That's according to the Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, which released its 10th annual Academic Ranking of World Universities this week. Rice placed on the list at No. 91 globally and No. 50 in the United States.
UT has seen its status only improve, with a slowly climbing trajectory from No. 47 to No. 35 in the past 10 years.
The University of Texas took the top spot in Texas, coming in at No. 35 overall and No. 27 nationally. Other Texas schools on the top 100 included the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas (the list doesn't distinguish between undergraduate and doctorate institutions) at No. 48 and Texas A&M at No. 93.
The ARWU ranking focuses on research and status criteria, with factors including the number of alumni and staff who win Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, how many researchers are selected as "highly cited" by Thomson Scientific and the number of articles published in journals of nature and science and indexed in Science Citation Index.
Rice's ranking represents an improvement from its placement in recent years, moving up from 93 in 2011 and 99 in 2009-2010, but still marks a significant fall-off from its No. 61 ranking in 2003, the first year of the list.
Meanwhile UT has seen its status only improve, with a slowly climbing trajectory from No. 47 to No. 35 in the past 10 years.