A Visit to the University of Notre Dame

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By Sue Luse


Located 100 miles east of Chicago,  just outside South Bend, Indiana, the University of Notre Dame is a 1,250 acre campus comprised of 8,500 undergraduate students. Notre Dame considers itself a Catholic academic community with ample opportunities for prayer, contemplation and celebration. Lovely grounds, a grotto, two serene lakes and a beautiful Gothic Basilica.


Touchdown Jesus

Rather than applying to a specific college, all freshman take the First-Year Studies Program:

  • 1 University Seminar
  • 1 Writing and Rhetoric course
  • 2 semesters of mathematics
  • 2 semesters of a science or foreign language
  • 2 courses in physical education or ROTC
  • 1 additional University Requirement
  • 2 program requirements or electives

After the first year, students select a college and it’s easy to switch colleges. All students are required to take two philosophy and two religion classes. Everyone meets with an advisor who assists in selecting classes. Plenty of tutoring and resources for help.

Notre Dame’s Colleges (Aside from First Year Studies):

  • School of Architecture
  • College of Arts and Letters
  • Mendoza College of Business (ranked #1 by Bloomberg)
  • College of Science (88% acceptance rate to medical school)
  • College of Engineering
  • Graduate School
  • Law School



They accept the Common App. In looking at a students academics, they concentrate on:

  • Trancripts
  • Rigor of coursework (did the student take the most difficult available)
  • Testing (they superscore the SAT)

In reviewing a student’s non-academic achievements, they look for the following:

  • A few activities and leadership qualities
  • They like unique activities
  • Consider a job as extra-curricular
  • Teacher recommendations
  • Guidance Counselor recommendations
  • Essays (Be sure to spell check and proof read!!!)
Lots of bikes

No interviews are involved in the admissions process. They will accept resumes – should be sent to the admissions counselor. November 1 is the deadline for Early Action and there is no benefit to applying early. Notre Dame is very selective. You will either be Admitted, Denied or Deferred.  If Deferred, ask the admissions counselor what would make your application stronger. Notre Dame is need blind and they do offer need-based and merit based financial aid. Typically less than 70 freshman receive merit aid.


Student Life

  • 29 dorms – all are single sex
  • No Greeks – so the dorms are actually like Greek Life
  • Room selection is random
  • No freshman dorms – everyone is mixed up
  • Most students stay in the same dorm all 4 years
  • All dorms have a chapel and Mass every week
  • There is a priest or nun living in each dorm
  • Students are 80% catholic
  • The dorms have sports teams that compete in football with the finals played in the stadium
ND CampusGrottoTouchdown JesusLake viewFootball stadium student entranceCathedralLots of bikesFamily statue

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