- Definition of a Transfer Applicant
Students are considered transfer applicants if they have:
- Completed a high school diploma (or an equivalent)
- Earned at least 12 semester hours of college credit after graduating high school (with at least a 3.2 grade point average in their most recent college work)
- Not been enrolled in high school for at least one year.
If a student has earned 12 or more semester hours of credit since completing high school (or earning an equivalent), they must apply as a transfer.
Official transcripts of all academic work undertaken are a required part of the application; therefore, students may not reduce their academic credits in order to qualify as First Year applicants.
Transfer applicants must complete at least four semesters of course work (equal to 60 semester hours) as a full-time student at Rice to be eligible for a bachelor’s degree.
Domestic vs. International
Domestic applicants are those who hold one of the following citizenship or residency statuses:
- U.S. citizenship
- Permanent Residency
- Undocumented who do not hold DACA status but have resided in the U.S. for an extended period of time
International applicants are foreign nationals applying to Rice. Foreign nationals are students living outside the U.S. or living in the U.S. who hold, or intend to hold, a valid F-1, J-1, H-1, H-4 etc. visa/status, as well as those pending Permanent Residency status. Rice’s international student designation is based on residency or citizenship status rather than where a student lives and studies.
- Application Fee
Rice requires a $75 nonrefundable application fee. Students requesting an application fee waiver from Rice should respond to the fee waiver prompts provided in the Common Application or the Coalition Application. Please note: fee waivers are only available for domestic applicants.
- Rice Supplement
The Rice supplement offers you the opportunity to share more about yourself. This is your chance to tell us why you are interested in Rice and what you would like to pursue as a student here. We also want you to elaborate on your experiences and achievements to share what you would bring to our community.
Essay Prompts (2020-2021)
1. Please explain why you wish to study in the academic areas you selected. 150 words.
2. How does continuing your education at Rice University help you achieve your goals? 150 words.
3. Rice is lauded for creating a collaborative atmosphere that enhances the quality of life for all members of our campus community. The Residential College System and undergraduate life are heavily influenced by the unique life experiences and cultural tradition each student brings. What life perspectives would you contribute to the Rice community? 500 words.
One of Rice's long-standing traditions is “The Box,” a question on our application where we ask all of our applicants to share an image of something that appeals to them. The Box gives you the opportunity to present us with an image that shares something about yourself, your interests or what is meaningful to you. This image is not used for evaluative purposes in the application, but allows you to put your stamp on the application about who you are aside from what you have achieved. Be sure to choose an image that speaks for itself and does not need an explanation. The Box must be a two-dimensional image that is uploaded in the Common Application or the Coalition Application, or uploaded in the Rice Admission Student Portal.
- Shepherd School of Music Applicants
All application materials for the Shepherd School of Music must be completed by December 1. If you are interested in pursuing a music major please contact the school for more information.
- School of Architecture Applicants
If you are interested in transferring to the School of Architecture, please contact the school for more information at 713.348.4864 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Deadlines and Entry Terms
Fall Entry Term
Students applying to transfer must submit an application with the appropriate documents by March 15. Notification of admission decisions are made on a rolling basis between May 1 and June 1.
All admission decisions are final. There are three admission outcomes from Fall Transfer Decision; the admission committee will:
- Waitlist – Applicants who are offered a place on the waitlist and accept it, may be considered for admission if space in the class becomes available.
- Deny – Denied applicants are welcome to re-apply in the following application cycle.
Spring Entry Term
Students applying to transfer must submit the online application by November 1 with the appropriate documents by November 16. Notification of the admission decisions are made on a rolling basis beginning December 1.
All admission decisions are final. There are three admission outcomes from Spring Transfer Decision; the admission committee will:
- Waitlist – Applicants who are offered a place on the waitlist may elect to be considered for admission if space in the class becomes available.
- Deny – Denied applicants are welcome to re-apply in the following application cycle.
- Academic Requirements
Both high school and college performance are evaluated in the transfer admission review, and special emphasis is given to performance at the college level.
Applicants must have earned at least a 3.2 GPA in their most recent college work in order to be considered for admission. Those offered admission as transfer students typically have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. GPAs in college are evaluated within the context of the degree of difficulty of coursework pursued and competitiveness of the college you have attended.
