How to Get Into Notre Dame - Admission Requirements & Tips

A checklist of how to get into Notre Dame
April 26, 2024
7 min read
Expert Reviewed


Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 4/26/24

Read below to learn more about Notre Dame and what you need to do to study in Indiana.

Football and marshmallows aren’t usually two things people associate with each other. However, at the University of Notre Dame, this is an age-old tradition. When the Fighting Irish’s last football game of the season comes around, Notre Dame’s students throw marshmallows throughout the stadium. 

Inspired by its catholic character, Notre Dame is a private research university located in Notre Dame, Indiana. It’s also one of the best universities in the Midwest and the whole country; U.S. News World and Report ranks it #18 on its National Universities list

We’ll outline everything you need to know about how to get into Notre Dame, including admissions requirements, application timelines, and more.

Notre Dame Acceptance Rate: 8.7%

Of the 18,455 applications Notre Dame received, it admitted 1,600 students. This means Notre Dame’s acceptance rate is around 8.7%

While not as low as other top universities, this is still an extremely selective rate. You will need a very strong application to be admitted. 

Below, you’ll find some more acceptance data from the past few admissions cycles at Notre Dame:

Year Number of Applicants Number of Accepted Students Acceptance Rate
2024-2025 18,455 1,600 8.7%
2023-24 28,354 3,399 12.0%
2022-23 26,509 3,421 12.9%
2021-22 23,642 3,562 15.0%

Notre Dame Restrictive Early Action Acceptance Rate: 15.0%

For the class of 2028, Notre Dame received 11,498 Restrictive Early Action applications and admitted 1,724 students for an acceptance rate of 15.0%

Notre Dame’s Restrictive Early Action (REA) plan is non-binding, meaning that students have no obligation to enroll at Notre Dame if accepted under REA. However, they are prohibited from applying to other schools with binding early decision programs. 

How Hard Is It to Get Into Notre Dame? 

Notre Dame’s acceptance rate is 8.7%, meaning less than 9 in 100 students get accepted. This is a fairly low acceptance rate compared to other colleges, although Notre Dame is still less selective than the Ivy League. While getting into Notre Dame can be hard, it’s possible with a strong application!

Notre Dame Admissions Statistics

Notre Dame Average GPA: 4.06

Incoming students at Notre Dame have an average GPA of 4.06 on a weighted scale. This is an extremely competitive GPA, so make sure you’re keeping your grades up in high school! Establishing good study habits will not only make your application stronger but will also prepare you to do well in university. 

Notre Dame Average SAT Score: 1490

The middle 50% range of SAT scores of Notre Dame’s admitted students is 1450-1530. This means that the average SAT score at Notre Dame is 1490. While there is no minimum required score, try to aim for the higher end of the middle 50% range.

Please note that for the current application cycle, Notre Dame doesn’t require SAT/ACT scores. However, if you want to strengthen your application, you can choose to submit competitive scores.  

If you take either the SAT or the ACT multiple times, Notre Dame will superscore your tests. The admissions committee will consider the highest scores from each section regardless of when you took the test. 

Notre Dame Average ACT Score: 34

The middle 50% ACT score range of admitted students is 33-35, making the average score 34. While there are no minimum ACT scores you need to achieve, use these scores as a benchmark for what you should aim for. 

What Is Notre Dame University Looking For In Applicants? 

Notre Dame University has high academic standards for its applicants. For a GPA that can compete with the average 4.06, you should aim to get straight A’s in all your classes. You should also take rigorous courses, such as AP or IB, to demonstrate your academic potential. 

Here’s some more info on how Notre Dame evaluates applications, taken from their Common Data Set

Academic Very Important Important Considered Not Considered
Rigor of secondary school record X
Class rank X
Academic GPA X
Standardized test scores X
Application essay X
Recommendation X

Non-Academic Very Important Important Considered Not Considered
Interview X
Extracurricular activities X
Talent/ability X
Character/personal qualities X
First generation X
Alumni/ae relation X
Geographical residence X
State residency X
Religious affiliation/commitment X
Volunteer work X
Work experience X
Level of applicant’s interest X

Notre Dame Admissions Requirements

Getting into Notre Dame requires a high GPA and test scores. Aim for a GPA of 4.0 or above and SAT/ACT scores of 1530 and 35, which would put you within the 75th percentile. To improve your chances of acceptance, you should also demonstrate your passions and talents through well-written supplemental essays and relevant extracurriculars. 

The Notre Dame application process begins with an online application form. Notre Dame applicants must use one of three online applications:

To be considered for admission, you must include the following application components

  • Supplemental essays 
  • Official high school transcripts 
  • A letter of evaluation
  • Counselor evaluation (recommended)
  • Standardized test results (optional) 
  • Notre Dame application fee of $75 or a fee waiver 
  • English language tests (if applicable)

Notre Dame Application Deadlines

To make the application process simpler, you should be organized and stay on top of important dates and deadlines. Here are some significant dates that you’ll need to be aware of when applying to Notre Dame. 

Application Step Deadline
Application available August 1
REA applications due November 1
REA supporting documents due November 15
REA notifications released Mid-December
Regular Decision applications due January 1
Regular Decision supporting documents due January 15
Regular Decision notifications released Late March

Notre Dame Regular Decision Deadline

If you’re applying to Notre Dame through Regular Decision, you’ll need to submit all your application materials by January 1. You’ll receive an admissions decision by late March. 

If you’re interested in studying art, music, or architecture, then you can submit supplementary material through SlideRoom. This will be due on January 15. 

