Current Rice University COVID policies:

Vaccination Policy

President Biden’s Executive Order on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors requires all Rice employees to be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022, unless they’re granted a medical or religious exemption. Rice does accept federal contracts, so we must comply with this order.

Rice’s Office of General Counsel, together with Human Resources, has prepared a document that details how Rice will implement this requirement. The Executive Order applies to all Rice full-time and part-time employees, including student hourly workers. Undergraduate and graduate students who are not Rice employees (such as graduate students only paid on stipends) are not covered by the Executive Order. As a result of the Executive Order, every staff and faculty member who is on campus, or will come to any campus building, will have to be fully vaccinated and provide proof that you’re fully vaccinated (if you have not already done so) by January 4, or seek a medical or religious exemption. The vaccination requirement policy is available here. It has specific instructions on what each of us who work at Rice must do to comply with the executive order.

Face Mask Policy

Indoors: Masks are required indoors only for gatherings of more than 10 people.

  • This policy does not apply to classrooms, where masks are still required at all times, except for instructors while they are lecturing.
  • If you have not been fully vaccinated, you must wear a mask indoors at all times.

Rice community members are encouraged to use their best judgment in all situations and should carry a mask with them at all times for such situations.

Outdoors: Masks are not required outdoors.


Testing Policy

Our large-scale testing program began in the fall semester with qRT-PCR testing from Baylor Genetics and Methodist Hospital, and an experimental LAMP test from Rice University. Symptomatic testing will be offered on campus

  • Faculty and staff who are vaccinated must test once every two weeks.
  • Students (graduates and undergraduates) must test once every two weeks.
  • All unvaccinated people must continue to test twice a week.
  • You may test more often at your discretion, as testing capacity allows.

To provide proof of vaccination:

To schedule a test, CLICK HERE.


Gathering Size and Occupancy Limits

Indoor Gatherings. There are no longer any COVID-related restrictions on gathering size on campus. Plans for gatherings over 100 must be reviewed by the Crisis Management Team for COVID-related measures before the event to ensure it is as safe as possible.

Room occupancy limits. We are not currently reestablishing the COVID-19 occupancy limits on rooms, nor will there be any changes to university housing levels at this time.


Travel Policy:

  • There are no restrictions on faculty or graduate student travel.
  • All international travel must be registered at TRAVELREGISTRY.RICE.EDU. More information on travel is available here: TRAVEL