How to Succeed as a Rice Premed

April 30, 2024
5 min read


Reviewed by:

Luke Hartstein

Former Admissions Committee Member, NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Reviewed: 4/30/24

If you’re up for the challenge of being a Rice premed, keep reading. This guide will go over everything you need to know. 

Considering a future in medicine? Rice University is a solid starting point. With its emphasis on research and innovative educational practices, it offers over 50 undergraduate majors and a ton of pre-professional options. 

Rice is all about giving aspiring medical students the resources and support they need to get ahead. This is evident in the school's learning culture, which is ranked 14th at the national level. Not to mention, its undergraduate teaching is ranked 6th, which is a testament to the strength of its faculty. 

So, if you're serious about pursuing a career in medicine, check out Rice University. Its variety of courses, extracurricular activities, and supportive environment will help set you up for success as a pre-med. 

image of dots background

Rice University Requirements 

Rice University doesn't offer a pre-med major. Students can major in any field but must complete prerequisites like biology, chemistry, physics, and math for medical school. These courses satisfy most medical schools in the US: 

Subject Area Lecture Only Lab Only Lecture/Lab Combined
Biology BIOS 201, 202 BIOS 211, 212, 213
General Chemistry CHEM 121, 122, 151, 152, 201, 360 CHEM 123, 124, 153, 154, 205, 366
Organic Chemistry CHEM 211, 212, 319, 320 CHEM 215, 365
Biochemistry BIOC 301, BIOE 330**
Physics PHYS 101, 102, 111, 112, 125, 126
Calculus MATH 101, 102, 111, 112, 211, 212, 221, 222
Statistics BIOE 439***, STAT 280, 305, 310, 315
English FWIS 101-199 Any ENGL-prefixed course

Keep in mind that these requirements depend on the medical school you’re applying to. So always make sure to check them before signing up for classes. 

Rice University Two-Year Course Plan

Let's take a look at a two-year course plan. It’s a good starting point for acquiring the medical school requirements you need to apply. 

Semester Courses
Freshman Fall CHEM 121 + CHEM 123
FWIS 102
BIOC 201
Freshman Spring CHEM 122 + CHEM 124
MATH 101
Sophomore Fall PHYS 125
CHEM 211
STAT 280
Sophomore Spring PHYS 126
CHEM 212 + 215
SOCI 101

Remember that this is just an outline of the courses you can take. The great thing about being a pre-med is that you have the flexibility to explore the subjects that interest you most. Just make sure to check every reqreuiment off your list before you graduate, and you’re golden. 

Oh, and ensure you check the specific requirements of the medical schools you’re interested in applying to before signing up for courses. This will help ensure that you’re signing up for courses that make sense for your future plans. 

Strategies for Maintaining a High GPA 

Maintaining a high GPA as a premed at Rice University involves managing your time well, using available resources like tutoring and office hours, and choosing courses wisely. Balancing your workload and taking care of yourself is key to academic success. Here's how to make it happen:

  • Manage Your Time Wisely: Make a schedule that balances study time, classes, and activities. Stick to it to avoid last-minute stress.
  • Use Available Help: Take advantage of resources like office hours with professors and peer tutoring. They're there to help you succeed.
  • Choose Your Classes Wisely: Pick courses that match your abilities and interests. Mix challenging pre-med classes with easier ones to stay balanced.
  • Don't Overload: Avoid taking too many tough courses at once. Spread them out to stay on top of your workload.
  • Consider Summer Classes or Gap Years: If needed, take premed courses over the summer or during a gap year. It can ease your workload and let you focus better.
  • Find What Works for You: Experiment with different study methods until you find what helps you learn best. Stick to what works.
  • Take Care of Yourself. Remember to rest, exercise, and eat well. Your health is crucial for doing your best academically.

Keep in mind that in the 2022–2023 academic year, the average GPA for students admitted to medical school in the United States was 3.77 overall. 

Specifically, their GPA in biology, chemistry, physics, and math (BCPM) averaged at 3.71, while their GPA in non-science subjects averaged at 3.85. These statistics highlight the significance of achieving high academic performance across all areas for those aspiring to attend medical school.

By following these steps, you can handle the demands of being a premed student at Rice and keep your GPA strong.

Finding Academic Resources 

As a premed, you can easily access academic resources that are tailored to your needs. From test prep materials to student organizations and application services—they’re all designed to support you on your pre-health journey at Rice University. 

