You have questions. We have answers.

​Is my application complete?

You’ve submitted your application online and are wondering whether your application is complete. Once we’ve processed all of the supporting documentation we’ve received, we’ll begin to notify students who are missing a portion of their applications. At that time, it is your responsibility to promptly send the required documentation.

We appreciate your concern for your application, but contacting our office close to the application deadline is unlikely to be productive. If we receive the missing portions of your application in a timely manner, the evaluation of your application will not be negatively affected.

In order to evaluate your application we require: the Common Application or Coalition Application, which include the Notre Dame writing supplement, the application fee, your essay, one teacher’s evaluation, your full transcript, and a standardized test score (either SAT or ACT). You will receive a final communication from our office via email stating that your application is complete and ready for review.

How do I pay the application fee?

Payment of the required $75 application fee is available online through the Common Application or Coalition Application website.

Payment methods include the following:

  • Credit card/eCheck – Secure online payments can be submitted using any major credit card. Alternatively, providing bank account information allows for submission of an electronic check.
  • Eligibility for the application Fee Waiver is based on financial need. Qualified applicants may use this payment method to satisfy the application fee requirement. Your counselor will receive notice of your intent to use the Fee Waiver, and will then need to verify that you meet the eligibility criteria outlined by the Common Application or Coalition Application. Once eligibility is confirmed, the Common Application or Coalition Application process will bypass the payment step.  

When will I hear my decision?

Decisions will be released in mid-December for Restrictive Early Action and late-March for Regular Decision.

How do I apply for financial aid?

You can find information about how to apply for financial aid here. February 15 is the priority deadline to apply for financial aid.

Should I apply during Restrictive Early Action or Regular Decision?

Our Restrictive Early Action application process is non-binding, and admitted students have until May 1 to indicate their decision to attend. Every college and university uses Restrictive Early Action in a different way. The easiest way to understand how Notre Dame uses it is to describe what it is not. It is not the avenue students should take merely because Notre Dame is their first choice. Nor is it easier to gain admission through the Restrictive Early Action process.

In deciding whether or not to apply Early, ask yourself: can I submit my best application in October of my senior year? If so, then Restrictive Early Action is probably the correct route for you. However, if you believe that an extra semester could be beneficial for whatever reason (to raise your grades a little, to take an extra SAT or ACT, to add on to your résumé) then you should consider applying during Regular Decision.  

For more information on when to apply, please click here. If you have any further questions, please call the Undergraduate Admissions Office at (574) 631-7505.

What kind of credentials do I need to be competitive in the applicant pool?

Sixty-two percent of the students admitted for the class of 2020 were ranked in the top 1% of his or her graduating class, and the middle 50 percent of admitted students scored between 1390 and 1530 on the SAT and between 33 and 35 on the ACT. (Note: These students took the previous version of the SAT test. A redesigned SAT is now being administered. Learn more about the redesigned SAT here.)

Does Notre Dame have a need-blind admissions policy, and if so, what is it?

Notre Dame has a need-blind admissions policy for all U.S. citizens and permanent residents, meaning that a student’s financial situation is not considered in the evaluation of his or her application. We are committed to meeting 100 percent of each family’s demonstrated financial need, which is completely separate from our admissions process.

Is there a paper application?

The Common Application and Coalition Application are online only and are not available in paper form. After your application is submitted electronically, letters of recommendation and transcripts can still be sent to complete your application. You will be able to print-preview the application, but please do not mail the print-preview to us. We recommend printing a copy of your completed application to keep for your files.

What type of classes should I be taking in high school?

Take the most demanding curriculum offered at your high school. Usually this includes four years of English, math, foreign language, science, and history. The minimum requirements, however, are as follows:

For students intending to enter the College of Arts and Letters or the Mendoza College of Business, excluding the Arts and Letters Pre-Health program, Neuroscience and Behavior, and the combined Arts-Engineering program, the required 16 units must be distributed as follows:

  • 4 units of English

  • 3 units of Mathematics - Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry
 (4 units preferred)
  • 2 units of Foreign Language
 (3-4 units preferred)
  • 2 units of Science
 (4 units preferred)
  • 2 units of History/Social Science (3-4 units preferred)

  • 3 units of additional History/Social Science, Science, Foreign Language, Mathematics, and English courses

For students intending to enter the College of Science, the College of Engineering, the School of Architecture, the Arts and Letters Pre-Health program, Neuroscience and Behavior, or the combined Arts and Engineering program, the distribution must be:

  • 4 units of English

  • 4 units of Mathematics - Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and Advanced Mathematics (e.g. Pre-calculus, Calculus)

  • 2 units of Foreign Language
 (3-4 units preferred)
  • 2 units of Science - Chemistry
 and Physics (4 units preferred)
  • 2 units of History/Social Science (3-4 units preferred)
  • 2 units of additional History/Social Science, Science, Foreign Language, Mathematics, and English courses

Although we require at least 16 academic units for admission, our most competitive applicants will have 18 – 20 units with four units in each major academic area and in the most rigorous level their high school offers.

A unit is the credit for a year of satisfactory work in an accredited secondary school. The two language units required must be in the same language. If you lack any of the units required for admissions, explain in the application why your high school record lacks those units and describe how you might fulfill the requirements prior to enrolling at Notre Dame.

For example, you might attend a secondary school that does not offer courses such as physics or foreign languages. If admitted to Notre Dame, you would be advised to complete the necessary courses at a local college during the spring and summer.

