Freshman Research Courses

NSCI 120: Introductory Scientific Research Challenges

Students in NSCI 120 solve client-based problems that require the discovery or application of scientific knowledge, specifically in the fields of biology and chemistry. Students work in interdisciplinary teams and are involved in shaping their project and implementing the scientific method to find solutions.

BIOS 118: First-Year Seminar in Local Biology Research (Biochemistry, Cell Biology, and Genetics Focus)

A 7-week seminar course to introduce first-year prospective biologists to the excitement of research at Rice and the Medical Center and to provide context with which to think about facts presented in biosciences textbooks. Small groups will meet weekly with a graduate student or postdoctoral researcher to explore a published research article by a local lab, gaining background information about the subject and exposure to the research techniques. In the final session, the group will tour the lab that produced the featured article. Additional tours and activities TBA. All first-year non-transfer students are eligible to enroll in BIOS 118 regardless of AP credit. This course meets in the second half of the semester and features research in Biochemistry, Cell Biology, and Genetics.

BIOS 119: First-Year Seminar in Local Biology Research (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Focus)

A 7-week seminar course to introduce first-year prospective biologists to the excitement of research at Rice and to provide context with which to think about facts presented in biosciences textbooks. Small groups will meet weekly with a graduate student or postdoctoral researcher to explore a published research article by a local lab, gaining background information about the subject and exposure to the research techniques. In the final session, the group will tour the lab that produced the featured article. Additional tours and activities TBA. All first-year, non-transfer students are eligible to enroll in BIOS 119 regardless of AP credit. This course meets in the first half of the semester and features research in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

CHEM 110: Freshman Chemistry Seminar

This half-semester course introduces freshmen to chemical research at Rice and in Houston. The course is offered both semesters. Some of the same material is covered in both semesters, although the fall course emphasizes material for students interested in the PhD track towards academic and industrial chemistry careers while the spring semester places greater emphasis on research in the Texas Medical Center for students who plan to pursue the health professions.

ENST 117: Freshman Environmental Seminar

This 7-week seminar course, introduces freshmen prospective environmental science researchers to the excitement of research at Rice and in the broader Houston area and provides context with which to think about facts presented in textbooks. Small groups meet weekly with a graduate student or postdoctoral researcher to explore a published research article by a local team of researchers, gaining background information about the subject and exposure to the research techniques. In the final session, the group will tour the lab that produced the feature article.

ESCI 114: Discoveries in Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences Seminar

This seminar course provides an overview of exciting discoveries, research and recent advances in earth, environmental and planetary sciences, facilitated through discussions with graduate students and faculty, as well as laboratory visits and demonstrations.

PHYS 116: Seminar in Physics and Astronomy at Rice and Beyond

This half-semester seminar course will meet in the first half of the Spring semester to introduce prospective and current science and engineering majors to the exciting research in physics and astronomy at Rice and beyond. The course will provide students with the context to think about how the facts presented in physics and astronomy textbooks are applied to real-world research. Undergraduate students in a small group will meet weekly with a graduate student to explore a published research article by a local lab, learning about what was done and why it was important. Toward the end of the course, the group will tour the lab that produced the featured article. All students are eligible to enroll in PHYS 116 regardless of the intended area of study.