Graduate Students

Since Rice opened in 1912, the university has recognized the importance of graduate study and research as a principal means of advancing knowledge. The first doctor of philosophy degree was awarded in 1918 in mathematics. Since that time, graduate study has expanded to encompass the schools of architecture, engineering, humanities, management, music, natural sciences, and social sciences, as well as interdepartmental programs. Rice now enrolls approximately 2,800 graduate students and offers advanced degrees in 37 fields of study.

Graduate programs lead to either research or professional degrees. Research programs generally require the completion of a publishable thesis that represents an original and significant contribution to the particular field of study. Research degrees include the doctor of philosophy (PhD), doctor of architecture (DArch), master of arts (MA), and master of science (MS).

Professional programs provide advanced course work in several disciplines but do not generally include independent research. These programs lead to degrees in most of the major schools, including many engineering disciplines.

All degrees conferred by the university are awarded solely in recognition of educational attainments and not as warranty of future employment or admission to other programs of higher education.

For additional information on graduate programs and requirements, please go to the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Sciences website, at