Visiting Students (non-degree)

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Please Note

  • 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 Office of the Registrar's website:

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) 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 Rice Online.

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.

State Authorization and Professional Licensure Requirements

Information about State Authorization and Professional Licensure may be found here.

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.

Summer Sessions

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:

Course registration is limited by availability, and priority is given to degree-seeking students.

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 combined summer sessions. Current Rice students follow the same registration policies and procedures that are in place for the fall and spring semesters.


Application Process for Visiting Students

To apply, students will need to 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.

It is essential that students follow the deadlines listed on the summer website at and the Academic Calendar. Students may apply after the deadline (but before the start of classes) by paying a late fee. Course offerings are at the discretion of Rice and may be canceled at any time for any reason.

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. Registration requires the permission of the course instructor or department chair and approval by the dean of graduate and postdoctoral studies. Visiting Post Baccalaureates cannot take courses on a pass/fail basis. Visiting Post Baccalaureates must receive at least a B for all classes 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 his or her department allow up to three courses taken as Visiting Post Baccalaureates to count toward the graduate degree. Once approved by the department, 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 page of the Office of the Registrar 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 January 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 for Visiting Students page for information pertaining to summer sessions.

Please Note: Financial assistance is not available for Visiting Post Baccalaureate students. 

Visiting Researchers