Admissions | After Admission

Overview & New Student Checklist for Fall 2024

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



Activate your NetID, Esther account and Rice email as soon as possible! (Further reading: 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 15 (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.

By Aug. 21 (or Jan. 7 for spring admits): Plan to complete the online portion of orientation. Instructions for completing and enrolling in orientation will be sent out early summer for fall matrics and in the fall for spring matrics.

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 August 19 and 20. Complete the Financial Declaration Form and download and review checklists and flow charts.

Review information on graduate student payments and tax information if you will be receiving a graduate student payment and familiarize yourself with your tax obligations.

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.19-20 (TBD for Spring Admits) Mandatory orientation for all incoming graduate students is August 21 (January 7th for Spring Admits) and is completed online. 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! Payment plans are available. More information can be found here

Read our full list on moving to Houston.

After you arrive



Check in with your department and attend your program's orientation, and if an international student, attend 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/P2P information. Instructions can be found here.

Register for classes on or after Aug. 21 and before the deadline set by the academic calendar. Add relevant deadlines to your personal calendar and plan ahead.

Before classes start: Register or waive Rice Student Health Insurance. Registration for new (and returning) graduate students opens at 5:00 pm on August 22nd. New and current students cannot opt to enroll or waive student health insurance until they are registered for the designated term.

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

  • Tuition payment due in full by September 10th for Fall, February 10th for Spring (or the student should enroll in our payment plan option by those dates)
  • Review Rice email for monthly billing statements

Review the checklist items from the Cashier's office here:

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

The library is an amazing resource for Rice graduate students, from our study spaces and services to our book collections and specialized digital resources.

Fondren 101 is a 20-minute free course that introduces you to the library building and our departments, services and research resources. Starting with our unified discovery tool OneSearch, you'll learn to navigate the library's collections, find the best databases for your subject and borrow materials from other libraries. There's an optional self-guided library tour with a prize!

Enroll in Fondren 101 at

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

Updated April 2024