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Departments

The George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University is comprised of nine academic departments, with research that's enriched by more than 20 engineering-related centers and institutes. Departments and centers within Rice 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.

Academic Departments

Bioengineering

Located in the world-renowned Texas Medical Center, the Rice University Department of Bioengineering advances knowledge in the field through excellence in research and innovative teaching environments that challenge students to explore, collaborate and invent.

Degrees offered:

  • BS in Bioengineering
  • PhD in the field of Bioengineering
  • Master of Bioengineering
  • MS in the field of Bioengineering*
  • Coordinated PhD in the field of Bioengineering / MD with Baylor College of Medicine

* Although students are not normally admitted to a Master of Science (MS) degree program, graduate students may earn the MS as they work towards the PhD.

Visit the Department of Bioengineering.

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Programs in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering provide students with a sound scientific and technical grounding for further development in a variety of professional environments. Courses in mathematics, chemistry, physics, and computational engineering provide the background for the chemical engineering core. Students admitted for graduate studies must complete a rigorous program combining advanced course work and original research that must be formalized in an approved thesis.

Degrees offered:

  • BA with a Major in Chemical Engineering
  • BS Chemical Engineering
  • PhD in the field of Chemical Engineering
  • Master of Science (MS) Degree in the field of Chemical Engineering*
  • Coordinated Master of Chemical Engineering / MBA

* Prospective students must receive permission from the graduate program to apply directly to the Master of Science (MS) degree program.

Visit the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Students in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering serve as master builders, environmental stewards, and integrators of solutions to complex challenges to sustain and improve the built and natural environment so that later generations will have an ever-improving quality of life.

Degrees offered:

  • BA with a Major Concentration in:
    • Civil Engineering
    • Environmental Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering
  • Minor in Energy and Water Sustainability
  • Master of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the field of Civil Engineering
  • Master of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the field of Environmental Engineering
  • MS in the field of Civil Engineering
  • MS in the field of Environmental Engineering
  • PhD in the field of Civil Engineering
  • PhD in the field of Environmental Engineering

Visit the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Computational and Applied Mathematics

Faculty in the Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Rice University are working at the forefront of research in the field. There is a recent surge in the creation of applied mathematics departments and programs across the nation. With more than 50 years of existence, the CAAM department has been a pioneer in carrying out internationally recognized mathematical research with an impact in engineering, science and society. Research areas include optimization, numerical methods for partial differential equations, numerical linear algebra, scientific computing, graph theory, inverse problems, data analytics and physics-based modeling.

Degrees offered:

  • BA with a Major in Computational and Applied Mathematics
  • Minor in Computational and Applied Mathematics
  • Master of Computational and Applied Mathematics
  • MA in the field of Computational and Applied Mathematics*
  • PhD in the field of Computational and Applied Mathematics
  • Coordinated Master of Computational and Applied Mathematics / MBA

* Although students are not normally admitted to a Master of Arts (MA) degree program, graduate students may earn the MA as they work towards the PhD.

Visit the Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics.

Computer Science

Computer science is the intellectual discipline underlying information technology, which is widely accepted now as the ascendant technology of the next century. Students in the Department of Computer Science at Rice benefit from the latest in equipment and ideas as well as the flexibility of the educational programs. The research interests of the faculty include algorithms and complexity, artificial intelligence and robotics, compilers, distributed and parallel computation, graphics and visualization, operating systems, and programming languages.

Degrees offered:

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree with a Major in Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BSCS) Degree
  • Master of Computer Science
  • Master of Computer Science, Online Program
  • MS Degree in the field of Computer Science
  • PhD in the field of Computer Science
  • Coordinated Master of Computer Science / MBA

Visit the Department of Computer Science.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering provides high-quality degree programs that emphasize fundamental principles, respond to the changing demands and opportunities of new technology, challenge the exceptional abilities of Rice students, and prepare students for roles of leadership in their chosen careers.

