Rice University Requirements for Admission

What are Rice University's admission requirements? While there are a lot of pieces that go into a college application, you should focus on only a few critical things:

  • GPA requirements
  • Testing requirements, including SAT and ACT requirements
  • Application requirements

In this guide we'll cover what you need to get into Rice University and build a strong application.

School location: Houston, TX


Admissions Rate: 16%

If you want to get in, the first thing to look at is the acceptance rate. This tells you how competitive the school is and how serious their requirements are.

The acceptance rate at Rice University is 16%. For every 100 applicants, only 16 are admitted.

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This means the school is extremely selective. Meeting their GPA requirements and SAT/ACT requirements is very important to getting past their first round of filters and proving your academic preparation. If you don't meet their expectations, your chance of getting is nearly zero.

After crossing this hurdle, you'll need to impress Rice University application readers through their other application requirements, including extracurriculars, essays, and letters of recommendation. We'll cover more below.


Rice University GPA Requirements

Many schools specify a minimum GPA requirement, but this is often just the bare minimum to submit an application without immediately getting rejected.

The GPA requirement that really matters is the GPA you need for a real chance of getting in. For this, we look at the school's average GPA for its current students.

Average GPA: 4.11

The average GPA at Rice University is 4.11.

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(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA. This school did not officially report its average GPA, but we've estimated it here using data from over 1,000 schools.)

With a GPA of 4.11, Rice University requires you to be at the top of your class. You'll need nearly straight A's in all your classes to compete with other applicants. Furthermore, you should be taking hard classes - AP or IB courses - to show that college-level academics is a breeze.

If you're currently a junior or senior, your GPA is hard to change in time for college applications. If your GPA is at or below the school average of 4.11, you'll need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate. This will help you compete effectively against other applicants who have higher GPAs than you.


SAT and ACT Requirements

Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests.

You must take either the SAT or ACT to submit an application to Rice University. More importantly, you need to do well to have a strong application.

Rice University SAT Requirements

Many schools say they have no SAT score cutoff, but the truth is that there is a hidden SAT requirement. This is based on the school's average score.

Average SAT: 2200 (New: 1510)

The average SAT score composite at Rice University is a 2200 on the old 2400 SAT scale.

On the new 1600 SAT, this corresponds to an average SAT score of 1510.

This score makes Rice University Extremely Competitive for SAT test scores.

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Rice University SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)

The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1450, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1570. In other words, a 1450 on the New SAT places you below average, while a 1570 will move you up to above average.

Here's the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Math770740800
Reading383639
Writing373639
Composite151014501570

Rice University SAT Score Analysis (Old 2400 SAT)

The 25th percentile Old SAT score is 2070, and the 75th percentile SAT score is 2330. In other words, a 2070 on the Old SAT places you below average, while a 2330 puts you well above average.

Here's the breakdown of old SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Math755710800
Reading720680760
Writing725680770
Composite220020702330

SAT Score Choice Policy

The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.

Rice University has the Score Choice policy of "All Scores."

This means that Rice University requires you to send all SAT scores you've ever taken to their office.

This sounds daunting, but most schools don't actually consider all your scores equally. For example, if you scored an 1800 on one test and a 2100 on another, they won't actually average the two tests.

More commonly, the school will take your highest score on a single test date. Even better, some schools form a Superscore - that is, they take your highest section score across all your test dates and combine them.

Some students are still worried about submitting too many test scores. They're afraid that Rice University will look down on too many attempts to raise your score. But how many is too many?

From our research and talking to admissions officers, we've learned that 4-6 tests is a safe number to submit. The college understands that you want to have the best chance of admission, and retaking the test is a good way to do this. Within a reasonable number of tests, they honestly don't care how many times you've taken it. They'll just focus on your score.

If you take it more than 6 times, colleges start wondering why you're not improving with each test. They'll question your study skills and ability to improve.

But below 6 tests, we strongly encourage retaking the test to maximize your chances. If your SAT score is currently below a 2330, we strongly recommend that you consider prepping for the SAT and retaking it. You don't have much to lose, and you can potentially raise your score and significantly boost your chances of getting in.


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Rice University ACT Requirements

Just like for the SAT, Rice University likely doesn't have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash.

Average ACT: 33

The average ACT score at Rice University is 33. This score makes Rice University Strongly Competitive for ACT scores.

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The 25th percentile ACT score is 32, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 34.

Even though Rice University likely says they have no minimum ACT requirement, if you apply with a 32 or below, you'll have a very hard time getting in, unless you have something else very impressive in your application. There are so many applicants scoring 33 and above that a 32 will look academically weak.

ACT Score Sending Policy

If you're taking the ACT as opposed to the SAT, you have a huge advantage in how you send scores, and this dramatically affects your testing strategy.

Here it is: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you have absolute control over which tests you send. You could take 10 tests, and only send your highest one. This is unlike the SAT, where many schools require you to send all your tests ever taken.

This means that you have more chances than you think to improve your ACT score. To try to aim for the school's ACT requirement of 34 and above, you should try to take the ACT as many times as you can. When you have the final score that you're happy with, you can then send only that score to all your schools.

ACT Superscore Policy

By and large, most colleges do not superscore the ACT. (Superscore means that the school takes your best section scores from all the test dates you submit, and then combines them into the best possible composite score). Thus, most schools will just take your highest ACT score from a single sitting.

We weren't able to find the school's exact ACT policy, which most likely means that it does not Superscore. Regardless, you can choose your single best ACT score to send in to Rice University, so you should prep until you reach our recommended target ACT score of 34.


