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Student Health Services

Student Health does not file or bill health insurance. Our services are available to all eligible students regardless of the type of health insurance owned.

Who is eligible for health care?

All full-time graduate, business school, and undergraduate Rice University students are able to use the Student Health Service. Spouses, dependents, and class 3 students are not eligible. Student Health does not file or bill health insurance. Our services are available to all eligible students regardless of the type of health insurance owned.

On-Campus Services Provided (some may incur extra fees)

Rice University Student Health offers a number of services to students, full spectrum of clinical care and preventive medical services. Examples include:

  • sports injuries
  • illness
  • skin conditions
  • respiratory conditions (e.g. asthma)
  • sexual health
  • well-woman exams
  • contraception consults
  • gastrointestinal conditions
  • genito-urinary conditions
  • testing for STDs and HIV
  • travel medicine
  • vaccinations
  • physical exams(*)

*-Student Health does not perform some types of physical exams. Very lengthy, extensive physical examination forms (e.g., Antartic, Peace Corp, FAA flight physicals) cannot be obtained at Student Health. 

Clinical Care

Student Health offers outpatient clinical care services for Rice University students. It is staffed by two Internal Medicine physicians, one Family Practice physician, two nurses, a medical assistant, and two front office staff. The student health fee, which is required of all full-time Rice Students, provides for the professional services at the Student Health clinic.

  • Student Health does not bill insurance companies.
  • Students may not designate one of the Student Health physicians as their "primary care provider" for health insurance purposes
  • Student Health is not able to provide primary care for students with chronic medical needs.
  • Students who need significant continuing care for a medical, or psychiatric, condition will be referred to a physician in the Houston community.

Although the professional services provided at Student Health do not generate additional cost to students, laboratory testing and radiology services do. If laboratory testing, radiographic testing, or referral to a sub-specialist is needed it is at this point that health insurance becomes involved. Vaccinations provided at Student Health also involve additional cost. Students who require regular adminstration of allergy sera ("allergy shots") are able to store their sera at Student Health and receive their injections at no additional cost. The student must provide the sera and the schedule from their allergist.

Free Testing

Student Health can provide the following tests at no additional cost:

  • rapid strep tests
  • mono-spot tests (infectious mononucleosis)
  • urine pregnancy tests
  • urine chemistry tests
  • glucometer tests
  • electrocardiography

Tests outside of this list (e.g., blood chemistry testing, x-ray services) are not located on-site and will be billed to the student or their insurance by the reference laboratory or radiology clinic used. Laboratory specimens (e.g., blood, urine) are collected on-site so the student does not need to go to another location. However, in the event radiographic testing (e.g., chest x-ray) is needed the student will be referred to a nearby radiology clinic. Students are expected to provide transportation or to have a friend drive them.

Off-campus Services at Additional Cost

The following services are not located on-site and all involve additional expenses that may be covered by health insurance.

Reference laboratory

  • specimen collected at the SHS and sent to reference lab
  • full range clinical laboratory

Subspecialist referral

  • student reponsible for cost of visit to outside physician

X-rays - off-site

  • student reponsible for cost of physician ordered radiographic studies


  • Emergency room (additional cost involved / health insurance)
  • Insurance Note: The physicians at the clinic do not participate in any managed care insurance plans and may not be designated "primary care" phsycians. Students with chronic medical problems are encouraged to become established with a physician in the Houston-area who participates in his/her health plan.

Sub-specialty Services

If a student is in need of sub-specialty services, such as orthopedic services, they will be referred to a nearby physician who can provide this type of service. Again, it is at this point that health insurance becomes involved and students are expected to provide, or find, transportation. It is also the student's responsibility to verify whether the physician they are being referred to participates in the student's health insurance program.

Because of the specific details of a given health insurance plan and the complex and shifting nature of contracts between community physicians and health insurance companies, it is not possible for Student Health to know what the cost to the student might be, or if a particular provider is a member of the student's health insurance plan. Note: Starting in August 2005 students with the health insurance plan sponsored through Rice University will be able to access a website listing providers who participate in the Rice Student Health Insurance plan.