Transfer applicants do not have specific coursework requirements based on their intended area of study at Rice. However the Admission Committee will consider an applicant’s pursuit of and performance in relevant coursework.
Official college transcripts must be submitted from all institutions the applicant has attended.
Official college transcripts must be submitted through a school’s online ordering system, an eTranscript service (such as the National Student Clearinghouse), or sent via postal mail directly to the Office of Admission. Transcripts will not be accepted by fax or email.
High School Transcripts
Official high school/secondary school transcripts must include coursework and grade performance from 9th through 12th grade. Applicants may submit GED results in place of a high school transcript.
Official high school transcripts must be submitted through an online ordering system or eTranscript service (such as Parchment, eScrip-Safe, or Scribbles) or sent via postal mail directly to the Office of Admission. Transcripts will not be accepted by fax or email.
- Standardized Testing
Testing Policy (2020 - 2021 application cycle only)
Rice will allow first-year and transfer student applicants to undergraduate degree-seeking programs for the 2020-2021 application cycle to submit SAT or ACT test scores, if they choose. Students who are unable to submit test scores or prefer not to submit test scores will be given full consideration in the admission selection process.
While standardized tests have long served to provide an external benchmark of college-readiness that provides meaningful information about a student’s preparedness for the rigors of a Rice education, they are merely one factor of many that are considered in the admission process. As is consistent with our holistic review, students will be given full consideration with the information they have provided regardless of their decision to submit their test scores.
Students wishing to provide additional exams for admission consideration are welcome to submit these to our office. These exams are purely optional and at the discretion of the students to submit. We want students to have every opportunity to showcase their strengths and academic achievements where possible.
- SAT Subject Tests: Students who have completed the SAT Subject Tests may submit these tests for consideration. Typically, these tests show mastery within specific subject areas and can show strength, particularly in the STEM fields. Access to SAT Subject Tests were severely hindered through the cancellation of Spring SAT administrations, so students not submitting subject tests will not be disadvantaged.
- PSAT or Pre-ACT scores: Students will also have the option of self-reporting their PSAT or Pre-ACT scores. While not typically an assessment for admission consideration, the PSAT and Pre-ACT do predict performance on the SAT or ACT, respectively. Students who feel their performance on these assessments is strong, are welcome to submit these assessments for our consideration. A student who chooses to do so may be asked to upload a copy of their PSAT Score Report or Pre-ACT Score Report.
- AP Exams, IB Exams, or AICE Exams: Students may opt to self-report AP, IB or AICE exam scores in the testing section of the Common Application, Coalition Application, or QuestBridge National College Match Application. These scores show mastery of content knowledge in specific subjects and may be eligible for undergraduate course credit once a student enrolls.
- Predicted IB Diploma and A-Levels: Students enrolled in IB and A-Level curricula whose schools submit predicted scores for admission consideration are expected to complete their exams and submit final results prior to enrolling. Should conditions related to the pandemic not allow for students to sit for their IB or A-Level examinations, Rice will accept the scores provided by the examination boards.
General Testing Policy
Students applying for Fall 2022 or later will be required to submit results of either the SAT or ACT for admission to Rice. Should further disruption to standardized testing persist into 2021, a reconsideration of our testing policy will occur at that time.
- ACT or SAT: Rice does not have a preference for students to submit one test over the other. If an applicant submits both an SAT and an ACT score, the committee will consider the test that best enhances their application.
- Superscore: When reviewing SAT and ACT scores, we use the highest score from each section across all administrations. We encourage students to report all scores knowing that we will recombine the sections to get the best possible set of scores for each candidate.
- Writing and essay sections: The ACT Essay and SAT Writing section are not required and not considered for admission. Writing or essay section scores are not visible as part of the admission evaluation process.
- Self-reported Scores: Students have the option to submit self-reported scores if they are graduating from a high school within the U.S. or submit official scores. Admitted students who choose to enroll at Rice will be required to submit official test scores prior to matriculation.
