Here are some of the most common questions First Year Programs receives relating to O-Week. If you have specific questions that are not covered here, please contact our office via at or (713) 348- 4345 so that we can assist you.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is Orientation Week?

O-Week 2024 begins on the morning of Sunday, August 18th with Move-In. The week concludes on Saturday, August 24th with Welcome Back Festival. A more in-depth schedule can be found under O-Week Schedule.

Is O-Week Required?

Yes, all new undergraduate students to Rice–both new freshmen and undergraduate transfers– are required to attend O-Week in its entirety.

Where can I find all of the forms I need to complete before O-Week?

Once you have been admitted, you will be able to access the required new student forms through Esther. There are also a number of forms that will be emailed to you by Rice departments throughout the summer. Be sure to check both your personal email address and your Rice email address to be sure you receive them. We have created a New Student Checklist that outlines all of the information that must be completed before O-Week. Check back frequently as there are a number of things due at various points in the summer.

I forgot or lost my information to log onto Esther. How can I get a new one?

To complete your forms via Esther, you must have your log-in information. Please log into Esther and click on the "Welcome to Rice" tab to begin completing your online enrollment forms. You will need your NetID and password.

If you don't remember your password password or need to reset it, please contact the OIT Help Desk at or call 713-348 4357.

I received college credit while in high school. How can I submit that to Rice?

Students with college credit completed during high school should complete and submit this form to the Office of the Registrar.

What will I do during O-Week?

O-week is designed to ease your transition to university life by introducing you to campus resources, providing you with many opportunities to meet other first year students, and offering strategies to enhance your college experience. The week will be packed with a full schedule of activities designed to prepare new students for a successful beginning at Rice.

Are meals provided during O-Week?

Meals are provided through the Friday of O-Week, and regular operation in the campus serveries begins with Sunday's lunch. Some O-Week groups take extra trips off-campus during the week for meals at local hotspots as well.

Is there a fee for O-Week?

O-Week fees are included in your housing and tuition bill. O-Week groups may take trips off campus during the week for late night meals or to explore the area around Rice so it may be a good idea to have some extra spending money just in case.

When will I get my class schedule?

You will register for classes on the Friday of O-Week. Throughout the week, you will have the opportunity to work with a variety of academic resources—Peer Academic Advisors, Divisional Advisors, faculty members—to determine the appropriate course to register for your first semester and beyond.

What can I expect to get out of O-Week?

You will get academically and socially prepared for life to Rice. O-Week is an opportunity to meet people in your residential college, learn about important campus resources, get academically advised, gain exposure to Rice's rich intellectual community and to get acclimated to your new living and learning environment.

What should I bring with me for O-Week?

Over the summer, you will receive your College's O-Week book which will have a more extensive listing of what you should bring with you to Rice. Since you are moving directly into your room when you arrive for O-Week, you will need to prepare to bring whatever you may need to have with you throughout the semester. You should take the opportunity to communicate with your roommate in advance about shared items such as televisions, microfridges, etc.

What should I wear during O-Week?

Again, since you will be moving into your room for O-Week, you may want to be prepared with the clothes you want to have with you for the semester. Some shirts will be provided by your College for certain events. There are also a few more formal events where students are encouraged to dress nicely; dressy casual or business causal attire is sufficient. In the past students have noted that they wish they had worn clothes that could get a bit messy in as some activities may allow for that. Since you will be walking around campus a good bit, be sure to wear shoes that are comfortable as well. Lastly, it is very important to note that August in Houston, Texas can be extremely warm! During the week most students find that shorts and short-sleeved shirts are most comfortable. It is also common for there to be rain showers during this time of year so a raincoat, umbrella, and rain boots are great to have on hand.

Where will I stay during O-Week?

If you are living on campus this year, you will be able to move into your room during the Sunday morning of O-Week. Your O-Week Coordinators will help you unload your belongings and get them to your room when you arrive for Move In. If you do not plan to live on campus, you will be required to stay on campus during O-Week. Housing in your college will be provided for the duration of O-Week. Your O-Week Coordinators will send you information about this over the summer.

I'm an international student - do I have to attend O-Week?

All students must attend O-Week. There is an additional orientation program for incoming international students called Undergraduate International Orientation which will help you learn about specific needs and regulations for your studies.

I'm an transfer student - do I have to attend O-Week?

All new students must attend O-Week. The Office of Academic Advising will be able to assist you with any questions you may have regarding transferring credit For more information on how this works please visit their page

Is there an orientation program for parents or family member of new students?

New Families Orientation (NFO) will be in person this year. Please visit the NFO page to get full details about the program.