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Admissions Criteria

What we look for to ensure your success.

The admissions process at Notre Dame includes a close review of your academic record, standardized test scores, special interests, talents, letter of recommendation, and the admission essay or writing sample. A personal interview is recommended but not required.

All of this information helps the University assess the unique qualities that are essential to a successful Notre Dame student.

For First-Year Students

The Admissions Committee regards a strong college preparatory program in high school as the best preparation for success at Notre Dame and thus places the greatest emphasis on the type and strength of courses taken and the grades earned. Accepted students usually rank in the top half of their class. Applicants are required to be prospective graduates of a high school accredited by the regional association of the College Board or of an approved home school program. A minimum of 18 academic units distributed as follows is required:

English 4 units
Foreign Language 3 units
Mathematics, College Preparatory 3 units
Science 2 units
History 2 units
Electives 4 units

 

The Admissions Committee may accept a student who lacks one or more of the stated requirements, but whose high school record and standardized testing show academic ability.

Early Admission

Applicants may wish to enter the University after three years of high school. Generally, the applicant should meet the following requirements:

  • Submission of all admissions materials as listed above
  • Completion of 13 college preparatory units and three elective units prior to start of college work
  • Minimum of 550 on both the critical reading and math sections of the SAT Reasoning Test
  • Cumulative average of at least 3.0 in required areas of study as listed above
  • Additional letter of recommendation from the high school principal
  • A personal interview, including a parent, with the vice president for enrollment management