Rice: Wiess School of Natural Sciences

Professional Master's Program: An Unconventional Career Track

Facebook square button  

Prof. Master's Program
6100 Main Street, MS-103
Houston, TX 77005
713.348.3188  tel
713.348.3121  fax


PMP Small Logo

Initial Funding by the
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation


Rice seeks highly qualified students for its graduate programs. Beyond objective standards of academic competence, we also look for other, more subjective qualities such as creativity, ambition, and leadership potential.

Full-time students should apply for Fall admission. Working professionals seeking enrollment as part-time students may apply for Fall or Spring admission.You must apply online.

The application is found at the Rice Graduate School Application web page.

Please note that the Professional Science Master's Program has been grouped with its respective home departments:

  • Bioscience and Health Policy (BHP): look under Biochemistry and Cell Biology (M.S.B.H.P - Grad Masters Professional) Dept: Prof Masters in School of Nat Science
  • Environmental Analysis and Decision Making (EADM), look under Ecology and Evolutionary Biology: Ecology (M.S.E.A.D.M. - Grad Masters Professional) 
Dept: Prof Masters in School of Nat Science
  • Nanoscale Physics (NP), look under Physics: (M.S. Nanoscale Physics - Grad Masters Professional)
  • Subsurface Geoscience (SG), look under Earth Science: ( M.S. Subsurface Geoscience - Grad Masters Professional)
  • Space Studies (SPACE), please contact profms@rice.edu for more information.

     No application fee is required for the Professional Master's Program. 

*Please email lh29@rice.edu regarding online application questions, application fee waivers and late applications.

Applications for Fall 2017 will open September 1, 2016 with a deadline of February 15, 2017.  

Please note, if space is available, late applications may be considered  after the deadline. However, candidates who miss the deadline place themselves in a less competitive position, as spaces will become unavailable or limited. *E-mail lh29@rice.edu for a code to submit your late application.

To apply, please send the following items:

  • Completed application (apply on-line)
  • Three personal letters of recommendation - recommenders can now submit their letters on-line
  • General GRE scores (use the code 6609 for Rice; do not worry about a department code)
  • Official transcripts from all universities attended
  • TOEFL scores (if required)

Send all materials to:

Rice University
Professional Science Master's Program MS-103  
PO Box 1892
Houston, TX  77251-1892
Attn: Dagmar Beck    

FedEx packages must be sent to our physical address: 6100 Main Street, Keck Hall 203, MS-103, Houston, TX  77005


In general, applicants must have at least a 3.0(B) grade point average in their undergraduate work.

Transcripts should be official and in confidential, signed-across-the-seal envelopes provided to you by the registrar of each institution, undergraduate and graduate, which you have attended. If your school will not provide you directly with an official copy of your transcript, then ask them to send it to the department. You may also wish to send an unofficial copy, for temporary use only.

GRE Scores

Rice University requires all applicants to provide GRE (Graduate Record Examination) General Test scores.

Official GRE scores must be received directly 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.  In general, applicants should score at least 150 on the quantitative section, at least 148 on the verbal section and at least 4 on the analytical writing section, but competitive scores are based against the current applicant pool.

Be sure to take the GRE in time for official scores to reach us by the application deadline. For information on the GRE exam, visit www.gre.org.

TOEFL Scores

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test is required for any student whose native language is not English.  Applicants who already hold a degree from an American university, are exempt from providing a TOEFL score. Applicants must score at least 600 on the paper-based TOEFL , at least 250 on the computer-based TOEFL, or at least 95 on the internet-based test.  For information on the TOEFL exam, visit  www.toefl.org.

For students who choose to take the IELTS in lieu of TOEFL, the minimum score is 7.   

Rice Undergraduate Students

Rice undergraduate students applying for 5th year PSM degree :

Rice students have an option to achieve a master's degree in one of the professional science master's track by adding an additional fifth year to the four undergraduate years of science studies. Advanced Rice students in good standing may apply during their junior year to the graduate program. Upon acceptance, depending on course load, financial aid status, and other variables they may then start taking required core courses of the environmental analysis and decision making program during their senior year. A plan of study based on their particular focus area will need to be approved by the program director and the PSM director.  Students should be aware there could be financial aid implications, if the conversion of undergraduate coursework to that of graduate level reduces their earned undergraduate credit for any semester below that of full-time (12 hours) status.

International Students

Information addressing the concerns of international applicants can be found on the International Students page.

For Questions please visit our  FAQ page or contact us at 713-348-3188 or profms@rice.edu

Last updated: 8/2016 lmh