Frequently Asked Questions
- Must I take the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) before I apply to the Rice MLS program?
- Can I create my own area of specialization within the MLS program?
- Can students take courses outside the MLS program at Rice?
- Can I transfer credit I’ve earned from other graduate-level liberal arts programs?
- Does the program accept CEUs (continuing education units) I’ve earned from the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice or other continuing education programs?
- Does the program accept life-experience credits?
- Where are classes held, and how often do they meet?
- Are any courses held in the daytime?
- How large are the classes?
- Why doesn’t the Rice MLS program follow the traditional fall/spring semester timelines?
- How long will it take to earn the degree?
- Can I skip a session?
- Will I be writing a Master’s thesis?
- What will it cost to attain the degree?
- Do Rice staff get a tuition discount?
- Do Rice alumni get a tuition discount?
- When I graduate, will I get to participate in a Rice graduation ceremony?
- Is scholarship help or financial aid available?
- Do you offer online courses?
- What if I only want to take a course or two and not pursue the MLS degree?
- Can I choose to attend full time, instead of part time?
- I am an international student. Will the university sponsor an F-1 student visa for me?
- I received my baccalaureate degree from a non-U.S. university. Do I need a foreign credential evaluation?
1. Must I take the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) before I apply to the Rice MLS program?
No, the MLS program does not require its applicants to have taken the GRE or any other standardized test. You must complete the application form in its entirety. See How To Apply.
2. Can I create my own area of specialization within the MLS program?
Yes. After completing a core course in each of the three areas – social sciences, humanities, and science – students can choose to take courses (or a majority of courses) in one of those tracks to complete their degree.
3. Can students take courses outside the MLS program at Rice?
No. Like most graduate-level programs, the MLS program is a stand-alone program. All courses must be taken within the program.
4. Can I transfer credit I’ve earned from other graduate-level liberal arts programs?
No. As stated above, all courses must be taken within the Rice MLS program.
5. Does the program accept CEUs (continuing education units) I’ve earned from the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice or other continuing education programs?
6. Does the program accept life-experience credits?
7. Where are classes held, and how often do they meet?
Classes are held on the Rice campus and meet once a week for three hours. Most courses will also meet on an occasional Saturday morning.
8. Are any courses held in the daytime?
No. Classes meet during weekday evenings and an occasional Saturday morning.
9. How large are the classes?
The program stresses small classes and most classes will have 20 students, although some classes may be slightly smaller or larger.
10. Why doesn’t the Rice MLS program follow the traditional fall/spring semester timelines?
The program is designed for working adults, and we realize you have other commitments in life. Our sessions are scheduled to give you the time off you need during the year. For instance, our fall session will end before Thanksgiving and courses are not held in December; there will be a break between the winter and spring sessions to accommodate the traditional spring break time; and there are no courses scheduled for most of June and all of July and August.
11. How long will it take to earn the degree?
If you take one course per session, you can earn your degree in 11 sessions. With three sessions held per year (fall, winter, and spring), you could earn your degree in a little less than four years. You could earn it sooner by taking two courses per session. Students are required to take only one course during their first session, but may take up to two courses per session after that. Given that scenario, you could finish in two and a half years. It is the policy of the MLS program that you must finish your degree requirements within seven years from the date you first began the program.
12. Can I skip a session?
Yes, but you must take at least two courses per academic year. Students who fail to take courses in two or more consecutive sessions must reapply to the program.
13. Will I be writing a Master’s thesis?
No, but a lengthy paper or project will be required in the capstone (final) course. Also, research papers will be required in all courses.
14. What will it cost to attain the degree?
Please see the Tuition page. For students entering this year and completing their degree within four years, we estimate the program will cost approximately $28,000 in tuition and fees.
15. Do Rice staff get a tuition discount?
Continuing Studies has supported the Rice community through various tuition discounts for our general programs. We would like to continue this practice with our first degree program and are offering a 10 percent tuition discount for benefits-eligible Rice staff. The MLS is not eligible for Rice tuition reimbursement or tuition waiver.
16. Do Rice alumni get a tuition discount?
Graduates of Rice University receive a 15 percent tuition discount.
17. When I graduate, will I get to participate in a Rice graduation ceremony?
Yes. MLS program graduates will be able to attend graduation ceremonies with all other Rice graduates.
18. Is scholarship help or financial aid available?
No. However, you may choose to apply for a student loan through a private lending agency. Be sure to choose only those loans which do not require the school or university to "certify" the loan. The MLS program currently cannot offer scholarships but is actively seeking individuals or corporations who could underwrite a scholarship fund to help worthy students pursue their degree.
19. Do you offer online courses?
20. What if I only want to take a course or two and not pursue the MLS degree?
To take any classes in the MLS program, you must first be admitted into the program. When a course enrollment is reaching capacity, priority will be given to students pursuing a degree.
21. Can I choose to attend full time, instead of part time?
The MLS program is a part-time program designed for adults, not full-time students. Classes meet in the evenings and some Saturdays as opposed to the traditional schedule of weekday classes. If you are interested in completing the program quickly, you may take two courses per session (following your initial session), in which case you could graduate in two and a half years.
22. I am an international student. Will the MLS program sponsor an F-1 student visa for me?
No. The F-1 student visa requires a full-time course of study. Because the MLS program is part time only, international applicants requiring a student visa cannot enroll. International applicants who are legally in the United States (such as permanent residents) may enroll in the program since a student visa will not be required.
23. I received my baccalaureate degree from a non-U.S. university. Do I need a foreign credential evaluation?
Students seeking admission to the MLS program who completed coursework and/or degree(s) at institutions outside the United States must present a professional course-by-course evaluation of the foreign official transcript. The professional evaluation must verify that the degree obtained is equivalent to baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. academic institution and must include an explanation of credits earned (including U.S. semester hour equivalents), grade equivalents, and course levels (lower or upper level). Two reliable services with course-by-course evaluations that include this required information are:
All professional evaluations should be obtained from one of these two recommended credential services and submitted to the MLS Program. Payment for the professional evaluation is the responsibility of the applicant.