation. Plus, it's amazing just to pick their brains. These people are brilliant in their areas of study, and they are excited to talk to you about your interests.
Did You Know?
For their first semester, freshmen are allowed to drop classes up until the very last day of the semester. All students have the option to take four classes pass/fail during their college careers (no more than one in a given semester). This allows students to complete those nasty distribution requirements while putting forth minimum effort and concentrating more on classes in their majors.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 67 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How often do you:    Based on 41 responses

Never
Always
  • Attend class (lectures and recitation)
  • Do all of your homework
  • Do all of your assigned reading
  • Adequately study
  • Take advantage of office hours/study sessions
  • Take notes

Where did this school rank in your list of potential schools when applying?    Based on 43 responses

  • 44% This was my dream school.
  • 49% This was one of my top choices.
  • 7% This was a school I settled for (safety school).

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