Rice University Transfer Acceptance Rate & Requirements — 2024

December 14, 2023

rice university transfer acceptance rate

For those applying as first-year applicants, Rice University has a single-digit acceptance rate. These high standards leave many aspiring Owls outside of the nest. Yet, not everyone is ready to give up on their dream of one day attending Rice. While the Rice transfer acceptance rate is often similar to the freshman figure, they do accept 50-100 transfers per year. This blog will share the Rice University transfer acceptance rate as well as other essential pieces of information like the Rice transfer deadline, the Rice University transfer requirements, the Rice University transfer decision date, and much more.

Rice University Transfer Acceptance Rate

Below we present the most current available Rice University transfer acceptance rate as well as historical data.

In the fall of 2022, 1,139 students applied for transfer admission and 66 were successful. This means that the Rice University transfer acceptance rate is 5.7%. Broken down by gender, the acceptance rates are as follows:

  • Male transfer applicants: 3.9%
  • Female transfer applicants: 3.6%

In the fall of 2021, there were 1,227 transfer applicants and 46 individuals were accepted. This means that the Rice University transfer acceptance rate was 3.7%.

When trying to get the complete picture of how difficult it is to transfer into a given school, it is important to look at historical data. Some colleges have wild fluctuations in transfer acceptance rates from year to year. As you can see, Rice’s acceptance rate was consistently around 10% until 2021. However, for the past two cycles, it has been much lower.

Historical transfer rates are as follows:

Year Acceptance Rate
2020 12.4%
2019 7.0%
2018 11.4%
2017 9.7%

Rice Transfer Deadline

The university offers a fall as well as a spring transfer option. The Rice transfer deadline for fall applicants is March 15. The deadline for spring applicants is November 1. However, some programs, like the Shepherd School of Music and the School of Architecture, only admit transfer students for the fall semester.

Rice University Transfer Requirements

The Rice University transfer requirements are as follows:

  • Completed Common App for Transfer
  • Final high school transcript
  • Official college transcripts
  • SAT or ACT scores (optional in 2023-24)
  • College Report
  • Two letters of recommendation from college instructors
  • Supplemental materials, if required. For example, applicants to the School of Architecture and the School of Art must submit a portfolio.

Students who have the best chance to gain admission to Rice have done the following:

  • Earned at least 12 college credits.
  • Earned exceptional grades in their first year at a community college or 4-year university.
  • Pursued relevant coursework for their academic major. Rice does not possess official requirements in this regard, but likes to see many relevant lower-level courses already conquered. Admissions states that they “pay close attention to the ways that you have engaged with your academic interests in and out of the classroom.”

Rice University Transfer GPA

Straight from the Rice admissions staff, admitted students typically have a GPA of 3.5 or higher, although they set their official minimum GPA figure at 3.2. Moreover, “GPAs in college are evaluated within the context of the degree of difficulty of coursework pursued and competitiveness of the college you have attended.” In our experience, Rice transfer hopefuls should aim for a 3.75 or above to have the strongest chance possible.

Rice Transfer Writing Supplement

Essay Prompts (2023-2024)

1. How will continuing your education in the academic areas you selected help you achieve your goals? 150 words.

2. In addition to academics, why are you interested in transferring to Rice University? 150 words.

3. Please respond to one of the following prompts to explore how you will contribute to the Rice community:

  • The Residential College System is at the heart of Rice student life and is heavily influenced by the particular cultural traditions and unique life experiences each student brings. What life experiences and/or unique perspectives are you looking forward to sharing with fellow Owls in the residential college system? 500 word limit.
  • Rice is strengthened by its diverse community of learning and discovery that produces leaders and change agents across the spectrum of human endeavor. What perspectives shaped by your background, experiences, upbringing, and/or racial identity inspire you to join our community of change agents at Rice? 500 word limit.

Rice University Transfer Acceptance Rate (Continued)

Rice Box

One of Rice’s long-standing traditions is “The Box,” a question on our application where we ask all of our applicants to share an image of something that appeals to them. The Box gives you the opportunity to present us with an image that shares something about yourself, your interests or what is meaningful to you. This image is not used for evaluative purposes in the application, but allows you to put your stamp on the application about who you are aside from what you have achieved. Be sure to choose an image that speaks for itself and does not need an explanation. The Box must be a two-dimensional image that is uploaded in the Common Application or Apply Coalition with Scoir, or uploaded in the Rice Admission Student Portal.

Personal Statement

The personal statement helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want admissions readers to know about you that is not reflected elsewhere in your application? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay using the prompt to inspire and structure your response (1,250 – 3,250 characters, approx. 250 – 650 words). Prompts are the same as the first-year Common App.

Architecture Applicants Only

Why are you determined to study architecture? Could you please elaborate on your past experiences and how they have motivated you to apply to Rice University and the School of Architecture in particular? (250 word limit)

Please expand on relevant experiences and motivations outside of your academic trajectory that have inspired you to study architecture, focusing on aspects that are not accommodated by other prompts in the application. (250 word limit)

Rice Transfer Decision Date

The Rice transfer decision date for spring enrollment is December 1. Fall decisions are made on a rolling basis through June.

Final Thoughts – Rice University Transfer Acceptance Rate

In the words of the admissions office: “Our holistic admission process is centered on evaluating each student in the context of their background, community, and school circumstances. At Rice, we consider your entire application and all of the information contained therein helps us to understand as much as we can about you before making a decision. In addition, we evaluate applications through committee based evaluation which ensures that every application to Rice is evaluated and discussed by a minimum of two admission officers to identify the strengths and potential of each student.”

If you are looking for information on how to apply to Rice as a first-year student, you may find the following blogs to be of interest:

Those searching for application info on other institutions may wish to visit our Dataverse pages/blogs: