Welcome Letter from the Graduate Program Coordinator
Dear New Earth Science Student,
Congratulations and welcome to the Earth Science Department! Our goal is to ensure that you will have a successful career at Rice, and we hope that you will enjoy your time here with us. If you have any questions or if there is anything I or any other member of the staff can do to assist you, please let us know. We will be happy to help.
Here is some initial information to help you get started at Rice and in our program.
- Before You Arrive...
The Graduate Office provides student information throughout your career at Rice. Their main URL is: http://graduate.rice.edu/default.aspx Here you can get various forms you will need. As a new student they also have a checklist of items that is useful at: http://graduate.rice.edu/newstudents.
Here are a few other key dates and processes that you should know:
- In most cases, by May you will receive an Esther login letter from the Graduate Office (email@example.com) to the e-mail address given on your application. Be sure to check your mail so that the letter is not filtered to your email's spam file. The letter will give you your Rice student ID number and a unique link to set up your Esther account (http://esther.rice.edu). "Esther" is your individual Rice online account through which you will post your personal and emergency information, get access to your Rice transcripts, receive other important personal details regarding your status with various Rice offices, and pay your bills. .
- The link in this initial letter from the Graduate Office may only be used once, so be certain to remember your Esther pin after you reset it. If you have not received your Esther log in letter, please contact me for assistance. Establish your Rice NetID, e-mail and password as soon as possible. Never give your Rice e-mail address and password to anyone. No one from Rice will ever ask you this information once you have established your password. Beware of phishing. Instructions for opening your e-mail are found at: http://apply.rice.edu.
- Note: once your Rice ID is issued, announcements concerning your arrival as a new graduate student will be sent to that address, so please check your Rice email account.
- Once you are in your Esther account, also note that there is a special tab for New Graduate Students. Use this tab to check important deadlines and requirements.
- Be sure to enter emergency information in your Esther account. Once you have permanent housing, be sure to enter that information also. This is the official record for the University of where you live and who to contact should there be an emergency. Please try to include a local contact. This is very important particularly since fall is hurricane season, and we need a way to contact you about your safety.
- Get all of your immunizations before you come to Rice. You are required to get a meningococcal vaccination at least 10 days before you arrive on campus. Complete and return the required Health Data Form to Student Health Services. The link to the form is:
- Health Data Form
- This form must be delivered by mail to Student Health no later than July 1.
Mail the form to:
Rice University Student Health Service
6100 Main St. MS-760
Houston, TX 77005 USA
- You will not be able to register until Health Services receives it.
- Log on to http://studenthealthinsurance.rice.edu/ and register for or waive Rice Health Insurance. (All students must have health insurance.)
- If you are currently in school, you must submit your final official transcript to Rice when you graduate. Otherwise, you will not be able to register for the spring semester. Please send the transcript to:
- Mary Ann Lebar
Graduate Student Coordinator
Department of Earth Science - MS 126
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005-1892
- Mary Ann Lebar
- Complete and submit the Orientation Questionnaire by August 1. Go to your Esther account to find the link to the questionnaire.
- Esther will also provide you account balance which may appear as zero until mid-July when billing is completed. Please check back again at that time to review your balance and pay your bill. Payment is due mid-August.
- If you can, complete the two required online trainings for all graduate students (a) Sexual Harassment Prevention and (b) Responsible Conduct of Research. To link to these online training programs, go to: http://graduate.rice.edu/newstudenttraining/ The deadline to complete these and other required graduate training classes is September 15.
- To obtain information about graduate housing, go to: http://campushousing.rice.edu/graduate/ If you want to rent an individual apartment, contact me, and I will give you a referral to a free apartment finder service you can use once you arrive.
- When You Arrive...
- International students should report to the Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS) (http://oiss.rice.edu/) located in Lovett Hall, Entrance A 2nd floor immediately upon your arrival on campus. You are required to attend the Graduate Orientation specifically for all international students on August 19 and 20. Questions about passport and immigration documents can be found at: http://oiss.rice.edu/content.aspx?id=102.
- All new graduate students must attend the Rice Graduate Orientation on August 21. The schedule for this orientation will be available in June. You are expected to attend all mandatory orientation and classroom training sessions including the Lab Safety Training. Otherwise, you will be docked stipend pay for non-attendance.
- During orientation you will be asked to complete various financial forms such as the I-9, W4, and the Direct Deposit Form. These forms are available from The Rice Payroll Office. (http://professor.rice.edu/Template_Controller.aspx?id=7013) To complete these items you will need identification such as your passport, or your social security card and driver's license, etc. Please see the back of the I-9 form for acceptable means of identification.
- If you are a domestic student and have not submitted an I9 Form, Passport, or driver's license to the Payroll Office during orientation, you will not be issued a stipend check. Your stipend will begin August 15th. Your first paycheck will be issued on August 31st.
- Information about the Rice Payroll Deparment can be found at: (http://www.professor.rice.edu/professor/Payroll3.asp?SnID=4). You will be required to pick up your first check at the Payroll Office. However, once you have a bank account and signed up for Direct Deposit, all subsequent payments will be made directly to your bank account. You will need a voided check when you complete the Direct Deposit form.
- Read and sign the Honor Code that can be found in your Esther account.
- Get your Rice identification card and office key at the Rice Campus Police Department. Go to the lobby of the Campus Police located just inside Entrance #8 (2000 block of University Boulevard at Stockton). Hours are 7:00 AM-5:00 PM Monday—Friday.
- If you currently use an e-mail address from your current academic institution, please send me an alternate e-mail address for me to contact you—one that you will check regularly. We will send important e-mails to you after your graduation date and we need an e-mail address that you regularly use. If you are depending on your new Rice e-mail account, please check it regularly.
- You must attend the Earth Science Department New Graduate Student Orientation that is tentatively scheduled for Friday, August 23. More information about our orientation will be e-mailed to you as we get closer to the fall term. During this orientation you will receive important documents that must be completed. You will also meet individually with the Graduate Committee who will guide you in selecting the specific courses you should take for the first term. After you meet with Graduate Committee you will be permitted to register if you have met all requirements for Rice Student Health.
- After the Earth Science orientation, you will be asked to complete a driver's safety class if you drive. Students need to pass this course in order to drive on departmental field trips.
If you have any questions, you can contact me directly by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone at: 713-348-6068.
Welcome again to Rice Earth Science. We are all looking forward to meeting and working with you.
Mary Ann Lebar
Earth Science Graduate Student Coordinator