Getting Started with IT for Graduate 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.


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 

Rice Acceptable Use Policy, Digital Copyright Compliance and Computer Security
Additional Resources for Students
Need technical support? Contact the OIT Help Desk

 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).

*Note: Some graduate students will have a Student ID beginning with "E"

When can I activate my NetID?

  • For new graduate students, upon completion of the acceptance process, you will receive your graduate department acceptance notification with your NetID. 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. Note that computers as well as printers are accessible in campus labs as well as Mudd Lab and Fondren Library. 

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

Note: Setting up printers may vary by your department

Step 2: Connect your mobile devices to the Rice network.

Connect your smart phone and mobile devices.

 Rice Google Email


The following are the different ways which you can access your Rice Google Email.

  • Third-Party Mail Setup: Access your Rice email through a mail client such as Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail, etc.
  • Google Mail: Use your and Rice Google Password (set up on NetID) to access your Rice email through Google Workspace for Education.
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


Esther is the self-service system that contains a lot of data for Rice students. Using Esther, you can register for classes, view academic records, and much more.


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 Graduate student 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, you 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: