How to Get Into Notre Dame - Admission Requirements & Tips

Landscape photo of Notre Dame University's Golden Dome
November 23, 2023
7 min read


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 9/1/23

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

A group of students walking on campus

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

Of the 28,351 applications Notre Dame received, it admitted 3,399 students. This means Notre Dame’s acceptance rate is 11.9%.

Notre Dame acceptance rate compared to how many students Quad get's into the same school!

Restrictive Early Action Date and Acceptance Rate

You must apply to Notre Dame’s non-binding Restrive Early Action program by November 1st. In a recent admissions cycle, Notre Dame received 11,163 Early Action applications and admitted 1,701 students for an acceptance rate of 15.2%

Yield Rate

A school’s yield rate tells us how many admitted students choose to enroll. Notre Dame’s current yield rate is about 60%

How Hard Is It to Get Into Notre Dame? 

Notre Dame’s acceptance rate is 11.9%, meaning approximately 12 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 University Admissions Requirements

Students applying to college

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.

Before you step foot on Notre Dame’s campus as a first-year student, you’ll need to fulfill its standardized testing requirements. Please note that for the current application cycle, Notre Dame doesn’t require SAT/ACT scores. 

Notre Dame ACT Requirements

The middle 50% ACT score range of admitted students is 32-35. While there are no minimum ACT scores you need to achieve, use these scores as a benchmark for what you should aim for. 

Notre Dame SAT Requirements

The middle 50% range of SAT scores of Notre Dame’s admitted students is 1450-1530. Again, while there is no required score, try to aim for the higher end of this range.

If you take either test 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. 

English Proficiency Testing 

If English isn’t your first language, Notre Dame requires you to take an English proficiency test. The accepted tests include: 

Notre Dame acknowledges that the ACT and SAT are geared toward U.S. students. So, it states that if students achieve a high score on their proficiency exam, this can “balance a student’s testing profile.” 

If you score 650 or above on the SAT EBRW section or 26 or above in ACT English or Reading, you can obtain an English proficiency test waiver. 

Notre Dame GPA Requirements

There is no GPA requirement at Notre Dame, and the school doesn’t list the average GPA of its students, but it’s estimated to be above 4.0. This is an extremely competitive GPA, as the average GPA of high school graduates is approximately 4.06. 


Notre Dame doesn’t conduct interviews. Hailey Oppenlander, a current student at Notre Dame, says Notre Dame looks at your essays as a “stand-in” for the interview.

Notre Dame 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: 

1. 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.
2. What brings you joy?
3. What is worth fighting for?
4. What is something that genuinely interests you and how does this tie to the academic area you hope to study at Notre Dame?
5. How does faith influence the decisions you make?

Remember to keep your answers concise! 

Notre Dame Application Deadline & Process

Notre Dame applicants must use one of three online applications:

The deadline for submitting your Regular Decision application is early January, and 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 

Letters of Recommendation  

Notre Dame requires a recommendation from a teacher in a “core” academic subject. The school recommends you submit an evaluation from your guidance or college counselor. 

Homeschooled students are encouraged to submit one or two extra recommendations if their letter is coming from a parent.

Tips to Get into Notre Dame

Notre Dame 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. 

Should I Apply to Notre Dame?

If you want to join a vibrant research community with global ties, Notre Dame is the place for you. If you’re passionate about joining a Catholic institution and being a force for positive change in the world, Notre Dame is a great option! 

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?

As of 2023/2024, tuition and fees at Notre Dame University costs $62,693 annually. 

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

More than 8,800 undergraduate and 3,900 graduate students attend Notre Dame, for a total student body of 12,809. 

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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