Diplomas

Rice University formally confers degrees to students in degree-granting programs a total of three times a year, at the end of the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. The university covers the cost of the degree recipient's diploma(s), which are mailed directly to the degree recipients from the diploma vendor.

For reference purposes, a sample of the current archival-quality parchment diploma is on display in the Office of the Registrar, in Allen Center Room 116.

Click here to shop the Rice Campus Store's collection of officially licensed diploma frames.

We urge you to inspect your diploma immediately upon receipt to confirm that all information is correct. If you discover an error on your diploma, please return it to the Office of the Registrar within ninety (90) days of receipt so that a new diploma can be ordered for you at no charge. If your diploma contains an error and is returned to our office after ninety (90) days from receipt, a new diploma can be ordered but will be at your expense.

Please Note: The Office of the Registrar will store and keep diplomas for one year after the issue date. After that date, the diploma will be destroyed.

Diploma Dimensions

Rice University diplomas are large in size and generally require framing by a professional framer. There have been two sizes of diplomas in Rice history:

  • Any diploma printed prior to November 1, 2017: 18 inches wide by 23 inches tall
  • Any diploma printed on or after November 1, 2017: 17 inches wide by 23 inches tall

The change in diploma size was due to a change in printing methods by the diploma vendor. (All US diploma vendors were required to make this change as parts to the larger format printing machines were no longer being made, making maintenance impossible for machines that printed diplomas wider than 17 inches.)

Diploma Information

The diploma will list your name, degree, and any applicable university honors (Latin and/or Distinction in Research and Creative Work). The diploma name, printed in all capital letters, will be the name that was included on the submitted "Application for Degree" form. Please Note: Only awarded degrees appear on the diploma, completed majors, minors, and certificates do not.

Verify Diploma Information

  1. Login to ESTHER.
  2. Go to Student Services and Account Information > Graduation.
  3. Click on Verify Diploma Information > Diploma Name and Address.

If you wish to update your diploma name and/or the address where your diploma will be sent, please enter the updated information under the corresponding degree and click submit.

Certified Electronic Diplomas (CeDiploma)

Rice takes great pride in being able to offer those who graduated in December 2013-or-later a free, certified, electronic copy of your Rice Diploma whenever needed. If you graduated before December 2013, you may order a CeDiploma for $50 using the Replacement Diploma form.

Information about the CeDiploma can be found on the CeDiploma page.

Sheepskin Diplomas

For many decades, Rice was one of a small group of schools in the United States that offered sheepskin diplomas. Diminished demand for sheepskin diplomas, coupled with an expensive and antiquated printing process dramatically affected our diploma printer's ability to continue offering sheepskin diploma printing services, and in 2012 we were advised that sheepskin diplomas would no longer be available. We apologize for the inconvenience or disappointment this may cause some of you. Please note that the archival-quality parchment paper Rice uses is a beautiful product, and a sample is available for review in the Office of the Registrar, in Allen Center Room 116.

Obtaining Your Diploma

Please contact our offices at registrar@rice.edu if you have graduated, but have not yet received your diploma and more than six (6) months has passed.

How do I change or correct my diploma name?

The diploma name can be edited in ESTHER until the diplomas are ordered. Instructions are available here.

Can I pick up my diploma in your office?

No, diplomas are not available for pick up in our office. All diplomas will be mailed to the address provided on the application for graduation. If no address is given, the diploma will be sent to the student's permanent address.

What if I want someone else to pick up my diploma?

Diplomas are not available for pick up. All diplomas will be mailed.

When will you mail diplomas?

Students will receive an email to their Rice email address when the diploma has been mailed. Diplomas are mailed two or three times per year, depending on your graduation date and degree level.

December Degree Candidates

  • Undergraduate Degrees: Diplomas will be mailed approximately 4 to 6 weeks after the Commencement Ceremony held in May. The delay is due to the fact that Latin honors cannot be calculated until final cumulative GPAs are recorded for the entire graduating class.
  • Graduate Degrees: Diplomas will be mailed approximately 4 to 6 weeks after the Plenary Meeting of the Faculty held in late January.

May Degree Candidates: Diplomas will be mailed approximately 4 to 6 weeks after the Commencement Ceremony. Students will receive an email to their Rice email address when the diploma has been mailed. August Degree Candidates: Diplomas will be mailed no later than the end of September.

Where will you mail diplomas?

All diplomas will be mailed via USPS to the address provided on the application for graduation. If no address was given, the diploma will be sent to the student's permanent address. If you have questions on what address we have on file for you or if you need to update the address you originally supplied, please contact the Office of the Registrar via email at registrar@rice.edu.

What if my mailing address is a PO Box?

