What You Need to Know About The University of Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame du Lac is a private Catholic research university in Notre Dame, Indiana. Founded in 1842 by the Congregation of Holy Cross, Notre Dame is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the United States. Notre Dame has a rich history and is recognized globally for its academic excellence, vibrant campus life, and a strong commitment to its Catholic mission. At Notre Dame, students benefit from world-class faculty who are distinguished scholars, researchers, and mentors. The supportive academic environment encourages intellectual curiosity, fosters creativity, and prepares students for success in their chosen fields.

As a Catholic university, Notre Dame nourishes the spiritual development of its students through its campus ministry, offering a wide range of faith-based activities, retreats, and service opportunities. The university encourages students to explore their own faith traditions while fostering respect and dialogue among different religious and philosophical perspectives.

The Notre Dame experience extends beyond the classroom, with opportunities for internships, research, study abroad programs, and community engagement. These experiences broaden students’ horizons, deepen their understanding of the world, and prepare them for leadership roles in their professions and communities.


Notre Dame is located on a 1,245-acre campus in South Bend, Indiana. The university’s campus is breathtaking, characterized by iconic Gothic architecture, lush green spaces, and serene lakes. The campus is home to a variety of historic buildings, including the Main Building, which was built in 1879 and is the oldest building on campus. The Golden Dome, a prominent landmark, houses a statue of the Virgin Mary, symbolizing the university’s dedication to faith and spirituality. The Golden Dome is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the United States. Notre Dame is also home to a number of cultural institutions, including the Snite Museum of Art, which houses a collection of over 30,000 works of art.

Student Cohort Size

Notre Dame University has an undergraduate population of 8,874 students and 3,935 graduate students. There are 49% female students and 51% male students. The diverse university population includes 8% international students.

Four-Year Completion Rate

The graduation rate is among the most important factors when selecting a college.  Notre Dame’s first-year retention rate is 97%. This means that 97% of first-year students continue their education for their sophomore year and beyond. The 4-year graduation rate is 90%. This implies that 90% of students were able to graduate after 4 years. The 6-year graduation rate is 95%. This implies that 95% of students were able to graduate after 6 years.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

The student-faculty ratio at the University of Notre Dame is 9:1, and 59.9% of its classes have fewer than 20 students. The university prides itself on its small class sizes and the personalized attention given to students, fostering close relationships between professors and their students.


Acceptance Rate

Notre Dame had an 11.9% acceptance rate for the Class of 2027. The university received 28,351 applications and admitted a total of 3,399 students. There was a  combination of 1,701 restrictive early application (REA) applicants with 1,698 regular decision (RD) applicants. While the regular decision cycle saw a 2% increase from the previous year, the Restrictive Early Action cohort saw a 25% growth.

Acceptance GPA

The average unweighted GPA at Notre Dame is more than 4.06. 94% of the admitted students rank in the top 10 percent of their graduating high school class.

Types of Admission

The students can apply through the Restrictive Early Action and Regular Decision programs. Restrictive Early Action is an opportunity for you to show that Notre Dame is your number one choice. A student applying Restrictive Early Action to Notre Dame may not apply to any college or university (private or public) in their binding Early Decision 1 program. If you apply to Notre Dame through REA, you may apply to any Early Decision 2 program as this has a deadline post the REA decision release in mid-December. The students also have the option to apply through the Regular Decision process. Regular Decision may be right for you if you need more time to get your application ready. Many more students apply for Regular Decision than Restrictive Early Action.

Application Components

  • Your application, submitted via the Common Application or Coalition Application website.

  • Official high school transcripts or records of academic achievement in secondary school. Note: Restrictive Early Action applicants are encouraged to submit an optional summary or progress report of the first quarter or first-trimester performance via their applicant status portal.

  • A letter of evaluation from a high school teacher in a core academic subject area who knows you well.

  • Counselor evaluation

  • Optional: Results of your ACT or SAT assessment scores – Notre Dame is test-optional for the 2024 and 2025 application cycles.

  • The University of Notre Dame Writing Supplement consists of one (1) essay response to a required question and one (1) essay response to one of four questions you select from a list of options provided. In total, you will write two (2) essay responses. The word count is a maximum of 200 words per essay.

Required Question:

Notre Dame is a Catholic university, founded by members of the Congregation of Holy Cross, with a mission to educate the hearts and minds of students. What excites you about attending Notre Dame?

