Top 20 Universities in the USA


Rice University
Photo credit: eflon / Flickr

19. Rice University

Rice University is a private institution that was founded in 1912. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 3,965, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 285 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Rice University’s ranking in the 2015 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 19. Its tuition and fees are $40,566 (2014-15).

Rice University, located in the heart of Houston’s Museum District, offers a dynamic student life in the nation’s fourth-largest city. The Rice Coffeehouse, Valhalla Pub and Willy’s Pub are all student-run institutions offering on-campus food and drink.

Before stepping foot on campus, all students are assigned to one of 11 residential colleges, of which they remain members even if they decide to move off campus. The residential colleges provide housing, dining, and academic and social events.

The Rice Owls boast 14 varsity NCAA Division I athletic teams and are well known for their strong baseball program. Students receive free tickets to all varsity athletic events.

Rice is comprised of eight schools, including the School of Social Sciences, School of Humanities and Wiess School of Natural Sciences. Its graduate schools include the highly ranked Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business and George R. Brown School of Engineering.

Rice also has a well-regarded School of Architecture and the Shepherd School of Music. Rice is home to the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, a nonpartisan think tank, which offers coursework, internships and lectures.

When a private detective found Rice’s stolen owl mascot at rival school Texas A&M in 1917, he sent a coded message back to Rice students letting them know that “Sammy” was OK, thus bestowing a name on the school’s mascot.

Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Rice University is 6:1, and the school has 67.6 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Rice University include: Biochemistry; Chemical Engineering; Psychology, General; Economics, General; and Electrical and Electronics Engineering.

The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 96.5 percent.

Student Life

Rice University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 3,965, with a gender distribution of 51.5 percent male students and 48.5 percent female students. At this school, 71 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 29 percent of students live off campus. Rice University is part of the NCAA I athletic conference.

Campus Services

Rice University offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women’s center, placement service, day care, health service, and health insurance.

Rice University also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Rice University, 45 percent have cars on campus.

Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Rice University.

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