William Marsh Rice University commonly referred to as Rice University or Rice, is a private research university located on a 295-acre (1.19 km2) campus in Houston, Texas, United States. The university is situated near the Houston Museum District and is adjacent to the Texas Medical Centre.
Opened in 1912 after the murder of its namesake William Marsh Rice, Rice is now a research university with an undergraduate focus. Its emphasis on education is demonstrated by a small student body and 6:1 student-faculty ratio. The university has a very high level of research activity for its size, with $115.3 million in sponsored research funding in 2011. Rice is noted for its applied science programs in the fields of artificial heart research, structural chemical analysis, signal processing, space science, and nanotechnology. It was ranked first in the world in materials science research by the Times Higher Education (THE) in 2010. Rice is a member of the Association of American Universities.
Rice is noted for its entrepreneurial activity, and has been recognized as the top ranked business incubator in the world by the Stockholm-based UBI Index for both 2013 and 2014.
The university is organized into eleven residential colleges and eight schools of academic study, including the Wiess School of Natural Sciences, the George R. Brown School of Engineering, the School of Social Sciences, and the School of Humanities. Graduate programs are offered through the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, School of Architecture, Shepherd School of Music, and Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. Rice students are bound by the strict Honor Code, which is enforced by a student-run Honor Council.
Rice competes in 14 NCAA Division I varsity sports and is a part of Conference USA, often competing with its cross-town rival the University of Houston. Intramural and club sports are offered in a wide variety of activities such as jiu jitsu, water polo, and crew.
Rice is a medium-sized, highly residential research university. The majority of enrolments are in the full-time, four-year undergraduate program emphasizing arts & sciences and professions. There is a high graduate coexistence with the comprehensive graduate program and a very high level of research activity. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as well as the professional accreditation agencies for engineering, management, and architecture.
Each of Rice’s departments is organized into one of three distribution groups, and students whose major lies within the scope of one group must take at least 12 credit hours of approved distribution classes in each of the other two groups, as well as completing one physical education course as part of the LPAP (Lifetime Physical Activity Program) requirement. All new students must take a Freshman Writing Intensive Seminar (FWIS) class, and for students who do not pass the university’s writing composition examination (administered during the summer before matriculation), FWIS 100, a writing class, becomes an additional requirement.
The majority of Rice’s undergraduate degree programs grant B.S. or B.A. degrees. Rice has recently begun to offer minors in areas such as business, energy and water sustainability and global health.
In 2015, Rice was ranked 101st in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and 84th internationally (45th nationally) by the Academic Ranking of World Universities. Rice University was also ranked 106th globally in 2015 by QS World University Rankings.