What’s unique about the Rice liberal arts experience?

At Rice, liberal arts education begins in the School of Humanities, where students of all academic backgrounds and career interests engage with our prize-winning faculty to explore the biggest questions of our time. Here, they develop critical thinking and research skills that are enhanced by internships and experiential learning opportunities.

Our liberal arts curriculum is expansive and vibrant, featuring courses in history, philosophy, English, religion, art history, modern and classical literatures and cultures, visual and dramatic arts, and transnational Asian studies that are the heart of humanities inquiry.

Top-Ranked Programs

In its “2022 Best Colleges in America” report, Niche.com ranked our School of Humanities areas of study in art and religious studies the 4th best in America. Niche, which relies on U.S. Department of Education data and analysis of more than 1,000 universities — and is considered the Yelp in undergraduate college rankings by current students, alumni and parents — ranked our offerings in history and English 8th and 9th (number one in Texas), and our philosophy program No. 13 nationwide.

Small Class Sizes

Our classrooms are small, personal and dynamic, and many of our faculty are leading scholars in their fields. Passionate and innovative teachers and mentors, our faculty are fiercely committed to critical engagement and rigorous analysis of the world’s most pressing problems — past, present and future.

Interdisciplinary Areas of Inquiry

While fostering the imagination of a new future, the humanities also live and thrive in new spaces beyond the disciplines in our collaborative and interdisciplinary centers, programs and minors, which form the foundation for the more fully integrated and connective humanities we pursue.

Our minors in Environmental Studies, Politics, Law and Social Thought, and Medical Humanities work with partner institutions in Houston and on the Gulf Coast to prepare our students as leaders in the fields of sustainability, law, politics and medicine. With faculty in the Social Sciences, we offer minors in African and African American Studies and Museums and Cultural Heritage; a new Science and Technology Studies minor will launch in the near future. Rice students today care deeply about social justice, the social good and ethical decision-making, which prompted us to launch a new Ethics Initiative that will expand our curriculum on ethics. And our new Initiative for the Study of Latinx America is already organizing a robust program of events and a roster of new courses.