Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What qualifications will I need to be admitted to the Ph.D. program?
Entering students should have a high aptitude for chemistry, a strong motivation to perform original scientific research, and a Bachelor's or Master's degree in Chemistry or a closely related discipline. Rice's graduate program in Chemistry is directed only at the Ph.D. degree, although some students choose to receive Master's degrees in the course of their doctoral studies.

When is the application deadline?
The Department of Chemistry application deadline for the Ph.D. program is December 1.

When should I begin the application process?
You should begin your application process as early as possible. Plan to take the GRE test (and TOEFL, if required) by November. We strongly recommend applicants to include GRE scores to demonstrate proficiency in areas such as math, verbal and analysis. Nonetheless, its absence will not be considered as a negative factor for the applicant. Also request transcripts and letters of recommendation by October or earlier to allow recommenders time to submit their information before the application deadline.

"Plans for Study" and "Personal Statement"
The online application has an area to describe your intended Plans for Study and to add additional factors that you would like the Admissions Committee to consider when evaluating your application. For example, you can optionally upload a Statement of Purpose.

Is it necessary to submit transcripts from all colleges/universities attended?
Official transcript(s) are required from all undergraduate and graduate schools you have attended. For reviewing purposes, electronic copies of transcript(s) can be uploaded through the online application system to meet the application requirements. If you are offered admission to Rice, official paper or electronic copies of the transcript(s) will be required and can either be sent directly to the Rice Chemistry Department from the institution or sealed by the institution in a signed envelope and delivered by the applicant.

Please do not send official paper transcript(s) from your college or university unless you are accepted to the Rice Chemistry program.

Where do I send my official transcripts?
If you are offered admission to Rice, official transcripts should be sent to:

Rice University
Kari Stein, Graduate Program Admin.
Department of Chemistry-MS 60
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77251-1892

Courier deliveries should be sent to:
Rice University
Kari Stein, Graduate Program Admin.
Department of Chemistry-MS 60
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005

Can letters of recommendation be submitted online?
Yes. Webforms are sent to recommenders through an automated system, which has a unique identifier that ties the reference to the student’s application when the reference is uploaded.

I have not taken/do not have my GRE and/or TOEFL scores yet. Can I still apply?
The Graduate Records Examinations (GRE) test is not required for admission for Fall 2022; however, GRE scores will be accepted upon submission.

Is the GRE Subject Test required?
The GRE Subject test is recommended but not required.

What are the minimum GRE scores?
There is no minimum for any section of the GRE test. Those scores are evaluated in combination with all other aspects of a candidate's application.

What is the minimum TOEFL score?
The Office of Graduate Studies at Rice has set a minimum TOEFL score of 620 on the paper-based test, or 250 on the computer-based test. For students who take the IELTS in lieu of TOEFL, the minimum score is 7.

What is the minimum Grade Point Average (GPA)?
The Office of Graduate Studies has specified a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale. If your undergraduate school uses a different grading method, the Admissions Committee will determine your equivalent GPA on a 4.0 point scale.

What about the application fee?
The application fee for Fall 2022 has been waived.

Will I be eligible for financial aid?
Each offer of admission to our Department's graduate program includes a full tuition scholarship and a graduate fellowship stipend. For the 2021-2022 academic year, the 12-month graduate stipend is $30,000. Applicants who win external fellowship award may receive supplements to their award money to bring them to the graduate stipend amount.

Do you accept students for admission in the spring semester?
Most students are accepted to begin graduate study in the fall semester (August). We occasionally accept students in the spring semester (January) on a case-by-case basis. To be considered for admission in the spring semester you must submit your application materials by October 31.

If I am admitted to the graduate program in Chemistry can I start in the summer?
Upon admission to the program, and upon the availability of research funds, some students accept paid research positions in one of our labs the summer before their matriculation. These are 1-3 month appointments, which promote the development of research skills and allow an opportunity to learn about a potential research advisor laboratory. They do not obligate the student to continue working with the same advisor for thesis research. If you are interested in learning more about the summer research opportunities for newly accepted graduate students, please email

What if I have other questions?
Applicants with further questions are invited to contact the Department of Chemistry directly:

Rice University
Kari Stein, Graduate Program Admin.
Department of Chemistry-MS 60
Phone: 713-348-5820

Toll-free phone: 877-348-8639
Fax: 713-348-5155