Senior Year

Your last year at Rice can often times be the most memorable, but it can also be the most challenging in terms of juggling all of your academic and personal activities, including applications for graduate or professional schools, research, internships, or work. During this year, you are managing a lot of demands in your life as well as discovering the opportunities that exist after you transition to the next phase of your life. Senior year is a great time to reflect back on your academic career, think about the future, and prepare for your transition to the world of work. Here are a few graduation considerations:

  • If you have not yet had an internship or research experience, make it happen now. Begin your search by visiting the Center for Career Development or Center for Civic Leadership
  • Be sure that all of your intended majors and minors have been properly declared. If they are not appearing on your unofficial transcript, they are not declared. Be sure to submit all declaration forms to the Office of the Registrar in a timely manner.
  • Ensure the completion of all major, minor, and degree requirements. Be sure to consult your Degree Works electronic degree audit, meet with any major/minor faculty advisors, and check over your degree requirements for things like distribution, upper-level hours, and total credits. Use our degree requirements checklist to help.
  • Thinking about going to part-time status your senior year? Be sure to seek approval from the Dean of Undergraduates before the drop deadline. Email him at
  • In the fall term, be sure to complete and submit the online Application for Degree. The Application for Degree will be made available online in ESTHER under Student Services and Account Information. Carefully review your degree information and confirm that everything is correct.
  • In the spring term, be sure to visit the Rice Bookstore to obtain your regalia, cap, and gown and consult the Commencement website for the schedule of events and general information.
  • After final exams, you will be requested to complete the Senior Exit Survey. An e-mail invitation will be sent to you with further details. You will not be able to access transcripts until this mandatory survey is completed.
  • After commencement, remember to collect your diploma (available in mid-to-late July) and update any contact information on ESTHER.
  • For those students who will complete degree requirements one summer or fall semester after your original matriculation class, you may request to participate in the commencement ceremony the May preceding your degree conferral date. You must fill out the Undergraduate Request to Participate in Commencement and seek approval from the Office of the Registrar, Office of Academic Advising, and your Major Advisor(s).
  • Remember that you have built a large network of resources, friends, and mentors here at Rice. Stay in touch with your network and be sure to maintain these personal relationships.

Useful Documents:

Academic Planning

Degree Works: Electronic Degree Audit System

Faculty Major, Minor, and Transfer Credit Advisors

Graduation with Distinction in Research and Creative Work

Undergraduate Request to Participate in Commencement

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