University Guidelines from the Rice University General Announcements:

Distinction in research and creative works is a university award for select undergraduates, granted a commencement, which appears on the transcript and diploma. Students must apply with their department or program to be considered for the award and a letter from a faculty member must support the application.

Eligibility for the award extends widely to include a variety of research, design, and other creative projects, as well as persistent dedication to research. Projects completed in part or entirely at other institutions or with community partners will be eligible for consideration.

Applicants must be in good academic standing and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.30 in courses completed at Rice.

Also, of further note:

The award will be granted only to projects that produce a concrete outcome -- e.g. an essay, invention, design, art exhibition, project or performance, or musical composition -- and demonstrate commitment and/or achievement above and beyond the norm. Students who complete senior theses, senior design projects or other required senior capstone projects shall not qualify automatically for consideration for this university distinction.

Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts application must include:

1. Application form; including portfolio that includes 10-20 images
2. Overall GPA of 3.30 or better
3. A written artist statement no more than one page
4. Letter of support from a VADA faculty member
5. Public exhibition, screening, publication, or performance that includes a lecture or artist talk component by applicant
6. One to two-page description of how the project meets the requirements of Distinction

The department requires exceptional evidence of success, as defined by completion of a project - body of work, with a scheduled talk presenting that body of work will suffice if an exhibition is not possible due to Covid-19 gathering restrictions. 

Support through the application process will be available through the department with faculty mentors.

Deadlines: Contact the department of current deadlines and instructions.

A department committee will judge applications for distinction. Work deemed "above and beyond" expectation will be considered for Distinction. The department will select a very limited number of students for this award of distinction in research and creative work.