Online STEM Programs

If you’re considering a future in STEM, Rice University might have the perfect option for you. Our Precollege Online Program offers STEM enrichment for teens. These 100% online courses include subjects such as genome engineering and physiology, with more to come. This is a great way to try out a variety of STEM subjects before you commit to a college major. Learn with acclaimed Rice University professors and even get insights from experts in your field of interest. Our flexible format lets you study anywhere, anytime at your own pace. If you’re thinking about testing out a STEM enrichment program, find your fit with Rice.

Program Dates

Multi-length courses available throughout the year


For students ages 13 and up

Individual Course Fees


Current Courses Available

White spiraling DNA on a blue background

Genome Engineering

Genome Engineering: Changing the Future of Medicine

What role do genomes play in medicine?

What role do genetics play in diseases? What does your DNA tell you about your own genetic makeup? Delve into genome engineering and how the human genome can be edited to treat diseases, such as Sickle Cell and other hereditary blood disorders. Study the ethics surrounding genome editing and compare the design tools used, especially those in the medical field. If you see yourself pursuing this topic in college, or one day in a career, this course is a great place to start.

A 3D image showing inside the human body with bones, organs, and other bodily systems


Physiology: The Foundations of Medicine

Explore Physiology and its Importance in Medicine

Studying how the nervous, muscular, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems work together is an important first step in understanding how the human body functions. Physiology is the foundation you’ll need if you aspire to a career in medicine. Plus, human anatomy and physiology are the basis for numerous jobs in allied health, emergency services, and the medical field.

An astronaut floating in outer space


Space Exploration: The Road to Mars

Delve Into The World of Space Travel

Think about human space exploration coupled with today’s tech innovations. Imagine the logistics needed to launch people from Earth to the Moon and Mars. Hear what some of today’s aerospace leaders have to say about the future of this compelling science. This course will examine space exploration from the early Apollo voyages to the Artemis program. You’ll learn about the evolution—and future—of space exploration, and discover if aeronautics could be in your future.

Puzzle pieces fitting into the outline of a head


In Our Everyday Lives

Understand Psychology’s Role in Everyday Life

Why do our brains interpret things so differently? Why is our health affected by our emotions? Psychology is the science that explains many “whys.” In this course, you’ll focus on how psychology is used to identify and address societal problems. You’ll learn how research and statistics provide answers to long-standing questions, such as why societies develop group-think, and how to use critical thinking and effective communication to grow in your personal life.

Engineer holding a prosthetic hand in a lab


Engineering: Solving Real-World Problems

Delve Into the World of Engineering

Whether mechanical, aerospace, or biomedical, engineering is at the very epicenter of innovation—the driving force behind change. In this course, you will explore some of the biggest challenges engineers are currently trying to solve, such as climate change, the need for clean energy, and more advanced tools to fight disease. You’ll explore the different engineering disciplines and the many exciting career paths engineering offers.


Medicine: Diagnostics, Treatment, and Patient Care

From Diagnosis to Treatment and Beyond

For doctors and other medical professionals, each new patient presents unique challenges. In this course, you’ll explore the procedures that take patients and caregivers from initial diagnosis to treatment as well as the larger social impact of common diseases. Understand human physiology, emphasizing the heart, lungs, brain, and endocrine system. Identify the basic science of each pathophysiology and the clinical approach that enables medical professionals to work together effectively.

How You Will Benefit

  • Help narrow your focus on what STEM subjects interest you to better determine what you might choose to study in college.
  • Experience what it’s like to take a STEM course designed by Rice University faculty while you’re still in high school.
  • Flexible learning: lectures by professors are delivered through dynamic videos, so you can tune in whenever your schedule allows
  • Work with mentors who can support you and answer questions as you deepen your learning experience.
  • Complete a capstone project to demonstrate what STEM skills and knowledge you’ve learned.
  • For each course, earn a Certificate of Completion from Rice University for your college application.

Teenage boy working on a computer

Three Learning Advantages Designed for You

Capstone Project

All STEM courses culminate in a special capstone project that allows you to:

  • Demonstrate what you’ve learned in a presentation.
  • Get feedback from your mentors on your work.
  • Choose from a variety of topics covered in your course to show what you’ve learned. 
  • Use any media you prefer—text, video, photography, PowerPoint.


You’ll receive guidance from a mentor who can support you and answer questions as you deepen your learning experience. You can expect:

  • Expertise in your course’s particular field of STEM.
  • Encouragement and direction on all assignments. 
  • Inspiration, motivation and confidence to help you excel in your studies. 
  • Brainstorming to help you prepare for your capstone project.

Flexible Learning

  • 100% online learning that works with your schedule.
  • Flexible format: you’ll learn through video lectures. Tune in anytime that works for you.
  • Multiple courses can be taken to maximize your learning experience.
  • 20 to 30 hours of total instruction and activities per course, including engaging multimedia, simulations, and curated assignments for which you will receive guidance and support from mentors.

Teenage girl working on a computer

How to Apply

It’s easy. No transcripts or letters of recommendation are required. Just provide some basic information and tell us why you wish to take this program.

Note: Please submit all application materials in English.

Begin the guided application process. It should take only a few minutes of your time to answer the questions.

Want to Know More?

Sign up for more information and we’ll be in touch.


Our application process is easy. You can expect a prompt decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will you be graded? What are assignments like? How much time do you have to turn around a project? When do you find out if you’re admitted? Find answers to your questions here.


We offer need-based scholarships in each cohort to students exhibiting high potential and an inability to pay full tuition. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship but you:

  • Haven’t applied to the program, complete your application now. The scholarship application is included.
  • Applied to the program and didn’t fill out a scholarship request, resume your application and click “Apply for Scholarship”.
  • Are unsure about whether or not you applied for a scholarship, reach out to us at for assistance.