Application FAQ

Below are answers to frequently asked questions about applying to our graduate degree programs.

When is the deadline to submit applications?

December 15 for the subsequent Fall semester, and October 15 for the subsequent Spring semester. These deadlines apply to international applicants as well as applicants for financial aid.

In which areas do professors in mechanical engineering at Rice conduct research?

Aerospace sciences, biomedical systems, computational fluid dynamics, computational mechanics, fluids – thermal science, mechanical design, mechanics, systems dynamics and controls, tribology. Learn more about our research areas.

What kind of financial aid is available?

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 an additional need for financial help, contact the Rice Office of Financial Aid. There is more information about options available through their office for U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

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

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.

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

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 books and registration fees, and if you plan on renting an apartment, deposit and first month's rent. If you are on a fellowship, your stipend checks are delivered on the Rice payroll schedule: paydays 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, visit Office of International Students and Scholars.

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

When making the decision to apply to Rice, do your 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.

What kind of housing is available?

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

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

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

No. They will forward your inquiries to the department’s graduate administrator. For any type of admission correspondence, email or send postal mail to:

Rice University Mechanical Engineering – MS 321
Attention: Graduate Administrator
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX

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

Review our Graduate Admissions requirements before applying to the our graduate programs.

How do I check the status of my online application?

The status of your online application and letters of recommendation can be viewed in your application account. To review an up-to-date list of documents received and to check the application status, log in to your Rice University applicant portal.

Will writing a professor or chair of the department help?

No. In fact, it will likely delay things. All inquiries that professors or the department chair receive are forwarded to the graduate administrator. 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.

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

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.

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?

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.

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

This information is not available for our programs.

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?

No. Please send an e-mail to the graduate administrator to let her know your name on the test registration form so we can search for your scores.

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