- Official Test Scores: To be considered official, scores must be sent directly from the testing organization. Rice’s College Board code, including TOEFL, is 6609 and our ACT code is 4152.
|Spring Entry Term
|Fall Entry Term
- College Report and Recommendations
The College Report
The College Report is completed by a school official, typically the dean of students, or an academic dean at the college or university. The form serves to confirm that the applicant is in good academic and disciplinary standing at the most recent institution attended.
College Instructor Recommendations
Two college instructor recommendations should come from professors or instructors at the college-level. When possible, at least one recommendation should relate to the applicant's intended area of study. If an applicant has not been enrolled in school for 2 or more years, the instructor recommendations may be replaced by personal or employer recommendations.
Supplemental Letters of Recommendation
The required College Report and two college instructor recommendations provide the Admission Committee with all the information we need to make an informed admission decision. However, if someone has unique and personal knowledge about an applicant's accomplishments or talents, the applicant may have that individual submit a supplemental recommendation. For example, this could include an employer, supervisor, mentor, or another instructor. Supplemental recommendations must include the applicant’s full name, date of birth, or applicant ID and should be submitted through the application platform or to email@example.com.
- Financial Aid and Scholarships
We know that one of the biggest factors in determining the right school is affordability. Because we believe talent deserves opportunity, Rice offers need-blind admission to domestic students. This means we do not consider finances when we review the application. Additionally, Rice meets 100 percent of demonstrated need – without loans – through the Rice Investment, one of the most notable financial aid programs in the country. For more information about need-based financial aid and the Rice Investment, please visit our Office of Financial Aid website.
Transfer students are not eligible for merit-based scholarships.
We do not offer financial aid or merit-based scholarships to international transfer applicants. This policy applies to applicants at the time of review and to admitted students, throughout their years of study at Rice.
International Student Financial Statement
International transfer applicants living outside the U.S. or in the U.S. must complete the Financial Statement and supply the appropriate supporting documentation to demonstrate the ability to finance their education at Rice.
To complete the required Financial Statement, applicants will need to do the following:
- Indicate they will not be requesting financial aid
- Submit all bank statements or affidavits supporting total funds available to go towards the total cost of attendance. Tax documents and proof of income are not accepted as supporting documentation.
- Submit all award letters or documentation supporting any scholarship funds available to go towards the total cost of attendance.
- Provide an explanation of how the applicant plans to cover the cost of attendance if the total sum of available funds is below $70,000.
All supporting financial documentation must be in English and converted to U.S. dollars.
The International Student Financial Statement can be found on the Rice Admission Student Portal once the application is submitted. An application will not be complete until the Financial Statement and all required documentation are submitted.
- English Language Proficiency
International transfer applicants whose first language is not English are required to demonstrate English proficiency in one of two ways:
1. Completing at least two years of full-time study in an English language curriculum prior to submitting an application
2. Submitting one of the following official test scores
|Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
TOEFL ITP will not be accepted.
|100 (Internet-based test)
75 (Paper-delivered test)
|International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
To be considered official, all scores must be sent directly from the testing organization. Rice's TOEFL code is 6609.
- Transfer Credit
The Office of the Registrar evaluates courses taken at other regionally accredited colleges or universities (or their foreign equivalent) that are appropriate to the Rice curriculum for potential transfer credit. We do not offer a preliminary transfer credit evaluation prior to admission. Once a transfer applicant is offered admission to Rice, the Office of the Registrar will send the student a preliminary evaluation of their college coursework which will show a comparison of the course taken and the comparable Rice course for credit. Details on this process may be found at Office of the Registrar.
If I applied as a freshman to Rice and now wish to apply as a transfer student, do I have to resubmit everything?
Since freshman admission and transfer admission take place in different application cycles and have very different requirements, you would need to submit different items. Our office can use the testing you submitted as a freshman applicant to complete your transfer application testing requirement, but no other freshman documents can substitute required transfer documents.
I believe my circumstances are somewhat unique. How can I share this with the admission committee?
The application process is designed to accommodate the broad spectrum of experience a transfer student might bring to the process. The application offers several opportunities for students to discuss their reasons for seeking a transfer, their interest in a particular field of study, their specific interest in Rice, what they believe is distinctive in their background and life experiences that would add to the Rice community, and if they experienced an education interruption. If you do not feel that the application questions allow you to explain your circumstances to the admission committee, you may email the information to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.