What is O-Week?

Rice Definition

From the moment you step foot on Rice's lovely campus, you will be entering one of the most fun, helpful and exciting weeks Rice has to offer: Orientation Week (O-Week). This is an entire week dedicated to getting to know your peers, holistic and intensive academic planning sessions, opportunities to explore Houston and its surroundings, and much more. O-Week is one of Rice's most beloved traditions, and each year, every college chooses a theme in order to unify the incoming class and advising teams into one greater entity. Each O-Week is packed full of events designed to ease your transition, and no matter what activity you're doing you'll feel more and more a part of the Rice community.

One of the most important parts of O-Week is academic advising. You'll be meeting with student and faculty advisors who specialize in your areas of interest in order to establish what classes you will be taking for your first semester and lay out a tentative academic plan for your time at Rice. You will also have a chance to talk with and sign up for many different student organizations that you might be interested in participating in. In addition, you'll get to meet the various resources of both your residential college and around campus.

The other half of O-Week is devoted to getting you fully accustomed to both Rice's and your residential college's specific college culture and social life. Most importantly though, O-Week is your first chance to meet other new students and get to know some of the upperclassmen at Rice. You'll be doing and learning things every day, all of which contribute to your understanding of your life at Rice. By the time class starts you'll be fully confident about your academic endeavors and fully integrated as a proud member of Rice University.

O-Week is a truly unique Rice phenomenon, and we pride ourselves on having an orientation unlike any other. It's an experience that sticks with Rice students for years, and many people look back on the time spent during O-Week as one of the best parts of their Rice experience, a time when lifelong friendships are born and a sense of community is fostered. O-Week is the common bond that all Rice students share, and it sets a great foundation for your years to come at this wonderful institution. O-Week is coming, and it's going to be great!

Hanszen Definition

Just like any other week at Rice, O-Week is about exploring, learning, and growing. However O-Week is special for several reasons. There will be no classes during this week, giving you time to explore majors, choose your courses, and work on creating a degree plan. You will spend a lot of time learning about and preparing for academics to ensure that you are as prepared as possible to start off your first year at Rice!

You will have the chance to discuss your plans with upperclassmen, some who have been through extensive training to help other students make academic decisions, and others who can offer a lot of wisdom through their experiences as students. You also will be able to meet with faculty associates of Hanszen College, all who are here with the goal of helping you have the smoothest transition possible to Rice.

O-Week won't be only about academics though; you will also spend a lot of time getting to know your fellow Hanszenites, new students and upperclassmen alike. There is a team of around 50 personnel including O-Week Advisors, Diversity Facilitators, Peer Academic Advisors, and more, that have come back to campus early just to welcome you with open arms (literally). O-Week will introduce you to the traditions and culture of Hanszen College and Rice University, and by the end of the week you will be bleeding blue and yellow! The O-Week tradition has carried on for many years and can be one of the most memorable weeks at Rice, a week that all Rice students share in common. Make sure and take advantage of all of the opportunities you will be given during the week to begin to forge relationships and learn about your new home!

Check out this video for a glimpse into O-Week!