  • Exploring Health Professions: If you're unsure if a career in healthcare is right for you, this resources offers support to help you take a look at different options.
  • Test Prep Resources: For pre-med students gearing up for exams like the MCAT and DAT, there are plenty of free resources and prep materials available.
  • Student Organizations: Connect with like-minded peers and professionals by joining student organizations such as the Rice Pre-Medical Society.
  • Suggested Reading: Johns Hopkins University has curated recommended reading lists specifically for pre-health students, providing valuable insights and knowledge.
  • Off-Campus Opportunities: Explore research and internship opportunities beyond campus through databases like the one curated by the Rochester Institute of Technology.
  • Professional Associations: Gain valuable insights and connections in medicine by exploring organizations like the AAMC.
  • Application Services: Learn about the application processes for medical and dental schools, including services like TMDSAS and AMCAS.

These resources will guide you on your pre-health journey at Rice University, whether you're exploring career options or preparing for applications.

Selecting the Ideal Major for Rice Premed Students

Selecting the ideal major for Rice premed students is flexible, as there isn't a designated "pre-med" track. Instead, you can choose any field of interest while ensuring you complete the necessary prerequisites for medical school, including biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. 

Contrary to common belief, there's no significant advantage in opting for a scientific major; what matters most is excelling in your coursework and fulfilling medical school requirements. Therefore, prioritize your academic passions and potential for success when making your decision. 

Remember to explore various subjects during your first two years to find the right fit among Rice's 50+ undergraduate majors. While popular choices include biosciences, bioengineering, kinesiology, and psychology, successful premeds at Rice have also majored in diverse fields such as anthropology, English, and history.

MCAT Considerations

Planning for the MCAT involves timing, preparation, and coursework. To do well on it, make sure to set aside dedicated study time, like during the summer after sophomore year. If you’re feeling really eager, aim to take the exam during your junior year if you're going straight to medical school. 

Try to aim for a total MCAT score of 511 or higher to be competitive. This score places you in the 81st percentile of MCAT scores, according to AAMC.

To prepare, build a strong foundation in chemistry, physics, and biochemistry. Consider taking courses like BIOC 301 for extra help. Exposure to sociology and psychology can be beneficial but isn't mandatory. 

It’s also a good idea to rely on MCAT study resources to maximize your score. Try to tailor your prep to your strengths and schedule. With the right approach, you'll be ready for the MCAT and medical school.

Also, remember that if you need a helping hand, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our top-scoring MCAT tutors are here to help. With one-on-one private sessions led by tutors who scored 520 or higher, we guarantee a score of 515 or higher. We start by identifying your strengths and areas for improvement. Then, we create a personalized study plan for you. With our expert guidance, you'll be ready to ace the MCAT.

Rice University Extracurriculars

Rice University provides numerous extracurricular activities, with over 300 clubs across eleven genres. These clubs offer chances for leadership, networking, and career readiness. Additionally, Rice offers shadowing and clinical/community volunteering opportunities to enrich students' practical experiences.

Rice University Clinical And Community Volunteering

  • Rice Alzheimer's Buddies: Students volunteer to spend time with older adults who have memory issues, forming meaningful relationships while also working to break down stereotypes about neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's. They visit memory care facilities regularly to engage in activities and provide companionship.
  • Rice Heart: Through this initiative, students become certified to teach CPR and first aid classes, which they offer for free to Houston communities that may not have easy access to healthcare resources. The aim is to increase the number of people who can respond effectively in emergencies.
  • BCM-Patient Discharge Initiative (BCM-PDI): At Ben Taub Hospital, students assist patients from underserved backgrounds as they prepare to leave the hospital. They provide valuable social services and support during this transition period, ensuring that patients have the resources they need for continued care outside the hospital.
  • Rice MusicMDs: Students with musical talent volunteer to perform for patients at Houston Methodist, using music to contribute to the healing process. These live musical performances offer comfort and companionship to patients, families, and hospital staff.
  • Camp Kesem Rice: This program organizes free summer camps for children whose lives have been impacted by a parent's cancer. Student leaders work year-round to plan activities that provide these children with a supportive community.
  • Rice Student Volunteer Program (RSVP): Students involved in RSVP identify community needs and organize initiatives to address them. This might involve volunteering at local shelters, organizing food drives, or participating in advocacy campaigns to raise awareness about important issues.
  • Pancakes for Parkinson's (P4P): Students host an annual pancake breakfast fundraiser to support Parkinson's research and outreach efforts. The event also includes speeches from individuals affected by Parkinson's, educational sessions, and cultural activities to engage the community in learning about the disease.
  • Rice Partnership for the Advancement and Immersion of Refugees (PAIR): Through mentoring and educational programs, students help refugee youth find their way in their new lives in the United States. By offering academic support and mentorship, they help these young individuals get a leg up.

