- Is my application complete?
- How do I pay the application fee?
- When will I hear my decision?
- How do I apply for financial aid?
- Should I apply during Restrictive Early Action or Regular Decision?
- What kind of credentials do I need to be competitive in the applicant pool?
- Does Notre Dame have a need-blind admissions policy, and if so, what is it?
- Is there a paper application?
- What kinds of classes should I be taking in high schools?
- What standardized tests are required?
- Can I send in supplementary materials for review?
- Can I send in more than one teacher evaluation?
- Are there admissions quotas by region, state, or high school?
- Does Notre Dame accept Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or SAT Subject Test scores?
- Am I at a disadvantage if I go to a public high school versus a Catholic high school?
- What GPA do I need to be competitive for admission?
- Do you offer off-campus alumni interviews, or do I need to come to campus for an interview?
- Should I take the ACT or SAT?
- Does Notre Dame have special requirements for home-schooled students?
You have questions. We have answers.
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 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.
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.
Your admission decision will be shared to your applicant status portal in mid-December for Restrictive Early Action and late March for Regular Decision.
You can find information about how to apply for financial aid here. February 15 is our priority submission date for financial aid.
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 resume) then you should consider applying during Regular Decision.
Learn more about when to apply.
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.
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.
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.
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 with Business
- Chemistry with Computing
- Mathematics (within the Colleges of Science and Arts & Letters)
- All Engineering majors
It is also strongly recommended that students with the following intended majors take a unit of Physics:
- 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
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.
All applicants are required to take either the SAT or ACT test. Applicants may self-report their SAT and/or ACT scores via their application and avoid paying testing agencies to send scores on their behalf. Once an admitted student confirms their enrollment to Notre Dame, they will 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 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.
For first-year applicants seeking fall 2020 enrollment, the final acceptable testing dates for the SAT are:
Restrictive Early Action: November 2, 2019 (must be received by November 30, 2019)
Regular Decision: December 7, 2019 (must be received by January 19, 2020)
For first-year applicants seeking fall 2020 enrollment, the final acceptable testing dates for the ACT are:
Restrictive Early Action: October 26, 2019 (must be received by November 30, 2019)
Regular Decision: February 8, 2020 (must be received by February 28, 2020)
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.