Policies & Administration

Academic Policies

Rice academic policies

Students studying abroad are expected to follow all Rice academic policies as they normally would while at Rice.

Enrollment abroad

Students must be enrolled in and receive credit equivalent to at least 12 U.S. credit hours per semester abroad. Students abroad in the summer term who are receiving study abroad scholarships or financial assistance in the form of student loans must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 U.S. credit hours. Additionally, students are required to be enrolled full time by the standards of the host university or program provider during the period of study abroad. This requirement may sometimes be higher than Rice's stipulated minimum.

Final examinations

Students are expected to remain until the end of their program and complete all coursework while present at the program's location. Students are not permitted to leave their program early and take their final examinations remotely. Rice Study Abroad does not offer services to proctor or administer final examinations.

Credit transfer and grades
Courses are to be completed at a Rice-approved study abroad program. Only those courses that have been passed according to the host institution's grading policy (numbers, letter grades, etc.) will be considered for transferability. Pass/fail grades will not be accepted. Students must receive the equivalent of a C- or better for courses abroad. Letter grades for transfer coursework do not appear on the Rice transcript and have no effect on a student's Rice grade point average. Note that Rice faculty-led programs may allow for course grades to be included in the Rice transcript and cumulative GPA. Consult the faculty leader for more information.

Summer credit limit

While Rice stipulates a limit of 15 credit hours over the summer for coursework completed outside of Rice during the summer, credit earned from a Rice-approved summer study abroad program does not contribute to this limit.

Graduating students

In order to study abroad during your final semester, students must seek and obtain approval from the Office of the Dean of Undergraduates and Rice Study Abroad. Students must additionally contact their major advisor and the university's Senior Associate Registrar to discuss outstanding graduation and major requirements. A student who chooses to go abroad during their final semester will not have their degree conferred immediately. If the final semester abroad is in the spring, the degree will not be conferred until the following August or December, and if the final semester abroad is in the fall, the degree will not be conferred until May. Students are strongly discouraged from participating in study abroad if it is expected that doing so would cause them to fail to meet their degree and/or major requirements by their anticipated date of graduation. Accordingly, students are discouraged from studying abroad during their last semester before graduation if they have outstanding university and/or major requirements.

Upper limit on total transfer credit earned

Students with substantial transfer credit should be aware of the general graduation requirements. Students must complete at least 60 semester hours at Rice, complete more than half of their upper-level degree work and more than half of their upper-level major work at Rice. Students are also required to complete four full-time semesters in residence at Rice. Students should also check for any major-specific requirements.

School of Record transcripts

For students studying abroad through a program provider, Rice University requires an official School of Record transcript if the program offers one.

Program-run housing


For students participating on a program that offers accommodation options, students are required to use those accommodations.

Withdrawal Policy

The last day to withdraw from a program is April 15th for summer, fall, and academic year programs, and November 15th for spring programs.

Students must notify Rice Study Abroad of their intention to withdraw from a program by submitting in writing an official letter by the appropriate deadline. Students must also notify in writing the program provider or host university of their intention to withdraw. A copy of this official notification to the program must be submitted to Rice Study Abroad.

There is no withdrawal fee prior to the withdrawal deadlines Withdrawing from a study abroad program after the relevant deadline, or failure to report withdrawal to Rice Study Abroad, will result in a fee of $500. The withdrawal fee will be billed to the student account by the Cashier’s Office.

Students who withdraw from a program/university are also subject to the refund and academic credit policy of the organization sponsoring their program.

Conduct Abroad

Rice Code of Conduct


The Rice Code of Conduct states, “The life and work of a Rice University student should be based on integrity, responsibility, and consideration for others. In all activities each student is expected to be respectful of the rights and interests of the community and of others in the community and to be personally honest.” This philosophy is generally applied to the non-academic conduct of students.

Students going abroad are expected to attend all classes and to participate in all program activities, including on-site orientations, excursions, and other group activities. Students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects positively on themself, Rice University, and their home country.

Conduct for pre-medical students abroad


Students participating in clinical experiences abroad should carefully follow the guidelines for conduct set out by the Association of American Medical Colleges. While it is expected that programs facilitating these experiences will be in compliance with these guidelines, it is the student's responsibility to ensure that they are following the guidelines themselves.

Compliance with local laws

Individuals studying in a foreign country are are subject to the laws of that country. Refusing to obey local laws, especially those pertaining to alcohol and illicit drugs, may result in dismissal from your program, deportation, or arrest/imprisonment. Legal protections common in the U.S. may not be present overseas. The U.S embassy or consulate can only provide basic assistance in the event of arrest or incarceration.

Avoid involvement with drugs and other illegal substances. Purchasing or posessing even small amounts of drugs can result in arrest. Drug laws vary by country but are often more severe than in the U.S., regardless of whether drugs are obtained for personal use, for sale to others, or even if one receives them unknowningly.

Bail provisions like in the U.S. are not common in many other countries, and pre-trial detention without bail is not uncommon. The principle of “innocent until proven guilty” is not necessarily a tenet of legal systems abroad. Bail is often not granted for drug-trafficking cases. Pre-trial detention, sometimes in solitary confinement, can last for months. Many countries do not provide a juried trial, and in some cases you may be tried in absentia. Law enforcement and prison officials may not necessarily speak English.

Please visit the website of the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs for more information about how and when to contact your local consulate.

GDPR Consent

By using Rice Study Abroad's online application website, all users understand that they are authorizing the site to collect personal information about them for the express purpose of interacting with the site. Furthermore, they understand that the type and amount of information that is collected about them by the site is governed by the choices of the institution that is offering this service to its students, faculty, and clients.

In the case that a user wishes to withdraw their consent for their personal information to be retained in the site, they understand that they will need to contact the site administrator.