The University of Notre Dame is a private school located in South Bend, Indiana (about 100 miles outside Chicago.) The school, founded in 1842, is considered one of the top twenty universities in the country. The urban setting, on 1,250 acres of land, offers many off-campus opportunities for students. Notre Dame is a Catholic university; the name translates from the French ‘our lady’ or the Virgin Mary. Despite having over 8,900 undergraduates, 60% of Notre Dame classes still have less than 20 students.
All undergraduate freshmen take part in a program called The First Year of Studies. It was established in 1962 to help incoming freshmen decide which area of study to focus on. Students are assigned academic advisors from the program they’re interested in, and they are given assistance on choosing classes. Students have the opportunity to explore multiple majors, by taking classes in various fields. With this program, students are not locked into a major right away; rather they have the chance to be exposed to many fields that interest them. As freshmen, students are also given the chance to attend the Learning Resource Center, where they can find guidance on study techniques, time management skills, and tutoring in specific subjects.
Once students have decided on a major, they attend one of the university’s many colleges. The College of Arts and Letters (founded in 1842) includes 35 majors. About 2,500 students are enrolled in the fine arts, humanities, and social sciences. The College of Science has six departments (biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, pre-professional studies, and applied and computational mathematics and statistics (ACMS), serving more than 1,200 undergrads. The School of Architecture offers a five-year undergraduate program. The College of Engineering has five programs (aerospace and mechanical engineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering, civil engineering and geological sciences, computer science and engineering, and electrical engineering.) The Mendoza College of Business offers degrees in accountancy, finance, management, and marketing for over 1,700 students.
The University of Notre Dame also offers a lively on-campus atmosphere. Only freshmen are required to live on campus, but 78 percent of undergraduates decide to remain in college-affiliated housing. About 81 percent of students identify as Catholic, so religion plays a significant part in the Notre Dame experience.
Catholic Mass is celebrated more than 100 times during the week. Athletics also play a large part in the university. The teams, known as the Fighting Irish, participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level. There are 26 varsity teams in total, but Notre Dame is best known for its football team.
Students with a Catholic background who are looking for rigorous academic programs should look into University of Notre Dame. The ability to explore several fields before selecting a major is another reason why the school is lauded for being flexible and nurturing. Located in an urban setting, the school also offers many opportunities for off-campus internships and extracurricular activities. Notre Dame’s impressive alumni numbers near 120,000 individuals, including members of Congress, professional athletes, and Nobel Prize winners.