The department's research areas include: Computer Engineering; Data Science; Neuroengineering; Photonics, Electronics, and Nano-devices; and Systems.

Degrees offered:

  • BA with a Major in Electrical Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
  • Master of Electrical Engineering
  • MS Degree in the field of Electrical and Computer Engineering*
  • PhD in the field of Electrical and Computer Engineering

* Although students are not normally admitted to a Master of Science (MS) degree program, graduate students may earn the MS as they work towards the PhD.

Visit the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Materials Science & NanoEngineering

Materials research at Rice University encompasses many areas including biomaterials, coatings and thin films, optical materials, energy storage and conversion, carbon nanomaterials and composites and the list goes on. The Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering is dedicated to expanding the boundaries of knowledge in materials and producing the materials scientists and engineers of the future.

Degrees offered:

  • BA with a Major in Materials Science and NanoEngineering
  • BS in Materials Science and NanoEngineering
  • Master of Materials Science and NanoEngineering
  • MS in the field of Materials Science and NanoEngineering
  • PhD in the field of Materials Science and NanoEngineering
  • Coordinated Master of Materials Science and NanoEngineering / MBA

Visit the Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering.

Mechanical Engineering

Undergraduate studies in the Department of Mechanical Engineering can lead to careers that focus on a diverse set of areas, including aerospace engineering, biomedical systems, computational fluid dynamics, computational mechanics, fluids-thermal science, mechanical design, mechanics, robotics, systems dynamics and controls. The graduate program, in its comprehensive educational and research activities, collaborates with other departments at Rice and other institutions in Houston, including those in the Texas Medical Center.

Degrees offered:

  • BA with a Major in Mechanical Engineering
  • BS in Mechanical Engineering
  • Master of Mechanical Engineering
  • MS in the field of Mechanical Engineering
  • PhD in the field of Mechanical Engineering
  • Coordinated Master of Mechanical Engineering / MBA

Visit the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Statistics

The research of the Department of Statistics has applications in medicine, finance, energy, and the environment. Our faculty and students have made contributions to statistical theory and methods including modeling of contagious diseases, the genetics of cancer, neuroimaging, machine learning, applied probability, and many other areas.

Degrees offered:

  • BA with a Major in Statistics
  • BS with a Major in Statistics
  • Minor in Financial Computation and Modeling
  • Minor in Statistics
  • MA in the field of Statistics*
  • Master of Statistics
  • PhD in the field of Statistics
  • Coordinated Master of Statistics / MBA

* Although students are not normally admitted to a Master of Arts (MA) degree program, graduate students may earn the MA as they work towards the PhD.

Visit the Department of Statistics.

Multidisciplinary Engineering Programs

Engineering Design

Engineering Design is the process of creating a new product or process to meet a defined need while taking into account constraints such as cost, practicality, and safety. The design process begins with creating an open-ended problem statement to address an unmet need. The minor in Engineering Design capitalizes on strengths in engineering design at Rice — including our unsurpassed facilities at the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen.

Degrees offered:

  • Minor in Engineering Design

Learn more about the Minor in Engineering Design.

Engineering Leadership

The mission of the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL) is to educate and develop and inspire Rice Engineers to become ethical leaders in technology who will excel in research, industry, enabling (non-engineering) career paths, or bold entrepreneurship. RCEL programming enhances traditional undergraduate education by developing skills that are not expressly covered by the traditional curricula from the School of Engineering.

Degrees offered:

  • Certificate in Engineering Leadership

Learn more about the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership.

Industrial Engineering

The Master of Industrial Engineering degree is a graduate degree program administered by the George R. Brown School of Engineering, with the participation of the Rice University Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Statistics, and the Rice Center for Operations Research. The program is designed to explore modern industrial systems, which arise in fields such as manufacturing, services, supply chain management, energy, transportation and healthcare.

Degrees offered:

  • Master of Industrial Engineering (MIE) Degree
  • Coordinated Master of Industrial Engineering / MBA

Learn more about the Master of Industrial Engineering program.