Getting Started with IT for Undergraduate Students

Welcome to Rice University! The following information will introduce you to Rice IT resources.


OIT can get you set up with the technology, accounts, and access necessary to study at the university. This document introduces basic services so feel free to reach out for help as you have questions or need assistance. Check out our advice on technical requirements for your personal computer and how to obtain free or discounted software.


Activate NetID

Getting Connected: Connect to the Rice wireless network

Rice Google Email: Setup your Rice email

Other Services

 Esther: Self-Service System
 Canvas: Rice's Learning Management System
 Zoom: Audio and Videoconferencing Platform
 Duo Authentication & VPN: Two-Factor Authentication and Virtual Private Network 

Activate NetID

Each Rice student is given a Student ID (e.g. S01234567) and a NetID (e.g. abc123). Your Rice student ID is mainly used for student identification while your NetID is your unique login credential for most Rice computing resources. Having a NetID will allow you to gain access to the various computing systems at Rice. A NetID could also be used in conjunction with Duo, a multi-factor authentication tool, as well for systems that require additional security (Esther or VPN).

When can I activate my NetID?

  • For New Students (Fall Semester), upon completion of the acceptance process (late April or early May) and after your initial deposit is received, you can then activate your NetID. 
  • Your Rice NetID is established within 24-48 hours in which you will receive an email that includes your Rice ID upon your acceptance and admission status. 
  • Make note of your NetID during the activation process

Getting Connected

The Rice network is the most reliable way to connect to internet while on campus. To connect to Rice Owls, which is secure wireless connection open to the Rice community, you can follow the steps below.

Step 1: Connect your computer to the Rice network and set it up to use Rice printers.
Step 2: Connect your mobile devices to the Rice network.

Rice Google Email

The following are the different ways which you can access your Rice Google Email.
Google Workspace for Education provides access to email, in addition to other tools such as Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites, Groups, Contacts, Keep, Chat, and Meet.

Other Services



Canvas is Rice's Learning Management System (LMS) for all course-related curriculum needs. Canvas will be the main platform used for classes but it can also be used for passing on important announcements. 
  • Rice CanvasCanvas Login and Student Resources
  • Canvas FAQ: Commonly asked Canvas questions for Students


Zoom is a cloud video and audio conferencing platform that will be used by instructors to hold virtual lectures or office hours. Each Rice undergraduate are given Zoom License accounts that lets them sign into Zoom using their NetID.

Duo Mobile Authentication

Duo Mobile is a two-factor authentication service that can be utilized for systems that require an additional layer of security such as Esther, VPN and NetID login.   


Getting Started with Duo 

All about Duo: Learn all you can do with Duo including managing and enrolling devices as well like using the authentication service while traveling.

Install VPN Client Software

Rice University uses the Duo Authentication service in order to protect VPN access to Rice systems. The following are the installation links for the AnyConnect VPN Client. Campus login is required for all of these softwares. 

Rice Acceptable Use Policy, Digital Copyright Compliance and Computer Security

In order to use computers on the Rice Network, all users must:

 Additional Resources for Students

IT Status: Stay informed on IT Maintenance and Events
OIT: Office of Information Technology service information
Software Available for Students: List of Free and Discounted Software
Collaboration and Storage Options: Storage, File Sharing, and Collaboration Resources for Students
Get Started: Students - OIT web site

Hours of Operations

  • Monday - Thursday:  8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

All in-person services are by appointment only (walk-in and office visits).

OIT Help Desk Support

Classroom Support

  • While teaching, if you experience technical difficulties, call: 713-348-4989. 

Teaching and Learning Resources

  • Canvas technical support
    • Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via hotline or chat 
    • Login to Canvas, select the Help button in the Global Navigation bar
  • Teaching & Learning FAQ

See Also:

Keywords:new student undergraduate new student freshman transfer NetID account activate O-Week OWeek ITOWeek IT-Oweek email setup mail Google GSuite Getting Connected G Suite Google Mail Calendar Apps Zoom Canvas account docs drive sheets slides sites   Doc ID:103785
Owner:Liz B.Group:Rice University
Created:2020-07-08 19:21 CDTUpdated:2021-08-02 23:47 CDT
Sites:Rice University
Feedback:  8   5