Visiting Students (non-degree)
- Online-Distance Education for Visiting Students
- Summer Sessions for Visiting Students
- Visiting Undergraduate Students
- Visiting Post Baccalaureates
- Visiting Researchers
- Rice Faculty and Staff Members
- Inter-Institutional Graduate Students
Online-Distance Education for Visiting Students
Rice University provides online-distance education courses and programs to extend its academic reach and enhance classroom instruction. Such courses are available for credit to degree-seeking students. These courses provide the same high quality as face-to-face instruction, as governed by the regulations and principles of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Please see University Policy #846, Distance and Online Education, for further details.
Rice Online for-credit Courses
Each academic year Rice offers a number of for-credit courses online. These courses use the online method of instruction, indicating that the majority of the class time instruction is occurring when and where students and instructors are not in the same place. These online course offerings can be found in the official Rice Course Schedule by querying by method of instruction.
Online-Distance Education for Visiting Students (non-degree)
Rice offers for-credit online-distance education opportunities to visiting students (non-degree-seeking) or as non-credit course offerings. A complete list of all of Rice University's online course offerings, both for-credit and non-credit offerings, can be found at the Online Learning website.
Visiting students seeking to register for a Rice Online for-credit course should follow the application procedures documented on the Visiting Student Programs website. Upon admission and registration of a Rice Online for-credit course, all students, including non-degree seeking visiting students, must abide by and support the Honor System at Rice University. Prior to the first day of classes, affirmation and acknowledgement of the Honor Code will be required of all visiting students enrolled (for credit or for audit) in any for-credit Rice course.
Information about State Authorization and Professional Licensure may be found here.
Summer Sessions for Visiting Students
Rice’s Summer Sessions offer for-credit courses to Rice students, visiting undergraduates, visiting auditors, and visiting post baccalaureates. Students can choose to take courses in more than one summer session. Continuing Rice students should follow the same registration policies and procedures that are in place for the fall and spring semesters.
- For a schedule of summer sessions, please refer to the Academic Calendar.
- For course offerings, please refer to the Course Schedule and Catalog.
- For information related to the Summer Sessions, please refer to the Summer Sessions website.
Application Process for Visiting Students
To apply, visiting students should submit the following materials to the Rice University Office of the Registrar. Applicants will be notified as soon as possible of acceptance or non-acceptance:
- Visiting Student Application and Application Fee
- Official college transcript from all colleges or universities attended
- Official final high school transcript (waived if attended a college/university in the previous Spring semester) All transcripts must be mailed in and will not be accepted by fax or email.
- Official ACT/SAT scores (visiting high school students only)
- Dean of Students Recommendation Form (visiting high school and visiting undergraduates from other institutions)
- Release and Hold Harmless Agreement (required if under the age of 18)
- Proof of Meningococcal Vaccination Record or Waiver (required if under the age of 22)
- Visiting Student Financial Responsibility and Parental Consent Form
- Tuition is due in full at registration before the beginning of classes.
- Enrollment in courses during the summer sessions carries no implications for regular admission to Rice.
- Visiting students may not take courses on a pass/fail basis.
Applying visiting students should follow the deadlines listed on the Summer Sessions website and in the Academic Calendar. Students may apply after the deadline (but before the start of classes) but will be assessed a late fee. Please Note: Course offerings are at the discretion of Rice and may be canceled at any time for any reason.
Visiting Undergraduate Students
A student who wishes to spend a semester or a year at Rice taking courses for credit to be applied toward the student's undergraduate degree at another school may do so as a Visiting Student. Students must contact the Office of Admission for the visiting student application. The application should be accompanied by the $75 application fee, an official high school transcript, an official transcript of college work to date, an SAT or ACT score (optional for 2022-2023), College Report and a recommendation from a faculty member who has taught the student for a full course.
Visiting students are assigned membership to one of the residential colleges during their stay and are charged the same fees as other undergraduates. In classes where enrollment is limited because of space or other considerations, candidates for Rice degrees have priority over visiting students for registration.
Visiting students may apply to transfer to Rice only after having left Rice for at least one semester. This includes all visiting undergraduate students, regardless of whether the student is taking courses for credit or audit.
Please Note: Rice does not offer financial assistance to Visiting Students.
For more information, see the Visiting Undergraduates tab of the Visiting Student Programs website.
Visiting Post Baccalaureates
The visiting post baccalaureate (VPB) program at Rice allows a visiting student who has an undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited college or university to take courses at Rice for credit but not in a specific degree program. Students interested in taking courses, but not for credit, should audit the courses. (See Auditors.)
VPB applicants must have a 3.00 (B) or better grade average in the previous undergraduate or graduate program or be granted the explicit approval to be a VPB by the dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies as part of the application process. Registration requires the permission of the course instructor or department chair. Visiting Post Baccalaureates cannot take courses on a pass/fail basis. Visiting Post Baccalaureates must receive at least a B for every class taken or they will not be allowed to remain in the program.
A student may not use courses taken under this arrangement to fulfill the requirements for a Rice degree unless and until the student has been accepted into a degree program by an academic department. A former Visiting Post Baccalaureate student may request that their graduate program allow up to three courses taken as Visiting Post Baccalaureates to count toward the graduate degree. Once approved by the graduate program, the student must also obtain the approval of the dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies.
