Academics | Finance

Student Semester Start Checklist

Woman in lab holds beaker of blue liquid and wears teal gloves, the BioScience Research Collaborative, autumn scene on campus


Getting Connected Reminders

Contact your graduate administrator to check in each semester.

Remember to read your Rice email, the Grad Digest and look out for the GSA Weekly Announcements! International students should also remember to regularly check OISS-Announces as well.

Check back in on getting connected and consider joining a club, affinity group or international student group!

Explore off-campus housing options.

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


Emergency Planning & Health Insurance Tasks

Familiarize yourself with emergency planning at and make plans for emergencies.

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

Did you move or have other personal information to update? Make sure to update your address in your student record and iO


iO - See help here

Between July 1 and August 31 (and again January 15 if you don't choose an annual plan) Enroll for Rice Student Health Insurance or apply to have the insurance requirement waived. Students who do not take action will be automatically enrolled in the annual health insurance plan. This is recurring and requires re-registration or waiver annually (or semester if you choose the Fall/Spring only enrollment).

If you select Aetna student insurance, complete the survey to have insurance and parking added to an extended payment plan for your billing:


Payment Information & Registering for Classes Tasks

Review information regarding your pay, particularly if you have changed from a Fellow to an RA/TA or from an RA/TA to a Fellow, if you have moved or if you have changed your bank account. File your Human Resources/Payroll/P2P Information. See the advice here and here.

If you are a graduate RA, TA or graduate instructor of record and/or hourly worker, you will be paid through HR/Payroll as an employee.

  • You will be paid on a bi-weekly schedule, paid every other Friday.
  • Please feel free to use the BW Payroll Schedule for reference. See additional information and advice here and here.

If you are a Fellow, you will be paid through Procure to Pay (P2P) as a non-employee.

  • You will be paid on a semi-monthly schedule, which pays the 15th and the last day of the month.
  • Please feel free to use the Semi-Monthly Schedule for reference. See additional information and advice here and here.

If you are unsure if you are an RA, TA, Fellow or graduate instructor of record, check in with your graduate administrator. To view your pay report at any time bookmark this link:

Verify your class registrations before the end of the second week of classes and check the deadlines set by the academic calendar. Add relevant deadlines to your personal calendar and plan ahead.

Sign up for a payment plan for tuition:

Complete the survey to have insurance and parking added to an extended payment plan for your billing:

Pay your bills via Esther by the deadline:

  • Tuition payment due in full or payment plan in place by September 10th for Fall, February 10th for Spring
  • Review Rice email for monthly billing statements if you are enrolled in a payment plan

Review the checklist items from the Cashier's office here

Master's students: Check your degree progress in Degree Works and check in with your faculty advisor if you have any questions or concerns.

Graduating students: Apply Blogs about applying to grad school for your Degree with the Office of the Registrar if you plan to graduate this semester.

Updated December 2023