FAQs

You have questions. We have answers.

​Is my application 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. You can check your application via your applicant status portal to ensure we have received all required materials. 

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, if you choose, 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 school 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?

Your admission decision will be shared to your applicant status portal in mid-December for Restrictive Early Action and late March for Regular Decision.

How do I access my applicant status portal to view my decision?

You should have received an email to the email address you provided on your application notifying you that your admissions decision is ready to view. Included in the email were instructions on how to access your applicant status portal. 

How do I apply for financial aid?

You can find information about how to apply for financial aid here. February 15 is our priority submission date 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 add on to your resume) then you should consider applying during Regular Decision.  

Learn more about when to apply. Note: Applications become available each year on August 1. 

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

To get an idea of the kinds of credentials our admitted students come in with, check out these stats on the first-year class of 2019

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.

Note: Applications become available each year on August 1. 

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

The University requires the completion of the following high school courses in order to be considered for admission. A unit is equivalent to the credit for a year of satisfactory work in an accredited secondary school. The two language units must be in the same language and a language offered by the University of Notre Dame.

Students are required to take 16 units during their high school career. This distribution will differ slightly based on the student’s intended area of study, but must include the following:

  • 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)

*For students with an intended major within the College of Science, the College of Engineering, the School of Architecture, or certain majors within the College of Arts & Letters (Neuroscience and Behavior, Arts & Letters Pre-Health), 4 units of Mathematics are required, which must include an advanced Mathematics course (Pre-Calculus or Calculus).

**Students with an intended major within the College of Science or the College of Engineering must take a unit of Chemistry. Additionally the following majors require a unit of Physics:

  • Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics
  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry with Business
  • Chemistry with Computing
  • Mathematics (within the Colleges of Science and Arts & Letters)
  • Physics
  • Physics-in-Medicine
  • All Engineering majors

It is also strongly recommended that students with the following intended majors take a unit of Physics:

  • Architecture
  • Biological Sciences
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Neuroscience and Behavior (within the Colleges of Science and Arts & Letters)
  • Science Preprofessional Studies
  • Arts and Letters Pre-Health
  • Science- Business
  • Science- Computing
  • Science- Education
  • Statistics

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

Notre Dame will be test-optional for the 2020-2021 application cycle meaning students may choose whether or not to submit a test score with their application. See test-optional questions below for further details.

Applicants may self-report their SAT and/or ACT scores via their application or applicant student portal. Once an admitted student confirms their enrollment to Notre Dame, they will then be required to submit official score reports from SAT and/or ACT before they enroll.

Please note that we will verify scores for all enrolling students, and any discrepancies between official and self-reported scores may jeopardize a student's place in the class.

If you choose to submit multiple scores, we will superscore the tests for our evaluation. This means we will consider the highest composite score and highest scores on each section, regardless of test date. Note that we do not require the writing portion of the ACT or the SAT.

Please visit the ACT website and College Board website for testing dates.

Can I send in supplementary materials 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 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 Advising 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 2022, 44 percent of students attended a public high school, 38 percent attended a Catholic high school, and 18 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. Learn more about our campus visit program and 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?

Notre Dame is test-optional for the 2020-21 application cycle, meaning students may choose whether or not to submit their test scores with their applications. See test-optional questions below for further details.

If you choose to submit your test scores, we will accept either the SAT or the ACT and have no preference for either test. Please submit all scores to Notre Dame for review. If you submit multiple scores, we will superscore the tests for our evaluation. This means we will consider the highest composite score and highest scores on each section, regardless of test date. Note that we do not require the writing portion of the ACT or the SAT. 

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 school 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.

Test-Optional Questions

How will I be able to notify the Office of Undergraduate Admissions that I do or do not want my test score to be included in the review of my application?

Students will have the ability to indicate whether they would like Notre Dame to consider their standardized test scores when they apply through a question/answer within our application. We receive applications through the Common Application, Coalition Application, and QuestBridge application.

Applicants also have the option to select some test types and not others for review. For example, a student may choose to include an SAT subject test score but not an SAT score. Applicants have time to decide whether to suppress their scores up to the date the application is due.

Will I be at an advantage/disadvantage if I submit or don’t submit a test score?

No, we want students to put forward the application they feel is best and we will review applications based on the materials that are submitted. Students should make this decision based upon the totality of their application as we conduct a holistic review. We will continue to review your transcripts and application answers detailing grades, rigor of curriculum, and involvement both inside and outside the classroom.

Can I send you my score to ask your advice on whether or not I should submit my test scores with my application?

We conduct a holistic review of every application and could not provide advice on one separate piece without reviewing the entire application.

Will you read into whether or not I want my score considered (i.e., if my classmates submit and I don’t)?

No, we are committed to a fair and equitable review of your application and will not compare your application to a classmate’s in our assessment.

What if I change my decision to include/not include testing after submitting my application?

Students will have a grace period of 15 days after our application deadline to change their answer to include/not include testing in our application review. For Restrictive Early Action this would be November 16 and for Regular Decision this would be January 16.

Is the option to submit ACT or SAT testing also for international students?

Yes, international students may also determine if they want to include an ACT or SAT test score for our review.  We do still require proof of English proficiency in our review process. Learn more about the international application process.

Do transfer applicants have to submit ACT or SAT testing?

For the Spring and Fall 2021 application terms, transfer students will have the option to include testing with their application.

Does Notre Dame accept self-reported testing should I choose to include them in my application?

Yes, we will continue to accept self-reported test scores through the application or through your applicant status portal for those students who wish to have them included in our application review. We will still require official testing be sent from the testing agency for those who are admitted and enroll at Notre Dame.

Should rising juniors (Class of 2026) sign up for testing? 

We are conducting a test-optional pilot program for the 2020-2021 application cycle and will review and assess to make a determination for the future in late Spring 2021. Please watch our website for coming details.

How will the merit process work if you’re not going to be using test scores for admissions?

As with your application for admission, we will rely on your transcripts and application answers detailing rigor of curriculum, grades achieved and involvement both in and out of the classroom. If you choose not to submit your test score(s), you will not be excluded from consideration for merit scholarships. All students are considered for possible merit opportunities as their applications are reviewed for admission. If you are invited to apply for a merit scholarship program, we will inform you of next steps at that time.

If I send my score to Notre Dame automatically, will you be able to see it even if I choose not to have it considered as part of my application?

If a student indicates on the application that they do not wish to have a test score included in their review but have already sent a test score, we will remove that test score from our application review.

I am a potential recruited athlete, do I still need to take the test and submit a score for admission?

For admission to Notre Dame, students will have the option to submit a test score for review for the 2020-2021 application cycle. NCAA requirements currently require testing as part of the eligibility center process. Please follow all requirements for the NCAA recruitment process and be in touch with the appropriate coaching staff for questions.

Do you recommend that homeschooled students submit test scores?

While the ACT and SAT are optional for all students, we continue to strongly recommend that homeschooled students submit subject tests that further demonstrate their command of subject matters.