Rice University began in 1891 as the William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Science and Art. It was a gift to the city of Houston where William Marsh Rice made his fortune and the terms of the charter required that the new institute begin only after the death of Rice. In 1900, Rice was murdered by his valet, Charlie Jones, who conspired with a lawyer, Albert Patrick. Jones chloroformed Rice, hoping to claim his estate with Patrick using a forged will. However, Captain James A. Baker, Rice’s attorney, demanded an autopsy where the poisoning was discovered. Jones was given immunity to testify against Patrick, who was convicted and sent to Sing Sing. He was pardoned in 1912, the same year that Rice University began holding classes. Classes began on the anniversary of Rice’s murder, a delay caused by legal challenges to his estate. Eventually, Rice Institute received $4.6 million to found the endowment that started the college. The school gained university status in 1960.

Today, Rice University is a leading research institution located in one of the best-known international cities in the country. Rice ranks as the tenth best college for undergraduate teaching and the 14th in best value schools as ranked by U.S. News and World Report. It is also 18th in national universities, according to the magazine. Rice has also been ranked as one of the top ten best colleges by Business Insider.

Rice University Accreditation Details

Rice University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Rice University programs are accredited by industry-specific organizations. Some of these agencies include:

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

Rice University Application Requirements

Freshmen who wish to attend Rice University must complete either the Common Application or the Universal College Application. They must provide a writing supplement and pay the application fee. Students must provide an official high school transcript as well as official SAT or ACT scores. A counselor recommendation and a teacher recommendation are also required.

Students who have earned at least 12 credits after completing high school are considered transfer students at Rice University. In addition, the student may not have been enrolled in high school for at least one year. At least four semesters of course work as a full-time student must be completed at Rice in order to be eligible for a bachelor’s degree. Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree are not eligible to apply as a transfer student. Students must have at least a 3.20 in their most recent college work. Students must complete the Common Application or the Universal College Application and pay the applicable fee. Students must provide official SAT or ACT scores, an official high school transcript, official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended as well as a transcript listing courses in progress. A college report and two college instructor evaluations must also be provided.

Each graduate program at Rice University has different enrollment requirements. It is suggested that students who wish to enroll in graduate programs contact an admissions counselor prior to submitting an application.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time undergraduate tuition at Rice University is $43,220 per year. Part-time undergraduate tuition is $1,801 per credit hour. Graduate tuition varies between programs and ranges from $1,528 per credit hour to $2,223 per credit hour. Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study programs. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Degree Programs Available

Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality

Rice University offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Women, Gender and Sexuality. Students develop knowledge in the diversity of feminism throughout the world as well as gaining familiarity with key issues related to women throughout history. Students are provided knowledge of social, political and cultural features of gender and sexuality while learning about diverse global feminist perspectives, such as race studies and feminist contributions. Students perform engaged research and develop oral, written and visual presentation skills. Students must complete a total of six courses in the major requirements to complete the degree. Courses may include:

  • 19th Century Women’s Narratives
  • Arthurian Literature
  • Chaucer
  • Chicano Literature
  • Cultures of Sexuality
  • Devine Sex: Gender and Divinity in the Middle Ages
  • Feminist Knowledges
  • Feminist Literary Theory
  • Feminist Theory
  • Future of Food: Feminist, Queer and Critical Approaches
  • Gender and Islam
  • Gender and Performance
  • Gender and Politicized Religion
  • Gender and Science
  • Gender Histories of Modern China
  • History of Feminism
  • Human Development in Global and Local Communities
  • Human Sexuality
  • International Political Economy of Gender
  • Introduction to Feminist Philosophy
  • Language and Society
  • Latin American Women’s Culture
  • Medicine and Media
  • Modern Girl and Asia in the World
  • Psychology of Gender
  • Queer Theory
  • Sex and Gender in the Modern Jewish Culture
  • Sex, Self and Society in Ancient Greece
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Sociology of Gender
  • Sociology of the Family
  • Studies in Feminist Literary Theory
  • Survey of African American Literature
  • The American West and its Others
  • Topics in African American Literature
  • Topics in Women Writers
  • U.S. Women’s History I and II
  • Women in Chinese Literature
  • Women in Greece and Rome
  • Women in Nazi Germany


The Bachelor of Science in Psychology program at Rice University provides students with an understanding of human behavior and thought. The program includes the scientific study of the mind from multiple analysis methods. The program requires 120 hours to complete with at least 60 completed at Rice. Students must maintain a GPA of 1.67 or higher and must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher in Psychology-related courses. Courses include 17 hours of core courses which include:

  • Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Social Psychology
  • Research Methods
  • Statistical Methods

In addition, students must complete 30 hours of selected substance courses.

Psychology Graduate Degree

Rice University offers a Master of Science in Psychology program designed for students who wish to pursue a doctorate degree in Psychology. The program is flexible and offers many collaborative opportunities. Rice does not offer programs in clinical, counseling, educational or school psychology and the graduate program is only for students who plan to enter a doctorate program. Students are provided an understanding of basic mental activities as well as the relationship between the human brain and higher forms of behavior. Students are able to choose between five Research Interest Groups:

  • Cognitive
  • Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Human Factors/Human-Computer Interaction
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Training

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Rice University offers many degrees in flexible formats that allow working adults to achieve their higher education goals. Programs at Rice University are offered in the evening, on weekends and online so that students with work, social or family obligations can complete their degree in order to advance in a current career or move into a new career.