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Background

About the Brown School of Engineering

history01Engineering has been a part of Rice's curriculum since the university first opened as The Rice Institute in 1912. In those early days Rice offered courses in chemical, civil, mechanical and electrical engineering. Over the years, the engineering program grew, and in 1975 the George R. Brown School of Engineering was established. Today the school is comprised of nine academic departments and includes seventeen research institutes and centers. Almost one third of Rice undergraduates are engineering majors and about 40 percent of graduate students are in the School of Engineering.

Among the more than 100 engineering faculty are eleven members of the National Academies of Engineering and Science. Six emeritus faculty are also members. Virtually all undergraduate courses in engineering are taught by Ph.D. faculty. With a small student-to-faculty ratio, students in both undergraduate and graduate programs not only have easy access to professors in the classroom, but work closely with them in their labs.

Departments and centers within the school of engineering take advantage of Houston's role as a center for the energy industry, medical research, space exploration, and the city's growing high-technology sector. Several departments have active industrial affiliates programs, and many research projects are undertaken with local companies. Students benefit from these relationships through collaborative design and research projects, summer internships, and making contacts for employment before graduation.