Portal:Houston/Music, Arts & Culture/April 2007
William Marsh Rice University, commonly called Rice University and opened in 1912 as The William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Letters, Science and Art, is a private, comprehensive research university located in Houston, Texas near the Museum District and adjacent to the Texas Medical Center. Rice is particularly noted for its elite undergraduate division, as well as its strength in the applied sciences. The university has been a pioneer in the fields of nanotechnology, artificial heart research, structural chemical analysis, and space science.
At the undergraduate level, Rice placed at 17th in the 2006 U.S. News & World Report rankings of doctoral granting institutions. Further, in the Princeton Review's 2007 rankings, Rice was ranked third for “Best Overall Academic Experience for Undergraduates” as well as among the top 20 schools where students “Never Stop Studying.” Hence the expression: "Rice students never leave the hedges," referring to the plantings that both surround the campus and line the academic quad. The same publication also placed it as first in the nation for “Best Quality of Life” and “Lots of Race / Class Interaction.”