Health, Counseling and Wellbeing

Health and Wellness Support Services Fee

By paying an annual student Health and Wellness Support Services Fee, all students gain access to the Student Health ServicesRice Counseling Center and the Student Wellbeing Office. Detailed information on the care and services each provide is available from these centers. 

Student Health Services

Student Health Services, an outpatient medical clinic, is located in the Morton L. Rich Health Center. The clinic is staffed by primary care physicians, nurses, and ancillary support staff. More information can be found at health.rice.edu

Clinic hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, during fall and spring semesters. For after-hours and weekend medical care, students may choose among a number of local clinics and hospitals (guidance on self-care as well as local healthcare options can be found on the website). The clinic is open full-time from the first day of Orientation Week until the day before commencement. It is closed during Thanksgiving and the winter break. The clinic also is open for reduced hours during the summer months. Visits to the clinic are covered by the services fee, however, students must pay for all medical care outside the clinic’s purview, including blood tests, x-rays, and outside physician consultations. Should such medical care be necessary, students are urged to review their insurance coverage and pick the best available option.  

Care at the clinic is arranged through appointment at 713-348-4966. In emergencies, students should call the Rice University Police Department at 713-348-6000.  

The Student Health Service provides the following: 

  • Medical care for illness and injury with referrals to specialists when needed 
  • Maintenance of health records for all students 
  • Immunizations and other preventive services 
  • General information for all students 
  • Contraceptive counseling and routine Pap smears 
  • Allergy shots (students must provide serum after a specialist allergy workup) 
  • Physical examinations 

Confidentiality for Health Services 

The Student Health Service physician–patient relationship is a confidential one. Medical records will be released only on receipt of written authorization from the student or as required by law or when the patient poses a significant risk to herself or himself or another person. Physicians with Student Health Services are considered confidential employees under Title IX, meaning that should a student wish to speak about domestic or sexual violence or stalking with a physician, his/her information is confidential and will not be released without the student's written consent. The only exception is for students under the age of 18.

Health Insurance

All registered, degree-seeking students are required to maintain health insurance coverage, compliant with the Affordable Care Act, while enrolled at Rice University.

Students are required to either enroll in the Rice student health insurance plan administered by Aetna Student Health, or complete an online waiver application demonstrating comparable insurance coverage. Every eligible student will have an Insurance Hold placed on their account until they have actively enrolled in insurance coverage or submitted a waiver. Once a student enrolls or waives coverage, the tuition bill will be updated based on the selection. Insurance and waiver applications, as well as specific dates for enrolling, frequently asked questions, and more can be found on the Rice Student Insurance website: http://studenthealthinsurance.rice.edu.

Fall semester students who do not complete an enrollment or waiver application by September 1st will be automatically enrolled in the annual insurance plan. The deadline to enroll or waive for the spring semester is January 19th. Please note the automatic enrollment process does require additional processing time. The premium amount will not be prorated. Once enrolled in coverage, students are unable to cancel coverage for any reason.

For questions concerning the Rice plan, please contact studentinsurance@rice.edu or call (713) 348-5544. 

Note: If you waive coverage in the fall, you are still expected to have ACA compliant insurance coverage for the spring. If you experience a qualifying life event and need to enroll in coverage mid-year, please email studentinsurance@rice.edu.

International students that have an F1 or J1 visa are subject to the Rice University International Student Health Insurance Policy. For more information on the policy, please visit the OISS website. Here students will find detailed information concerning the approved alternative insurance option through Student Assurance Services (SAS), as well as application and rate information.

Wellbeing and Counseling Center Services

Center Contact Information 

The Wellbeing and Counseling Center provides confidential counseling treatment, as well as wellbeing case management services and Title IX support for graduate and undergraduate students. The Center also provides mental health and wellbeing related education for the student body. The Wellbeing and Counseling Center is located in the Barbara and David Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center. The Center is open Monday - Friday from 8:30a.m. to 5:00p.m. Walk-ins are available during business hours. For appointments contact the Wellbeing and Counseling Center at 713-348-3311 (24/7) or visit https://wellbeing.rice.edu/ for more information. In emergencies, students should call the Rice University Police Department at 713-348-6000.

General Information about Counseling 

Rice Counseling Center addresses students’ psychological needs with various programs and services. Typically, students who use the counseling services bring with them very common concerns: roommate problems, breakup of a relationship, academic and/or interpersonal anxiety, family problems, difficulties adjusting to Rice, or confusion about personal goals, values, and identity. Counselors are equipped to handle a variety of issues, including substance abuse, eating disorders, sexual assault and relationship violence, depression, and the coming-out process. Rice Counseling Center offers both individual and group counseling, as well as educational workshops and programs.

