After You Have Been Admitted

Welcome to Rice University!

The following information and resources will help you prepare for the coming academic year and ease your transition into graduate school.  

Click on the section titles for more information or download a PDF version of this checklist.

Save the Date

Fall 2018 Graduate Orientation
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
8:30 am - 7 pm, Alice Pratt Brown and various other locations
Mandatory for International Students
Monday, August 13, 2018 - Tuesday, August 14, 2018


Get Connected  More information


Before You Arrive  More information


Moving to Houston  More information


After You Arrive  More information

      • Check in with your department and attend your graduate program’s orientation
      • Pick up your Rice ID
      • Attend the required Lab Safety training on August 16th
      • File your payroll information as soon as possible
      • Register for classes on ESTHER beginning August 16th at 8:00 am
      • Pay your bills via ESTHER by September 10th


Information for International Students  More information


Resources for Graduate Students



Get connected

    • Have a question? Contact your program's graduate coordinator!
        • Your graduate coordinator will be able to help you resolve any of the issues that may arise before and after your arrival.


↑ Back to Top


Before you arrive

    • Activate your NetID, ESTHER account, and Rice Email as soon as possible
        • You should receive an email from that contains your ESTHER login and Rice Email information to the email address given on your application.
            • Use your student ID number and the unique link in the email to set up your ESTHER account and NetID.  This link may only be used once, so be certain to remember your ESTHER pin after it has been reset.
        • ESTHER
            • ESTHER is the web application for students, faculty, and staff that allows you to access your academic records, course schedules, register for classes, pay bills, view financial aid, address and contact updates, and other tools. For more information about how to use ESTHER, review ESTHER FAQs.
            • Log into ESTHER to update your address and emergency contact information and affirm the Honor Code and Student Financial Responsibility Agreement..
        • NetID 
        • If you have not received information regarding your ESTHER login by May 31st, please contact your graduate coordinator for assistance.

    • Check your Rice Email regularly
        • Your Rice Email is your official means of communication with the university. Read all emails from your graduate coordinator and regularly.
            • Access your Rice email online at
            • If you prefer another service, set your Rice email to forward to another email address using WebSieve at

        • All new, full time graduate students are required to submit a Health Data Form (HDF) to Student Health by July 1 before they matriculate.
            • Please, have your physician complete and sign the form, and mail it back to Health Services (Rice University Student Health Service, 6100 Main Street, MS-760, Houston, TX 77005, USA). Keep a copy for your records.
            • If you have not had a physical exam within the last year, a physical will be required to complete the form.
            • If you are coming as an early matriculate, your HDF must be turned in prior to your arrival.
            • Instructions and a link to download the HDFcan be found here.
            • Review the Health Data Form FAQs here.
        • Please be advised that new students under the age of 22 will need to show proof of a meningitis vaccination ten days before the semester starts.

    • Register for or waive Rice Student Health Insurance by August 31st
        • All students are required to have health insurance coverage.
            • Open Enrollment for Rice Student Health Insurance for Fall 2018 is July 9 - August 31, 2018.
            • If you currently have health insurance with another plan, you may waive Rice student insurance by demonstrating comparable insurance coverage. Please, review the waiver requirements.
            • To register for or waive Rice Health Insurance, go to You will need your Rice student ID number to complete the process.
            • If you do not enroll in or waive the student insurance plan prior to August 31, you will be automatically enrolled into the insurance plan and responsible for the full premium amount. Once enrolled, you will be unable to cancel coverage.

    • Complete required online trainings by October 1st
        • Online trainings must be completed before October 1st (fall matriculants) and February 15th (spring matriculants).
        • It is recommended that these be completed prior to arrival, if possible.
        • A $75 late training fee will be assessed if training requirements are not met by October 1st. Students will not be able to register for a second semester until these trainings have been completed.

    • Submit your final transcripts by October 1st
        • After your most recent degree is conferred, request your previous institution to send an official transcript showing degree conferred directly to your department coordinator by October 1st (fall matriculates) or February 15th (spring matriculates).
        • A $75 late fee will be assessed if your final transcript is not submitted by October 1st. You will not be able to register for a second semester until your previous degree is verified.


