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Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Undergraduate Characteristics

In 2006, the Committee on the Rice Undergraduate Program convened to determine the characteristics of a Rice Undergraduate.  The following is an excerpt from that report.  The full report can be found here.

Goals for the Education of Rice Undergraduates

At the dedication of the Rice Institute in 1912, Edgar Odell Lovett memorably linked the core values embodied in Rice’s mission with its goals for undergraduate education: “to contribute to the welfare of humankind in freedom, prosperity, and health, by sending forth constant streams of liberally educated men and women to be leaders of public opinion in the service of the people.” In his Vision for Rice’s Second Century, President Leebron echoed and updated Lovett’s words when he called for “a holistic undergraduate experience that equips our students with the knowledge, the skills, and the values to make a distinctive impact in the world.” As we face the transformative processes of globalization, as well as the internationalization of our university, we strongly believe that the Rice  undergraduate experience must, above all, prepare our students to be world citizens. To accomplish this objective, we must provide an undergraduate experience in which all of our students can grow intellectually, ethically, and socially, according to the following

  • Understanding born of genuine engagement with science, social science, and technology on the one hand and the history, values, art, literature, and religious traditions of our own and other cultures on the other
  • Understanding of the complex nature of today’s global challenges, and of the need, if we are to solve them, to think critically and creatively, to integrate knowledge from multiple disciplines and perspectives, and to communicate effectively
  • Understanding and concern for the lives and well-being of others, founded on a deep appreciation of the importance of diversity, whether of perspectives, backgrounds, or cultures

We believe that the cultivation of a global perspective, when added to those goals already central to a Rice education, will form the basis of a distinctive signature for the Rice undergraduate experience that will empower our students to make a genuine impact on the world. The core elements of this experience should take place both inside and outside the classroom and  throughout our students’ four years at Rice.