Rice University

PO Box 1892, Houston, TX 77251 | (713) 348-0000

#14 (tie) in National Universities | Overall Score 86/100.0
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School Details

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2018 Quick Stats

  • Tuition & Fees $45,608 (2017-18)
  • Room and Board $13,850 (2017-18)
  • Total Enrollment 6,855
  • Application Deadline Jan. 1

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Rice University is a private institution that was founded in 1912. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 3,893, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 300 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Rice University's ranking in the 2018 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 14. Its tuition and fees are $45,608 (2017-18).

Rice University, located in the heart of Houston’s Museum District, offers a dynamic student life in the nation’s fourth-largest city. The Rice Coffeehouse, Valhalla Pub and Willy’s Pub are all student-run institutions offering on-campus food and drink. Before stepping foot on campus, all students are assigned to one of 11 residential colleges, of which they remain members even if they decide to move off campus. The residential colleges provide housing, dining, and academic and social events. The Rice Owls boast 14 varsity NCAA Division I athletic teams and are well known for their strong baseball program. Students receive free tickets to all varsity athletic events.

Rice is comprised of eight schools, including the School of Social Sciences, School of Humanities and Wiess School of Natural Sciences. Its graduate schools include the highly ranked Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business and George R. Brown School of Engineering. Rice also has a well-regarded School of Architecture and the Shepherd School of Music. Rice is home to the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, a nonpartisan think tank, which offers coursework, internships and lectures. When a private detective found Rice’s stolen owl mascot at rival school Texas A&M in 1917, he sent a coded message back to Rice students letting them know that "Sammy" was OK, thus bestowing a name on the school’s mascot.

General Information

  • Private, Coed school type
  • 1912 year founded
  • N/A religious affiliation
  • Semester academic calendar
  • Urban setting
  • $5.4 billion 2016 endowment

School Mission and Unique Qualities

Content is provided by the school.

As a leading research university with a distinctive commitment to undergraduate education, Rice University aspires to path breaking research, unsurpassed teaching and contributions to the betterment of our world. It seeks to fulfill this mission by cultivating a diverse community of learning and discovery that produces leaders across the spectrum of human endeavor. Undergraduate education has remained at the center of Rice University's mission since the school opened in 1912. Our students have unparalleled opportunities to learn from distinguished faculty through classroom interaction and research collaboration. Rice combines the advantages of a liberal arts college with the resources and facilities of a premier research university. Some of the important engineering and science developments include Rice being the first university in the nation with a department wholly dedicated to space science; Rice researchers joining Dr. Michael DeBakey and his Baylor College of Medicine team to produce the first artificial heart; and Rice professors Robert Curl, Richard Smalley, and British chemist Sir Harold Kroto receiving the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their discovery of buckyballs, which introduced the new field of nanotechnology. In addition to engineering, Rice has highly respected schools of architecture, business, continuing studies, humanities, music, natural sciences and social sciences. Rice also is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy, a nonpartisan think tank that has brought a distinctive voice to national policy dialogue, and the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, a leading urban think tank that now conducts the longest ongoing study of any metropolitan area in the U.S (35 years). The distinctive residential college system enhances the Rice experience by allowing students to flourish as individuals in a community of their peers. Rice's student population is diverse and there is no majority demographic population, and Rice ranks highly in national student surveys for quality of life and student happiness. Rice has an undergraduate student-faculty ratio of just under 6:1, a median class size of 14, an endowment of $5.3 billion and numerous opportunities for undergraduates to conduct primary research. Rice practices need-blind admission, meets 100 percent of demonstrated need for admitted students and is consistently heralded as one of the best values in higher education. Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice is surrounded by the Texas Medical Center, the Museum District, Hermann Park, Rice Village and great restaurants, and is a short MetroRail ride away from the theater, symphony, ballet, opera and major league sports.

2018 Rankings

Rice University is ranked #14 in National Universities. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.

#14 (tie) in National Universities

See all scores and key indicators.
Read more about how we rank schools.

Other rankings at this school: Graduate, Global

Undergraduate Information

Alumni Starting Salaries

Below are the median starting salaries by major for alumni of Rice University.

Median starting salary of alumni: $63,300* *

Median starting salary of alumni: * $63,300*

By major:

Biochemistry: Unlock with Compass
Economics, General
Economics, General: Unlock with Compass
Chemical Engineering
Chemical Engineering: Unlock with Compass
Computer and Information Sciences, General
Computer and Information Sciences, General: Unlock with Compass
Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering: Unlock with Compass
Show All 19 Salaries by Major »
Data provided by . Last updated 2017.


When applying to Rice University, it's important to note the application deadline is Jan. 1, and the early decision deadline is Nov. 1. The application fee at Rice University is $75. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due Dec. 31. It is most selective, with an acceptance rate of 15 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity: Most selective 

Selectivity:  Most selective

Fall 2016 acceptance rate: 15% 

Fall 2016 acceptance rate:  15%

Application deadline: Jan. 1 

Application deadline:  Jan. 1

SAT/ACT scores must be received by: Dec. 31 

SAT/ACT scores must be received by:  Dec. 31

Priority application deadline:

Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Rice University is 6:1, and the school has 70.8 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Rice University include: Biochemistry; Economics, General; Chemical Engineering; Computer and Information Sciences, General; and Mechanical Engineering. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 97 percent.

Class sizes :
Classes with fewer than 20 students
50 or more

Student-faculty ratio: 6:1 

Student-faculty ratio:  6:1

4-year graduation rate: 83% 

4-year graduation rate:  83%

Student Life

Rice University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 3,893, with a gender distribution of 52 percent male students and 48 percent female students. At this school, 72 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated or -affiliated housing and 28 percent of students live off campus. In sports, Rice University is part of the NCAA I.

Student gender distribution:
52% Male

Total enrollment: 6,855 

Total enrollment:  6,855

Collegiate athletic association: NCAA I 

Collegiate athletic association:  NCAA I

Full-time degree-seeking students:

Cost & Financial Aid

At Rice University, 38 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid, and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $36,772.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs, or use the U.S. News 529 Finder to choose the best tax-advantaged college investment account for you.

Financial aid statistics:

Tuition and fees: $45,608 (2017-18) 

Tuition and fees:  $45,608 (2017-18)

Room and board: $13,850 (2017-18) 

Room and board:  $13,850 (2017-18)

Minimum credits per term a student can take for full-time tuition price:

Campus Safety

Campus safety data were reported by the institution to the U.S. Department of Education and have not been independently verified. The numbers for criminal offenses reflect reports of alleged offenses to campus security and/or law enforcement authorities, not necessarily prosecutions or convictions. Experts advise prospective students and their families to do their own research to evaluate the safety of a campus as well as the surrounding area.

Campus Services

Rice University offers a number of student services, including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, placement service, health service, health insurance. Rice University also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc.). Of the students at Rice University, 46 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Rice University.

Students who have cars on campus: 46% 

Students who have cars on campus:  46%

Health insurance offered: Yes 

Health insurance offered:  Yes

Nearest airports (miles):

U.S. News College Compass

See expanded profiles of more than 1,800 schools. Unlock entering class stats including SAT scores and GPAs. Save schools, compare and take notes.

Undergraduate data are based on the 2016 school year.
* Median starting salary for alumni with 0-5 years of postgraduation work experience and whose highest degree is a bachelor's

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