Notre Dame Restrictive Early Action Deadline

The Restrictive Early Action deadline for Notre Dame applicants is November 1, and you’ll receive a decision by mid-December. For students hoping to study art, music, or architecture, you can submit supplementary materials on November 15 through SlideRoom. 

How to Improve Your Chances Of Getting Into Notre Dame

Notre Dame University is extremely selective. However, we’ve compiled tips on how to get into Notre Dame to help you submit the strongest application possible

Complete Challenging Coursework 

Every student applying to Notre Dame must complete 16 units in high school. These are the classes you must take to apply to Notre Dame: 

Class Number of Units
English 4
Mathematics 3, but 4 preferred
Foreign Language 2, but 3-4 preferred
Science 2, but 4 preferred
History/Social Science 2, but 2-4 preferred

While these are minimum Notre Dame requirements for courses, the school notes, “our most competitive applicants will have four units in each major academic area and in the most rigorous level their high school offers.” 

The difficulty of the courses available to you depends on which high school you attend. Notre Dame considers this and evaluates GPA in the context of your school/class difficulty. Consider taking AP, IB, or dual enrollment classes to enhance your academic profile! 

Demonstrate Leadership Qualities 

Your extracurriculars matter; Notre Dame wants to admit passionate people with diverse interests. Your application’s activities section is where you can show the admissions committee what you do outside the classroom. 

Matt Greene, an Assistant Director with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, writes, “a very important part of your activities is expressing your leadership roles in these activities and how you have grown in them over the years.”

Leadership experience can distinguish you in a competitive applicant pool. It also indicates how you’ll impact the college’s campus, clubs, and organizations if you’re admitted. 

Put Effort Into Your Essays

Your essays are the only chance for the admissions committee to really hear your personal voice - make it count! 

Hailey Oppenlander, a current student at Notre Dame, says Notre Dame looks at your essays as a “stand-in” for the interview. This means that you’ll need to make sure your personality shines through in your words and the stories you choose to tell. 

Remember to be genuine and authentic - don’t just write what you think they want to hear! 

Notre Dame Essay Prompts

Speaking of essays - let’s go over Notre Dame’s supplemental essays! Notre Dame uses your supplemental essay responses to learn more about you. The admissions committee advises, “Reflect, have fun, and show us who you really are.

Supplemental Essay Prompts

The University of Notre Dame’s supplemental essay prompts require all students to answer two prompts from a list. You will write two 150-word responses from these options: 

Option #1 

“Notre Dame fosters an undergraduate experience dedicated to the intellectual, moral, and spiritual development of each individual, characterized by a collective sense of care for every person. How do you foster service to others in your community?”

Option #2

“What is distinctive about your personal experiences and development (e.g., family support, culture, disability, personal background, community, etc.)? Why are these experiences important to you and how will you enrich the Notre Dame community?”

Option #3

“Describe a time when you advocated for something you believed in and influenced others through thoughtful discourse to promote a deeper understanding of a difficult situation.” 

Remember, these essays carry much weight in the admissions process; getting into college requires carefully crafted essays! 

Short Answer Questions

Notre Dame requires applicants to complete three questions from the following options, responding in 50 words or less: 

  • “Everyone has different priorities when considering their higher education options and building their college or university list. Tell us about your ‘non-negotiable’ factor(s) when searching for your future college home.
  • What brings you joy?
  • What is worth fighting for?
  • What is something that genuinely interests you and how does this tie to the academic area you hope to study at Notre Dame?
  • How does faith influence the decisions you make?” 

Remember to keep your answers concise! 

FAQs: Getting Into Notre Dame 

These FAQs should clear up any lingering questions you have about how to get into Notre Dame.

1. What is Notre Dame’s Non-Binding Restrictive Early Action Program? 

If you apply to Notre Dame’s Early Action program, you can’t apply to other colleges’ binding Early Decision programs. However, you can apply to other Early Action and Regular Decision programs. 

2. Can I Attach Supplementary Materials to My Application?

Yes, although only certain applicants are encouraged to attach supplementary materials to their applications. If you intend to study art, music, or architecture at Notre Dame, you’re encouraged to attach materials like a creative portfolio. 

All supplementary materials must be uploaded through the SlideRoom section of your application.

3. Does Notre Dame Prefer the SAT Over the ACT? 

You can take the ACT or SAT; Notre Dame doesn’t prefer either test. 

4. What GPA Do You Need to Get Into Notre Dame? 

Notre Dame doesn’t have a GPA cutoff but receives applications from “the best and the brightest in the world.” An unweighted GPA as close to 4.0 will bolster your application! 

5. What Major Is Notre Dame Known for? 

Notre Dame is known for its Econometrics and Quantitative Economics, Finance, and Political Science majors. 

6. Is Notre Dame a Prestigious School? 

Yes, Notre Dame is one of the top 20 schools in the nation. 

7. When Do the University of Notre Dame Decisions Come Out?

Regular Decision applicants will receive their admissions decision by late March. Students applying through Restrictive Early Action will receive their admissions decision before Christmas.

8. How Much Is Tuition At the University of Notre Dame?

The cost of tuition for the 2024-2025 academic year is $65,025.

9. How Many Students Attend the University of Notre Dame?

More than 8,968 undergraduate and 4,206 graduate students attend Notre Dame, for a total student body of 13,174.

Final Thoughts

Notre Dame is one of the nation’s finest research institutions and is an extremely competitive school. The admissions officials at Notre Dame value your GPA and the rigor of your high school coursework highly, so take as many challenging courses as you can. 

Pursuing extracurricular activities that illustrate your leadership skills is also an excellent way to stand out. Your supplemental essays allow you to expand upon your experiences and inject your personality into your application. Good luck with your application! 

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