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Innovative, In-Demand STEAM Degrees at Rice

Rice University appears in our ranking of 60 Great Value Colleges for Music Majors (Undergraduate).

Ranked 86th globally by Times Higher Education, Rice University is a prestigious, private RU/VH institution in Houston’s Museum District that follows the Honor Code to grant 82 undergrad and 49 graduate majors, including two entirely online, at a 7:1 learner-faculty ratio. For example, the BA in Architecture builds a 120-credit, NAAB-accredited plan in Anderson Hall with Gensler Fabrication Lab practice plus nine-month preceptorships like Kieran Timberlake and Johnston Marklee. Chaired by Dr. Pulickel Ajayan, the 2006 MRS Medal winner, the 120-credit BS in Nanoengineering offers the hands-on Center for Carbon Nanomaterials projects, eight-week Paul Paslay Summer Internship, and Three Minute Thesis Competition.

Online via Canvas, the Jones Graduate School of Business delivers a 54-credit, AACSB-accredited curriculum for an MBA in Operations Management picked 37th nationally by The Economist with live, 10-week courses like Data Analysis and two field experiences. Headed by Dr. Maarten de Hoop, the 30-credit MS in Subsurface Geoscience lets post-grads conduct Center for Sustainable Earth research, connect with Houston’s NASA Johnson Space Center, and publish Outcroppings magazine.

Other Rice degrees include the Bachelor of Music (BMus) in Music History, BS in Ecology, BA in Visual Arts, BS in Astrophysics, BS in Cognitive Science, MS in Energy Economics, MA in Statistics, ME in Industrial Engineering, Ph.D. in Political Science, and Ph.D. in Chemistry.

About Rice University

Rice University originated on May 18, 1891, when New England industrialist William Marsh Rice opened the Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Science, and Art in Houston. In 1900, the founder was tragically murdered by his valet, Charlie Jones. In 1907, the Board of Trustees chose President Edgar Odell Lovett to continue the Rice Institute and honor the fallen. By Fall 1912, an inaugural coed class of 77 started the first bachelor’s degrees. In 1914, Rice was welcomed into the Southwest Conference. In 1928, a Phi Beta Kappa Chapter was opened at the Rice Institute. Enlarged after World War II, it officially became Rice University in 1960. Three years later, Rice launched the United States’ first Space Physics Department. Desegregated since 1966, Rice University famously hosted the Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations in 1990.

Endowed for $5.8 billion, Rice University now employs 879 faculty teaching 6,989 Owls from 83 countries online and face-to-face in “Space City” with 250+ clubs like the Society of Women Engineers for 96 percent retention. In 2017, Rice accepted the POD Innovation Award for Teaching Excellence. In 2013, two Rice University professors won the Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation. The U.S. News & World Report named Rice the 16th best university, eighth top undergraduate school, and 14th best value. On Niche, Rice boasts America’s fifth-best psychology, eighth best math, and 10th top biology degrees. The Princeton Review picked Rice 11th for financial aid and 16th for career placement. Money magazine declared Rice University the 13th best buy with a $650,000 PayScale ROI. Financial Times also crowned Rice the 36th best school for international students.

Rice University Accreditation Details

Since January 1, 1914, Rice University’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness has continually kept Level VI accreditation from the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) every decade, including right now through 2025-26 under President David W. Leebron, who earned the Roy M. Huffington Award for Contributions to International Understanding. Located 603 miles east via Interstate 10 in Decatur, Georgia, this esteemed 11-state Southeast Region accreditor is approved by the U.S. Department of Education and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). Rice University also maintains the following degree-specific accreditations:

  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
  • National Architectural Accrediting Board
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

Rice University Application Requirements

Enrolling at Rice University is classified “most difficult” by Peterson’s because just 2,864 of the 18,063 Fall 2017 applicants were successful for highly competitive 16 percent acceptance. First-year Owls must have passed at least 16 college-prep credits during high school study. Rice-Baylor Medical Scholars Program strongly prefers four years of science courses. The Class of 2021 presented an average GPA of 4.17. Freshmen had mid-range ACT composite scores of 33 to 35. The middle 50th percentile landed between 1460 and 1550 on the SAT. The BA in Architecture seeks design creativity with 10 pages of portfolio pieces. Transfers must have 12+ credits beyond high school with GPAs above 3.2. The Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies Division mandates an accredited, four-year bachelor’s with a 3.0 GPA or better. Average GRE General Test scores are 156 Verbal and 166 Quantitative. The Jones School has a median GMAT range of 660 to 740.

Rice University set freshman deadlines of November 1st for Early Decision and January 1st for Regular Decision. The Shepherd School of Music has a unique December 1st deadline. Incoming transfers must file before March 15th each year. The Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies Division has varying program dates though. For instance, the Ph.D. in History considers candidates from September 1st to December 15th. The MS in Electrical & Computer Engineering remains open until December 31st. Master of Music cohorts must submit all materials by January 25th. Accordingly, complete the Rice, Coalition, or Common Application online for $75 ($85 if graduate). Forward official transcripts to 6100 Main Street Box 1892 in Houston, TX 77005. For testing results, select SAT/GRE code 6609 or ACT code 4152. Learn about other necessities by contacting (713) 348-7423 or admission@rice.edu.

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2019-20, Rice University is billing full-time bachelor’s tuition of $24,165 each semester or $48,330 annually. Undergrads pay mandatory fees of $782 each year. Freshmen cover a one-time $320 orientation fee. Residing at the Houston campus’ housing like Duncan College adds $14,140 for yearly room and board. Rice budgets $1,200 for books and $2,650 for personal expenses. Annual undergrad attendance equals about $67,102 on-site or $52,962 living with parents. The Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies Division charges $2,495 per credit. Advanced full-time study costs $22,450 by semester or $44,900 each year. Note the Graduate Student Association fee is $44. Online MBA cohorts spend slightly less at $1,935 per credit.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Office of Financial Aid in Allen Center Suite 250 helps 61 percent of full-time Rice Owls take flight with median assistance of $32,895 each or $78.61 million combined. Since Fall 2018, the Rice Investment has made tuition free for middle-class families earning $65,000 to $130,000 each year. Low-income students have unmet financial need fulfilled with the Rice Tuition Grant. FAFSA applications coded 003604 open federal resources, such as the SEOG Grant and Work-Study Program. The Texas Grant gifts up to $9,792 annually to in-state residents taking 30+ credits with minimum 2.5 GPAs. Additional Lonestar State funds include the Armed Services Scholarship, Tuition Equalization Grant, Health Services Corps Scholarship, and Fifth Year Accounting Scholarship. The Greater Houston Community Foundation also has a March 30th deadline for local programs like the AD Osherman Scholarship, Hilcorp Scholarship, Mayor’s Art Scholarship, and John Buller Scholarship.

Explore eight schools housing 100+ top-notch programs placed 28th nationally by Forbes at the Rice University website.