Graduate Admissions

Thank you for your interest in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Rice University, where we offer the following graduate degrees:

Application Deadlines for Fall Admission

PhD and MS Programs

  • Application Deadline: December 31
  • Late applications will not be accepted or considered

MChE Program

  • Application Deadline: April 1
  • Spring 2024 Application Deadline: October 1
  • Fall Application Deadline: April 1

How to Apply

To be considered for admission into one of our programs, first review admissions requirements, then begin your Online Application to Rice University.

All documents must be submitted electronically — do not mail hard copies to the department. Unofficial test scores and transcripts may be submitted for the application process. Official copies will be requested upon an admission offer and acceptance to our program.

Application Fee

The application fee for Master’s candidates is $85. All PhD candidates will receive an automatic application fee waiver.

Supporting Documents

In order to be considered, applicants must submit the following documents:

  • Completed online graduate application form
  • Unofficial transcripts of grades from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended
  • At least three letters of recommendation from teachers or advisers
  • TOEFL scores are required for any student requiring a visa or whose native language is not English. Test-takers should score at least 90 on the iBT (internet-based) TOEFL, at least 600 on the paper-based TOEFL or score 250 on the computer-based TOEFL. Only the best composite TOEFL score is accepted; myBest scores are not accepted. In lieu of the TOEFL the IELTS test will be accepted with a required score of 7 or greater. The minimum Duolingo score of 115 is required. The ETS Reporting code for Rice University is 6609. Note: Waiver of the English language proficiency requirement is applicable to a candidate with proof of degree from a university whose official language of instruction is English (US universities and applicable international universities and/or countries). Applicants may upload unofficial scores. If an offer of admission is made and accepted the official scores will then be required.
  • A statement of purpose that addresses the following questions: Why do you want to obtain a degree in Chemical Engineering? Why are you interested in Rice and in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Rice. What relevant experiences do you have in research, academics, and/or prior jobs? Why do you believe you will be successful in either a thesis or non-thesis degree graduate program? What would you like to do after completing your degree, and what are your long-term career goals?

All items listed above must be uploaded to the application file before your application is complete. However, the admissions committee may elect to begin reviews with missing recommendations.

Recommender requests may be sent through the application system prior to finalizing and submitting an application. Applicants will receive a notification once a recommender has replied.


For 2023 admission, Rice is eliminating the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) standardized test requirement, excluding programs in the Jones School of Business, which will require either a GRE or GMAT score to be submitted. Waivers are available for those with appropriate qualifications as described at the Jones School’s application site. Each degree program at Rice can choose to be GRE-optional, GRE-optional-but-recommended or GRE-optional-but-strongly-recommended. Prospective students should check with their program of application for details.

Rice will also waive application fees for doctoral applicants who are graduates of institutions in Texas and bordering states Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico or who have a permanent address in these states, excluding programs in the Jones School of Business.

Selection Process

When selecting students for admission to our graduate program, all available material is carefully evaluated. However, the following criteria are particularly important:

  • Academic record (courses and grades). In general, Rice University applicants should have at least a 3.0 (B) grade point average (or equivalent) in their undergraduate work.
  • Evaluations by teachers and research advisers
  • The student's statement of purpose

The selection process is very competitive and we are able to offer admission to only a small fraction of the hundreds who apply to our program every year.

Admissions Policies & Procedures

Rice University policies and processes regarding admissions requirements may be found in the General Announcements.

Contact Us

PhD and MS Programs

Yesmin Escobar
Academic Program Administrator

MChE Program

Ericson De Paula
Director, MChE Program

Mailing Address

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, MS 362
Rice University
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77251-1892