December Convocation Participation
Students are eligible to cross the stage only once, either in December or May. If you participate in the Monday, December 9, 2019 Convocation Ceremony, you are not eligible to participate in the Friday, May 15, 2020 Convocation Ceremonies. You are, however, welcome to join the Saturday morning plenary Commencement Ceremony on May 16, 2020.
1) If you desire to participate in the December Convocation Ceremony (Monday, 12/09/2019), please register here.
2) If you desire to instead participate in the May Convocation Ceremony (Friday, 05/15/2020), please e-mail the Office of the Registrar, at email@example.com
PLEASE NOTE: For those pursuing doctoral or thesis-master’s degrees, please note the important (Fall 2019 Academic Calendar) thesis submission deadline. For a December conferral of degree, students must submit their thesis to the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies by12:00 noon on Friday, December 6th. Degree candidates that have not submitted their thesis by that day and time will be removed from the Official List and will be ineligible to participate in the December Convocation Ceremony.
If your parents will need documentation from Rice University to secure a visa to attend Commencement ceremonies, please contact the Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS) to request an Invitation Letter of Support. A family member or friend often needs a letter from this office for the US Consulate or Embassy in order to apply for a visitor’s visa. This request is only accepted via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) accompanied by the Invitation Letter Request Form. Separate letters will be issued only if specifically mentioned on the request form. OISS is located in Lovett Hall and can be reached by phone at 713-348-6095 or by email at email@example.com.
Accounts in the ESTHER system remain active indefinitely after Commencement. As a graduating student, you retain the ability to login and access your account any time at your convenience. We ask that all graduating students login to ESTHER to verify permanent address and contact information.
Academic regalia must be worn by all degree candidates choosing to participate in the Graduation ceremony. Regalia for December Convocation participants is available to order online September 29-November 3, 2019 at buildagrad.com/rice. A PDF guide to academic regalia is available here. For more information, visit buildagrad.com/rice or call the Campus Store at 713-348-2039.
Personalized graduation announcements to send to family and friends are also available for purchase through Balfour. Annoucements can be ordered online at any time. For more information vist balfour.com/rice or call the Campus Store at 713-348-2039.
Rice University official class rings are available for purchase through Balfour. Class rings can be ordered online at any time for undergraduates who have completed 90 credit hours and graduate students who have completed all their degree requirements. Please note that due to production timelines, class rings typically arrive 6-8 weeks after you have placed your order. For more information visit balfour.com/rice or call the Campus Store at 713-348-2039.
Photography and Videography
While receiving their diplomas, all graduates will be professionally photographed by Marc Nathan Photographers, Inc., who will be on the platform. Information on availability of those images will be sent to each graduate’s email address on file. To ensure that family members receive the notification, you may go online HERE to sign up. You may also visit www.gradphotonetwork.com to view all the images from the ceremony on Wednesday, December 11th. Complimentary Family and Cap/Gown Portraits will also be available in Room 1401 of Alice Pratt Brown Hall during the reception immediately following the Convocation ceremony until 3:30 PM. There is NO OBLIGATION to purchase anything. If you have any questions, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 281-549-2367.
The ceremony will also be professionally video-recorded. This recording will be available the week following Commencement on Rice’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/RiceUniversity.
The Office of the Registrar orders diplomas for new degree recipients on three occasions each year. The degree’s level (undergraduate or graduate degree) determines when the diploma will be ordered and mailed to the degree recipient. The diploma will list your name, degree, and for undergraduate degree recipients, any applicable university honors (Latin Honors and/or the Distinction in Research and Creative Work). Completed majors, minors, and certificates are not listed on the diploma.
For undergraduate degrees:
Diplomas for December, May and August graduates are ordered in late May and are mailed in late June. Diplomas are shipped directly from the diploma company via regular mail by the US Post Office. Due to Latin Honors being calculated annually, determined using the GPAs of both December and May undergraduate degree recipients, December degree recipients won’t receive their diplomas until late June. Diplomas for August degree recipients are shipped directly from the diploma company in late June.
