Research centers and resources
Rice is noted for its pioneer applied science programs in the fields of nanotechnology, artificial heart research, structural chemical analysis, and space science, being ranked 1st in the world in materials science research by the Times Higher Education (THE) in 2010.
Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology (Smalley Institute) the nation's first nanotechnology center
Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN) promotes the discovery and development of nanomaterials that enable new medical and environmental technologies
Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP) provides a resource for education and research breakthroughs and advances in the broad, multidisciplinary field of nanophotonics
Digital Signal Processing (DSP) center for education and research in the field of digital signal processing
Rice Quantum Institute organization dedicated to research and higher education in areas relating to quantum phenomena
Rice Space Institute -fosters programs in all areas of space research
Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering (IBB)- facilitates the translation of interdisciplinary research and education in biosciences and bioengineering
Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology dedicated to the advancement of applied interdisciplinary research in the areas of computation and information technology
Baker Institute for Public Policy - one of the leading nonpartisan public policy think-tanks in the country
OpenStax CNX (formerly Connexions) and OpenStax College - an open source platform and open access publisher, respectively, of open educational resources
Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship - supports entrepreneurs and early-stage technology ventures in Houston and Texas through education, collaboration, and research, ranked No. 1 among top university business incubators.
Mid-InfraRed Technologies for Health and the Environment (MIRTHE)
Kinder Institute for Urban Research - conducts the Houston Area Survey, "the nation's longest running study of any metropolitan region's economy, population, life experiences, beliefs and attitudes"
Humanities Research Center (HRC) - identifies, encourages, and funds innovative research projects by faculty, visiting scholars, graduate, and undergraduate students in the School of Humanities and beyond
Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality (CSWGS)
Rice Center for Critical and Cultural Theory (3CT) - promotes intellectual synergy and community among Rice faculty and graduate students whose work is informed by a deep and sustained engagement with critical and cultural theory and their ongoing development and permutations
Chao Center for Asian Studies
Admission to Rice is rated as "most selective" by U.S. News & World Report.
For fall 2014, Rice received 17,728 freshmen applications; 2,677 were admitted (15.1%) and 949 enrolled. The middle 50% range of SAT scores were 680-760 for critical reading, 710-790 for math, and 670-770 for writing. The middle 50% range of the ACT Composite score was 31-34
In 2015, Rice was ranked 101st in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and 84th internationally (45th nationally) by the Academic Ranking of World Universities. Rice University was also ranked 106th globally in 2015 by QS World University Rankings. Rice is noted for its entrepreneurial activity, and has been recognized as the top ranked business incubator in the world by the Stockholm-based UBI Index for both 2013 and 2014.
Rice was ranked tied for 18th among national universities and tied for 10th for "best undergraduate teaching" in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report in its 2016 edition. USNWR also ranked the Jones Graduate School of Management tied for 33rd and the Brown School of Engineering 31st in the nation in 2016. Forbes magazine ranked Rice University 32nd nationally among both liberal arts colleges and universities in 2015. Kiplinger's Personal Finance places Rice 4th in its 2015 ranking of best value private universities in the United States.
The Princeton Review ranked Rice 1st for "Best Quality of Life" and "Happiest Students" in its 2012 edition, 20th among LGBT friendliest colleges in its 2014 edition, and one of the top 50 best value private colleges in its 2011 edition. Rice was ranked 41st among research universities by the Center for Measuring University Performance in 2007. Consumer's Digest ranked Rice 3rd on the list of top 5 values in private colleges in its June 2011 issue. Fiske Guide to Colleges ranked Rice as one of the top 25 private "best buy" schools in its 2012 edition. In 2011 the Leiden Ranking, which measures the performance of 500 major research universities worldwide, using metrics designed to measure research impact ranked Rice 4th Globally, for effectiveness and contribution of research. In 2013 the university was again ranked first globally for quality of research in natural sciences and engineering, and 6th globally for all sciences. In 2014, Money Magazine ranked Rice 20th. In 2014, The Daily Beast ranked Rice 14th out of nearly 2,000 schools it evaluated.
A view along the inner loop, with three of the university service personnel's traditional golf carts in view
Situated on nearly 300 acres (1.2 km2) in the heart of Houston's Museum District and across the street from the city's Hermann Park, Rice is a green and leafy refuge – an oasis of learning convenient to the amenities of the nation's fourth-largest city. Rice's campus adjoins Hermann Park, the Texas Medical Center, and a neighborhood commercial center called Rice Village. Hermann Park includes the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Houston Zoo, Miller Outdoor Theatre and an 18-hole municipal golf course. Reliant Park, home of Reliant Stadium and the Astrodome, is two miles (3 km) south of the campus. Among the dozen or so museums in the Museum District is the Rice University Art Gallery, open during the school year. Easy access to downtown's theater and nightlife district and to Reliant Park is provided by the Houston METRORail system, with a station adjacent to the campus's main gate. The campus recently joined the Zipcar program with two vehicles to increase the transportation options for students and staff who need but currently don't utilize a vehicle.