There is not a problem delivering to a PO Box.

I live at a foreign address, when will my diploma arrive?

Please be advised that the Office of the Registrar cannot determine a delivery date to a foreign address once the diploma has been mailed from the US.

How do I open the diploma tube that my diploma was mailed in?

The mailing tubes are three piece telescopic tubes. There is a single piece in the center and then two equal ends that meet in the center at a seam. The label is placed over the seam to hold the tube together. In order to open the tube and prevent damage to the diploma, you will need to remove the label or gently slice through it to get to the seam and release the two sides. Opening in any other way risks damaging the diploma.

How do I download my certified electronic diploma (CeDiploma)?

For December 2013 graduates and later, you may download your CeDiploma in ESTHER by going to Student Services and Account Information and then navigating to Student Records and clicking the CeDiploma (Electronic Diploma) link. Additional information regarding the CeDiploma is available on the CeDiploma page.

Facsimile (or Miniature) Diploma

Occasionally a Rice University degree recipient may require an official document on letter-sized paper confirming their Rice degree. In these instances, the degree recipient may request a miniature Facsimile Diploma. This document is a mirror image of the standard diploma, and the dimensions are 8.5 inches wide by 11 inches tall.

If you graduated December 2013 or later: before ordering a Facsimile Diploma, you should first check with the recipient to see if a Certified Electronic Diploma (CeDiploma) would suffice instead. Many businesses, schools, and other entities will accept a CeDiploma in lieu of a facsimile diploma.

The cost of a Facsimile Diploma is $20 per copy, and orders are not processed until full payment is received. Payment must be made on the OTR Fees website and is payable by credit card or electronic check.

You may submit your completed Facsimile Diploma Request Form via email or fax.

Scan/Email: registrar@rice.edu
Fax: 713-348-5921

If you wish to mail in your request form and payment, please make checks or U.S. money orders payable to Rice University:

Rice University
Office of the Registrar- MS 57
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005

Ordering a Replacement Diploma

Rice University diplomas are unique in size and dimension. Occasionally, things happen and Rice alumni find that their original diploma(s) have been damaged or lost. To request a replacement diploma, previous Rice degree recipients and alumni may do so via the Replacement Diploma Request. Full payment must be received before the order will be placed.

  • Replacement Diplomas (on Parchment Paper): $50 per copy
  • Mailing Fees:
    - Domestic: $30
    - International: $50

Payment for the replacement diploma, and mailing fees should be made on the OTR Fees website and is payable by credit card or electronic check.

You may submit your completed Replacement Diploma Request Form via email or fax.

Scan/Email: registrar@rice.edu
Fax: 713-348-5921

If you wish to mail in your request form and payment, please make checks or U.S money orders payable to Rice University:

Rice University
Office of the Registrar- MS 57
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005

Orders for replacement diplomas are submitted to the vendor on the 15th of each month. Requests received after the order has been submitted for the current month will be processed on the 15th of the following month. In the instance of the 15th occurring on a weekend, the order is submitted on the following Monday.

Apostille Information

On occasion, students have a need to request an apostille/authentication of certain documents. Information regarding apostilles in the state of Texas can be found here. If you graduated December 2013 or later, you should check with the recipient to see if a Certified Electronic Diploma (CeDiploma) would suffice instead of an apostille on a Facsimile Diploma. CeDiplomas can be validated directly on Rice's CeDiploma Validation page and therefore do not need an apostille because the authenticity of the diploma can be verified directly with Rice.

To obtain an apostille/authentication of a facsimile diploma from Rice University:

  1. Submit a Facsimile Diploma Request form
  2. Indicate on the request form that the facsimile diploma needs to be notarized for an apostille
  3. Pay the Facsimile Diploma fee of $20 per copy via the OTR Fees website
  4. The Office of the Registrar can forward the diploma directly to the Texas Secretary of State upon request with the following information provided by the student:
    1. The address for the final recipient of the facsimile diploma should be typed/written in on the Facsimile Diploma Request form
    2. Form 2101 and Form 2102: Both forms must be completed by the student. Form 2101 is a payment form if paying with a credit card. If not paying by credit card, a check for the amount of the apostille fee must be provided by the student and made payable to: Texas Secretary of State (see Texas Secretary of State website for fee amount)
    3. A stamped envelope with the mailing address of the final recipient of the facsimile diploma. Once the apostille is complete, the Texas Secretary of State will send the documentation to the final recipient

If the student wants to personally forward the diploma to the Texas Secretary of State, the Office of the Registrar will mail the notarized diploma to the student’s mailing address via USPS unless the student requests FedEx service. To inquire about sending documents via FedEx, please email registrar@rice.edu .