Rice University Reviews

  • 83 Reviews
  • Houston (TX)
  • Annual Tuition: $47,350
100% of 83 students said this degree improved their career prospects
100% of 83 students said they would recommend this school to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

Chad rose
  • Reviewed: 11/5/2014
  • Degree: Mechanical Engineering
"Pros: Small Private University that is really plugged into the key areas of research that I'm interested in, plus tons of corporations who will just look at the name on the diploma if research doesn't pan out. Good social program at the university, and you'll know the good labs to join the moment you're on campus. Cons: Grad life is different than undergrad, the mech department is smaller than many other competing universities, which means there are fewer advisors, classes, and grad students to go around. Three years of required TA'ing regardless of funding source is a drag."
Hsin-Han Wang
  • Reviewed: 11/5/2014
  • Degree: Civil Engineering
"The program is very small, very concentrate in a specific research aspect but lack of diversity."
Shams Imam
  • Reviewed: 11/5/2014
  • Degree: Computer Science
"Rice has an excellent CS faculty. Many of the professors are very well-respected in their respective fields, often pioneers of many sub-areas. The work-life balance is great as a graduate student and often I am able to work from home instead of having to be in my office. Rice is also ranked #1 for quality of life. I find the campus very beautiful. There are so many trees and artistic pieces spread all around the campus. The trees help make the temperature cooler inside and I can always go far a walk around the campus when I want to. Consider watching the youtube video tour of the Rice campus and you'll know what I'm talking about! The graduate campus housings are great, they come furnished and are very close (walking distance) to the Rice campus. And the internet is connected to the University network, so the speed is amazing. A con is that it is a very small research university, so you may not have as many options for research in all the areas of computer science. It was not a problem for me as my field, parallel programming models, languages, and compilers, has excellent CS faculty. The major downside for me is that it is located near downtown Houston and outside Rice is not as pretty (except Herman park). Also, Houston can be unbearably warm in the summer. Fortunately, I was away on four internships, so could escape summer heat."
Mihaela Nistor
  • Reviewed: 11/5/2014
  • Degree: Civil Engineering
"The graduate program is of very high quality, professors are very helpful and willing to spend time according to student's needs. The environment is friendly and welcoming, creating a great place to work. I can't think of cons and if I were to choose again I would definitely make the same choice."
Agha Nkama
  • Reviewed: 7/25/2014
  • Degree: Biology
"A graduate degree in the biosciences from Rice University is definitely valuable. As one of the best valued degrees in the nation, you get what you pay for. In the end, you obtain a valuable degree and a strong network to build your career with."
Alicia Mangubat
  • Reviewed: 7/1/2014
  • Degree: Chemistry
"The students are simply the happiest of those I have met. The academic support from faculty is great and they are there for you but not overbearing. This allows a perfect amount of freedom for the student to pave their own way. The instrumentation available to the Chemistry students is great and we have a variety of options in some cases of instruments. While the campus is beautiful, I would say Houston as a city is less pretty. It's flat and has little natural beauty. As a city, there are a lot of options for activities that are free and close to campus and food options are endless."
Huilong Fei
  • Reviewed: 6/30/2014
  • Degree: Chemistry
"Con:Too many TA work; pro: happy hour every month"
Keith McCall
  • Reviewed: 6/12/2014
  • Degree: History
"Rice offers an environment that fosters growth and experimentation. The program is highly flexible, designed so that each students gets what he or she wants out of the courses. The professors are readily available for questions outside of class, and the interaction between students and faculty are friendly and collegial. While traffic in Houston can be bad, the area around the university is quite nice, and the cost of living is quite manageable."
Christian Sanders
  • Reviewed: 6/12/2014
  • Degree: Performing Arts
"The voice program at Rice University is an excellent program. It can be a bit too much of a workload many times, but ultimately it is definitely worth the effort."
Andy Docaj
  • Reviewed: 6/9/2014
  • Degree: Physics
"There aren't any cons. I have a lot of freedom as a student, and immense support and opportunities when it comes to research. Once in a while, in life, one gets lucky. And, Rice for me is that."
Jacob Wahlen-Strothman
  • Reviewed: 6/9/2014
  • Degree: Physics
"The course requirement is very light. The focus is on getting you the basic knowledge and some specialization and then learn through your research. You have immediate funding and do not have to supplement your income with a TA position You are required to TA but it is not time consuming. You begin research within your first two semesters, and the attrition/failure rate is very low. There is much groundbreaking research, and the graduate students are usually cheerful happy group."