Additional Prompts (You choose 1):

  • People in the Notre Dame community come from many different places, backgrounds, and walks of life. How is where you’re from a part of who you are?

  • Tell us about a time when you advocated for something you believe in.

  • If you were given unlimited resources to help solve one problem in your community, what would it be and how would you accomplish it?

  • What is the greatest compliment you have ever been given? Why was it meaningful to you?


Notre Dame offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs through its various schools and colleges, including the College of Arts and Letters, College of Science, Mendoza College of Business, School of Architecture, College of Engineering, and Keough School of Global Affairs. These schools foster academic excellence, critical thinking, interdisciplinary collaboration, and a holistic approach to education.

These academic schools at Notre Dame are supported by a strong faculty committed to teaching, research, and mentorship. They provide students with a well-rounded education, combining intellectual growth with ethical values and a sense of social responsibility. The university’s academic programs are designed to cultivate critical thinking, leadership skills, and a holistic understanding of the world, preparing students to make meaningful contributions in their chosen fields and beyond.

The University of Notre Dame is divided into the following academic schools:

College of Arts and Letters: The College of Arts and Letters is the oldest and largest college at Notre Dame, offering undergraduate and graduate programs in the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. It encompasses diverse disciplines such as English, history, sociology, philosophy, theology, languages, visual arts, and performing arts. The college emphasizes critical thinking, creativity, cultural understanding, and effective communication.

College of Science: The College of Science provides rigorous scientific education and research opportunities across various disciplines, including biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science, and environmental science. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs that foster innovation, critical analysis, and problem-solving skills, preparing students for careers in scientific research, healthcare, technology, and more.

College of Engineering: The College of Engineering provides comprehensive engineering education and research opportunities. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs in fields such as aerospace, civil, chemical, computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering. The college emphasizes innovation, problem-solving, and interdisciplinary collaboration to address global challenges and create technological advancements.

Mendoza College of Business: The Mendoza College of Business is renowned for its undergraduate and graduate business programs. It focuses on ethical leadership, business acumen, and social responsibility. Students have access to a broad range of business majors, including accounting, finance, marketing, management, and entrepreneurship. The college also offers various experiential learning opportunities and fosters an entrepreneurial mindset.

School of Architecture: The School of Architecture at Notre Dame is known for its commitment to classical and traditional architectural principles. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs that combine urban design education, historical context, and sustainability principles. Students engage in hands-on studio work, collaborate with renowned architects, and develop a deep understanding of architectural theory and practice.

Keough School of Global Affairs: The Keough School of Global Affairs is a relatively new school at Notre Dame, dedicated to addressing complex global issues through interdisciplinary research, education, and practice. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs in global affairs, peace studies, international development, and other related fields. The school emphasizes ethical leadership, social justice, and sustainable development.

In addition to these schools, Notre Dame also offers a number of interdisciplinary programs, such as the Alliance for Catholic Education. The academic schools at Notre Dame offer a rigorous and challenging education. The faculty are highly accomplished scholars, and the students are intellectually curious and engaged. The schools also offer a variety of opportunities for students to get involved in research, study abroad, and participate in internships.

Cost of Attendance

Average Cost of Attendance for 2024-2025

Item Cost
Tuition and Fees $65,025
Housing and Food $17,900
Books and Supplies $1,250
Personal Expenses $1,200
Transportation* $750
Total Estimated Cost** $86,125

Student Life

Notre Dame offers a vibrant campus life that is deeply rooted in tradition, community, and service. The Fighting Irish athletic teams compete in the NCAA Division I and are known for their passion and spirited performances. The university also hosts numerous cultural events, performances, and lectures that enrich the intellectual and cultural experiences of the Notre Dame community.

Notre Dame is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive community where students from different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives come together to learn and grow. The university places a strong emphasis on values such as integrity, compassion, and social responsibility, encouraging students to make a positive impact on society.

Overall, the University of Notre Dame is a place where academic excellence, spiritual growth, and community intersect. It provides a transformative educational experience that prepares students to be ethical leaders, engaged citizens, and lifelong learners, making a positive difference in the world.

We can help you with your college application process. Working with study abroad consultants, overseas education consultants, or, as more commonly known, college counsellors, can help you plan ahead and make those high school years count. Ivy Central offers exceptional focus to help you prepare for college admissions throughout the high-schooling years. Start today!

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