The Electrical and Computer Engineering department offers two graduate degree programs:

The Master of Electrical and Computer Engineering (MECE) degree is a professional, course-based program designed to increase a student’s mastery of advanced subjects; no thesis is required. The MECE prepares a student to succeed and advance rapidly in today’s competitive technical marketplace.

The PhD Program prepares students for a research career in academia or industry. The PhD degree program consists of formal courses and original research conducted under the guidance of a faculty advisor, leading to a thesis.

How to Apply

Once you have reviewed and met all admissions requirements, you are ready to Begin Your Application to Rice University.

In order to apply to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering's MECE and PhD Program, you will need to submit the following:

  • Unofficial transcripts from all prior institutions
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • GRE scores (optional but recommended for Fall 2021 Semester)
  • Official TOEFL/IELTS Scores (International Applicant's Only)
  • The applicant's own statement of goals, aspirations, and special interests (commonly referred to as the statement of purpose and refers to the applicant's future goals and plans for applying what (s)he learns in the program.
  • A current resume/CV

Applications must be submitted online, and are transmitted through a secured server and are kept confidential until you decide to submit your application.

When applying, DO NOT mail any hard copy documents. Transcripts should be uploaded in the online application. Recommenders should submit letters online. The ECE Department will allow unofficial transcripts (including photocopies or non-certified electronic copies) during the admissions process. Official transcripts will be required after acceptance into the graduate program and must be submitted to the department 30 days from the date the offer letter is received.

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions for any answers you may need about the application process, requirements, and more.

Questions that are not related to admissions decisions may be directed to (for PhD) or (for MECE).

Application Fees

  • PhD Program: Application fee is waived
  • MECE Program: There is an application fee of $85 that can be paid by credit card or checking account.

NOTE: MECE applicants with financial needs may be eligible for application fee waivers from:

  • Institute for Recruitment of Teachers
  • McNair Scholar Program
  • Nankai University Hundred Young Teachers Program
  • Project 1000
  • Vietnam Education Foundation

Fall Application Deadlines

  • PhD Program: December 31
  • MECE Program: The Fall MEE deadline is January 9

Notice of acceptance for fall PhD and MECE admission is usually made by April 15.

Application Requirements

In the selection of prospective graduate students in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, all available material is carefully evaluated, particularly:

  • The scholastic record as reflected by courses chosen and the quality of performance
  • The evaluations of teachers and advisors
  • GRE Scores (optional but recommended for Fall 2021 semester)
  • The student's own statement of goals, aspirations and special interests
  • Minimum GPA requirement is 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Proof of bachelor's degree must be provided upon acceptance to the program


  • GRE (optional but recommended for Fall 2021 semester): The average GRE score of successful applicants is: V156, Q166
  • TOEFL: A minimum score of 90 is required. Minimum TOEFL requirements for international applicants are 600 (paper), 250 (computer), and 90 (IBT). The TOEFL requirement may be waived for students who have received a degree from a university where English is the official language of communication.
  • IELTS: For students who choose to take the IELTS in lieu of the TOEFL, the minimum score is 7. The IELTS requirement may be waived for students who have received a degree from a university where English is the official language of communication.
GRE & TOEFL Educational Testing Service Codes
  • Rice University - institution - 6609
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering - department - GRE - 1203
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering - department - TOEFL - 66

Tuition & Fees

PhD Program Support

All enrolled full-time PhD students are supported with full tuition and a stipend. All first-year PhD students are supported by fellowships. Thereafter, students in good standing will be supported as Research Assistants by their PhD advisors. Compensation is calculated and paid semi-monthly.

Students are strongly encouraged to apply for fellowships in addition to what is provided by Rice. Learn more about Graduate Student Funding.

PhD Fees

Enrolled full-time PhD students do have certain Graduate Tuition, Fees & Expenses, which may include Graduate Student Association fees and Health and Wellness Support services.

Health Insurance

Additionally, all degree-seeking students are required to maintain health insurance. Students who do not complete an Insurance Enrollment or Waiver form will have their account put on hold. If you already have health insurance and want to waive the Rice Plan, complete the Insurance Waiver form indicating that other coverage is in place.

MECE Program Tuition

To view tuition rates for the Academic Year 2020-21 and the estimate of additional costs associated with the Master of Electrical and Computer Engineering program, visit the Rice Cashiers Office.