Campus Housing

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Campus Housing

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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.

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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.

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5 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Will Friendly Rice!!! The residential college system is such an incredible thing for the college freshman. At Rice there are 11 residential colleges currently. They are our coed replacement to frats and sororities and everyone has their own. Students tend to identify with there college as much as they do with their university. I was the only person in my school to be accepted into Rice, so I was afraid transitioning into college life would be a lonely experience. However, upon arriving to my residential college, I was treated like a rock star. All of the upper classmen Will Ricers were excited to meet me and the rest of the incoming freshman. From there. it was easy to make friends within my residential college. Even after the school year started college events like fun in quad are held often, so that students from the same college can interact. I don't feel like I'm living with a bunch of strangers and that matters a lot to me.

5 College Freshman

Campus Housing: While the dorms themselves are typical for college rooms (small, reasonable, and sometimes inconvenient), the social atmosphere is great. Most people want to live on campus, which is an indicator of the residential college system's success.

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5 College Freshman

Campus Housing: There is definitely a spectrum of quality between the various residential colleges.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Rice students tend to be very pleased with campus living and the residential colleges. Unlike most universities, you do not get to pick your dorm at Rice. As an incoming student, you will be randomly assigned to a college, and most students stay at this college until graduation. You will be associated with the college even while living off campus. Transferring between colleges is an option, but no more than a handful of students take this route. Students are more likely to move “deep OC (off campus)” if they are highly dissatisfied with their college.

Each residential college becomes something like a family unit, and each has a special personality, spirit, and unique set of traditions. During freshman orientation week, freshman advisers have a high success rate of thoroughly brainwashing the newbie students into believing that their college is head and shoulders above all the other colleges. The buildings themselves vary because they were built with different architectural styles and at different times.

Facts & Statistics

On-Campus Housing Available?
Yes
Campus Housing Capacity
3,308
Average Housing Costs
$8,800
Types of Housing Offered
  • Coed dorms
  • Special housing for disabled students
Undergrads Living On Campus
70%
Freshmen Living On Campus
97%
Number of Dormitories
11
Best Freshman Dorms
Wiess College
Best Upperclassman Dorms
Brown College
Worst Freshman Dorms
Lovett College
Worst Upperclassman Dorms
Martel College
What You Get
  • Bed
  • Bookshelf
  • Cable TV
  • Desk and chair
  • Dresser
  • Internet connection
  • Lamp
Also Available
  • Rice University operates on the residential college system. Every incoming student is randomly assigned to one of the residential colleges.
  • Single-sex floors and suites are available upon request.
  • There are three apartment complexes on campus, but these are generally reserved for graduate students.
Did You Know?
The Rice residential college experience is modeled off of the system originated in Great Britain (Oxford and Cambridge still have the residential college system). Other American universities with the residential college system include Harvard and Yale.

DormitoriesWhat's This?

Baker College
Floors: 5
Number of Occupants: 250-499
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen and upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles
Special Features: Named for Captain James Addison Baker, attorney for William Marsh Rice and first chair of the Rice Board of Trustees, this hall was the first of the residential colleges, and has a strong tradition of fall musicals and spring Shakespeare productions.
Brown College
Floors: 8
Number of Occupants: 250-499
Bathrooms: Communal, suite
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen and upperclassmen
Room Types: Doubles, suites (singles)
Special Features: Named for Margarett Root Brown, wife of Rice benefactor Herman Brown, this hall is attached to one of the serveries, has student parking directly behind the building, and a few good parties.
Duncan College
Floors: 3
Number of Occupants: 250-499
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen and upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles
Special Features: Named for Charles Duncan '47, the former US Secretary of Energy, Duncan College was built to be one of the most environmentally-friendly buildings in the United States.
Hanszen College
Floors: 5
Number of Occupants: 250-499
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen and upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles
Special Features: Named for Harry Clay Hanszen, benefactor and former chair of the Rice Board of Trustees, this hall was the first residential college to have its own crest.
Jones College
Floors: 4
Number of Occupants: 250-499
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen and upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles
Special Features: Named for Mary Gibbs Jones, wife of Rice benefactor Jesse H. Jones, this hall is attached to a servery, has a strong Beer Bike and IM sports tradition, and is known for throwing some of the best private parties on campus.
Lovett College
Floors: 6
Number of Occupants: 250-499
Bathrooms: Private, suite
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen and upperclassmen
Room Types: Doubles, suites (singles, doubles)
Special Features: Named for Edgar Odell Lovett, first president of The Rice Institute, Lovett looks like a toaster-really (it was built to be riot-proof)! Lovett has a strong tradition of fall and spring theater, formerly had the dirtiest cheers on campus, is home to The Undergrounds (a cool, cozy, free student music venue), and throws "Casino Night" every year.
Martel College
Floors: 4
Number of Occupants: 100-249
Bathrooms: Suite
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen and upperclassmen
Room Types: Suites (singles, doubles)
Special Features: This hall was named for Marian and Speros Martel, whose foundation has a tradition of philanthropy to the University.
McMurtry College
Floors: 5
Number of Occupants: 250-499
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen and upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles
Special Features: Named for Burt and Deedee McMurtry '56, McMurtry College is a LEED Gold-rated building with a distinctively Scottish flair.
Sid Richardson College
Floors: 7
Number of Occupants: 100-249
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen and upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles
Special Features: Named for Sidney Williams Richardson, this dorm is the tallest building on campus and throws some of the most well-attended parties on campus ("`80s Party" and "Tower Party").
Wiess College
Floors: 3
Number of Occupants: 100-249
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen and upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles
Special Features: Named for Harry Carothers Wiess, this hall has a strong IM sports and theater tradition, prides itself in doing things differently from the other colleges (O-week and Beer Bike never have themes, only one college cheer), owns a huge flying pig, and is home to NOD (Night of Decadence).
Will Rice College
Floors: 4
Number of Occupants: 250-499
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen and upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles
Special Features: Named for William M. Rice, Jr., Rice benefactor and trustee and nephew of founder William Marsh Rice, Will Rice Hall has a strong Beer Bike tradition (they have taken home the men's, women's, and alumni race on more than one occasion, leading to the cheer "Will Rice will sweep!"), almost always wins the alumni race, and has a strong tradition of fall musicals.

Student Polls

Rate campus housing on the following subjects    Based on 59 responses

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Excellent
  • Overall building quality
  • Amenities/perks
  • Cleanliness
  • Ease of housing process/lottery system
  • Proximity to classes
  • Resident community
  • Social atmosphere
  • Spaciousness
  • Appropriate level of rule enforcement
  • Value

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