↑ Back to Top


Moving to Houston

    • Plan on arriving by August 14th (Domestic Students) or August 12th (International Students)

    • Apply for Graduate Housing by April 17th
        • Rice University offers housing to full-time, currently registered Rice University graduate students and graduate students who have been accepted and will begin their enrollment in fall 2019.
        • Rice Graduate Housing has two apartment complexes located near campus. Furnished apartments are available in a variety of floor plans with internet and cable included. Each location also offers shuttle service to campus and local shopping.
        • The Graduate Housing application is available online. Incoming first-year graduate students (including international students) are given the highest priority.
        • For more information, please visit the Rice Graduate Housing website.
        • The deadline to apply for Graduate Housing is April 17, 2019.

    • Apply for a parking permit, if necessary
        • Visit to learn about parking options on campus.
        • To purchase a parking permit, log on to ESTHER and select "Rice Parking Registration" on the main menu.
        • Permits can be picked up after you arrive from the Parking Office, located in the Central Garage below the Jones School of Management.  Hours are 7AM - 5PM, Monday-Friday.


↑ Back to Top


After you arrive

    • Check in with your department and attend your graduate program’s orientation. 
        • Your graduate coordinator will be able to answer any questions you may have upon arrival. Make sure to attend your graduate program’s orientation.

    • Pick up your Rice ID
        • ID cards are obtained in the lobby of the Rice campus police department. Hours are 7AM - 5PM, Monday-Friday.

    • Attend the required Lab Safety training
        • Lab Safety Training is required for all new graduate students in the School of Engineering, School of Natural Science (except Computational and Applied Mathematics, Mathematics and Statistics), and any student working in a laboratory.
        • Contact your graduate coordinator if you have questions about attending the training.
        • For more information about Lab Safety, visit

    • File your payroll information
        • Consult with your graduate coordinator to confirm what payroll information must be filed in order to receive your stipend.
        • Submit your I-9 Form
              • Students must complete the Employee Eligibility Verification Form (or Form I-9) in person with the Rice Payroll Office prior to receiving their first stipend. Refer here to the list of acceptable documents for completing your I-9.
              • The Payroll Office is located in the Cambridge Office Building, Room 210. Hours are 9AM – 4PM, Monday – Friday.
          • Submit your W-4 Form in ESTHER
              • Students have the option to compete Form W-4 and submit online in ESTHER. If you do not submit a W-4 form, you will be taxed at the highest rate – single status with zero withholding allowances.
              • To update your W-4 form in ESTHER, navigate to "Employee" > "Tax Forms" > "W4 Tax Exemptions or Allowances" > "Update" (located in the center of the page, between "History" and "Contributions and Deductions").
          • Set up Direct Deposit in ESTHER
              • To enter your direct deposit information in ESTHER, navigate to “Employee” > “Pay Information” > “Direct Deposit Allocation”.
              • If you do not set up direct deposit, you will be issued a pay card with USA Bank.  We no longer process paper checks.

      • Register for classes on ESTHER.
          • Registration for all new graduate students for Fall 2019 will start the Thursday before O-Week. Please, consult with your department on your planned course of study prior to registration.
          • To register for classes, log into ESTHER and go to “Student Services and Account Information” > “Registration”.
          • The last day to add classes is August 30, 2019.

      • Pay your bills via ESTHER by September 10th
          • After you register for classes, you will receive an email notice of your new account statement. To pay any outstanding balances or enroll in a payment plan, visit the Bill Payment Suite in ESTHER.
          • Bill Payment Suite
              • View your account balance and payment history, enroll in a payment plan, set up e-Refunds, and set up authorized users.
              • To access the Bill Payment Suite, log into ESTHER and go to “Student Services and Account Information” > “Account Summary - Pay My Bill - Bill Payment Suite”.
              • Follow the Bill Payment Suite Step by Step Instructions here.
              • Tuition and required fees for Fall 2018 are due Monday, September 10, 2018*.
              • *This deadline only applies to new students that register after August 1, 2018. For continuing students or those that register prior to August 1, the deadline to pay outstanding balances or enroll in a payment plan is August 10, 2018.

      • Master's Students: Check your degree progress
          • Master’s students may monitor their degree progress using Degree Works in ESTHER. Degree Works enables students to evaluate academic progress towards graduation and allows them to quickly and easily identify which requirements have been satisfied, and which requirements are outstanding.
          • To access Degree Works, log into ESTHER and go to “Student Services and Account Information” > “Degree Works”.
          • For more information about Degree Works and step-by-step instructions, visit 

    ↑ Back to Top


    Information for International Students

      • Contact OISS directly for questions regarding your VISA

    ↑ Back to Top