"What's your favorite class?" is a question Notre Dame students get a lot. Answers vary widely because there are so many interesting courses to choose from. We asked six students to weigh in on the topic. From theology to building design, here are their answers.
Ryan Coury '24
Minor(s): Real Estate
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Favorite Class: One's Life Story
Taught By: President Emeritus Edward "Monk" Malloy, C.S.C.
While most college students are fending off Sunday Scaries to close out their weekends, a select group of around 15 first-year students will already be walking to their first class of the week instead. You read that right, and as unusual as it may sound, my favorite class at Notre Dame meets on Sunday Nights from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the heart of DeBartolo Hall.
The class itself is called One’s Life Story, and functions as a Literature University Seminar for those who choose to take it. Every week, students in the class are charged with learning about a different person’s life story, often through memoirs, autobiographies, or personal narratives. The stories that President Emeritus Monk Malloy chooses stretch across all walks of life, whether it be from a priest in Iraq, an autistic savant, or even the Vice President of the United States. Above all else, the most redeeming quality of the class stems from forming close-knit friendships with the other students looking to better understand their own stories by drawing lessons from those of others.
Rory Finn '22
Major(s): Psychology, Chinese
Minor(s): Digital Marketing
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Favorite Class: Consulting and Development
Taught By: Professor of the Practice Michael Morris
I’ve always been curious about the world of consulting, and this class provides a hands-on environment to learn how to be one! In this class, teams of two meet with disadvantaged South Bend entrepreneurs every Thursday downtown at the Notre Dame Center for Civic Innovation. It’s been such a blessing to learn from and help support these entrepreneurs in their journeys, and I’ve learned how consulting, deliverables, and partnerships work in the process. It’s unlike any other class I’ve taken so far, and shows how Notre Dame really cares about educating their students and supporting the local community.
Savannah Carr '24
Major(s): Computer Science
Hometown: Miami, FL
Favorite Class: Fundamentals of Computing
Taught By: Professor Ramzi Bualuan
Fundamentals of computing has been my favorite class I've taken so far at Notre Dame due to my professor, the challenges, and the friendships I've made. Ramzi, the professor who teaches this course, is incredibly nice and always engages the class well—I never feel bored, and we are always learning something new, so I like how the class keeps me on my toes. He also makes himself available to talk to us students and ensures that we are getting all the help we need!
I also like the challenging elements of this course; while some of the topics may seem trivial, the assignments make you think, and it is encouraged [that we] work with others and go to office hours to solve the more challenging problems. We are learning the programming language C, and I believe that this is a great skill to learn that will help me with jobs in the future.
In addition, I enjoy collaborating with other students on our assignments and getting to know the people I will be around for years to come. As a current sophomore, this is the first class that really dives into my major, so a lot of the people around me are also in the same boat, and we will likely be taking computer science classes together down the road, so its incredibly helpful that I'm getting to know them now! I love the camaraderie, the creating, the coding—all of it makes up this great course that I greatly enjoy.
Caroline Coleman '23
Major(s): Chemical Engineering
Minor(s): Science, Technology, and Values
Hometown: Long Valley, NJ
Favorite Class: Theology and the Natural Sciences
Taught By: Taylor Nutter
This class is really interesting because it is about how you can practice a faith in which you believe in God while also studying and believing in science, specifically hard sciences such as math, physics, etc. Being raised as a Catholic and then pursuing a major in the STEM field, the conversations had in this class feel very applicable to me. The professor also provides an interesting perspective as he came to Notre Dame as an atheist before deciding to major in theology and convert to Christianity. Overall, there are a lot of engaging and thought-provoking discussions in this class that I really enjoy.
Maeve Kelley '22
Major(s): Architecture, Concentration in Furniture Design
Hometown: Wellesley, MA
Favorite Class: Building the Affordable House
Taught By: Associate Professor of the Practice John Mellor
This class is the second part of a two part course sequence. Every architecture student has their big design studio class every semester. This is arguably the most important class an architecture student takes because it is where we learn to design.
For my design studio last spring, which was also taught by Prof. Mellor, we designed potential houses for Habitat for Humanity. We worked with the president and contractors for the South Bend Habitat for Humanity chapter to hone our designs. This fall, in Building the Affordable House, we are now getting the chance to actually build one of the houses we designed. While getting hands-on, field experience at the job site, we are also spending our time in class learning about and researching affordability and home construction. We are looking into ways that the house design itself can make the living experience more affordable by using longer lasting and more efficient materials. We are also looking into new construction technologies that Habitat could start to implement that would make their houses more affordable and more durable.
This is the first year that this course sequence has been run and Prof. Mellor has an agreement to work with Habitat for at least the next five years. Over the course of those five years, all of the research we do and the designs we create for Habitat should come together to benefit the Habitat for Humanity chapter and the families that get to live there. It is so exciting to be making such a real-world impact with these classes.
Logan Barrios '23
Major(s): Biological Sciences
Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Favorite Class: The Nuptial Mystery: Divine Love and Human Salvation
Taught By: Professor Timothy O'Malley
When I applied to Notre Dame, I was drawn to the intellectual, spiritual, and personal growth I could cultivate as a member of the Notre Dame community. Nuptial Mystery has given me the opportunity to pursue growth in all of these areas. The course touches on the sacramental theology of marriage and the modern cultural and societal context of marriage.
One of my favorite aspects of the course is engaging in dialogue with my peers, which has not only affirmed some of my beliefs about marriage, but has also challenged my opinions and given me the opportunity to learn from my peers’ experiences in fostering strong and healthy relationships—both romantic relationships and friendships. I have learned many life lessons in the course so far, and I am excited to enact these lessons in my friendships, familial relationships, and eventually my own marriage and family life!
Check out these Notre Dame courses and programs.