Step-by-Step Instructions for Applying to the Department

Contact MEMS Department Directly
Unlike undergraduate admissions, graduate admissions are handled directly by the department and not by the Rice University Office of Admissions, the Graduate Office, or the Dean's Office for the School of Engineering. All correspondence should be directed to:
    Attn: Graduate Coordinator
    Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science - MS 321
    Rice University
    P.O.Box 1892
    Houston, Texas 77251-1892

    or email at:

GRE and TOEFL Scores
Without exception, all applicants for graduate school must take the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) General Test. All applicants from abroad must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) in addition to the GRE. Please request ETS to send your official scores directly to this department.

Preferred Procedure
  • Decide on which degree you are presently applying for (i.e. Mechanical Engineering or Materials Science).
  • Decide on the highest degree you expect to seek (i.e. Master's or Ph.D.)
  • Go to our faculty pages to find at least two professors with research interest the same as yours. Please see the listing below for areas of study in the Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Department.

    • Aero-Astronautics
    • Biomedical Systems
    • Computational Fluid Dynamics
    • Computational Mechanics
    • Control Systems/Robotics
    • Dynamics/Vibrations
    • Fluid Mechanics
    • Heat Transfer
    • Materials Science
    • Solid Mechanics
    • Thermal Science

Read "FAQ"
Be sure to read the Graduate Admissions Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) if you have any questions. A list of the most common questions and their answers can be found here.

How to Apply
After verifying that there are at least two professors with the same research interest and after reading the Graduate Admissions FAQ you can fill out the APPLICATION on-line. Please be sure to read all of the instructions completely before completing the application.

  • use correct punctuation - do not type in all CAPITAL letters
  • fill in all information boxes that apply to you
  • fill in "Area(s) of Study" (no. 11 on application) using only specific MEMS areas listed above (no more than two, please)
  • do not choose "MME" or "MMS" degree because these are non-research, non-thesis degrees, UNLESS you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident

Submitting Application Packet
We highly recommend that you send:

  • your application (unless you fill it out on-line)
  • Statement of Purpose/Plan of Study
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • copies of GRE/TOEFL scores
  • official transcripts, and
  • $35 application fee (The MEMS department will not waive the application fee)
in one package to the address below. This will make processing much faster. Please note that recommendation letters and transcripts must arrive in sealed envelopes. The person writing the recommendation or the person in the Registrar's office who sends your transcript must sign across the seal. Be sure to include your application fee with the packet. Also be sure to have ETS send your official GRE and TOEFL scores directly to this department. Your application cannot be processed without them.

Send your application packet directly to:

    Attn: Graduate Coordinator
    Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science - MS 321
    Rice University
    P.O.Box 1892
    Houston, Texas 77251-1892

Your application must be received by February 1 if you are applying for financial aid. It is best to apply early since on average we admit 25 students, and, of those, approximately ten receive fellowships. Graduate fellowships (the only form of financial aid the department offers) are awarded by the department and not Rice. Upon acceptance you may receive admission only or a fellowship (admission with an award of tuition plus a stipend).

Application Review Process
Once we receive all of your application materials, the Graduate Committee will review them and faculty will make a decision. You will be notified right away by e-mail and postal mail if you are offered admission. The application review and offer process can take time. Usually all final status letters are sent out by early to mid-June.

We welcome all applications of outstanding students.

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Page Current as of
January 24, 2003