We do include algebra and/or foreign language courses completed during eighth grade in our count of admissions requirements. For example, if you earned credit for one full-year introductory French course as an eighth grader, then completed French II in ninth grade, both credits will be counted.

What Standardized Tests are required for students graduating high school in 2017?

Either the SAT or the ACT is required for application to the University of Notre Dame.

If you submit multiple SAT scores, we will superscore the tests for our evaluation. This means we will use your highest individual SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math sub-scores from multiple testing dates to compute your composite score.

For First Year applicants seeking Fall 2017 enrollment, the final acceptable testing dates for the SAT are:

Restrictive Early Action: November 5, 2016 (must be received by November 30, 2016)
Regular Decision: January 21, 2017 (must be received by February 28, 2017)

We will use your highest ACT composite score from a single testing date. We do not require the writing portion of the ACT.

For First Year applicants seeking Fall 2017 enrollment, the final acceptable testing dates for the ACT are:

Restrictive Early Action: October 22, 2016 (must be received by November 30, 2016)
Regular Decision: February 11, 2017 (must be received by February 28, 2017)

The College Board began administering a redesigned SAT in March 2016. We will accept both the current SAT and redesigned SAT from students seeking Fall 2017 enrollment and beyond. The essay portion of the redesigned SAT will not be required, and we will superscore, using your highest individual SAT Evidence-Based Reading & Writing and Math sub-scores from multiple testing dates to compute your composite score. We will not superscore sub-scores from the current SAT with the redesigned SAT. Learn more about the redesigned SAT here.

Can I send in supplementary material for review?

You can send the Admissions Office supplementary material to be reviewed by a particular department at Notre Dame. We encourage this only for students interested in studying art, music, or architecture. Use the SlideRoom application available through the Common Application or Coalition Application for your submissions. The University will not accept physical submissions.

All applicants must submit the Common Application or Coalition Application before uploading media through the SlideRoom application. The Admissions Office will then direct the material to the appropriate department for review. 

Can I send in more than one teacher evaluation?

Please send only one letter of evaluation from a teacher you’ve had in a core academic discipline during high school. Ask the classroom teacher who is most familiar with your work ethic, classroom performance, and character. Your high school guidance counselor also has the option of sending a letter of evaluation along with the “Counselor’s Report."

Are there admissions quotas by region, state, or high school?

We don’t have quotas per region or state. We judge students on the merits of their academic and extracurricular talents rather than where they reside. If we have more students from one state over another, it’s simply because we receive more applications from that one state. For instance, we receive more applications from Illinois than from 10 other western states combined; it makes sense that we have more enrolled students from Illinois than from those other states.

The same holds true for high schools. There’s no guarantee that we’ll admit the same number of students the next year from a particular school or state, as the quality of the applicants may change.

Does Notre Dame accept Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or SAT Subject Test scores?

We award credit for scores of 4 and 5 on AP exams, 6 and 7 on IB Higher Level exams, and 700 or above on SAT Subject Tests in Foreign Language. Check the First Year of Studies website for specific tests and scores we accept for credit.

Am I at a disadvantage if I go to a public high school versus a Catholic high school?

When reading an application, we do not put any preference on the type of school a student attends. Rather, we look at the strength of the school. To get a feel for a school’s strength, we look at its graduation rates, the percentage of its graduates who go on to two-year and four-year colleges, the types of classes offered, and the average SAT and ACT scores of the graduating class, among other factors. For the class of 2020, 46 percent of students attended a public high school, 42 percent attended a Catholic high school, and 12 percent attended a private or chartered high school.

What GPA do I need to be competitive for admission?

Many schools use different GPA scales and computation methods, so it’s difficult to give standardized information regarding Grade Point Averages. Instead, we rely more heavily on class rank when determining how competitive a student is within his/her school. Competitive students are near the top of their class, no matter how their GPA is computed.

Do you offer off-campus alumni interviews, or do I need to come to campus for an interview?

Interviews are not part of our evaluation process. Let your story shine through on your application for admission.

You’re welcome to contact an Admissions Counselor to ask specific questions about Notre Dame or the admissions process. Most students find it beneficial to visit Notre Dame to experience the academics, community, tradition, and spiritual nature of our campus. Once here, you and your family can tour campus and attend an Information Session given by an Admissions Counselor. Families are welcome to ask the Admissions Counselor any questions they have. Click here to find out more about our campus visit program and to register for a visit. Because we receive applications from all over the world, a visit to Notre Dame will not affect an admissions decision.

Should I take the ACT or SAT?

We will accept either the SAT or the ACT and have no preference for either test. We suggest that you take the SAT or the ACT test at least twice, as scores tend to jump between the spring of junior year and the fall of senior year. Please submit all scores to Notre Dame for review. We will use your highest ACT composite score from a single testing date. For the SAT we will take the highest individual scores for critical reading and math. These two best scores will make up your highest composite SAT score.

Does Notre Dame have special requirements for home-schooled students?

In addition to our standard application requirements, we recommend that applicants who are enrolled in a home-school curriculum submit SAT Subject Test scores. Tests in the areas of history, foreign language, and science can be particularly helpful.

Also, we encourage you to submit an additional recommendation or two if teacher and guidance counselor evaluations are coming from a parent. Letters could come from a college professor if you’ve taken classes at a local college, or from an adult who has worked with you in an extracurricular activity and knows you well. 

If you have any questions about applying as a home-schooled student, feel free to call the Admissions Office at 574-631-7505.