Nick Rasmussen
  • Reviewed: 6/9/2014
  • Degree: Biology
"The professors are great grad student mentors, the funding is generous (at least by grad school standards), and the teaching loads are very low. It's a perfect environment for just focusing on getting good research done. On the down side, the department is small, which means that there isn't always someone around who can help answer your questions, choices for dissertation committee members are few, and the grad course offerings are very limited."
Navindee Wickremasinghe
  • Reviewed: 6/3/2014
  • Degree: Chemistry
"Very flexible program. Not extremely stressful, which allows students to pursue their own research interests in a relaxed environment that is conducive to learning. The course load is quite manageable and can be finished within the first year even, giving you ample time to engage in research. The faculty are very helpful and provide valuable guidance. The program is such that students can easily lead a balanced lifestyle with room to pursue hobbies and other extracurricular activities during spare time. Unconventional research."
Whitney Stewart
  • Reviewed: 6/2/2014
  • Degree: History
"Rice's History PhD program is fantastic; a top-tier school with a very small, good-natured student and faculty body. I work very closely with my co-advisers, and we have a great working relationship. The rest of the faculty is typically very open and helpful. The courses are challenging, but that's one reason you want to come to Rice, right? I loved coursework, and even enjoyed studying for my comprehensive exams this past summer (though I'm happy to say I'm done with those). The funding is now (generally) on par with other high-ranking institutions, yet there are many more opportunities for research and conference funding than at other places. Additionally, the department is committed to helping students become professionals. With that, students are required to spend 5 semesters in a particular professional development job for the department, such as Editorial Assistant for the Journal of Southern History, Research Assistant for a particular professor, or Teaching Assistant. As a student, you rate your choice of job according to what is available each year. There are opportunities to TA with Rice’s Freshmen Writing Seminars (FWIS), content-based writing seminars that all Rice freshmen must take. In terms of teaching, during your third year you take a Pedagogy Seminar that prepares and allow you to teach at Rice during your 4th and 5th years, particularly in those FWIS classes. Also, there are many community colleges around town where students adjunct to increase their teaching experience. Overall, I love the program. I also love Houston; while I'm certainly biased (since I've lived here since age 7), it's a fun, always-growing, always-changing city with great food, drink, music, art, and sports."
Cara Rogers
  • Reviewed: 6/2/2014
  • Degree: History
"Rice offers a supportive yet academically challenging environment, provides great funding opportunities, and has excellent, friendly faculty. The tree-lined campus is beautiful and located near downtown Houston, with plenty of free and fun activities close by."
Benjamin Van Allen
  • Reviewed: 6/2/2014
  • Degree: Biology
"The pros are a great scientific and social environment to foster research and get a lot done during your grad career. Some cons could be a low number of grad level classes and a small group. This was a plus for me since I already had a master's degree and it allowed me to get into real work (research) more quickly. The department is pretty small, but everyone working in the ecology section is great. Everyone is actively doing research. Ask current grad students about which labs are best to work in and all the research and social opportunities available around campus. Rice has a very pretty and accessible campus and is located in probably the nicest part of Houston with abundant local housing."
Meaghan Bond
  • Reviewed: 6/2/2014
  • Degree: Biomedical Engineering
"Very supportive and collaborative atmosphere among students and faculty, great facilities, great access to the Texas Medical Center, strong emphasis on global health and translational research, good availability of research funding and travel opportunities. Classes were "meh," but the research environment more than makes up for it. Houston has a ton of things to see and do."
Zachary Crannell
  • Reviewed: 6/2/2014
  • Degree: Biomedical Engineering
"Pros: *access to largest medical center in the world (<0.1 miles away) *lots of enrichment activities (travel, conferences, entrepreneurship, etc) *plenty of grant funding *easy access to high quality equipment *highly collaborative attitude within the department *relatively high impact research Cons: *coursework needs improvement (but this is something the administration has been actively working on the past 4 years)"
Robert LiKamWa
  • Reviewed: 6/2/2014
  • Degree: Electrical Engineering
"I attended Rice as an undergrad, but I didn't realize how great the Ph.D. program was until I visited as a prospective grad student. The faculty and students treat each other as equals. Everyone's on a first name basis, and there's lots of interaction over drinks at the on-campus bar. In my research group with my Ph.D. advisor, I have never stopped being challenged. We have a very high bar for success and continually strive towards it. This has also led to many great industry research collaborations and internships. The department is set up to help us succeed. The ECE Affiliates Day brings in corporations who chat with us about our research posters and give us perspective on the outside engineering world."
Pelham Keahey
  • Reviewed: 6/1/2014
  • Degree: Physics
"Great atmosphere and focus on research. Outside of the lab there also plenty of opportunities to unwind as well."