Rice University is a small, private, four-year institution of higher education located in Houston, Texas, a city of approximately 2.4 million people and the fourth most populous city in the United States. Comprising 8 academic schools – Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences – Rice aspires to conduct groundbreaking research, offer unsurpassed teaching, and make valuable contributions to the betterment of our world. We seek to fulfill this mission by fostering a collaborative culture that encourages investigators to work across disciplinary boundaries to create an environment of discovery, catalyze innovative research and teaching, and, in turn, produce leaders across the spectrum of human endeavor.
Contributing to this effort are 691 full-time faculty members and 160 part-time instructional faculty. These faculty members spark the intellectual excitement of a major research university. The quantity, quality, and impact of their scholarly publications have resulted in Rice being ranked 17th among the best universities in the nation. This productivity has translated into significant research dollars; in academic year 2018-2019, Rice faculty generated approximately $130 million in annual research expenditures. Because of factors such as these, the Carnegie Foundation recognized Rice as a “Tier One” research university with a basic classification of “Very High Research Activity” and “Comprehensive Doctoral Program.”
Rice’s faculty members have distinguished themselves among their peers for their dedication to research, and have received numerous honors and awards, among which are the following: Nobel Laureates (3), National Academy of Sciences (10), National Medal of Science (2), National Academy of Engineering (14), Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (2), American Academy of Arts and Sciences (15), National Humanities Center (7), Guggehheim (5), and the Pulitzer Prize (3).
Even as Rice’s faculty members dedicate themselves to scholarship and research, they at the same time demonstrate a strong commitment to teaching. They have maintained a student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1 and a median undergraduate class size of 14 in order to provide their highly gifted students an exceptional education. Indeed, Rice’s small size—the university has 3,989 undergraduate students and 3,293 graduate students—allows its students to participate in innovative research alongside world-class faculty and to become actively engaged in the creation of new knowledge and technology. Indeed, Rice encourages undergraduate and graduate students to become engaged in the creation of new knowledge and technology, and 71% of our undergraduates participate in research during their time at Rice. By providing personal attention and offering excellent programs, Rice ensures that its graduates are well prepared for an ever-changing world.
In short, Rice’s resources—its intellectual capital, physical facilities, advanced equipment and instrumentation, and financial stability—has enabled it to excel in numerous areas, including the following:
- Ranked among the top 20 national universities in the U.S. every year since rankings began in 1988 (U.S. News & World Report)
- Ranked 17th among more than 300 U.S. universities offering a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s and doctoral degrees and having a strong emphasis on research (2020 U.S. News & World Report, “Best Colleges” guidebook).
- Ranked 1st in “Lots of Race/Class Interaction” (2020 Princeton Review, Best 385 Colleges).
- Ranked 2nd in undergraduate architecture programs (2019 DesignIntelligence rankings).
- Ranked 3rd in the world for the public policy think tanks, i.e., the Baker Institute for Public Policy (2017 study by the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program).
- Ranked 4th in best quality of life, 1st in “lots of race/class interaction,” 8th in happiest students, and 3rd in best value in private colleges (2020 Princeton Review, “The Best 385 Colleges”).
- Ranked 6th in “Best-Run Colleges” (2020 Princeton Review, Best 385 Colleges).
- Ranked 8th (in a tie) in universities with a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching (2020 U.S. News & World Report, “Best Colleges” guidebook).
- Ranked 13th in best value schools (2020 U.S. News & World Report, “Best Colleges” guidebook).
- Ranked 13th in Learning Communities (2020 U.S. News & World Report, “Best Colleges” guidebook).
- Ranked 20th in undergraduate engineering programs in fields of natural sciences and engineering (2020 U.S. News & World Report, “Best Colleges” guidebook).
- Ranked 20th in Senior Capstone (2020 U.S. News & World Report, “Best Colleges” guidebook).
- Ranked 27th in Most Innovative Schools (2020 U.S. News & World Report, “Best Colleges” guidebook.
- During the 2019-2020 academic year, 12 percent of undergraduates hail from foreign countries. (2020 U.S. News & World Report, “Best Colleges” guidebook).
Source: Office of Institutional Research.
Last Updated: April 2020.