The Electrical and Computer Engineering department offers two graduate degree programs:

The Master of Electrical and Computer Engineering (MECE) degree is a professional, course-based program designed to increase a student’s mastery of advanced subjects; no thesis is required. The MECE prepares a student to succeed and advance rapidly in today’s competitive technical marketplace.

The MS/PhD Program prepares students for a research career in academia or industry. The MS/PhD degree program consists of formal courses and original research conducted under the guidance of a faculty advisor, leading to a thesis.

How to Apply

Once you have reviewed and met all admissions requirements, you are ready to Begin Your Application to Rice University.

In order to apply to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering's MECE and MS/PhD Program, you will need to submit the following:

  • Unofficial transcripts from all prior institutions
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • GRE scores (Optional, but strongly recommended) Learn more here. The ETS Reporting code for Rice University is 6609. For helpful information on how to prep for the GRE, click here.
  • Official TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo Scores (International Applicant’s Only)
  • The applicant's own statement of goals, aspirations, and special interests (commonly referred to as the statement of purpose and refers to the applicant's future goals and plans for applying what (s)he learns in the program.
  • A current resume/CV

The ECE Department rarely accepts students to start graduate programs during spring semesters.  Applications for students not accepted for the Spring 2023 term will automatically be moved to Fall 2023 consideration.  The due date for Spring 2023 applications is October 1st (no exceptions).

Applications must be submitted online, and are transmitted through a secured server and are kept confidential until you decide to submit your application.

Please DO NOT email transcripts, CV’s or other application related materials. Unless otherwise instructed. We WILL NOT decide if you are admissible or a great candidate for our programs through email.  The respective graduate admissions committees for each program will make an admissions decision when all required documents and application fee (if applicable) are uploaded and the application is submitted.

When applying, DO NOT mail any hard copy documents. Transcripts should be uploaded in the online application. Recommenders should submit letters online. The ECE Department will allow unofficial transcripts (including photocopies or non-certified electronic copies) during the admissions process. Official transcripts will be required after acceptance into the graduate program and must be submitted to the department 30 days from the date the offer letter is received.

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions for any answers you may need about the application process, requirements, and more.

Questions that are not related to the application process or admissions decisions may be directed to (for PhD) or (for MECE).

Application Fees

  • PhD Program: Application fee is waived
  • MECE Program: There is an application fee of $85 that can be paid by credit card or checking account.

NOTE: MECE applicants with financial needs may be eligible for application fee waivers from the organizations listed below.  Otherwise, the application fee for MECE WILL NOT be waived.

  • Institute for Recruitment of Teachers
  • McNair Scholar Program
  • Nankai University Hundred Young Teachers Program
  • Project 1000
  • Vietnam Education Foundation

Fall Application Deadlines

  • PhD Program
    • Deadline: January 5
    • Late deadline: January 12
  • MECE Program: 
    • Deadline: December 15
    • Late deadline: January 5

Notice of acceptance for fall PhD and MECE admission is usually made by April 15.

Spring Application Deadlines

  • PhD Program:
    • Deadline: October 1
  • MECE Program:
    • Deadline: October 2nd
    • Late deadline: October 9th

Notice of acceptance for spring PhD and MECE admission will be rendered within two weeks of application submission.

Application Requirements

In the selection of prospective graduate students in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, all available material is carefully evaluated, particularly:

  • The scholastic record as reflected by courses chosen and the quality of performance
  • The evaluations of teachers and advisors
  • GRE Scores (optional but recommended for Fall 2023 semester)
  • The student's own statement of goals, aspirations and special interests
  • Minimum GPA requirement is 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Proof of bachelor's degree must be provided upon acceptance to the program


  • GRE scores (Optional, but strongly recommended) Learn more here.  The ETS Reporting code for Rice University is 6609. For helpful information on how to prep for the GRE, click here. The average GRE score of successful applicants is: V156, Q166
  • TOEFL and IELTS Requirements (International applicants): The TOEFL and the IELTS may be waived for an international student who received a degree from an institution in which English is the official language of communication. Contact the admitting program for more information.
  • The following language proficiency tests are accepted by Rice graduate programs and will be used to assess English language proficiency.
    • The TOEFL IBT Home. A minimum score of 90 is required.
    • IELTS Indicator. A minimum score of 7 is required.
    • Duolingo. A minimum score of 115 is required.
  • Countries in which English is the Official Language of Instruction and will have the English Proficiency requirement waived can be found here.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for any student requiring a visa or whose native language is not English.

  • The ETS Reporting code for Rice University is 6609, scores should be sent directly to Rice through the testing organization.
  • The TOEFL is administered through the Educational Testing Service, Box 6151, Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6151 USA [telephone (609) 771-7100]. You can also send an e-mail to TOEFL@ETS.ORG or a center in your native country.
  • Test-takers should score at least 90 on the iBT (internet-based) TOEFL, at least 600 on the paper-based TOEFL or score 250 on the computer-based TOEFL.
  • Only the best composite TOEFL score is accepted; myBest scores are not accepted. For helpful information on preparing for the TOEFL, click here.

Students whose native language is not English may also use the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
IELTS is owned, developed and delivered through the partnership of the British Council, IDP Education Australia: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations. You can get more information about the IELTS at or send an e-mail to

  • International applicants who choose to take the IELTS should plan to take the Academic IELTS test or, for 2021, the IELTS Indicator.
  • Scores can be reported directly to Rice using the name "Rice University Graduate Admissions."
  • For students who choose to take the IELTS in lieu of TOEFL, the minimum score is 7.
  • For helpful tips on preparing for the IELTS, click here.

The Duolingo English Test is an online English proficiency test that can be taken online, on-demand, in under an hour for only $49. The test is taken via a computer with a camera and includes a proficiency score, video interview, and writing sample which are shared with [institution name] when you send your results. Certified results are available within 48 hours of the test session.

  • Applicants to Rice must earn at least a 115 on the Duolingo English Test.
  • To prepare or take the test, click here.

*Please allow two weeks for all scores to be reported to Rice. For more information on score reporting, click here.

Tuition & Fees

PhD Program Support

All enrolled full-time PhD students are supported with full tuition and a stipend. All first-year PhD students are supported by fellowships. Thereafter, students in good standing will be supported as Research Assistants by their PhD advisors. Compensation is calculated and paid semi-monthly.

Students are strongly encouraged to apply for fellowships in addition to what is provided by Rice. Learn more about Graduate Student Funding.

PhD Fees

Enrolled full-time PhD students do have certain Graduate Tuition, Fees & Expenses, which may include Graduate Student Association fees and Health and Wellness Support services.

Health Insurance

Additionally, all degree-seeking students are required to maintain health insurance. Students who do not complete an Insurance Enrollment or Waiver form will have their account put on hold. If you already have health insurance and want to waive the Rice Plan, complete the Insurance Waiver form indicating that other coverage is in place.

MECE Program Tuition

To view tuition rates for the Academic Year 2022-23 and the estimate of additional costs associated with the Master of Electrical and Computer Engineering program, visit the Rice Cashiers Office 

MECE Scholarships

The MECE program will award a limited number of merit-based scholarships. All admitted students are automatically considered for scholarship support. The awards vary in amount and are determined by geographical diversity, unique work experience, the student's academic record and involvement in college life.