Frequently Asked Questions

What is the application deadline?

The regular deadline for Fall admission is February 15th. The deadline for Spring admission is August 31st . Late applications are accepted.

What is Rice looking for in an applicant?

Graduate study with the Professional Master's Program is open to a limited number of students who are well-qualified in science and math, demonstrate intellectual curiosity, and exemplify ambition and leadership skills. The specific recommended background varies for each degree, so it is best to reference the coursework page for each. However, there is not a magic formula for "the kind of student who excels at Rice." We are not looking for one single trait or quality. Instead, we are trying to make a match between the student, the university, and the program.

What is required for application?

Applicants must submit official transcripts, three letters of evaluation, and a completed application form. Scores on the general portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) should be electronically submitted as well. If a student does not speak English as a first language, TOEFL scores must be submitted. For detailed information on Rice University's admission requirements, please visit http://graduate.rice.edu/genadmissionreq?destination=node/21 .

Is there an application fee?

No fee is required for application to the Professional Master's Program. You must submit a separate application for each degree to which you wish to apply. If you are applying for another degree outside the Professional Master's Program, you must contact that department for its required fees.

Is there a minimum GPA or GRE score that I must have?

In general, applicants have at least a 3.0(B) grade point average in their undergraduate work and have GRE scores of at least 150 on the quantitative section and at least 3.5 on the analytical writing section. However, all of our applicants are considered on an individual basis. We will carefully consider all of the information provided in your application packet, including essays and letters of recommendation.

Is there a minimum TOEFL score that I must have?

Applicants whose native language is not English must take the TOEFL test and score at least 600 on the paper-based TOEFL or score at least 95 on the computer-based TOEFL. For students who choose to take the IELTS in lieu of TOEFL, the minimum score is 7.

May I submit supplemental materials with my application?

In the application form section titled "Supplemental Data", please be sure to include your motivation for applying to the program, as well as your commitment to your future plans. You certainly may augment your application with additional materials, but we ask you to be selective in what you include. For instance, if you have been working as a professional, you may include a resume. You are also welcome to submit additional class work, lab work, slides, newspaper articles, etc. Please note that supplemental materials are not required and will not be returned.

Who should prepare the letters of recommendation?

Recommendations should be prepared by people who can attest to your quantitative abilities, ambition, and/or leadership skills. These people may be former professors, academic advisors, employers, etc.

Is financial aid available?

Rice does not offer financial aid for this program, so please answer "No" to question 14 on the application, "Will you be requesting financial aid from Rice?". For information on non-Rice sources of financial assistance, visit the Tuition & Assistance page.

Does the program accept transferred credit?

The program will accept a maximum of 9 transferred credit hours. In addition, a student must complete two full semesters of courses (30 to 34 credit hours depending on course track) at the Rice campus.

Do I need to purchase Rice University health insurance?

All Rice students are required to have health insurance. You must complete either the Rice Plan Application if you wish to purchase insurance or the Medical Insurance Waiver if you will be covered by another policy. You will not be allowed to register until one of the aforementioned forms has been submitted. Information on Rice student health insurance can be found at the Student Health Insurance site.

What is the cost of Rice University Health Insurance?

Presently the cost is approx. $2500, for more accurate information please visit: Student Health Insurance Application .

When does Rice's health coverage begin?

Coverage begins by mid August, provided your paperwork is submitted before August 1 of your enrollment year

When is tuition due?

Tuition invoices will be mailed after July 25. Payment must be made by August 15.

When do I register for courses?

New students begin the registration process during orientation week using ESTHER. After you have been processed, you will receive a Rice ID number and PIN. This will allow you to set up a Rice e-mail account and access registration information and forms via the Rice web site. After course selection has been reviewed by your advising faculty, you can proceed with selecting courses on-line. Visit the Office of the Registrar for complete information on registration and academic information, such as course schedules, building codes, and academic calendars. A good resource is also the Graduate Studies Notebook containing guidelines for good practices in graduate education, general policy and procedure information, etc.

Near the end of the current semester, returning students must pre-register for the following semester. See the Rice academic calendarfor specific dates.

Can I pursue a PhD after obtaining my Professional Science Master's?

Yes, some of the credits earned within the Professional Master's Program can be transferred to a PhD program.

What is the Inter-Institutional Graduate Program Agreement and how is credit applied if I participate?

The Inter-Institutional Graduate Program is a collaborative agreement between Rice University, the University of Texas System, Baylor College of Medicine, and the University of Houston. The program allows a full-time graduate student to enroll in a course at one of the participating schools when the course is not offered at the student’s own school. The course is then transferred to the student’s home university.

Rice graduate students should follow the procedure outlined below to receive transfer credit through this program:

  1. Complete the Inter-Institutional Graduate Program form online, or at the Office of the Registrar (116 Allen Center). You will need to obtain approval signatures from the instructor teaching the course at the external school, your academic advisor at Rice, the Chair of your academic department, the Registrar of the external school, and the Rice Registrar.
  2. Once you complete the course, you must have an official transcript sent to the Office of the Registrar at this address:

    Rice University
    Office of the Registrar -MS 57
    6100 Main Street
    Houston, TX 77005

If you have filed an Inter-Institutional Graduate Program form with our office, your transfer credit will be applied to your record as TRAN 500 credit when we receive the official transcript. To receive Rice equivalent credit, you will need to submit a completed Graduate Request for Transfer Credit form.