Welcome: Undergraduate Students

See also: Getting Started with IT for Undergraduate Students

Welcome new undergraduates on laptop with photo of two young owls

Your computer and campus systems are going to be important tools in your college experience used for everything from completing homework assignments to taking notes in class to connecting with your project team. Rice’s Office of Information Technology provides computing services such as email, computer labs and printers, technical troubleshooting, and offering advice.

Account Setup Communications

Welcome Letter about setting up Rice computing accounts and your Rice email address

New undergraduates receive this email with their specific details upon completion of the acceptance process and after their initial deposit is received. (For new students starting in the fall semester, timing is usually late April or early May.)

Dear Name,
Rice ID Number: 0000000
Email Address: name@rice.edu
NetID: ABC123

Welcome to Rice from the Office of Information Technology (OIT)! This message contains information about setting up your Rice computing accounts including your Rice email address. Please keep this letter for your records since it contains your Rice ID number, your NetID, and your Rice email address.

OIT offers computing services and support to students and the OIT Help Desk can answer your questions. For more information, go to: https://oit.rice.edu/welcome-undergraduate-students.

Setting up Rice accounts

Your NetID is a combination of your initials and numbers and is located at the top of this letter. Follow the steps below to set up your NetID and gain access to Rice systems including:

- Google for email, Calendar, Drive and more (https://kb.rice.edu/103604)

- Canvas course management system (https://www.rice.edu/canvas)

- ESTHER system that students use for registration, billing, and other information (https://esther.rice.edu)

- Logging into lab computers

Set up your NetID

Visit https://mynetid.rice.edu, and select Activate Your NetID. You will then be asked to enter your Rice ID number (listed at the top of this letter) and to create a NetID password. If you ever forget your password, you can reset it at https://mynetid.rice.edu. Learn more at: https://kb.rice.edu/64432.

Set up two-factor authentication

You must enroll in two-factor authentication using Duo, which provides additional security for access to university data, personal data and some accounts. Duo offers several options for authenticating users: a mobile push notification, one-button verification of identity to a smartphone, as well as voice and SMS verification. Duo will be required when logging in to Esther, using VPN to access university resources from off campus, and to access the Online Account Management System for your NetID. Learn more at: https://kb.rice.edu/82263

Checking your Rice email

After the acceptance process, all official Rice communications will only be sent to your new Rice email address so it is important to set it up and to check your email frequently. You may access your email by logging into Google with your basic Rice email address, netid@rice.edu, and your NetIdD password. (Learn more about setting up an email alias at https://kb.rice.edu/58397.)

Need help?

Contact the Office of Information Technology's Help Desk (see details below) if you need assistance or have questions. Be sure to check out the OIT KnowledgeBase (https://kb.rice.edu) for news and announcements or to search for more information about services.

Thank you,

Rice University
OIT Help Desk

Online Help: https://oit.rice.edu/request-help
Email: helpdesk@rice.edu
Phone: 713-348-4357

New Student Checklist: NetID and Email Account Setup

From the Office of Student Success Initiatives' web site:

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) offers computing services and support to students and the OIT Help Desk can answer your questions (see below).

Setting up Rice accounts

Your NetID is a combination of your initials and numbers and was emailed to you in a welcome message from OIT. Follow the steps below to set up your NetID and gain access to Rice systems including:

- Google for email, Calendar, Drive and more (https://kb.rice.edu/103604)

- Canvas course management system (https://www.rice.edu/canvas)

- ESTHER system that students use for registration, billing, and other information (https://esther.rice.edu)

- Logging into lab computers

Set up your NetID

Visit https://mynetid.rice.edu, and select Activate Your NetID. You will then be asked to enter your Student ID number to create a NetID password.

Set up Duo Security

You must enroll in Duo Security, an authentication tool, which provides additional security when accessing university data, personal data, and accounts. Duo offers several options for authenticating users: a mobile push notification, one-button verification of identity to a smartphone, as well as voice and SMS verification. Duo is required when logging in to several campus systems including Rice Google and Microsoft email, calendar and collaboration accounts, Esther, using VPN to access university resources from off-campus, and to access the Online Account Management System for your NetID. Learn more at: https://kb.rice.edu/82263

Checking your Rice email

After the acceptance process, all official Rice communications will only be sent to your new Rice email address so it is important to set it up and to check your email frequently. You may access your email by logging into Google with your basic Rice email address, netid@rice.edu, and your NetID password. (Learn more about setting up an email alias at https://kb.rice.edu/58397.)

Need help?

Contact the Office of Information Technology's Help Desk (see details below) if you need assistance or have questions. Be sure to check out the OIT KnowledgeBase (https://kb.rice.edu) for news and announcements or to search for more information about services.

Rice University

OIT Help Desk

Online Help: https://oit.rice.edu/request-help

Email: helpdesk@rice.edu

Phone: 713-348-4357

New Student Checklist: Rice - Esther Login

From the Office of Student Success Initiatives' web site:

Please log into Esther and click on the "Welcome to Rice" tab to begin completing your online enrollment forms. You will need your NetID and password.

If you don't remember your NetID password or need to reset it, please contact the OIT Help Desk at helpdesk@help.rice.edu or call 713-348-4357.

Advice about Bringing a Computer to Rice

Tech Prep for Rice

Electronic newsletter sent to new students in summer for fall arrival:

Tech Prep for Rice

Welcome!

Welcome to Rice! The Office of Information Technology (OIT) is excited that you have joined the Rice community and is ready to help you. We provide campus computing resources and services such as labs, printers, software, and specialized systems such as Canvas, the learning management system you will use for your classes. OIT can assist you with connecting to the campus networks, guide you to resources, offer advice on computing problems, and more. When you have computing questions, contact the OIT Help Desk (see below for contact information).

