Rice University

Rice University Center for Civic Leadership

Distinction in Research and Creative Works

Distinction in Research and Creative Works is a university award for select undergraduates, granted at commencement, which appears on the transcript and diploma. Students must apply to be considered for the award, and the application must be supported by a letter from a faculty member (or Center director).  The most common path of application will be to the student’s major department.  A student whose research or other creative project is in a field outside of his/her major should submit an application to the academic department or program most closely associated with the subject matter of their project.  

Eligibility for the award extends widely to include a variety of research, design, and other creative projects, as well as persistent dedication to research. Projects completed in part or entirely at other institutions or with community partners will be eligible for consideration.

Applicants must be in good academic standing and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.30 in courses completed at Rice. The award will be granted only to projects that produce a concrete outcome--e.g. an essay, invention, design, musical composition--and demonstrate commitment and/or achievement above and beyond the norm. Students who complete senior theses, senior design projects or other required senior capstone projects are eligible—but do not qualify automatically--for consideration for this university distinction.

Students who wish to be considered for this award must submit an application to the academic department most closely associated with the subject matter of their project

Responsibility for judging applications and determining those that merit the distinction award rests with the undergraduate degree programs or departments. Departments publish annually clear expectations and criteria for the research and design projects that will be considered for the award, as well as guidelines for what constitutes research or creative work above and beyond the norm within their respective fields. Departments may designate additional requirements as well, such as completion of a research seminar or oral defense.

For more details, please contact the administrative coordinator or director of undergraduate studies of your major department (or other department most closely associated with the subject matter of your project). The departments listed below also have information about the award on their Web pages.

*Note: Department deadline for selecting and reporting the names of students recommended for the award: May 8, the Friday prior to Commencement. Departments should send names of students selected, along with the title or brief description of each student’s project, to Matt Taylor (ptt@rice.edu) by 4:00pm on this date.


George R. Brown School of Engineering 

School of Humanities 

 The Shepherd School of Music   

Wiess School of Natural Sciences 

School of Social Sciences