For graduate degrees:
Diplomas for December graduates are mailed in early February, for May graduates in late June, and for August graduates in early October. Diplomas are shipped directly from the diploma company via regular mail by the US Post Office.
The name displayed on your diploma and the address to which it will be mailed can be viewed and edited by logging into ESTHER and navigating to: ESTHER > Student Services > Graduation > Verify Diploma Information > Diploma Name and Address.
Any degree recipient who requires proof of their degree prior to receiving their official diploma may order a facsimile diploma. The facsimile diploma is a miniature (8 1/2” x 11”) version of the official diploma and can be requested through the Office of the Registrar at any time after the official degree conferrals in December, May, or August:
Rice University diplomas are large in size and generally require framing by a professional framer. The dimensions are 17 inches wide by 23 inches tall. To purchase your official Rice University diploma frame, visit the Rice Campus Store or purchase online at ShopRiceU.com. For more information on diplomas, visit the Diplomas page maintained by the Office of the Registrar.
The Rice Portal
Through the Rice Portal, alumni can access a suite of online services that allows you to keep in touch with other Owls and engage with the university. You can sign up for your alumni email account, search for a classmate, register for an event, update your communication preferences, or share an update about your life or career — all through the Rice Portal.
To register for your personal account, visit alumni.rice.edu/connect and click on “New user registration.” Once you've signed up, don't forget to update your contact information so you don't miss out on the latest news and events taking place in your region.
Rice.edu email accounts for all degree recipients will be terminated within a few months after graduation. Graduating students are encouraged to stay connected with Rice and each other by taking one of the following steps
Contact the Office of Alumni Relations at email@example.com for more information about Rice alumni email services.
Association of Rice Alumni
Welcome to the Association of Rice Alumni (ARA)! The ARA was founded in 1919 to continue the relationship between the university and its alumni. 100 years later, the ARA has over 53,000 members worldwide. There are no membership dues to join the association; as a graduate of Rice, you are immediately part of this global community.
Wherever you are in the world, you can keep in touch with the university and your fellow Rice Owls! To view a calendar of all upcoming Rice alumni events, and to learn more about Rice alumni regional and affinity groups, visit alumni.rice.edu.
If you haven’t yet joined Sallyportal, Rice’s alumni-to-alumni professional development site, register for your account at sallyportal.org and begin making connections with fellow alumni in your field or who share your interests. Sign up today by using your LinkedIn account or your preferred email address.
Congratulations again, and welcome to the Association of Rice Alumni!
Unable to Attend the Convocation Ceremony: All graduates are invited to attend the appropriate Convocation ceremony as well as the May Plenary Commencement. Students who are unable to attend one or both events must notify the appropriate university representative; information is forthcoming.
Degree Conferral for August and December graduates
The degree conferral date for mid-year degrees will be August 31 and December 30 of each calendar year. The faculty will vote in late September to confer August degrees. The faculty will vote in January to confer December degrees. After that time, an official transcript will be available from the Registrar's Office. Occasionally a degree recipient may require an official document confirming their Rice degree. In these instances, a Rice University degree recipient may request a miniature facsimile diploma on letter-sized paper. Diplomas from the December degree conferral are expected to be available in the spring. A graduation checklist for degree candidates is available.
A dossier service is a way for you to collect, store, distribute and track letters of recommendation and other important academic or professional documents. This is often helpful when preparing for fellowship applications or if you are considering a career in academia. You may choose to manage your own files, or you can establish an account with one of the electronic dossier file services available on the market. Visit the Center for Career Development for more information on Dossier Services.
Thesis Submission Instructions
Refer to graduate.rice.edu for complete thesis submission instructions.
Degree Conferral Checklist
The Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies provides a degree conferral checklist for graduating students, which can be accessed here.