Rice University

#156 / #54
Global Influence / U.S. Influence
Most Desirable School
University in Houston, Texas, USA

Rice University Featured Rankings

About Rice University

By James Barham, PhD

Rice University was founded in 1912 as the William M. Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Science, and Art. Long known simply as the Rice Institute, the school acquired its present name in 1960.

The institute’s founding took place under unusual and scandalous circumstances. Its founder, the Massachusetts–born William Marsh Rice, was a businessman who had made a large fortune in real estate, railroad development, and cotton trading, much of it in the state of Texas.

Towards the end of his life, Rice decided that his estate should be directed after his death to the establishment in Houston of a tuition-free institution of higher learning of highest academic caliber.

In 1900, at age 84, Rice was found dead in his bed by his valet. It was then discovered that his will had been changed to leave everything to his New York–based attorney. It subsequently came out that the lawyer had changed the will on his own and conspired with the valet, who murdered Rice by administering chloroform to him in his sleep.

Eventually, the valet turned state’s evidence, the lawyer was tried and found guilty of murder, and Rice’s original wishes for the disposal of his estate were finally put into effect. The Rice Institute opened its doors in 1912, on the twelfth anniversary of his murder.

During the 1960s, Rice established a close relationship with NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center (now the Johnson Space Center), which remains strong to this day.

Rice remains a small and highly selective institution, with a little over 7000 students. The school operates on the honor code system (without proctored examinations).

There are three Rice-connected Nobel laureates, namely the astrophysicist Robert W. Wilson, and the chemists Richard Smalley and Robert Curl.

Other prominent Rice-associated individuals include the following:

  • Novelists, Joyce Carol Oates and Larry McMurtry
  • Journalist and columnist, Candace Bushnell
  • Screenwriter, William Broyles, Jr.
  • Aviator, Film director, Business magnate, and Philanthropist, Howard Hughes
  • Mathematicians, George Mackey, Béatrice Rivière, George Piranian, Dennis Sullivan, Jack Morava, & Shelly Harvey
  • Astronomer, James Gunn
  • Physicist, John G. Cramer
  • Chemist, Fred C. Koch
  • Chemical engineer, Jay Bailey
  • Nanotechnology pioneer, James Tour
  • Neuroscientist, David Eagleman
  • Biomedical engineer, Antonios Mikos
  • Computer scientists, Krishna Palem & Lydia Kavraki
  • Biochemist and astronaut, Peggy Whitson
  • CBS News President, David Rhodes
  • Former US Attorney General, Alberto Gonzalez

According to Wikipedia, William Marsh Rice University is a private research university in Houston, Texas. It is on a 300-acre campus near the Houston Museum District and adjacent to the Texas Medical Center. Opened in 1912 after the murder of its namesake William Marsh Rice, Rice is a research university with an undergraduate focus. Its emphasis on undergraduate education is demonstrated by its 6:1 student-faculty ratio. The university has a very high level of research activity, with $156 million in sponsored research funding in 2019. Rice is noted for its applied science programs in the fields of artificial heart research, structural chemical analysis, signal processing, space science, and nanotechnology. In 2010, it was ranked first in the world in materials science research by Times Higher Education . Rice has been a member of the Association of American Universities since 1985 and is classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity".

Rice University's Online Degrees

Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Required Credits: 54
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
MS in Computer Science
  • Required Credits: 30
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online

Rice University Admissions, Retention, and Graduation Information

Annual ApplicationsAcceptanceGraduation RateMedian SAT ScoreMedian ACT Score

How Much Does Rice University Cost To Attend?

Tuition (in-state)
Price by Family Income
IncomeAverage Net Cost
0 - 30K$3,437
30K - 48K$7,534
48K - 75K$7,318
75K - 110K$24,321

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

How Much Do Rice University Graduates Make?

If you graduate from Rice University, then you can expect to earn an average of $91,600 per year. You also have a 91% chance of being employed after 10 years.

Rice University's Demographics

Demographic data is for full-time, on-campus students.

Student BodyUnder-GradsGraduates

Where is Rice University?

Rice University is located at 6100 S Main St, Houston TX 77005-1827

How Safe is Rice University?

Rice University has a violent crime rate of less than .01% and a property crime rate of less than .01%.

What Is Rice University Known For?

Rice University is known for it's academic work in the following disciplines:

Rice University's Top Areas of Influence With Degrees Offered

Who Are Rice University's Most Influential Alumni?

Rice University's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Computer Science, Chemistry, and Engineering. Here are some of Rice University's most famous alumni:

Herman Daly
Herman Daly
An American economist.
Dennis Sullivan
Dennis Sullivan
An American mathematician.
Robert Woodrow Wilson
Robert Woodrow Wilson
An American astronomer.
George Mackey
George Mackey
An American mathematician.
Joyce Carol Oates
Joyce Carol Oates
An American author.
Robert Curl
Robert Curl
An American chemist.
David Eagleman
David Eagleman
A Neuroscientist and author.
Thomas W. Malone
Thomas W. Malone
An American business theorist.
John Doerr
John Doerr
An American businessman.
John Morgan
An American mathematician.
Henry M. Morris
Henry M. Morris
An American young earth creationist and Christian apologist.
Maurice Ewing
Maurice Ewing
A Geophysicist and oceanographer .

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