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Rice Architecture is the meeting point of design and discourse; of theory and practice; of past and future; of Rice and the world; and of our two inseparable aims: to educate architects and to position our graduates as leaders in a rapidly changing world.

Generosity binds these aims to one another. Inside the school, the exchange of knowledge depends upon the magnanimous sharing of intellectual culture among students, faculty, and visitors to the school. Beyond the school’s boundaries, Rice Architecture is a catalyst, an advocate for architects and architecture to step unflinchingly into public life. Taken together, these mandates underscore our goal of forming architects whose ideas will continue to reverberate across contemporary culture. Our ambitions are simple. Our graduates will be prepared with knowledge. They will always be curious about what they don’t yet know. And they will continue to propose alternatives that foster an unyielding optimism about the future.

Arch 301, Mark Lichtenberger, Khadija Derouiche


Rice Architecture's top-ranked undergraduate program consists of two consecutive degrees: the first four years of study result in a bachelor of arts in architecture; students subsequently receive a bachelor of architecture professional degree after an additional two years, one of which includes the renowned Rice Architecture Preceptorship program. Preceptorship places our B.Arch. students in notable offices across the world where they gain a year's worth of mentored experience as paid employees.

The Rice Architecture B.A. is, decidedly, a liberal arts degree: our curriculum exposes students to the full breadth of architecture. The core curriculum coordinates courses in history/theory, technology, and design and organizes requirements in such a way as to optimize electives, permitting students to take advantage of course offerings across the university. The aim of this breadth is to ensure that Rice Architecture graduates will be ideally positioned as leaders in practice and other endeavors. In addition to the invaluable Preceptorship experience, fifth-year students directly engage practice in the advanced studio in the fall semester of their final year; this unique program embeds distinguished consultants in the studios, emphasizing the intrinsic relationship of design to other fields, ranging from finance to fabrication. Finally, Rice Architecture emphasizes that architecture is a global practice that is as significant an issue in Houston (the fourth largest city in the United States) as it is in the European base of our Rice Architecture Paris program and in our many courses that incorporate global travel.

First-Year Studio

Students who have been admitted to the school of architecture can elect at the end of their second year, or any time thereafter, to pursue the bachelors of art in architectural studies major. This major does not lead to a professional degree, requires fewer studios, and is designed to allow students to pursue other academic interests in greater depth. Students cannot apply as first-year undergraduates for this track of study.

The B.Arch. program is STEM designated, making international students eligible to apply for a three-year F-1 visa extension after graduation.  


Undergraduate Curriculum

The core curriculum coordinates courses in the history and theory of architecture, technology, and design. The undergraduate program maintains a balance between a focused study of architecture and a broad general education. In addition to formal coursework, students benefit from lectures and presentations from distinguished practitioners and scholars, symposia, and other cultural events.

The B.Arch. degree requires the successful completion of the B.A. degree with a major in Architecture. Admission into the program requires completion of all university and major requirements for the BA degree, a portfolio of work and formal application. In the academic year immediately following preceptorship, students return for their final year of study, taking advanced level studios and courses. In this year, students may apply to Rice Architecture in Paris to complete a semester abroad. The fall studios feature the research platforms studios, in which the student’s experience from preceptorship is integrated into academic research through a comprehensive design project. At the end of this final two-year stage, students graduate with a B.Arch. degree.

Download Full Undergraduate Curriculum Guide

Facets of the Undergraduate Program

Preceptorship Program

Preceptees intern for a minimum 9-month period, participate in a variety of roles that provide a better understanding of the scope of professional practice, and are paid normal wages. Current firms include Johnston Marklee in LA, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, SHoP, Thomas Phifer & Partners in NY, and Renzo Piano Building Workshop in Paris, among others. 

Rice Architecture Paris

There may well be a Paris, Texas, but Paris, France is nothing like Houston. Founded in 2002 and located near la Bastille, Rice Architecture Paris provides advanced B.Arch. and M.Arch. students with a semester-long complement to Rice Architecture Houston.

Research Platforms

Research is the foundation of an architectural project and, by extension, of practice itself. Structured as the culmination of our design studio sequence, research platforms provide an opportunity for an in-depth, advanced study of a subject matter—be it theoretical, material, or formal—as a way of engaging a broad range of methodologies, constituents, and futures.

2024-25 Tuition, Fees, and Program Expenses

All costs are estimates and annual expenses unless indicated otherwise. Visit for Rice’s comprehensive tuition and fees

Tuition $59,784
Room and Board  $18,100
Fees $925
Health Insurance $3,139
Program Expenses $2500 (est)
Preceptorship $1700 (est, one year only)
Paris (if applicable) $3000 (est, one year only)
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