Rice University Shadowing

Shadowing at Rice University gives pre-medical students real-world insight into medicine. It's a firsthand look at what doctors and dentists do every day. 

Students should start shadowing early, aiming for about 60-75 hours before applying to medical school. You can shadow at nearby hospitals and medical schools like MD Anderson, Baylor College of Medicine, and Houston Methodist. Other options at Rice include Rice EMS or working as a scribe or medical assistant. These give hands-on experience in healthcare.

Rice's Office of Academic Advising offers UNIV 330: Medical Exploration and Observership, which offers shadowing experience for pre-med students. It's a mix of classroom learning and shadowing opportunities.

This course allows undergraduates to gain exposure to the medical field while earning course credit. To enroll, students must complete two steps by a specified deadline: register for UNIV 003 and complete a required course application. 

It's important to note that registration doesn't guarantee a spot, as instructors review applications holistically. Keep in mind that students who have already applied for medical school admission are ineligible, so try to get your shadowing experience via this course early. Upon completion, students earn two credit hours with a letter grade. 

Overall, UNIV 330 provides a structured opportunity for pre-med students to explore the medical field firsthand.

Rice University Research

Rice University offers a wealth of research opportunities for students across various fields, both on campus and in collaboration with institutions in the Texas Medical Center. With over 800 labs available through the RPMS Research Database, finding a research project isn't the challenge—it's deciding where to focus.

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry provides guidance on finding research opportunities and securing compensation funding. Students can also explore major-specific resources, such as department websites or Canvas pages, for tailored research options.

Remember to pursue research aligned with your personal interests, whether in traditional scientific fields or alternative areas like epidemiology or clinical research. Networking with peers, mentors, and professors can uncover hidden opportunities, while cold emailing professors directly is another effective approach.

Taking upper-level courses and reaching out to researchers directly demonstrate initiative and dedication in pursuing research opportunities. Overall, Rice University empowers students to explore their academic passions through diverse research avenues, fostering growth and experience.

Getting Into Medical School From Rice University

To get into medical school from Rice University, you need to maintain a high GPA, build a solid resume filled with volunteer clinical experience, shadowing and a variety of extracurriculars. But before checking these off your list, it’s important to make sure you’re well aware of what Rice University expects of its applicants. 

Rice University Acceptance Rate and Admissions Statistics

The Rice premed acceptance rate is 7.0%, making it highly competitive. This means students must have solid qualifications and a real passion for learning. But for those who get in, Rice offers a top-notch education with plenty of research opportunities. 

Keep in mind that this rate is for the university as a whole, as the school doesn’t have a medical school or a specific pre-med program. In general, Rice grads often achieve higher rates than average. In Early Decision, 2,953 applicants applied, and 486 were admitted, resulting in 470 enrollees. 

Regular Decision saw 28,106 applicants apply, with 1,961 admitted and 655 enrolling. Overall, 31,059 applied, and 2,447 were admitted, with 1,125 enrolling. Admitted students scored between 1500–1560 on the SAT and 34–36 on the ACT. 

Overall, to get into pre-med at Rice University, you should focus on academics, research, clinical experience, and collecting strong letters of recommendation.

Getting Into Rice University as a Premed Student

Getting into Rice University as a premed student offers several paths to medical school. While Rice doesn't have its own medical school or pre-med program, it collaborates closely with top institutions like Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Texas. BCM is competitive, with an average GPA of 3.91 and a median MCAT of 518. To stand out, premed students need to excel.

With 35% of Rice's student body from Texas, many students apply to Texas medical schools, which prioritize in-state applicants. Out of all the students who applied to medical and dental schools, 58% went to schools in Texas, 16% to East Coast schools, 8% to West Coast schools, 9% to Midwest schools, and 9% to Southern schools outside of Texas.

Rice also offers a BS/MD program for humanities majors, providing a direct path to UTHealth-McGovern Medical School. This program is a great option for eligible students who want an assured path to medical school.

Overall, getting into Rice as a premed student opens doors to various medical school options, thanks to its strong academics and partnerships with renowned medical institutions.

Final Thoughts

After reading this Rice premed guide, it should be clear that becoming a premed at Rice University requires focus and planning. Key steps include excelling academically, gaining clinical experience, and using resources effectively. Luckily, Rice's partnerships with top medical institutions offer great opportunities for hands-on learning and research. 

Getting involved in research and extracurricular activities can really boost your application. With determination, Rice premeds can absolutely achieve their goal of entering medical school.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Schedule A Free Consultation

Plan Smart. Execute Strong. Get Into Your Dream School.
Get Free Consultation
image of dots background

You May Also Like