Frequently Asked Questions
Students who have questions about the program, application process or application should first confer with their program of application. Some commonly asked questions, with their solutions, can be found below.
- Admission Requirements
You can find admission requirements for all graduate students as well as international student requirements here. Some programs have more stringent requirements, please consult with your program of interest. A list of schools and programs can be found here.
- Request Information
Please fill out our interest form here to receive more information on graduate study at Rice. For additional information, reach out to your program(s) of interest. A list of schools and programs can be found here.
- Campus Tours
Additionally, a graduate student virtual 360° tour may be found here.
- Application Deadlines
Graduate application deadlines vary by program. For fall admission, most program deadlines occur in the preceding December or January. Please consult with your program of interest for specific deadlines. Some programs accept applications for the spring term, most of these deadlines occur in November. Please visit program websites for specific spring deadlines.
- Accommodations for Extreme Circumstances
We hope you are safe and well. When severe circumstances arise, it may be difficult to complete an application to graduate school by the deadline. We offer some flexibility to prospective graduate students affected by extreme conditions such as: the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters (e.g. wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods); political unrest or armed conflict; sweeping network or power outages. If you are facing a situation of this nature, we understand this is a stressful time for you. We hope you are able to address your immediate needs and those of your family, friends and colleagues.
Due to the Coronavirus, TOEFL and GRE test administrations has been delayed in some or all locations. Updates on TOEFL can be found here, GRE here. We are actively monitoring this rapidly evolving situation and Rice has taken rapid action to protect the health and safety of our campus community. We want our admitted applicants to know that we will make every effort to facilitate your successful arrival in the United States. For additional questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Access Application
Applications are submitted directly to your program of interest. A list of schools and programs can be found here.
- Official Transcripts
All official transcripts must be sent directly to the program to which you intend to apply. For a listing of contacts, please visit the program mail stop directory. You may also upload an unofficial transcript directly within your online application.
- The GRE
For 2021, Rice is eliminating the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) standardized test requirement for its graduate programs. However, degree programs may encourage or strongly encourage that scores be submitted. Prospective students should check with their program of application for details.
- Fee Waivers
For 2021, Rice will waive application fees for doctoral applicants who are graduates of institutions in Texas and bordering states Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico or who have a permanent address in these states.
Application fee waivers are also granted to applicants of:
- The Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate Fellows
- Fulbright Scholars
- Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium presenters
- Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers
- McNair Scholars
- Mellon Mays Fellows
- National GEM Consortium Fellows
- Vietnam Education Foundation Fellows
- Score Reporting
The GRE and TOEFL tests are administered by the Educational Testing Service. To officially report your scores, visit the ETS website to order score reports if you did not do so on your test day. The ETS institutional reporting code for Rice University is 6609. The score reports will also permit you to designate a program code as well as an institutional reporting code. Using these codes may expedite the reporting of your scores, but it is not required. You do not need to report these scores individually to programs; they should be reported electronically to Rice University using the ETS code. For IELTS, scores can be reported directly to Rice using the name "Rice University Graduate Admissions." More information on score reporting here. Please allow 2-4 weeks for your scores to be officially reported to Rice.
- English Language Proficiency - TOEFL, IETLS and Duolingo
For 2021 admission, the following tests are accepted and will be used to assess English language proficiency:
The TOEFL IBT Home. A minimum score of 90 is required.
IELTS indicator. A minimum score of 7 is required.
Duolingo English Test. A minimum score of 115 is required. More.
For 2021, Rice will not accept the ITP Plus test to evaluate English language proficiency, but scores are able to be reported to Rice as a supplemental material via Vericant. For more information on Rice's language proficiency requirements, click here.
- TOEFL "MyBest Scores"
Rice does not accept TOEFL's "MyBest Scores". Rice only accepts the best composite score.
