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The Rice School of Architecture is an accredited design school offering educational and professional experience at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The School of Architecture is housed in Anderson Hall, where students have access to an advanced computer visualization and research laboratory, a fully equipped model shop, and state-of-the art fabrication facility, including a CNC milling machine, 3-D printer and laser cutter.

Rice architecture students admitted to the Bachelor of Architecture program are able to refine their design skills through the Preceptorship Program, which assigns qualified students to work for a year with leading architectural firms in the U.S. and abroad. Rice upper-level graduate and fifth-year Bachelor of Architecture students have the opportunity to study abroad through the Rice School of Architecture Paris. This program offers advanced urban design with lectures and seminars on history, theory and technology.

Achievements of Rice architecture faculty include exhibits in Houston; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Cambridge, England. They also include acquisition of designed objects by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and noted built projects, architecture and design commissions.


The School of Engineering has eight academic departments: bioengineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering, civil and environmental engineering, computational and applied mathematics, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering and materials science, and statistics. At the graduate level, there also are interdisciplinary degree programs in applied physics, computational science and engineering, environmental analysis and decision making, nanoscale physics and subsurface geoscience, as well as joint MD/PhD programs with schools in the Texas Medical Center.

The faculty, graduate students and laboratories of the school are housed primarily in the five buildings that frame the Engineering Quadrangle. Engineering undergraduates enjoy small class sizes (an average of about 20 students per class) and many opportunities for involvement in research – some 65 percent participate in research while at Rice. Crosscutting research programs in nanotechnology, information technology, biosciences and biotechnology, energy, and environmental issues form the major focus areas within engineering. Our location in Houston has resulted in collaborative research activities that benefit undergraduate and graduate students. This includes partnerships with international leaders in the oil and gas industry, with NASA's space program and with leading researchers at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Baylor College of Medicine in the Texas Medical Center.


School of Humanities students at Rice choose from 12 academic departments including art history, classical studies, English, French studies, German and Slavic studies, Hispanic studies, history, kinesiology, linguistics, philosophy, religious studies, and visual and dramatic arts. Several interdisciplinary majors are also available, such as foci on  women, gender and sexuality; Asian studies; ancient Mediterranean civilizations; and medieval studies. The school is home to six national journals: Studies in English Literature, the Journal of Southern History, the Journal of Feminist Economics, Papers of Jefferson Davis, the Religious Studies Review, and the Council of Societies for the Study of Religion Bulletin. The Humanities Building opened in 2000.

Members of the Rice humanities faculty have been named the Carnegie National Professor of the Year and the Carnegie Texas Professor of the Year. In addition, faculty in the school have been recognized by the Guggenheim Foundation, the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


The Jones School offers the MBA degree through several programs: the weekday MBA program, which includes the joint MBA/ME and MBA/MD (with Baylor College of Medicine); the evening MBA for professionals program; and the weekend MBA for Executives program. The Jones School Executive Education program offers a full schedule of noncredit and customized courses for business and industry.

The school is housed in the 167,000-square-foot Janice and Robert McNair Hall, which includes the Gilbert and Ruth Whitaker Business Information Center, the El Paso Corporation Finance Center, a behavioral studies center and the 450-seat Shell Oil Foundation auditorium - and features the latest technology in audio/visual systems and computing.

The Action Learning Project in the weekday MBA program offers student teams on-site consultation with host companies to solve specific problems. The entrepreneurship electives, along with other practical, learning-based electives, provide additional opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience.


The Shepherd School of Music offers preprofessional training for musicians, combining the intensity of a conservatory experience with the excellence of an education at a renowned private university. Degree programs in the Shepherd School include the four-year Bachelor of Music and the two-year Master of Music in performance, composition, conducting, music history and music theory. The Doctor of Musical Arts degree program is offered in composition and selected areas of performance.