Select.

Use your choice of computer.

Rice doesn't require you to use a specific type of computer, so base your decision on how comfortable you are working with a computer and its operating system. Your computer doesn't have to be new, but ensure it can adequately handle course work by checking the recommended list of minimum requirements. Also, your operating system should be current with the latest updates and have anti-virus software installed.

If you want to buy, check out:

Computer Recommendations

Dell Premier Discounts for Rice

Apple Higher Education Pricing

You don’t have to bring a printer.


The majority of your course work will be turned in online. You can print in campus labs for a small fee. For convenience, many students prefer to bring their own printer or share with roommates. If you decide to bring one, don't forget extra paper and ink.

Learn.

Obtain free or discounted software.

Certain software products are available for free or at a discounted rate to current students. Check out the list of Software Available to Students. Free products that can be installed on a personal computer include Office 365, Matlab, Mathematica and more. Discounted prices are available for Adobe Creative Cloud, Maple and others. Your instructors will let you know what software you need.

Check out remote learning and productivity tools.

Rice offers a variety of tools to facilitate remote communication and collaboration. Even when classes are in-person, remote learning and productivity tools are useful. Study groups or teams collaborating on projects might find that virtual meetings and sharing online resources are an effective way to interact.

Zoom (video conference tool for courses sessions, meetings or study sessions)
Google Meet (tool for virtual meetings)
Microsoft Teams (collaboration platform including video conferences)
Google Workspace for Education (email, calendar, drive, sheets and more)
Microsoft OneDrive (cloud file storage and collaboration)
Box (cloud file storage and collaboration)
Remote Learning (considerations for remote learning and interactions)

Connect.

You can easily join the campus network.

Wireless connections are available in buildings across campus and limited outdoor areas. When in your college room, plug in to the wired network port for better performance. Wired connections are recommended for high bandwidth traffic like gaming or streaming video and require an ethernet cable to take advantage of the speed and reliability of the wired network. (Note: some devices might need an adapter to connect ethernet cable.) Learn more about the wireless and wired networks.


You can access campus tools and resources.

While at Rice, you will access a variety of systems. To learn more about a resource, search in our KnowledgeBase at kb.rice.edu.

Email - managed by Google
Storage - use Google Drive, OneDrive or Rice Box
Canvas - academic course system
Esther - register for classes, view academic records
Labs - computers, software, and printers


Protect.

Secure your information and university resources.


Multi-factor authentication with Duo, is required for accessing the online account management system (mynetid.rice.edu), Esther (course registration system) VPN (virtual private network), and Rice Google Workspace (including email) and other campus systems. Duo adds an extra layer of security by requiring your password and an additional verification method. Learn more about Duo.

Guarding your password is an important way to protect your information and university resources. Never share your passwords. Select unique passwords for Rice systems (or use a password manager). Be wary of messages that appear to be from the university and require you to verify your account. These phishing messages are scams to gain access to Rice resources. Read more about how to recognize scams or you can contact the OIT Help Desk if you are unsure if a message is legitimate.

Campus Resources

Computer Labs and Printers

Each college has a small computer lab with a printer, but other 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. (See Mac Lab Software List and PC Lab Software List for details.) You can print in campus labs for a small fee. If a course requires a special software program, you can find it installed on lab computers or you might be able to purchase it at a discount. Your instructors will let you know what software you need.

Rice Email

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 only be sent to your Rice email account so be sure to monitor it.

Beware of Email Scams

Scam email alert: 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. Hackers can make these phishing scams look like they are really from Rice so be careful. Also beware of fake employment messages–verify the job by contacting the person by phone or direct email (not a reply to the original message). If you are unsure a message is legitimate, before you respond, contact the OIT Help Desk for advice. Read more tips in the Security Awareness: Campus Guide (viewing requires login with Rice NetID and password) or on the Information Security Office's web page on Phishing.

Guarding your password is an important way to protect your information and university resources. Never share your passwords. Select unique passwords for Rice systems (or use a password manager).

Network Connections

Wireless connections are widely available on Rice's campus. Wired connections are available for undergraduates who live in the residential colleges (one network port per resident). You can find more instructions about connecting to the campus network online and can complete these steps before you arrive at Rice.

Note to Undergraduate College Residents: 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 some devices might require an Ethernet cable adapter.

Learn More about Tools and Resources

Check out our web site for more information about OIT services or search the OIT KnowledgeBase for detailed how-to instructions using tools and services.

See also: Getting Started in IT for Undergraduate Students

Technical Support

Have questions or need advice? Contact the OIT Help Desk.

The OIT Help Desk is the centralized contact for information technology support services including: account management, connectivity to Rice network, password reset, general troubleshooting, mobile device support, VPN configuration, and email setup. Contact the OIT Help Desk if you need computer assistance or advice.

Online Help and Tips

Check out our web site for more information about OIT services or the detailed how-to instructions in the OIT KnowledgeBase, such as Getting Started with IT for Undergraduate Students.

Status Updates and News & Announcements

Use these news sources to find information about technology, changes, issues or outages:

Status Updates

The IT Status web page has notices about unexpected issues and scheduled maintenance. You can also subscribe to receive updates in specific areas.

News & Announcements

Service updates and notices are posted on the main page of the OIT Knowledgebase. This repository of information also allows you to search for information on how to use tools and services.

Phishing Scams

Check out the Phish Bowl – on this web page maintained by the Office of Information Security, you can see some recent email scams and learn tips for spotting fake email messages.