Get Started: Students
Your computer is going to be an important tool in your college experience used for everything from completing homework assignments to taking notes in class to keeping in touch with friends from home. Rice’s Office of Information Technology provides computing services such as email, computer labs and printers, technical troubleshooting, and offering advice.
Note to graduate students: Most of the following advice and listed resources applies to you as well. However, be sure to check with your advisor and department about additional resources and recommendations.
Tech Prep for Rice
What type of computer do I need?
Rice doesn't require you to bring a specific type of computer, so base your decision on how comfortable you are working with a computer and its operating system. Be sure your computer’s operating system is current with the latest updates and patches plus anti-virus software installed.
Laptops vs. Desktops?
Your decision, but a laptop might be more convenient for a student’s lifestyle of taking notes in class, working with a study group in the library, or binge watching shows in bed on the weekends. Sometimes students have both and prefer the larger desktop monitor when studying in their room.
Purchasing Advice and Discounts
If you are buying a new computer or software, these resources might be helpful:
Should I bring a printer?
You don’t have to bring a printer. A past survey showed that about half of Rice undergraduates brought their own printer for convenience. Often roommates share the expense of a printer, just like a mini fridge. If you bring a printer, be aware that the Rice network does not support wireless printing so you will need a cable to connect your printer to your computer.
If you don’t bring a printer, you can print in your college computer lab, other campus labs, and Fondren library for a small fee. Printing costs 7 cents per page for black and white and 35 cents per page for color. Posters and architecture/engineering plots can be printed for about $3 per linear foot. Printing charges are included in your bill from the Cashier’s Office.
How do I connect to the campus network?
You can find more instructions about connecting to the campus network
online and can complete these steps before you arrive at Rice. Undergraduates: Each college room has a wired Ethernet connection port to connect to the campus network, which is much faster and more reliable than wireless connections. Consider bringing a standard Ethernet 568a cable (Cat6 with RJ-45 jack) so you can plug in. Be sure to buy a long, 25-foot cable so you have flexibility in arranging your room and note that laptops might require an Ethernet adapter.
Each college has a small computer lab with a printer, but larger labs are scattered across campus; in fact, some of your classes may be taught in computer classrooms. Computers in labs have standard programs (word processor, spreadsheet, and web browsers) installed. If a course requires a special software program, you can find it installed on lab computers or might be able to purchase it at a discount.
student email is managed externally through Rice Google mail
. Once you receive your Rice student ID number, you can set up your Rice email account. Official communication from the university will be sent only to this account so be sure to monitor it (or forward to another email account).
email is managed through Ricemail
, an internal campus mail system, due to the sensitive university data graduate students might handle. The university will use your rice.edu email address for official communications. Your NetID and Rice Google password provide access to your Rice Google Apps for Education (GAE), including university calendars and Google Drive. Google Mail is not part of the GAE for Rice faculty, staff, and graduate students because Google stores messages on external servers, not deemed secure for research and other confidential Rice data. If your role as a graduate student does not require handling sensitive university data and you decide to forward your Ricemail to a non-secure external account, instructions can be found in docs.rice.edu.
: No one at Rice will ever ask you to verify your NetID account or ask for your password, student number, credit card information or other personal details by email. These emails are scams, known as phishing. Hackers can make messages look like they are really from Rice so be careful. If you are unsure about a message, please submit it using our Report an IT Security Incident form
. If you replied to a phishing message, call the Help Desk
immediately to reset your password.
OIT Help Desk
The Help Desk is a free service available to assist with lost data, crashed computers, network problems, and virus infections. Contact the Help Desk
if you need computer assistance or advice.
Online Help and Tips
Check out our web site for more information about OIT services