Undergraduate Admission
Rice: Unconventional Wisdom

Requesting a Gap Year

Admitted freshmen who wish to request a gap year should submit a detailed plan in writing describing exactly how they will spend their year away and confirming their understanding that they do not intend to enroll or apply to any other college or university during their gap year. Gap year requests may be made via email to riceapps@rice.edu or through hard copy mail to

Rice University
Office of Admission-MS 17
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77251-1892

If your plan is approved, you will be required to submit a non-refundable $300 enrollment deposit, and if housing is desired, a $100 housing deposit to reserve your space in the class of 2019. In addition, you must confirm in writing that you have withdrawn all active applications at the schools to which you were admitted or wait listed this year.

Admitted transfer students are not eligible for gap year consideration.


Olivia Ragni 

Olivia Kay Ragni
Hometown:  Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Major:  Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Residential College: Duncan College

Why did I choose to take a gap year?


I have always been passionate about travel, so when the chance came to intern and volunteer in foreign countries, I jumped at the opportunity.  I spent two months shadowing doctors and volunteering with the health education department at hospitals in India, attended a Spanish language school for one month in Guatemala, and volunteered at an elephant camp in addition to shadowing doctors during one month in Thailand.

Since I traveled alone, I gained independence by having to make important decisions as well as cultural awareness by experiencing life like the locals.  When I entered Rice as a freshman, I had an invigorated zeal for learning in a classroom setting, and I also felt more mature.

My advice to anyone to consider taking a gap year is to venture out of your comfort zone and go see the world!