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 or January 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, here.

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 financial aid is available?
The only financial aid through the department is a graduate fellowship, which is reserved for PhD students. 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.

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.

How do I go about applying to the MECH graduate programs?
Please review our Graduate Admissions page for more details.

What about the application fee?
The application fee for Fall 2023 is $85.00. Once an application fee has been paid, it cannot be refunded.

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?
While writing a faculty member may be beneficial to find out their current research interest, it will not affect the admissions process. All admissions related inquires are forwarded to the graduate administrator, so please email the graduate administrator directly.

I feel that it is appropriate to email/mail the Dean of Engineering or the Office of Graduate Studies. Should I?
No, please email 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

Is the GRE Test required?
For the 2023 cycle, the GRE test is strongly recommended but not required.

What are the minimum GRE scores?
There is no minimum for any section of the GRE test. Those scores are evaluated in combination with all other aspects of a candidate's application.

What is the average GRE score of students who are admitted to the graduate program?
This information is not available for our programs.

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.

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.

What is the minimum Grade Point Average (GPA)?
The Office of Graduate Studies has specified a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale. If your undergraduate school uses a different grading method, the Admissions Committee will determine your equivalent GPA on a 4.0 point scale.

Is it necessary to submit transcripts from all colleges/universities attended?
Official transcript(s) are required from all undergraduate and graduate schools you have attended. For reviewing purposes, electronic copies of transcript(s) can be uploaded through the online application system to meet the application requirements. If you are offered admission to Rice, official paper or electronic copies of the transcript(s) will be required and can either be sent directly to the Mechanical Department from the institution or sealed by the institution in a signed envelope and delivered by the applicant.

Please do not send official paper transcript(s) from your college or university unless you are accepted to the Mechanical Engineering program.

Do you give application fee waivers?
For 2023, Rice will waive application fees for doctoral applicants who are graduates of institutions in Texas and bordering states Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico or who have a permanent address in these states. Application fee waivers are also granted to applicants of:

  • The Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate Fellows
  • EducationUSA Mentees
  • Fulbright Scholars
  • Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers
  • McNair Scholars
  • Mellon Mays Fellows
  • National GEM Consortium Fellows
  • Opportunity Fund Scholars
  • Vietnam Education Foundation Fellows

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