Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Students / Faculty


Question: Should I include information about my disability as a part of my application?  

Answer: It depends. If you would prefer no one know about your disability, do not include disability information. If you think, however, that it is important for others to know about your disability in their effort to know you as an applicant, then you may decide to include such information as a part of your application.

The Rice University application does not contain questions referring to disability.

Question: I have been accepted to Rice University (graduate or undergraduate) and I have a disability. What should I do now?  

Answer: Contact Disability Support Services (DSS) soon after choosing to attend Rice University. The director of DSS will discuss initial needs, including disability documentation that may be required. Sometimes you will need to ask your current school for various documents, so it is important to know what is needed before you leave.

You can also complete the Preliminary Notification of Disability-Related Needs form to begin communication with DSS at Rice.

Question: Does Rice University have a special program for students with learning disabilities? 

Answer: No. Rice University will provide reasonable accommodations for students with documented learning disabilities, but does not have a learning skills center or a learning specialist on staff.

Question: I think I may have a learning disability. Does Rice University evaluate students for disabilities? 

Answer: No. Rice University does not evaluate students for disabilities. For referrals to area psychologists or clinics, contact DSS. For referrals to physicians for evaluation of medical conditions, contact Student Health Services at Rice.


 Question: A student gave me a doctor’s note saying he/she needs extra time on tests. Should I provide this accommodation?   

Answer: It depends. First ask the student if he/she has registered with Disability Support Services (DSS). If not, refer the student to DSS. The director will review the student’s information and determine if extra time (or any other accommodation) is appropriate and adequately documented. A brief note is not usually sufficient documentation.

After a disability has been properly documented, the student will bring you an accommodation letter. This letter will outline his/her specific accommodations. Until you receive this letter, it is not appropriate to provide extra time or any other accommodation.

Question: How do I arrange for extra time on a student’s exams?  

Answer: Discuss the particulars with the student, but make sure not to draw special attention to him/her. Perhaps the two of you could agree to the same start time as other students, but in a separate location (to allow quiet, uninterrupted testing). Maybe an earlier start time (so everyone finishes at about the same time) would work, or even a completely different time? Regardless, make sure both of you know where and when the test is to be picked up and later returned. It might also be helpful to allow the student to pick up the test in a sealed envelope from someone else in the department. This is much less conspicuous than picking it up in front of other students, and then having to take the test to a different room, etc.

Question: One of my students informed me that he/she has recently been diagnosed with a disability related to learning and attention. Is a recent diagnosis likely or even possible at this point in the student’s life?  

Answer: Yes, it is possible. For many individuals, life-long differences in learning and attention may have been successfully self-accommodated while younger. The more rigorous demands of college, however, may lead a student to explore whether or not a suspected disability is actually present. The student may seek out a psychologist or psychiatrist to obtain such an evaluation, which in some cases may reveal a disability. Adjusting to the reality of a newly identified disability can be difficult for some students, and understanding from a faculty member can help ease the way.