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Applying to the Graduate Program

Please read carefully through these step-by-step instructions before sending questions to the Graduate Coordinator.
A list of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers is available here

Admission Requirements

  •  Bachelor’s (undergraduate) degree earned or will be earned before entering our graduate program
  •  GPA (grade point average) 3.0 in a 4.0 scale (U.S. standards) or the equivalent in another grading system.
    If your university/college does not use the 4.0 grading system, please translate your GPA into the 4.0 scale if
    at all possible
  •  GRE general test scores taken within last three years
    •  There are no published required minimum scores. For information and test registration, visit the GRE home page at ets.org
  •  Recommendation from at least three people who know your academic achievements and potential
  •  TOEFL score if your native language is not English. The minimum score is 90 on Internet-based, 250 on computer-based,
    and 600 on paper-based test.
  •  For information and test registration, visit ielts.org. IELTS (minimum score of 7) is acceptable in lieu of TOEFL.  This TOEFL/IELTS requirement is waived for a student
    who has received or will receive prior to entering our graduate program a degree from a university where English is the official language of communication  

Every fall about 20 applicants are offered admissions to our graduate degree programs. Our faculty seeks only the highest caliber
students for the graduate programs. Please be sure that you meet the minimum requirements, preferably higher,
before you apply. In addition, we encourage you to be well informed about our graduate degree requirements.  

Application Deadlines

The deadline for fall semester applications is February 1st. Late applications for fall admissions may be considered until March 15th.
However, candidates who miss the application deadline (February 1st) place themselves in a less competitive position.

The deadline for spring semester applications is November 1st. Please note that we can admit very few students for a spring semester
due to the faculty/space availability. 

Application Packet

A complete application consists of the following:

  •  Online application form: Once you have submitted your online application, you cannot change any information provided in the form. Should you need to update your application, please contact the Graduate Coordinator by e-mail with the information that you wish to be in your application
    •  Areas of study The program offers the following areas of study and applicants should select up to two areas of their interest and indicate
      this on the application form: 
      •  Aero-astronautics 
      •  Biomechanics and Biomedical Systems 
      •  Computational Fluid Dynamics and Fluid-Structure Interaction 
      •  Computational Mechanics 
      •  Control Systems/Robotics 
      •  Dynamics/Vibrations 
      •  Fluid Mechanics 
      •  Heat Transfer and Thermal Science
      •  Solid Mechanics


        Application fee: The application fee ($85.00) can be paid online when you submit your online application form

         We cannot accept cash, a check or money order

         The MECH department does not grant fee waivers 

  • Transcripts: One official transcript from all universities/colleges attended (Official Transcripts should be submitted by mail to the address below.  All other application materials should be uploaded via the online application.)  
      • A transcript is considered official when it is enclosed in a sealed envelope with official stamp or signature
        across the seal when received by the MECH department
        •  We do not need secondary school (high school) transcripts  
        • If your transcripts and proof of degree are not in English, you must have an official translation from a translation service.  The document should be on their letterhead or with their official seal/stamp   
  • GRE: Official report from ETS must be received by the department. Please use the institution code 6609 and department code 1501 for Mechanical Engineering. The test must be taken within the last three years
  •  Three letters of recommendation: We accept letters of recommendation through your online application

    • To submit online recommendations, current email address and titles for all references must be included with your online application form 
  •   TOEFL: Official report from ETS must be received by the department. Please use the institution code 6609 and department code 68. If you take IELTS in lieu of TOEFL, please write to the Graduate Coordinator so the department will be able to obtain the score directly from the IELTS office
    • To submit online recommendations, current email address and title for all references must be included with your online application form

Financial Aid

If you need financial support from Rice (fellowships or assistantships) and you are applying to one of our research programs, please answer "yes" to the question "do you need financial aid from Rice?" found in the online application form. Your application will be considered for any applicable fellowships and assistantships available at Rice University. Applicants for the non-research program (M.M.E.) cannot be considered for financial aid.

The fellowship award consists of monthly stipends provided by the MECH department and a full tuition waiver offered by the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Generally the award is offered to applicants who are seeking full-time admission for the Ph.D. degree as their highest degree. Applicants seeking the M.S. degree as their highest degree, if offered admission, are usually offered “admission only”.

Mailing Address

Attn.: Graduate Coordinator
Mechanical Engineering – MS 321
Rice University
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77251-1892
If you are using Express mail, FedEx, DHL, etc., be sure to use our street address:   
Attn.: Graduate Coordinator
Rice University – MS 321
MECH Department
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005-1827 

Notification of Application Status

The MECH department will send you an email notification of receipt of your application.  You will be notified in the email, if your application is missing an item or items. Only complete applications are reviewed and considered. We will contact the top candidates by email to make offers of admission in mid-March to mid-April. A final application status notification will be sent to all other applicants who are not made offers by the end of May. 

To avoid the delay of your application process, please do not contact the department chair or faculty members to inquire about admission requirements or application procedures/status. They will simply forward your message to the Graduate Coordinator.


If you don’t find an answer on this page or FAQs, please contact the Graduate Coordinator:
E-mail: graduatemech@rice.edu
Phone: 713-348-3582