The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology offers graduate programs leading to M.S. (non-thesis), M.A.(thesis) and Ph.D. degrees. Course offerings include classroom lectures, discussion, seminars, laboratory tutorials, and field study. Our program is designed to foster close working relationships between students and faculty. Graduate study is tailored to the individual student. Research is strongly emphasized, but programs include both formal class work and laboratory study. Graduate students are also encouraged to attend courses offered by other academic departments at Rice and by Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Texas Health Science Center, and the University of Houston. Recent graduates are working in academia, government, and the private sector.
Well-equipped research areas are housed in attractive facilities, which include laboratories and a 3500 sq. ft. greenhouse. In addition, within a two-hour drive of the campus are many federal, state, and private refuges, parks, experimental stations, and preserves available for field research.
Habitats include southeastern coastal plain forests; coastal prairies; fresh, brackish, and saline marshes; estuaries; and near-shore marine environments. Slightly further away is the Hill Country (Austin, San Antonio) where a number of faculty members also do research. In addition, faculty members conduct research in other areas of the United States including Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Indiana, New Mexico, Michigan, and Guam as well as abroad in Madagascar, Germany, and China. Houston is also host to numerous institutions within the Texas Medical Center, located across the street from Rice University, that provide additional opportunities for research in evolutionary genomics and bioinformatics.
Within Rice University, graduate students are represented by the Graduate Student Association, which also sponsors social and other activities. Graduate students serve on university committees which determine policy on research, affirmative action, the library, computers, public lectures, student affairs, and other university functions.
Incoming students who request financial support and do not hold external fellowships will be awarded a nine-month Rice University Graduate Fellowship for their first year of study. Support beyond the first year is extended to all students who remain in good standing in the program. Outstanding applicants may be eligible for other Rice Fellowships which would supplement the annual stipend. Graduate research assistantships and fellowships are supported by numerous faculty research grants awarded by a wide range of national and private funding agencies. Additional support for the summer is usually available.
Additional information is available at the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies financial support page.
Houston is one of the cheapest big cities in the country as far as rent and real estate go. However, the housing market near Rice remains relatively expensive because both Rice and the Medical Center are in the same area. Graduate students may choose to live either on campus in Rice Graduate Apartments or off campus.
Rice Graduate Housing offers furnished apartments in a variety of floor plans and their shuttle service provides easy transportation to and from campus, nearby grocery stores, and shopping centers. Free high-speed Internet access through the Rice network gives you access to Fondren Library’s online journals and databases.
Those choosing off campus housing can find tips on finding housing and information on the various Houston neighborhoods here. With off campus housing you need to decide what your budget is and how far you are willing to commute. Rents are generally cheaper the farther out you travel from Rice, but then your commute to and from campus will be longer.
You can also contact the Graduate Student Association for additional information regarding housing options.