Engineering has been a part of Rice's curriculum since the university first opened as The Rice Institute in 1912. In those early days Rice offered courses in chemical, civil, mechanical and electrical engineering. Over the years, the engineering program grew, and in 1975 the George R. Brown School of Engineering was established. Today the school is comprised of eight academic departments and includes fourteen research institutes and centers. More than one fourth of Rice students are engineering majors.
Among the more than 100 engineering faculty are nine members of the National Academy of Engineering. Virtually all undergraduate courses in engineering are taught by Ph.D. faculty. With a small student-to-faculty ratio, students in both undergraduate and graduate programs not only have easy access to professors in the classroom, but work closely with them on research projects. Departments and centers within the school of engineering take advantage of Houston's role as a center for the energy industry, medical research, space exploration, and the city's rapidly growing high-technology sector. Several departments have active industrial affiliates programs, and many research projects are undertaken with local companies. Students benefit from these relationships through collaborative research projects, summer internships, and making contacts for employment before graduation.
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