When students need long term or specialized counseling or treatment, counselors refer them to an outside provider. The students, or their health insurance, must pick up these costs. All students who have paid the Health and Wellness Support Services Fee are eligible for initial assessment sessions, consultations, crisis intervention, and educational programming. Students who have worked with a mental health professional prior to enrolling at Rice are encouraged to make contact with the Rice Counseling Center prior to coming to Rice. This will allow the student to make arrangements for a continued care plan. This plan may involve working with the Rice Counseling Center or working with the center to find a suitable off-campus provider.

The Rice Counseling Center can be contacted at 713-348-3311 or at https://wellbeing.rice.edu/. The Rice Counseling Center provides the following services:

  • Psychological crisis intervention, on a walk-in emergency basis during regular office hours or by phone at any time, 24 hours a day, by calling 713-348-3311. This includes after hours and weekends.
  • Brief initial assessments to receive information quickly about a situation and assign an appropriate counselor 
  • Short-term individual and couples counseling 
  • Group therapy and support groups  
  • Medication consultations with the center’s psychiatrist for students in counseling at the center 
  • Other consultations (e.g., how to make a referral or how to respond to a friend in distress) 
  • Educational programming (e.g., various presentations on mental health issues) 

Confidentiality for Counseling

Rice Counseling Center services are confidential; information about a student is not released without the student’s written consent except as required by Texas state law. Before entering a therapeutic relationship with a counselor, students may review and discuss confidentiality with their counselor, ask all necessary questions, and be certain they understand how confidentiality will be applied in their case. As detailed in RCC’s treatment agreements, state law does not extend confidentiality to several circumstances, including where:

  1. there is risk of imminent harm to the student or others;
  2. the counselor has reason to believe that a child or an elderly or handicapped person is, or is in danger of, being abused or neglected;
  3. a court order is issued to release information; or
  4. the counselor suspects that the student has been the victim of sexual exploitation by a former health care provider during the course of treatment with that provider.

In addition, RCC sometimes provides de-identified information to administrative officials who are in a need-to-know capacity. In some cases the terms of the treatment engagement with RCC may require a student to share  assessments, diagnoses, or treatment plans from non-Rice treating professionals with Rice counselors.

Therapists with Rice Counseling Services are considered “confidential” employees under Title IX, meaning that should a student wish to speak about domestic or sexual violence or stalking with their therapist, their information is confidential and will not be released without his or her written consent.  The only exception to this is for students under the age of 18.

General Information about Wellbeing Advising

Wellbeing Advising provides case management services to support students who have experienced wellbeing challenges that may be impacting their personal and/or academic goals and overall success at Rice. Wellbeing advisors connect students to university resources and procedural options to help students during their enrollment. If students decide to take time off to focus on their wellbeing needs, wellbeing advisors work with them and serve as liaisons to the medical readmission process when students are ready to return. Wellbeing advisors also coordinate with the clinical counselors and Title IX Support to provide wellbeing programs and education for the student body. For appointments and/or more information, contact Wellbeing Advising at 713-348-3311 or visit https://wellbeing.rice.edu/.

Office of Sexual Violence Prevention and Title IX Support 

Rice encourages any student who has experienced an incident of sexual, relationship, or another form of interpersonal violence, harassment, or gender discrimination to seek support. There are many options available both on and off campus for all students, regardless of whether the perpetrator was a fellow student, a staff or faculty member, or someone unaffiliated with the university. Students have access to a Title IX resource navigator who will assist the student in determining the best path for them. Furthermore, students who have been accused of committing interpersonal violence or harassment can also seek support under Title IX.

Students should be aware when seeking support on campus that most employees are deemed "responsible," and thus are required by Title IX to disclose all incidents of non-consensual interpersonal behaviors to Title IX professionals on campus who can act to support that student and meet their needs. Rice prioritizes student privacy and safety, and only shares disclosed information on a need-to-know basis.

The therapists at the Rice Counseling Center and the doctors at Student Health Services are "confidential" employees, meaning that Rice will not be informed about the incident if a student discloses it to one of these staff members.

For more information, including how to reach out to Title IX Support, please visit safe.rice.edu or email titleixsupport@rice.edu.