Application Process

You should begin your application process early.   Applications for the fall semester will be accepted from September 2017 until January 1, 2018. To make sure scores are available when admission decisions are normally made you should take the GRE, TOEFL, etc. as required by the December before the fall for which you are applying. You should also request transcripts and letters of recommendation by December or earlier in order to give the senders time to get the material to Rice before the deadline.  The deadline for completed applications is January 1 for Fall admission.


The deadline for completed applications is JANUARY 1 for Fall admission.


A complete application consists of:

 The deadline is January 1 for Fall admission.  Please be aware the online submission form is not instant.

To complete an online application, go to the online Graduate Application for the History Department .

It is NOT necessary to mail paper copies of documents (except for official transcripts) since all of your documents should be uploaded into your online application.  For paper letters of recommendation please see below.

A nonrefundable application fee of eighty-five U.S. dollars (U.S. $85) is required and may be paid by credit card or electronic check at the time of your application submission. The application can be processed ONLY when the application fee has been received. Specific instructions may be found on the online application. Applicants who require a fee waiver are given the opportunity to request one during the online application process. Department approval is required.

The application fee is required of all applicants, including foreign students. We recognize that some foreign students may have difficulty with currency exchange. Payment of the fee cannot be deferred until time of enrollment. Please contact the Graduate Studies Coordinator if you are having difficulty organizing payment from overseas. No application will be processed without this fee.

Your writing sample (10-25 pages) is one of the most important parts of your application and the sample should be selected with care. It can be a chapter from your Master's Thesis, a paper you wrote for a history professor, an article you published in a scholarly journal, or a piece of original research you think demonstrates your ability as an historian.   You should upload it into your online application (uploading instructions provided with the online application).   Please be sure to include a cover sheet with your writing sample that has your name and address on it.  Please contact Graduate Studies Coordinator (contact details below) if you have a special situation that makes it necessary to mail a paper writing sample.

Three letters are required. The letters should be written by people best qualified to testify to your capacity for graduate work in history. It is always our preference to have academic references representing your major field, though we recognize that there are situations where this may not be possible. In such circumstances, we encourage you to seek out those persons who can comment on qualities that will be relevant to your academic goals, particularly research.  Your referees will be contacted by the online application system when you supply their email address.   Please contact the Graduate Studies Coordinator (contact details below) for additional instructions if you have referees who intend to submit paper letters.

Your application and all supporting documents help us know your work, your goals, and your abilities as an historian. Your personal statement should include information about your professional goals and discuss your historical interests.  Please include this as part of your online application (uploading instructions provided with the online application).

NOTE:  Writing sample, personal statement and additional documents should be uploaded when applying online.  Addresses below have been provided for special situations only.  It is not necessary to send duplicate paper copies of documents you have uploaded.  Please contact  Graduate Studies Coordinator (contact details below) before mailing paper copies.

Mailing address:

Rice University
Department of History - MS 42
Graduate Office
P. O. Box 1892
Houston, Texas 77251-1892

Physical Address (for FedEx etc.)

Graduate Office
History Department - MS 42
Rice University
6100 Main Street
Houston, Texas  77005 

We require one copy of the official, confidential transcript from each institution (undergraduate and graduate) that you have attended. These transcripts are an essential piece of your application. Send transcripts from any institution where you earned (or will earn) a degree, studied for one year or more, or took classes that relate to your current application for graduate study.

Transcripts should be in confidential, signed-across-the-seal envelopes provided to you by the registrar of each institution. It is critical that the transcripts be in confidential envelopes. Personal copies of your records, or copies which have passed through your hands and are therefore not confidential, are not acceptable and will not be regarded as official. If your school will not provide you directly with a confidential copy of your transcript, then you must have them send an official copy to directly to the History Department.

Be sure to have them send the transcripts to:

Rice University
Department of History - MS 42
Graduate Office
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77251-1892

You may also wish to upload an unofficial copy, for information purposes only; you must still arrange to have sent an official, confidential transcript.

We must also receive certification of degrees received, including the date the degree was awarded. This information may be included on the final transcript.

If the current degree has not yet been conferred,  (in addition to the first transcript) a final transcript showing conferral of the degree must be sent to the History department before the student will be allowed to register for the second semester at Rice. 

NOTE TO FOREIGN APPLICANTS:  The academic records which we refer to as transcripts should provide a listing, year-by-year, of all courses taken and the grade or marks received for each one. It is helpful to have the grading scale of the institution and the student's rank in class included when such information is available. Do not submit secondary school records. Transcripts must bear an official signature in ink of the appropriate official of your institution(s), such as the registrar or recorder of records, and must bear the institutional seal. If your college or university will not provide original official academic documents, exact copies that have been verified as "Certified True Copies" by the appropriate institutional official of each institution that you have attended should be sent. Uncertified photocopies are not acceptable. To be considered, all documents not in English must be accompanied by official English translations. These translations must bear an original ink signature and seal, and translations alone will not be acceptable.

We require all applicants to provide GRE (Graduate Record Examination) General Test scores.  The scores must not be more than five years old, and an official copy must be sent to Rice University directly from the Educational Testing Service.   The ETS reporting code for Rice University is 6609.  The department code for the History department is 2799 History - Other; or 2701 American History; or 2702  European History; or 2703 History of Science; or 2704 General History.   These numbers are used for routing to the History Department and have no effect on your eventual field of study.

Rice University receives GRE scores via secure files about twice a month from the Educational Testing Service. Because we match scores by an applicant's name, it is important that you explicitly call our attention to any discrepancies that might occur between your name as reported on your application forms and as recorded on your GRE scores.

Be sure to take the GRE in time for official scores to reach us by the January 1 deadline. For further information on the GRE and registration forms, please contact the Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6000, Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6000 USA or telephone (609) 771-7670. Send e-mail to or visit the GRE website at

NOTE TO FOREIGN APPLICANTS:  We realize that language and cultural differences may affect the GRE scores of foreign students, particularly those whose native language is not English. This is taken into consideration when such students' applications are evaluated. The scores are nevertheless required and must come directly from the Educational Testing Service.

____8. TOEFL Requirement (for foreign applicants)
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of any student whose native language is not English.  The score must not be more than two years old and an official copy must be sent to the Graduate School directly from ETS. The test is administered through the Educational Testing Service, Box 6151, Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6151 USA [telephone (609) 771-7100 or send e-mail to] or at a center in your native country.  Rice registration code is 6609 and the department code is 86 or 98.  Department code is used for routing purposes only.

Much of your success in graduate study in the United States will rest on your ability to understand, read, write, and speak English. If English is not your native language, evidence of proficiency in its use will be decisive in the review for admission.

Applicants whose native language is not English must take the iBT TOEFL test and score a minimum of 100.  If a student takes the paper TOEFL instead, the minimum score is 600.  For students who choose to take the IELTS in lieu of TOEFL, the minimum score is 7. 

If you have questions about the application process, please email and we will be happy to assist you.