Applications for Visiting Post Baccalaureate Program
Applications are available on the Visiting Student Programs website. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities the student has attended should be mailed or securely emailed directly by the institutions to the Office of the Registrar. A student who was previously a Visiting Post Baccalaureate must complete a new application (without transcripts) for each semester. All application materials are due by the workday nearest to August 1 for fall semester courses and December 1 for spring semester courses.
Individuals applying as Visiting Post Baccalaureates for the summer term should apply to enroll in Rice's Summer Sessions.
Tuition and Fees for Visiting Post Baccalaureate Program
Tuition and fee information can be found on the Cashier's Website. If a class fills with Rice degree-seeking students, instructors may drop Visiting Post Baccalaureates up to the end of the second week of class. In that case, the tuition (less the nonrefundable application fee) will be refunded. If a Visiting Post Baccalaureate withdraws, drops, or adds classes, the same rules regarding grades, refunds, and applicable fees apply as for degree-seeking graduate students. There is no refund for dropping a class after the second week as long as the student stays enrolled in at least one other class. Pro-rated refunds for complete withdrawals are according to the deadlines listed on the Academic Calendar. Please visit the Summer Sessions website for information pertaining to summer sessions for visiting students.
Please Note: Rice does not offer financial assistance to Visiting Post Baccalaureate students.
For more information, see the Visiting Post Baccalaureates tab of the Visiting Student Programs website.
Visiting researchers are undergraduate students who are enrolled in a degree-seeking program at another institution and, at the invitation by a Rice faculty member or department, engage in experiential research-specific learning. Such research is meant to assist the faculty with research efforts or to gain research experience which the student might apply toward degree requirements at the student's home institution.
Visiting researchers should first work with the academic department to apply for the specific research program. International visiting researchers and departments must also work with the Office of International Students and Scholars to obtain the necessary pre-certifications, if applicable.
For more information, see the Visiting Student Researchers tab of the Visiting Student Programs website.
Rice Faculty and Staff Members
Fall and Spring Semesters
With the appropriate authorizations, benefits-eligible employees of Rice may take one course per semester, either for-credit or audit. (See important note below regarding eligible courses.) Please see University Policy #409 and/or #432 for complete details about benefits eligibility. Employees must meet a six-month probationary period before using this benefit.
The registration period is the first two weeks of the semester. The following registration rules and guidelines apply to Rice benefits-eligible employees during the fall and spring semesters:
- Complete a Tuition Waiver Application Form.
- Get an authorizing signature of the employee’s supervisor, the course instructor, and Human Resources.
- Course registration is limited by availability, and priority is given to enrolled, degree-seeking students.
Retirees, spouses and domestic partners of benefits-eligible employees are also able to audit one course per semester. Spouses and domestic partners should follow the same registration procedures as benefits-eligible employees.
Please Note: All graduate courses in the Jones Graduate School of Business, all courses offering individual instruction in the School of Architecture, all undergraduate and graduate courses offering individual instruction including musical performance or composition in the Shepherd School of Music, and Glasscock School of Continuing Studies classes are excluded from this program.
The tuition waiver or audit benefit is not available to Rice benefits-eligible employees during the Summer Sessions; however, with the appropriate authorizations, benefits-eligible employees of Rice may take courses offered during Rice's Summer Sessions and apply for tuition reimbursement. Please see University Policy #432.
The following registration rules and guidelines apply to Rice benefits-eligible employees during the Summer Sessions:
- Adhere to the deadlines to apply as a visiting student, depending on the session in which enrollment is requested.
- Application for tuition reimbursement. This needs to be signed by the employee's supervisor and turned into Human Resources before the start date of the course.
- Visiting Student Application.
Course registration is limited by availability, and priority is given to degree-seeking students.
For more information, see the Faculty/Staff Seeking to Take Courses tab of the Visiting Student Programs website.
Inter-Institutional Graduate Students
A number of inter-institutional graduate student enrollment agreements have been established enabling graduate students from one institution to take graduate-level courses at other participating institutions. The institutions currently participating in inter-institutional agreements include Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center, University of Houston, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. The number of credits allowed per term/semester and the course offerings may vary depending on the policy of the host school.
Registration Rules and Guidelines
The following registration rules and guidelines apply to graduate students (at participating inter-institutional institutions) seeking to be Rice University visiting students under an inter-institutional agreement:
- The student must be registered full-time (9 credit hours) between the student's home institution and the host institution during the semester they register for courses.
- Requested class must not be offered by the home institution during the requested term/semester.
- Requested class must be necessary for completion of graduate degree at the home institution.
- Over the course of their degree, the student may take up to a total of 12 credit hours at Rice University through the inter-institutional agreement.
- Tuition and fees are paid to the home institution.
- All paperwork with the appropriate approval signatures must be completed before the registration deadlines.
- Foreign students taking inter-institutional courses must submit additional paperwork (e.g., passport, I-94 arrival/departure card, and Check-In Sheet).
- For a comprehensive list of Registration Deadlines (including Add, Drop, Variable Credit deadlines etc.), please consult the semester-specific Rice University Academic Calendar. Students should abide by the registration deadlines in the Rice University Academic Calendar as well as any registration deadlines imposed by their home institution.
- Inter-institutional graduate students may not take a course Pass/Fail.
- Due to the structure of the summer sessions at Rice University, this inter-institutional registration arrangement is not available to non-Rice students during the summer sessions.
For more information, including the enrollment process under an inter-institutional agreement, please see the Inter-Institutional Graduate Students tab of the Visiting Student Programs website.