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SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements

Both the SAT and ACT have a Writing section that includes an essay.

Rice University requires you to take the SAT/ACT Writing section. They'll use this as another factor in their admissions consideration.


SAT Subject Test Requirements

Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.

We did not find information that Rice University requires SAT subject tests, and so most likely it does not. At least 6 months before applying, you should still doublecheck just to make sure, so you have enough time to take the test.



Final Admissions Verdict

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Because this school is extremely selective, getting a high SAT/ACT score and GPA is vital to having a chance at getting in. If you don't pass their SAT/ACT and GPA requirements, they'll likely reject you without much consideration.

To have the best shot of getting in, you should aim for the 75th percentile, with a 2330 SAT or a 34 ACT. You should also have a 4.11 GPA or higher. If your GPA is lower than this, you need to compensate with a higher SAT/ACT score.

For a school as selective as Rice University, you'll also need to impress them with the rest of your application. We'll cover those details next.

But if you apply with a score below a 2330 SAT or a 34 ACT, you unfortunately start out with the odds against you and have a tiny chance of getting in. There are just too many students with high SAT/ACT scores and strong applications, and you need to compete against them.



Admissions Calculator

What are your chances of admission at Rice University?
Chances of admission with these scores:

Here's our custom admissions calculator. Plug in your numbers to see what your chances of getting in are.

Pick your test: Old SAT New SAT ACT

SAT Score
Your GPA
Note: This is only an estimate for the average student, based on data collected from thousands of students. Other factors in your application may come into play, such as extracurriculars and recommendation letters.

How would your chances improve with a better score?

Try to take your current SAT score and add 160 points (or take your ACT score and add 4 points) to the calculator above. See how much your chances improve?

At PrepScholar, we've created the leading online SAT/ACT prep program. We guarantee an improvement of 160 SAT points or 4 ACT points on your score, or your money back.

Here's a summary of why we're so much more effective than other prep programs:

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Application Requirements

Every school requires an application with the bare essentials - high school transcript and GPA, application form, and other core information. Many schools, as explained above, also require SAT and ACT scores, as well as letters of recommendation, application essays, and interviews. We'll cover the exact requirements of Rice University here.

Application Requirements Overview

  • Common Application Accepted, supplemental forms required
  • Universal Application Accepted, supplemental forms required
  • Electronic Application Available
  • Essay or Personal Statement Required for all freshmen
  • Letters of Recommendation 2
  • Interview Not required
  • Application Fee $75
  • Fee Waiver Available? Available
  • Other Notes Portfolio for architecture, audition for music recommended for some freshmen

Testing Requirements

  • SAT or ACT Required
  • SAT or ACT Writing Required
  • SAT Subject Tests
  • Scores Due in Office

Coursework Requirements

  • Subject Required Years
  • English 4
  • Math 3
  • Science 2
  • Foreign Language 2
  • Social Studies 2
  • History
  • Electives 3

Deadlines and Early Admissions

  •  
    • Offered? Deadline Notification
  • Regular Admission
    • Yes January 1 April 1
  • Early Action
    • No
  • Early Decision
    • Yes November 1 December 15

Admissions Office Information

Our Expert's Notes

We did more detailed research into this school's admissions process and found the following information:

You will choose one of the six undergraduate schools -- Architecture, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences, or Social Sciences when you apply. This choice isn't binding, but each college looks for different strengths so you should make the choice carefully. (The music and architecture schools have extra admission requirements including a recording for music and a portfolio for architecture.) More specifics on the different schools here.

To request an interview, which is not required but highly encouraged, you need to submit your application early -- by October 15th for early decision and December 1st for regular decision, with the interview request deadlines two days later. Learn more about deadlines here.

Source


Other Schools For You

If you're interested in Rice University, you'll probably be interested in these schools as well. We've divided them into 3 categories depending on how hard they are to get into, relative to Rice University.


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Reach Schools: Harder to Get Into

These schools are more selective and have higher scores than Rice University. If you improve your SAT score, you'll be competitive for these schools.

School Name Location SAT Avg (1600) SAT Avg (2400) ACT Avg
Yale University New Haven, CT 1540 2265 33
University of Chicago Chicago, IL 1540 2260 34
Harvard College Cambridge, MA 1540 2250 34
Duke University Durham, NC 1540 2250 34
Columbia University New York, NY 1530 2240 34
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 1520 2221 34
Stanford University Stanford, CA 1520 2220 33

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Same Level: Equally Hard to Get Into

If you're competitive for Rice University, these schools will offer you a similar chance of admission.

School Name Location SAT Avg (1600) SAT Avg (2400) ACT Avg
Princeton University Princeton, NJ 1520 2220 33
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 1510 2181 32
Brown University Providence, RI 1500 2178 32
Dartmouth College Hanover, NH 1500 2160 32
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 1490 2150 32
Tufts University Medford, MA 1490 2149 32
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 1480 1430 32

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Safety Schools: Easier to Get Into

If you're currently competitive for Rice University, you should have no problem getting into these schools. If Rice University is currently out of your reach, you might already be competitive for these schools.

School Name Location SAT Avg (1600) SAT Avg (2400) ACT Avg
Northeastern University Boston, MA 1470 2110 33
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 1450 2080 31
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY 1420 1376 30
University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA 1440 2060 32
Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA 1440 2050 32
Emory University Atlanta, GA 1430 2046 31
New York University New York, NY 1410 2016 30

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