Top blue bar image Department of Computer Science

Undergraduate Study in Computer Science at Rice

Degree Programs 

The Department of Computer Science offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degrees. Which is right for you? That depends on whether you want breadth in your education (BA) or depth in one area of computer science (BS). That breadth could come in the form of a wider range of computer science courses, or in the form of a double major, or of completing the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership’s certificate program, or it could be a minor. 


Here are sample degree plans for the B.A. and B.S. in computer science. Review the undergraduate advising page for degree requirements, advisors, and other details.


The best way to find a research position is to determine which faculty member is doing work that interests you most and ask them if they have a place for you on their research team. You may also propose a research topic to a professor and if it's approved, earn credit for research work done. Know more about Rice CS research by starting on the research pages.

Rice offers many opportunities for students to present research, such as the Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium (RURS), Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium (GCURS), and the Engineering Design Showcase, events that allow students to present research, to gain feedback, and to compete for prizes.

In addition to the intrinsic benefits of doing research, Rice also offers an award for Distinction in Research and Creative Works. Review the CS Distinction in Undergraduate Research page for expectations and requirements, or to apply.

To provide additional opportunities for students to participate in graduate-level research, the department offers a Graduate Research Fellowship for Rice Undergraduates, which offers a stipend and leads to a Master of Science degree. Students apply during their junior year at Rice. 

The Rice Center for Engineering Leadership Certificate Program

The certificate program in Engineering Leadership includes 9 required credit hours of coursework, a leadership development experience that focuses on experience as a leader on an engineering-related project, an internship and other components. Successful completion of the program is noted on your final transcript. This program is one of only a few certificate programs in engineering leadership in the country. See the leadership certificate page for more information.


Student Life

Collaboration happens both inside and outside the classrooms in the CS department. To foster this lively community and to educate students about internships, careers, and a professional life in computer science, the department invites faculty, alumni, and industry professionals to speak at a weekly Lunch and Learn talk to which all CS students are invited.

Undergraduates have established two clubs central to the life of the department, the CS Club and CSters. In addition to providing social, technical, and professional resources to students in the department, CS Club members participate in developing Rice Apps and hosting the HackRice annual hackathon event. CSters supports women in the CS department and provides mentoring, technical, and social activities. The group also works with the department to host the annual CS Senior Banquet and sponsors members to attend the annual Grace Hopper conference. CS undergraduates also participate in Rice Robotics Club and the Programming Contest team