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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Application Process

Q:    When is the deadline to submit applications?

A:    February 1st for the subsequent Fall semester, and November 1st for the subsequent Spring semester. These deadlines apply to international applicants as well as applicants for financial aid.

Q:    In which areas do the MECH professors conduct research?

A:    There is a wide range of fields the faculty do active research in. They can be split up as follows: Aero-Astronautics, Biomedical Systems, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Computational Mechanics, Control Systems/Robotics, Dynamics/Vibrations, Fluid Mechanics, Heat Transfer, Solid Mechanics, and Thermal Science. For further details regarding the MECH Faculty see the Research Areas web page.

Q:    What kind of financial aid is available?

A:    The only financial aid through the department is a graduate fellowship. It covers the cost of tuition and includes a monthly stipend for living expenses. If you feel there is additional need for financial help, contact the Office of Financial Aid of Rice University. There is more information about options available through their office for U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

Q:    Should I apply for financial aid (fellowships/assistantships) separately? Where can I find the application form?

A:    There is no separate application form to apply for financial aid. Please refer to the financial aid section in the step-by-step instructions for more details.

Q:    I am coming from overseas. Is there anything I should remember to do?

A:    Yes. If you are coming to the U.S. from abroad, make sure you remember to bring enough money to take care of any initial expenses you may incur. Common expenses are deposit and first month's rent, if you plan on renting an apartment; books; and registration fees. If you are on a fellowship, your stipend checks are delivered on the Rice payroll schedule: pay days are the 15th and last day of every month. Make sure you bring enough money to cover expenses until you get paid.

For more information, please check the Rice Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS).

Q:    If there is a field I am interested in and I don't see it in the professors' profiles, what should I do?

A:    When making the decision to apply to Rice, do your very best to match your interests with those of the faculty. If you find your interests are outside the faculty's research areas, you will have a very difficult time being paired up with an advisor. A good rule of thumb in applying to any graduate program is to make sure that there are at least two potential faculty members in the program with whom you could work. Do not put all your "eggs in one basket," so to speak.

Q:    What kind of housing is available?

A:    The Graduate Apartments are home to many of the university's graduate students. To contact the Graduate Apartments call 713-348-GRAD (4723) or visit their website.

Note: You must make your own arrangements for housing. The department does not handle any type of housing arrangements.

Q:    I feel that it is appropriate to email/mail the Dean of Engineering or the Office of Graduate Studies. Should I?

A:    No.  They will forward it to the Graduate Coordinator in MECH. For any type of admission correspondence, email graduatemech@rice.edu or send postal mail to:

Rice University
Mechanical Engineering - MS 321
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, Texas 77251-1892
Attention: Graduate Coordinator

Q:    How do I go about applying to the MECH graduate programs?

A:    Please refer to the step-by-step instructions that you can follow for applying to the MECH graduate programs.

Q:    How do I check the status of my online application?

A:    The status of your online application and letters of recommendation can be viewed in your application account on the applyweb. Once everything is submitted, there is no online method for you to check the status. The MECH Graduate Coordinator will let you know whether all the required materials were received and when your application is going to be reviewed.

Q:    Will writing a professor or chair of the department help?

A:    No. In fact, it will likely delay things. Every single inquiry that the professors or the chair receive is forwarded to the Graduate Coordinator. While writing a faculty member may be beneficial to find out what they are doing, it will have no impact on any decision making process.

Q:    Can I submit my application even if I haven't received my GRE score?

A:    You may submit other application materials in advance, but your application will be on hold until your GRE scores are received.  Only complete applications are reviewed by the faculty members.

Q:    When I requested my test scores from ETS to be sent to Rice University, I didn't indicate the department (or indicated a different department). Can you find my scores?

A:    As long as your scores are sent to Rice University (institution code: 6609), we can find your scores in our application database. You don't need to request your scores from ETS again.

Q:    What is the average GRE score of students who are admitted to the graduate program?

A:    This information is not available to the MECH Department.

Q:    My name on the GRE (or TOEFL) registration form is different from the one on my Rice Graduate Application. Can you find my test scores?

A:    No. Please send an e-mail to the MECH Graduate Coordinator to let her know your name on the test registration form so we can search for your scores.

If you have a question you didn't find answered above, email your question to graduatemech@rice.edu. We will do our best to answer it.