The Shepherd School is housed in Alice Pratt Brown Hall, home of four of the finest performance spaces in the city - Stude Concert Hall, Duncan Recital Hall, Wortham Opera Theatre and Edythe Bates Old Grand Organ and Recital Hall. This state-of-the-art facility also includes numerous practice rooms, classrooms and rehearsal halls, plus an electronic music studio and an administrative suite. The nearly 400 concerts, recitals and other events held at the venue annually reach an audience of more than 75,000.


The Wiess School of Natural Sciences comprises six departments: biochemistry and cell biology, chemistry, earth science, ecology and evolutionary biology, mathematics, and physics and astronomy.

Interdisciplinary institutes and centers associated with the Wiess School include the Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering, Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, Rice Quantum Institute, W.M. Keck Center for Interdisciplinary Bioscience Training, Gulf Coast Consortia, and Rice Space Institute. Research partnerships encompass local institutions including Baylor College of Medicine, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, NASA, The University of Texas Health Science Center, The University of Texas Medical Branch and University of Houston, plus foundations, museums, industries and other universities and corporations worldwide.

Reflecting the quality of our enterprise, two Wiess School professors, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley (deceased, fall 2005), received the Nobel Prize in 1996 for their pioneering research in the field of nanotechnology. Their work heralded the new discipline of nanoscience and technology that brings together many disciplines across science and engineering. Recent faculty honors include Packard Fellowships, Beckman Foundation Fellowships, a Shepard Medalist in Sedimentary Geology and Small Times Magazine's Innovator of the Year award, among many others.

The School of Natural Sciences is housed in multiple buildings that provide research laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment, from an 800 MHz NMR to custom-built specialized systems, as well as teaching laboratories, classrooms and administrative space.


The School of Social Sciences, housed in both Baker Hall and Sewall Hall, includes the departments of anthropology, economics, political science, psychology and sociology. Interdisciplinary programs associated with the school include cognitive sciences, managerial studies and policy studies. Students in Cognitive Sciences are engaged in the multidisciplinary study of the mind. Managerial Studies provides an understanding of the environment in which business and other organizations exist, and of the tools used by managers. Policy Studies students learn to analyze and evaluate public policy and gain an understanding of the policy making process.

The School of Social Sciences also houses four centers: The Center on Race, Religion and Urban Life (CORRUL); The Shell Center for Sustainability, The Social Sciences Research Institute; and The Urban Research Center of Houston. Each center positively affects people’s lives in different ways. CORRUL aspires to understand urban life and improve relationships between the many racial, ethnic, and religious groups that make cities their home. The Shell Center for Sustainability supports the efforts of Rice University's faculty, staff and students to better our planet's economy. The SSRI acts as a think tank to bring together Rice Social Scientists with Social Scientist around to globe to work on cutting edge-research. The Urban Research Center of Houston is home to the Houston Area Survey which tracks Houston Area residents’ experiences and perceptions of life in the Houston area.

The School of Social Sciences graduates more majors than any other school at Rice. The school also features high-quality graduate programs in anthropology, economics, political science, and psychology. Its faculty members garner more than $5 million in grants and consistently win between a third and a half of all university-wide teaching awards.


The mission of the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies (GSCS) is to further Rice University's commitment to educational outreach by providing lifelong personal and professional development opportunities to the larger community.

Established in 1967, the school offers more than 250 courses annually in arts, humanities, sciences, foreign languages, communication skills, information technology and professional development. GSCS has approximately 10,000 enrollments each year.

Operating one of the largest language programs in the state, GSCS offers classes in eight foreign languages as well as in English as a Second Language. The ESL program has welcomed students from more than 90 countries since its inception.

Professional development programs include courses in human resources, paralegal studies, fundraising, volunteer management and financial services, including a program to help prepare students for the Certified Financial Planner certification exam. GSCS also offers a growing number of professional development programs for teachers, including the Advanced Placement Summer Institute and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Level Workshops.

GSCS offers the Master of Liberal Studies degree program, designed for working adults interested in furthering their formal education in the liberal arts. The school also administers the for-credit Rice Summer School program, which enrolls approximately 200 students.

Last Updated: June 16, 2009