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 if you have questions or need assistance. Learn more about campus digital security (viewing requires login with Rice NetID and password).


Activate NetID: Setup your login credentials
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 Multi-Factor Authentication: Required security system
VPN (Virtual Private Network): Secure off campus access to Rice 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 or E01234567) 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 uses additional authentication 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 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.
  • After being accepted and admitted, you will receive an email with your Rice ID and your Rice NetID within 24-48 hours.
  • Make note of your NetID during the activation process.

 Getting Connected

The Rice network is the most reliable way to connect to the internet while on campus. To connect to Rice Owls, which is a 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 smartphone and mobile devices.

 Rice Google Email

You can access your Rice Google Email using any of the following methods.

  • Third-Party Mail Setup: Access your Rice email through a mail client such as Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail, etc.
  • Google Mail: Use your as the username and Rice Google Password (set up on NetID) to access your Rice email through Google Workspace for Education.
Google Workspace for Education includes email, as well as Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites, Groups, Contacts, Keep, Chat, and Meet.

 Other Services


Esther is a self-service system that allows you to register for classes, view academic records, and 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 is given Zoom License accounts that let them sign into zoom using their NetID.

Duo Authentication

Duo Security is an authentication service that provides additional security for access to university and personal data and accounts. Duo offers several options for verification: a mobile push notification, one-button verification of identity to a smartphone, as well as voice and SMS verification. 

Read All about Duo to learn about using Duo for managing and enrolling devices as well like using the authentication service while traveling.

VPN (Virtual Private Network)

Rice's VPN system allows secure transportation of data between the university network and a remote computer connected to the Internet outside of Rice.
You need to download the necessary software, AnyConnect VPN, for your computer. See the Complete Guide to VPN for more information and instructions on downloading the software, which will require you to use the Duo authentication service. If you have not set up Duo previously, see the section above, Duo Authentication.

 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 website

Need technical support? Contact the OIT Help Desk.


OIT Help Desk


Monday - Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Friday: 8:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

(excluding university holidays)

Contact Methods

Phone: 713-348-4357 or on-campus extension: xHELP or x4357

Online form: 


Remote support: BeyondTrust (Bomgar) 

All in-person services are by appointment only.


See Also: