Courses Required

All transfer students are admitted to a college and specific major. It is important that a transfer student is admitted to the college and major that they truly wish to pursue. Toward this end, we ask applicants to list a college and major as their primary intended area of study. If an applicant has more than one area of interest, we strongly encourage them to list an alternate college and major.

A major component of a transfer student’s application is whether their first-year curriculum aligns with Notre Dame’s first-year curriculum of the major(s) to which they have chosen to apply. Students who have completed coursework that closely mirrors Notre Dame’s first-year curriculum will be more competitive in the transfer admission process. (Please be aware that the colleges do not favor substituting sophomore courses for those required in our first-year curriculum.) 

The Admissions committee does not preapprove coursework for transfer students. Decisions about what courses transfer are made by the academic colleges. Please see your college’s required courses for more information below.

It is highly unlikely that a transfer student will be able to change colleges once admitted through the transfer process. Note: Transfer students who were not admitted to the Mendoza College of Business will not be able to transfer into Mendoza at any time during their undergraduate career. 

Courses Required

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

All first-year students at Notre Dame take an English composition course, which is also a requirement for transfer students.

In addition, 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, as laid out in each college’s page above. 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, they will be listed in the student’s decision letter. 

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. For students admitted in June who are missing coursework, you must have already registered for those classes and planned your summer accordingly.

These summer courses can be taken at Notre Dame or another institution, but they cannot be taken online. If the student decides to enroll in classes at an institution other than Notre Dame, they should send a copy of all summer course syllabi to the advising dean of their intended college for preapproval.

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, not for credit. 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 science and pre-health majors cannot use AP or IB credit for biology, chemistry, or physics courses and must take these courses at Notre Dame. Students in these majors can 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)


AP Macroeconomics (5)


IB Economics HL (6)

Microeconomics & Macroeconomics

School of Architecture Only:

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