Ask Admissions: Majors at Notre Dame & Accommodations

Author: Adeline Chappuis


I am interested in majoring in Pre-Health. I am aware that it is a supplementary major but in Common App you can put it as your intended major. I know that it is a very competitive field so I wanted to know that if I have not taken any advanced science classes, do I still have a chance to get in? And also, if I decide to study psychology and add pre-health as a supplementary major, what are my chances of getting it?


Here at Notre Dame, admission is not based on what major you have selected on your application, nor are you tied to it your first year (or second year!). Besides the Mendoza College of Business majors, which require pre-approvals/internal transfers, you are free to switch between majors at different colleges, some being harder to switch to than others if they have more requirements. At Notre Dame, we have the lovely opportunity to pursue what we find we are passionate about, whether we knew it in high school or are still discovering that aspect of ourselves in college. I put Chemistry in the College of Science on my application. That summer, I switched to Environmental Science. After my first semester, I discovered through my media internship with admissions that I didn’t want to do the research itself – I wanted to strategically and creatively share it with the world so that research makes an impact on everyday people. If I was admitted based on what I thought in high school, I would not be as fulfilled in my studies as I am today. 


As far as taking advanced science courses for admission, each applicant is looked at in the sphere of what was available to them. Do check out what the Office of Admissions recommends taking here. If you weren’t offered these classes, no sweat. That’s out of your control. In this case, I do suggest working on learning some concepts on your own (free Khan Academy, reading, etc.) to show on your application. If you show you’re a self-starter in your studies, that is a plus! You’re already actively discerning your passions and are intellectually curious; self-studying  is an easy way to show it on your application. 


Another note for picking out classes in high school – take the most rigorous classes that your school offers in the studies you think you want to take up at ND. For me ,when I was intending chemistry, my school didn’t offer AP Chem. I took the next best thing – a Chemistry II Honors course with AP Biology on the side. I could’ve taken 5 or 6 AP classes my senior year. I didn’t. I took what I was interested in and gave myself a break from the others so I could enjoy the last moments I had in high school and work hard to give back to my communities. Remember, you’re submitting a whole application, and classes are just one part. (; 


What does Notre Dame do to ensure an inclusive, accessible, and welcoming environment for students with physical disabilities? 


Notre Dame has and will always have a mission to be inclusive and accessible to all. Students with physical disabilities work with Sarah Bea Disability Services to receive the accommodation they need for an equitable experience on campus. A counselor will work with each person individually to ensure all needs are met from housing accommodations (read: A/C, etc.) to note-takers. Some dorms allow you to have buttons that open dorm doors for you. Your desk and bed can be made to fit your needs as well. 


Besides Sara Bea, we also have student training before each student begins their time here called Building Community the Notre Dame Way. The training ensures that we all are actively working together to build our community up without discrimination. Later in the year, in the required Moreau First Year Experiences, everyone has a chance to discuss how to make this goal play out. Even most professors have in their syllabi to contact them if they need anything at all related to disabilities. Matt Swinton ‘12 and Monica Menscar ‘21 discuss their experience with mobility issues in our communities here. They both especially note how helpful their entire dorm community is in their life at Notre Dame. Dorm life is everything here, and it doesn’t stop with a physical disability. Everyone who becomes a Domer wants others to feel included. Period. Check out my last blog for more on Sara Bea’s aid with intellectual disabilities, too. 


Much love and Go Irish!