Frequently Asked Questions

Please refer below for answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Was your question not answered? More information can be found via the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Emails regarding admissions status will not be answered. Please use all other available resources before contacting the ECE Department.

What degrees do you offer?

Rice ECE offers the following graduate degrees:

Do you offer an MS Degree?

Rice ECE does not offer a standalone MS degree. PhD students do earn an MS as they complete their degree.

What are the application requirements?

Refer to Graduate Admissions for list of application requirements.

I already have a graduate degree. Can I still apply?

Yes. We welcome applications from students with graduate degrees.

Can I apply for more than one program in ECE, or more than one graduate program at Rice?

Yes. However, separate applications are required for each program.

When is the application available?

Applications are available on our around September 1, and are available until the application deadline. The deadline will be published on the admission pages

How can I update my application once it has been submitted?

Once you’ve submitted your application, you are no longer able to make updates.

My school does not use a 4.0 scale. How do I report my GPA?

The application allows you to submit your GPA and the scale used at your institution.

Do you require a statement of purpose?

While a statement of purpose is not required, all of the information you provide to the admissions committee benefits your application as it allows the team to develop a more complete picture of your skills, abilities, and future goals. You may upload this as a supporting document.

The Statement of Purpose should be used to share information about you that has not already been requested. It is related to your future goals – how do you plan to apply what you learn? However, there are no specific requirements. Please refer to the online application to verify any word limits in place.

Do I need to take the GRE and can I take it more than once?

All applicants are required to submit a current GRE score. In addition, international students are required to submit either an IELTS or a TOEFL current score.

You can take the GRE more than once and we will “super score” your test, taking your best scores from each section.

Is the IELTS acceptable?

The IELTS or the TOEFL are acceptable.

If your TOEFL score is below 90 you are able to still apply but the competitive nature of the program requires a waiver.

Do you require all letters of recommendation to be submitted online?

Yes. Given the large number of applications that we receive, the online letters are much easier to track and to disseminate to the faculty who make the admissions and financial aid decisions.

How can I verify that my recommendations have been received?

You may login to your application via Gradapps to monitor your application status, as well as the status of your recommendations.

What if my TOEFL score is not available, or my recommenders can’t get documents submitted, by the deadline?

We will accept recommendations and scores beyond the application due date. Candidates whose application is not complete place themselves in a less competitive position. Please prepare accordingly to have all documents in by the deadline.

How can I check my application status?

You may login to your application via Gradapps to monitor your application status, as well as the status of your recommendations.

When and how will I be informed if I have been admitted?

Decisions are sent as they are made, starting in mid-February with the vast majority completed by late March for the fall semester. Spring admissions are typically completed by mid-November. All applications will be reviewed after the application deadline. All admissions decisions are provided by e-mail to the address listed on your application. Contacting the department about decisions only delays the process.

I was not accepted. Can you tell me why?

Admission to Rice ECE graduate programs of study is highly competitive, and many highly qualified applicants are denied. We are unable to provide specific reasons for the decision.

How many applicants are you accepting this year?

The number of applicants we accept in a given year varies, depending on faculty needs and research funding available to support graduate students.

Where do ECE graduates obtain employment?

ECE graduates work in a variety of companies and universities. Those seeking academic positions have been hired at universities like Arizona State, Northwestern, Colorado, Virginia, MIT, UIUC, and Georgia Tech. Those seeking positions in industry have gone on to corporations like IBM, Google, Matlab, Texas Instruments, National Instruments, Qualcomm, and Samsung.

What financial aid is available to me?

All PhD candidates are considered for financial aid. There is no university support for MECE candidates. Visit General Announcements for more information.

I am an MECE applicant. Can I work as a TA or perform research with faculty?

TA opportunities are not available for Professional Masters students. Research opportunities may be available through faculty, contingent on program acceptance.

I am interested in working with or have a question for, a specific faculty member. Is it appropriate to contact faculty directly?

You are welcome to contact faculty directly with specific questions. They will respond based on availability.

How can I arrange for a campus visit?

If you are interested in visiting campus, email our department.

If I was not admitted, can I reapply?

Yes, another application will be required.

Do you allow transfer credit from other schools?

Transfer credits can be evaluated upon matriculation to the program.

If I am admitted, is campus housing available?

Learn more about Housing at Rice.