Help! I'm a New or Returning Student
Dear New Undergraduates and Graduate Students,
Welcome to Rice! 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 printers,
computer labs, 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 other 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 minifridge. If you
bring a printer, be aware that the Rice network does not support wireless
printers 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 monthly bill from the
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.
Undergraduate 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). Learn more at http://it.rice.edu/email.
Graduate student email is managed through Ricemail, an
internal campus mail system (http://ricemail.rice.edu),
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
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. These emails are scams, known as phishing. Hackers can make messages really look like they are from Rice so be careful. If you are unsure about a message, contact the Help Desk. If you replied to a phishing message, contact 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.
- 713-348-HELP (4357)
- 9 am - 5 pm, Monday - Friday (except holidays)
- Mudd Lab 103 (Summer walk-in hours: 10 am - 4 pm)
College OIT Ambassadors
Undergraduates, when you arrive in the fall, you’ll meet
your college’s OIT Ambassador, a resident student who can answer basic
questions and refer you to OIT’s offered services.
Tech Tips and News
Be sure to like the OIT FaceBook page to view helpful hints
and event news.
Check out our web site for more information about OIT
services at https://it.rice.edu.
Detailed "how to" instructions can be found at https://docs.rice.edu.
Connecting to Campus Network
You can find more instructions about connecting to the
campus network online (http://itoweek.rice.edu)
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.
File Storage and Sharing
Each undergraduate at Rice has several options for storing files including 2 GB
private storage space on the secure, internal Rice network and unlimited space on
Rice Google Drive for email and files. You can share files via Rice Google
Drive or Box. Also Microsoft’s OneDrive is Office 365’s cloud storage and file
sharing application. For more details, see Storage Options for Undergraduates.