Financial Support Available to Graduate Students at Rice

Fellowships and Assistantships

Rice offers substantial financial support to new and continuing graduate students enrolled in graduate programs in the Schools of Engineering, the Natural Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences, Architecture and Music. Fellowships are often accompanied by a tuition waiver.

Most graduate students are provided with stipends of one kind or another for the duration of their graduate study at Rice, and many departments offer multi-year financial assistance to students who are making normal progress towards a graduate degree.

Incoming graduate students are eligible for a variety of University Fellowships and other forms of financial assistance. Over 90% of newly enrolled graduate students are provided with a financial incentive package that includes a Graduate Fellowship and a tuition waiver. 

In addition to University Fellowships, all Schools and most departments offer School-wide or departmental fellowships. Rice also offers a small number of Teaching Assistantships that provide advanced graduate students with an opportunity to gain teaching experience and support their graduate study.

Doctoral students who are in the advanced stages of their dissertations may be nominated by their graduate departments to compete for a group of University Endowed Fellowships that provide stipend awards.   

Many foundations and corporations have established Foundation and Corporate Graduate Fellowships at Rice to support graduate students studying in the Schools of Engineering, Natural Sciences, Architecture, Social Sciences, Humanities and Music. These awards are normally coupled with a tuition waiver. A few of the many fellowships available include graduate support provided by the Welch and Whitaker Foundations, IBM, Texas Instruments, Continental Oil, the Cox Research Fund, Exxon, the Keck Foundation, Schlumberger, and the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Endowed Scholarship. In some cases Industrial Fellowships provide an opportunity for the recipient to spend a summer internship with the sponsoring company. The Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business offers many scholarships to students enrolled in its graduate programs.

Many graduate students are successful in competing for National Fellowships that support their graduate work at Rice. Fellowships from the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Fullbright Foundation, the Ford Foundation and GEM are examples of such awards. The University provides advice and assistance to students applying to such programs through the Office of Proposal Development.

Continuing students in Natural Sciences and Engineering are often supported on faculty research grants as Graduate Research Assistants. These provide the students with a stipend and tuition waiver and provide the student with an opportunity to carry out externally sponsored research in an area relevant to their graduate research.

Rice is the recipient of NIH, NSF and NASA sponsored Federal Training Grant Programs. These provide stipend traineeships and tuition to graduate students studying in research areas supported by these programs including biotechnology, environmental science and engineering, computational biology, molecular biology, and cell biology. In some cases, these programs are coupled to internship programs in which graduate students spend time in industrial laboratories. This provides an excellent means for students to learn about industrial opportunities.

Financial Aid

Rice participates in all federal student loan programs, and the Rice University Financial Aid Office can assist graduate students in the preparation of applications. Both the Rice Graduate Student Association and the Graduate Studies Office provide loans to graduate students who require emergency assistance. To contact the GSA about loans, email

Tuition Waivers

Tuition at Rice is low compared to most private major research universities. To further assist its students, Rice provides full or partial tuition waivers to almost all graduate students. Furthermore, doctoral students completing ten semesters of full-time graduate study may receive a reduction in tuition. Students in the Shepherd School of Music and in the School of Architecture are eligible for a reduction in tuition after six semsters of full-time study.  

Travel Support

Travel grants are available to graduate students attending professional meetings and conferences. Students apply for these grants through their department chair or faculty advisor. Additionally, through the Wagoner Scholarship for Study Abroad Program graduate students are eligible to receive funds to support research abroad. The program provides sufficient funds to allow a student to conduct research abroad for up to a year.