Admissions | After Admission

Overview & New Student Checklist for Fall 2023

Welcome to Rice! We're so glad you're here. The information and resources in this section will help you prepare for the coming academic year and ease your transition into graduate school. We encourage you to use this page as a checklist for your entry in to Rice.

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Get Connected



Have a question? Contact your graduate program administrator!

Follow the GPS Office on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Meet other grad students on Facebook and get to know the Grad Student Association.

Join a club, affinity group, or international student group!

Check your email and read the Grad Digest Newsletter and the GSA Weekly Announcements!

Read our full list on getting connected.

Before You Arrive



All students who will be enrolled at Rice for the Fall 2023 semester must complete this form regarding your current COVID-19 vaccination status.

Familiarize yourself with campus COVID policies. All information regarding campus COVID policies can be accessed at

Activate your NetID, Esther account and Rice email as soon as possible! (Further reading: What is a NetID? What is Esther?)

Login to Esther to update your address and emergency contact information and to affirm the honor code and student financial responsibility agreement.

Upload your name pronunciation on ESTHER and on Canvas! Click on "NameCoach Recording" and submit an audio recording of your name. This recording can be used to assist your instructors and others at Rice.

Check your Rice email regularly.

Apply Blogs about applying to grad school for the on-campus housing lottery or explore off-campus housing options. Please note at this time university-owned grad housing is utilizing a waitlist.

Explore your new city, Houston!

By July 1 (or Dec. 1 for spring admits) and prior to registration: Complete and submit the required student health forms. This includes a physical exam. If you have not had a physical exam within the last year, see your physician for your required physical, vaccinations and tuberculosis screening.

Between July 1 and Aug. 26 (before Jan. 13 for spring admits): Register for or waive Rice Student Health Insurance. Dates are subject to change. Students who do not take action will be automatically enrolled in the annual health insurance plan.

By Aug. 16 (or Jan. 5 for spring admits): Plan to complete the online portions of orientation. More information will be forthcoming.

On Aug. 16 (or Jan. 5 for spring admits): Attend general graduate student orientation. More information forthcoming.

By Oct. 1 (Feb. 15 for spring admits): Complete required online trainings (Sexual Harassment Prevention and Responsible Conduct of Research)

By Oct. 1 (Feb. 15 for spring admits): Submit your final transcripts

International Students: Connect with OISS and attend International Student Orientation Aug. 14 and 15. Complete the Financial Declaration Form and download and review checklists and flow charts.

Read the full list of what to do before you arrive.

Moving to Houston



Plan on arriving in Houston on time for orientation. International student orientation is Aug.14-15. Mandatory orientation for all incoming graduate students is August 16th. Individual departments and programs may require additional orientation activities; we encourage you to check in with them when making plans.

Explore on-campus and off-campus housing options.

Review the GSA's guide to grad student life in Houston.

By the deadline: Apply Blogs about applying to grad school for Grad Housing if you intend to live on campus.

Learn your way around the Rice campus.

Familiarize yourself with the Rice shuttle system and the bus tracker.

Download the Rice iPhone App, which includes shuttle schedules.

Learn how to get around using the Houston Metro System.

Apply Blogs about applying to grad school for a parking permit!

Read our full list on moving to Houston.

After you arrive



Check in with your department and attend your program's orientation, mandatory plenary graduate student orientation, and, if an international student, international student orientation!

Pick up your Rice ID card from the Rice Police Department. Add 713-348-6000, the Rice University Police Department as a contact on your phone. It is the best number to call for emergencies on or near campus.

By Oct. 1 (Feb. 15 for spring admits): Attend all required trainings. Sexual Harassment Prevention and Responsible Conduct of Research are online; Lab Safety Training is required for all new grad students in Engineering and Natural Sciences, and any student working in a lab, and will also be online.

File your Human Resources/Payroll information. Submit your I-9 and W-4 forms electronically in iO as prompted, and setup direct deposit in iO as well as Esther to received electronic refunds.

Register for classes on or after Aug. 18 and before the deadline set by the academic calendar. Add relevant deadlines to your personal calendar and plan ahead.

Pay your bills via Esther by the deadline for new students (Sept. 10 for fall admits, Feb. 10 for Spring admits).

Master's students: Check your degree progress in Degree Works.

Read the full list of what to do after you arrive.