Rice University is a small, private school located in Houston, Texas. With a reputation as a stellar liberal arts program, admission is highly selective to maintain an undergraduate student body of around 3,000 members. Students with interests in science and applied research are attracted by the prestigious research activity that Rice is a part of, thanks to collaborations with the Texas Medical Center. Research groups are involved in state-of-the-art work in the fields of nanotechnology and space science, just to name a few. The campus itself is also a big draw for students, as it has a prime location in the museum district of downtown Houston.
Size and Landscaping
The Rice University campus stretches over 285-acres of wooded land, with five major streets bordering the privately owned land. You will immediately notice that the academic and administrative buildings are concentrated along the border, or outer loop of campus. A few newer facilities have been built closer to the center of campus, but the majority of the land remains as open, green space. The natural setting is peaceful and relaxing, creating a positive learning environment for students lucky enough to study at Rice. The dedication to nature and landscaping is demonstrated by the Lynn R. Lowrey Arboretum, which serves as the home to more than 4,000 trees and plants. Rice students and faculty alike often boast that the campus has one tree for every student enrolled in the university.
Founded in the early 1900s, the original president of the university, Edgar Odell Lovett, envisioned a traditional style for the campus, with cohesive architecture spanning the campus. For this reason, all of the original buildings have a marked Byzantine style, which can be noted in the sand-colored bricks with a slight pink tint, large formal columns, and archways that span many of the building entrances.
The building layout on campus is functional and aesthetically pleasing. In the Academic Quad, you will find the administrative buildings, the main library, as well as the physics, social sciences, language, and architecture departments. To the west is another pair of quadrangles in the inner loop where the business and music schools are located. Finally, in the Engineering Quad you can find students studying to become electrical, mechanical, and civil engineers.
One characteristic that makes Rice University unique is that more than 75% of the student body chooses to live on campus. This is possible due to eleven separate residential colleges, each with a rich history and set of traditions that enhance student life on campus. With no Greek life on campus, students within each residence hall bond together to form sports teams, run the dining halls, and organize social events.
The Rice University campus is unique for a number of reasons. The beautiful landscaping and open, rolling gardens encourage an organic and natural learning environment that students, staff, and visitors can enjoy. The architecture is strong and classic, reflecting the attitude of the institution and its mission of producing confident and knowledgeable students. It is therefore no surprise that so many Rice students want to live on campus and take advantage of all that it has to offer.