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Graduate Acceptance & Funding

Assessing applicants' potential on all levels

We seek a student body where diversity increases the intellectual vitality of education, scholarship, service and communal life. We believe students, both undergraduate and graduate, of keen intellect and diverse backgrounds show potential for success at Rice and contribute to the educational environment of those around them. 

The Rice University Department of Bioengineering determines which group of applicants, considered individually and collectively, will take fullest advantage of what we have to offer, contribute most to the educational process at Rice, and be most successful in their chosen fields and in society in general. Our evaluation process employs many different means to identify qualities in applicants. We are cautious in the use of standardized test scores to assess student preparedness and potential. An applicant's entire file is considered and each applicant is considered in competition with all other applicants.

To encourage close contact between students and faculty and to foster quality, the Graduate Bioengineering program is limited to approximately 20 - 25 entering Ph.D. candidates per year.

Graduate Admission

For graduate admission, the Department of Bioengineering uses a broad perspective that includes qualitative factors such as:

  • The overall strength and competitive ranking of a student's prior institution,
  • The rigor of his or her particular course of study,
  • Evaluations of letters of recommendation from teachers and advisors,
  • Essays and responses to application questions,
  • Scores on the GRE (average scores for successful applicants are - Verbal 600, Quantitative 700, Analytical 720, and
  • The student's own statement of goals, aspirations, and special interests.

Upon acceptance to the Rice Bioengineering Graduate Program, students are invited to visit the department in the spring for Recruiting Weekend. Choosing a graduate school is an important decision, and students should consider their academic alternatives carefully. For this reason, the Department of Bioengineering offers a weekend visit and faculty members outline their research efforts. Following the presentations, tours are offered of the laboratories, the university, and Texas Medical Center.

Fellowships, Scholarships, and Assistantships

Rice University offers substantial financial support to new and continuing graduate students. A range of fellowships, scholarships, and assistantships are available. Most graduate students in degree programs requiring a thesis are supported by fellowships or research assistantships. Please note, no Ph.D. student in good standing in this program has ever gone unsupported. The M.B.E. program is not research based; therefore, students do not receive financial aid in the form of tuition wavers or stipends.

Most Ph.D. graduate students are provided with stipends of one kind of another throughout the 12-month year. Students who receive a stipend in support of their graduate work are expected to devote full-time to their studies and are not to take outside employment. Departments may nominate particularly outstanding students for Rice Presidential Fellowships, or Endowed Fellowships. Fellowship, scholarship, and assistantship recipients are selected by the Department of Bioengineering, subject to the approval of the Office of Graduate Studies.

Financial support comes from a variety of sources.  Predoctoral fellowships from the National Institutes of Health are awarded to selected students from two active training programs in Molecular Biophysics and Biotechnology. Fellowships in Computational Biology are available through the Keck Center to students pursuing computationally-oriented projects. Many foundations and corporations have established Foundation and Corporate Graduate Fellowships. These awards are normally coupled with a tuition waver. Graduate research assistantships and fellowships are also supported by numerous faculty research grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Robert A. Welch Foundation and other funding agencies.

Please also visit the Rice Graduate Studies Web site at: http://graduate.rice.edu/ to learn about other graduate funding opportunities. For additional information, visit the Office of Student Financial Services at http://financialaid.rice.edu/.