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.