Courses Required

Coursework Considerations

We want to ensure that transfer students are admitted to the college and major that they genuinely desire. When applying, please list your primary intended area of study and, if applicable, an alternate college and major if you have more than one area of interest.

Your first-year curriculum plays a significant role in the evaluation of your transfer application. The closer your completed coursework aligns with Notre Dame’s typical first-year curriculum for your intended major(s), the more competitive your application will be. Please note that the University does not accept asynchronous online courses that are completed at your own pace. Courses that are offered online with live and synchronous components will be evaluated for transfer on a case-by-case basis.

All first-year students at Notre Dame take a writing and rhetoric course, which is also a requirement for transfer students. In instances where a writing and rhetoric course is not available to you, an English composition or other writing-intensive course is advised.

The admissions committee does not pre-approve coursework for prospective transfer students. The determination of transferable courses is made by our colleges and schools once the offer of admission has been extended. Once admitted through the transfer process, it is highly unlikely that a student will be able to change colleges.

Required Courses

Admission to the college and major to which you apply is contingent upon your earlier enrollment in the proper curriculum.

All first-year students at Notre Dame take a writing and rhetoric course, which is also a requirement for transfer students.

In addition, each college sets forth curriculum requirements to ensure that transferring students are adequately prepared as they transition to Notre Dame. Please carefully review the following for the required curriculum for your intended college and major:

Summer Courses Prior to Enrolling

Sometimes competitive transfer students are not able to complete one or two of the required courses for their specific college and/or major. If such an applicant is admitted to Notre Dame through the transfer process, that offer of admission will be contingent upon the transfer student completing the course(s) by the time they enroll at Notre Dame. If a student is required to take additional course(s) before enrolling, the requirement will be noted in our offer of admission.

If you are missing one or more of your required first-year courses, you should plan in advance to enroll in those courses over the summer. These summer courses can be taken at Notre Dame or another institution, but they cannot be taken online. If you decide to enroll in classes at an institution other than Notre Dame, you should send a copy of all your summer course syllabi to your Notre Dame advising dean for pre-approval.

If you are admitted to Notre Dame through the transfer process and have not completed the courses required for your college and chosen major, your offer of admission will be contingent upon the successful completion of the course(s) prior to enrollment at Notre Dame. If you do not complete these required courses over the summer, outlined in your decision letter, we will not be able to honor your offer of admission and it will be rescinded. Please plan your summer accordingly.

Advanced Placement and Credit

Typically credit by examination (AP/IB credit) is only used for placement. Transfer students are expected to take coursework at their current first-year institution and should follow the first-year curriculum for the major and college to which they are applying without the expectation that credit by examination will fulfill first-year requirements. Credit by examination cannot be used to satisfy Core Curriculum requirements.

Life sciences and pre-health majors cannot use AP or IB credit for biology, chemistry, or physics courses as these courses must be taken at Notre Dame. Students in these majors may use credit by examination for calculus.

Exam (score required)


AP Calculus AB (5)
AP Calculus AB subscore (5)

Calculus I
AP Calculus BC (5) Calculus I and II
IB Math HL (7) Calculus I and II

Notable Exceptions, College of Engineering:

Exam (score required)


AP Chemistry (5)

General Chemistry I

AP Physics C: Mechanics (5)

Physics I (with lab)

AP Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism (5)

Physics II (with lab)

Notable Exceptions, Economics and the Mendoza College of Business:

Exam (score required)


AP Microeconomics (5)


IB Economics HL (6)

Microeconomics & Macroeconomics

School of Architecture Only:

Physics I credit may be earned through credit by examination per department approval.