- Scores Not Received
If your scores have not yet shown up in your application there are two things you can do. You can contact the program to which you have applied and let them know that your scores are still showing pending. The program will be able to open your application and match the scores if they were not automatically matched already. You can also check with ETS to make sure that you sent the scores using the correct university code. Please allow 2-4 weeks for scores to be officially reported to Rice.
- TOEFL/IELTS and the Application Deadline
Typically, applicants are able to submit TOEFL/IELTS after the deadline. Consult with your program of application for details.
- TOEFL/IELTS and Institutions with English as Official Language
Students with a degree from a university where English is the official language are exempt from submitting TOEFL/IELTS scores. Consult with your program of interest for details.
- Submitting Letters of Recommendation (LoR)
Please use our online letters of recommendation which can be submitted within the application itself. You must enter a valid email address for your recommender. Once your application is submitted, the request for a recommendation will be sent to your recommender's email after payment for your application has been received. If your application is sent without or one of your recommenders declines to provide a recommendation, you can log back into the application and add a new recommender. Some recommenders choose not to submit letters of recommendation online, in this case letters of recommendation must be submitted using the PDF form and mailed directly to the program by your recommender. For more information and links to the PDF forms, check here.
- Interfolio and Letters of Recommendation
Applicants are able to use Interfolio to send letters of recommendation. Follow the directions in Interfolio to add the Interfolio email address of your recommendation in your Rice application.
- LoR Request Not Received by Recommender
Please note that it is possible that the email generated by our application system was filtered as spam in your recommenders e-mail system. You can log back on to the application and resend your letter of recommendation. If you misentered the email address, simply add your recommender again as though they were a new recommender. If you continue to have this issue, please contact the program to which you have applied directly. The coordinator or administrator in that program can assist you with recommendation letters.
- LoR information for recommenders
If the LoR request link is sending you to a blank page, this may be because the student cancelled the request. Contact the applicant in question. If you have spoken to the applicant and tried to open the link in multiple web browsers and it still does not work, please contact the coordinator or administrator in the program your applicant is applying to. They can assist you by sending a new link or receiving your recommendation directly.
- Application Materials Not Showing
If it appears that part of your application materials did not properly upload, please directly contact the program to which you have applied. They will have access to your application and can tell you if anything is missing.
- Application Technical Issues
We apologize if there are any technical problems with our online application system, and we thank you for your patience. If you are experiencing a technical problem with our online application and your question is not answered by any of the questions on this page, please contact us at email@example.com.
- Unable to pay Application Fees
Please check with the credit card company to see if there is anything in their system causing the payment to fail. If the credit card company insists that the issue is not on their end, then please contact us again and we will work to figure out how to resolve the issue. If you do not see an option to submit payment, your program may have waived the fee. Contact the program to which you have applied, and they will have access to your application and can clarify.
- Application Status Updates
We make every effort to keep you informed of your application status via the application portal. For specific questions, please check with your program of application. Please note that not all programs will be able to respond to status requests.
- Editing the Application
Applicants are expected to proofread and verify all documents have uploaded before submitting the application. Some programs will permit important minor edits to your application. Please contact the program you are applying to regarding editing your application. Applicants are able to replace time-sensitive documents directly through the application portal. Applicants are also able to add recommenders to your application even after the application has been submitted.
- International Applicants
After admission to the university, the Office of International Students and Scholars will be in touch with you and will help with immigration documentation and requirements. More information will be sent to you, and if you have questions, you can visit their website.
- April 15 Response Deadline - Doctoral Applicants
As a member of the Council of Graduate Schools, Rice is a signatory to the April 15 Resolution. This resolution states that for doctoral applicants, the deadline to accept an offer of admission and financial support is April 15. No doctoral offer or other offer of financial support can require an applicant respond to an offer before this date.
- Accessing New Student Email, NetID, Esther
New students will get an email about their NetID, Esther account, and Rice Gmail soon (within 2-3 weeks) after accepting an offer of admission and uploading an official transcript. Once you receive this email, please activate these accounts as quickly as possible. We thank you for your patience.