Academic Regulations and Good Standing
Time to Degree
Time to Candidacy
Time to Defense
Time to Thesis Submission
Research and Scholarly Activities
Second Degree Programs
See also Registration, Grades, Academic and Judicial Standings, and Code of Student Conduct.
Graduate students must meet the minimum deadlines and course or grade requirements detailed on this page and the Grades page to remain in good standing and to graduate from the university. Graduate students must meet other requirements specifically mandated as essential for good standing by the graduate student handbook published by the relevant department or program. Failure to remain in good standing may result in probation, separation from the university or dismissal.
PhD and DMA students must complete at least four full fall and/or spring semesters in full-time study at Rice University. Minimum residency for master's programs is one fall or spring semester of full-time graduate study, with the exceptions of professional master's programs in the schools of engineering, natural science, and social sciences, as well as the Master's of Liberal Studies. For these programs, minimum residency is one fall or spring semester in full-time or part-time graduate study.
Semester course load for full-time students is nine hours or more as required by specific departments for the fall and spring semesters. Full-time enrollment during the summer semester is at least six hours. Graduate programs at Rice generally require full-time study. For information about dropping below full-time or changing to part-time status, see below.
Part-time students must register for at least three hours in a semester. All time boundary and degree requirements apply to part-time students. Students who wish to become part-time time in the upcoming semester must obtain written permission from the academic department before the semester begins. Students who wish to obtain part-time status after the semester has started must also obtain the approval of the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. In order for students to receive the part-time tuition rate, they must obtain verification of part-time approval from the Office of the Registrar by the end of the second week of classes. Part-time students are not eligible to receive fellowships, assistantship aid, tuition scholarships, or reduced rate tuition from Rice. See also Financial Aid. International students should consult the Office of International Students and Scholars about the possible impact on their visa status of dropping below full-time.
Students must register for at least three hours in a semester.
PhD and DMA students are required to complete their program, including thesis defense, within 10 years of initial enrollment in the degree program. All master’s students are required to complete their program, including thesis defense, within five years of initial enrollment. In both cases, students have a limit of six additional months from the date of defense to submit their theses to the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. These time boundaries include any period in which the student was not enrolled or enrolled part time, for whatever reason. Failure to meet any university time to degree deadline may result in the student not being able to continue in their degree program.
PhD and DMA students must be approved for candidacy before the beginning of the ninth semester of their enrollment at Rice. MArch students must be approved for candidacy before the October 31st prior to their juried defense. All other master’s students must be approved for candidacy before the beginning of the fifth semester of their enrollment at Rice. See Candidacy, Oral Examinations and Thesis.
PhD and DMA students must defend their theses before the end of the 16th semester of their enrollment at Rice. Master’s students must defend their theses before the end of the eighth semester of their enrollment at Rice. See Candidacy, Oral Examinations and Thesis.
Candidates who successfully pass the oral examination in defense of the thesis must submit the thesis must submit the thesis to the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies no later than six months from the date of the examination. See Candidacy, Oral Examinations and Thesis.
Students must observe all deadlines listed in the Academic Calendar.
In most research degree programs, students must undertake a limited amount of teaching or perform other services as part of their training. Assigned duties should not entail more than 10 hours per week, averaged over the semester, or extend over more than eight semesters.
Students are expected to live up to the high standards Rice sets for its community members, as described in the Code of Student Conduct . Graduate students should be in compliance with the Code of Student Conduct at all times and not have holds from Student Judicial Programs or other offices.
Research and other scholarly activities of all students must conform to Rice University policies. It is recommended that students familiarize themselves with these policies before embarking on research or other scholarly activities. Particularly pertinent to students are policy 324–00 (Research Misconduct) , policy 326–98 (Human Health and Safety in the Performance of Research) , policy 333 (Patent and Software Policies) and policy 334 (Copyright Policy) .
Within their first semester of enrollment, graduate students are expected to complete some non-course training:
- Orientation – New graduate students are expected to attend all orientation events.
- Preventing Sexual Harassment – New graduate students are required to complete this online training.
- Responsible Conduct of Research – All graduate students are required to complete this online training. Students in the MBA and MLS programs are exempt from this training.
- Lab Safety Training - Lab Safety training is mandatory for all new students in the School of Engineering; in the School of Natural Science, with the exception of the Mathematics Department; and any student outside those schools who will be working in a laboratory at Rice. This training is provided through the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.
Students receiving a stipend may accept employment only with the approval of their home academic department. Students working for more than 20 hours per week are not normally eligible for full-time status.
Second Degree Programs
Graduate students may enroll in a second degree program only with the approval of their home academic department.
Students must maintain continuous program involvement and enrollment during fall and spring semesters unless granted an official leave of absence. See Leaves, Interruptions of Study and Withdrawals for more information.
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Last Revised : August 12, 2016