Established in 1912, Rice University is a private research facility located in the heart of the Museum District in Houston, Texas. Although it’s an extremely small school with just under 4,000 undergraduates, the campus life is robust. The 295-acre campus is centered in an urban area, providing students with many opportunities to take advantage of off-campus activities.
The university is made up of eight schools, including the School of Social Sciences, School of Humanities, and the Wiess School of Natural Sciences. Rice also offers more than 80 majors for undergraduates. Some of the most popular majors include engineering, social sciences and parks and recreation (includes kinesiology and sports management). The school prides itself on having small classroom sizes and accessible professors. Roughly 69% of classes have less than 20 students.
Besides the focus on academics, Rice University also provides many extracurricular activities. Each student is assigned to one of 11 residential colleges before they begin the school year and about 70% of undergraduate students decide to remain on campus throughout their four years. The residential colleges provide pretty much anything the students need, including dining, housing and social events. The residences often form friendly rivalries among the different colleges. Competitions like the Beer Bike Race have also become famous traditions at Rice.
The Rice Investment allows American students with family incomes below $130,000 to attend with full-tuition scholarships. Nor surprisingly, Rice saw its acceptance rate dip and its yield rise.
Another important institution is the Rice Honor Code. Rice is one of the few schools that offers exams with no supervision from proctors. Professors are also known to give timed, closed-book exams that students can complete at home at their convenience. In order to cut down on cheating, Rice established the Honor Code. During the first week of school, freshmen must pass a test proving that they understand the Honor System’s rules. They must also sign a Matriculation Pledge. On many assignments, students must write on the paper that they have not cheated in any way. Rice University prides itself on trusting its students to perform honorably.
Many athletic programs are going strong at Rice, including the Owls Baseball team. The football team is also one of the smallest schools currently competing in the NCAA’s Division I. The school spirit is supported in large part because students are given free tickets to all sporting events. School spirit is also provided via Rice’s mascot, Sammy the Owl.
Students interested in a tight-knit, but fun college experience should look into Rice University. The urban atmosphere of Houston mixed with the residential colleges can be the perfect combination for students looking for a variety of activities. Furthermore, students readily report that the rigorous academic curriculum is largely offset by the light-hearted traditions on campus.