University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN, USA

Reviews

University of Notre Dame
4.48 Average Rating

Karyn from MO

a current student here
15 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
In my first semester here, I feel like I learned more than I did in my last two years of high school. Classes really challenge you and they don't just teach you the material, they teach you how to think, as in how to approach an intellectual issue properly. It is very important to the professors not that they teach you what to think, but rather how to think. This intellectual atmosphere produces graduates who don't just repeat the ideas of their professors like parrots, but rather ones who can think independently and come to their own conclusions, which is much more valuable.
Am enjoying being here
The people here are amazing, classes are challenging and interesting, and being at Notre Dame has a certain magic to it. I love it here, but I won't say it's perfect. Notre Dame is lacking in diversity and South Bend is lacking in exciting things to do.
Bang for the buck
Financial Aid at Notre Dame is great. Very very few merit scholarships are given out, which to some seems ridiculous, but I like it. At other universities, if the richest kid is also the smartest kid, they will get more money, but here, if you get in, they meet your demonstrated financial need, which helps make the Notre Dame dream true for more of us, but it can still be very expensive for some.
Tips for prospective students
- Whatever you do, make sure you look into your area's Notre Dame Club. There are Notre Dame clubs all across the nation (and some internationally) and they offer scholarships. Be sure to apply for your club's scholarship because when it comes down to money, that could be the difference between being able to afford a Notre Dame education and not.
- I wasn't told this until later, but apparently recommendations from English teachers look stronger than ones from other subject areas.
- Be sure to send in A.P. scores if you have good ones. It can only help.
- For seniors hoping to save their application: focus on your essay. In the final months (or weeks or days ... or hours) before your application is due, your resume and test scores can't be helped much anymore, but your essays can.
- Stay positive, you'll end up where you're supposed to
Great for these types of students
The majority of Notre Dame students are white, upper to middle class Catholics who were involved in a lot of clubs and/or sports in high school. There is a work hard play hard mentality among a lot of people here. Students who don't fit the description, can still definitely find their niche, but some might struggle with it.
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Erica from Longwood, FL

a current student here
14 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Part of Notre Dame's mission is to educate the mind and heart. I am learning a lot academically from our many wonderful professors, many of whom are renowned experts in their fields. For example, my professor for a course in Hebrew Scriptures actually worked with the Dead Sea Scrolls, translating and publishing them, for many years. In addition, my time at Notre Dame has truly helped to educate my heart and to grow in my spiritual life. Because of so many opportunities for community service (through the Center for Social Concerns and through the dorms), deepening in faith (through Campus Ministry, other religious groups, and many opportunities for Mass and the sacrament of reconciliation), and experiencing true friendship, it is an excellent environment in which to acquire virtue. In other words, Notre Dame students' minds are educated in the classroom, and their hearts are educated through invaluable experiences outside the classroom. Notre Dame provides students with the opportunity to receive a well-rounded education.
Am enjoying being here
I love being at Notre Dame.

The aspect of Notre Dame that I personally enjoy most is the Catholic atmosphere. I love going to Mass in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, especially during Holy Week.

Another part of Notre Dame that I particularly enjoy is the dorm life: the unique and tight-knit communities formed in each dorm, the awesome dorm events, and the high level of dorm pride are special at Notre Dame. I love that Notre Dame has single-sex dorms, and that each dorm is paired with a sister or brother dorm. Visiting other colleges, I simply did not see what Notre Dame has. I say these things particularly in regards to my own dorm, Pasquerilla West, which I love! As a dorm, we volunteer together at the South Bend Shelter for the Homeless, pray together in Lent through a reading group, compete (and win!) in intramural sports together, and participate in our signature event, Queen Week. In the dorm, older students are paired with freshmen, who become their little sisters, and we also have regular meetings for freshmen to come talk to older students about academics so they can be better equipped to choose a major. This is only a small fraction of the events in P.W., but it gives you a taste of what dorm life is like!

Moreover, I love walking across our beautiful campus. In the fall, there is nothing like the leaves changing to red and yellow as the campus is packed with crowds excited to see the football games. In winter, I love seeing the Golden Dome outlined sharply against a blue-gray sky and the snow clinging to the pine trees. Spring is the most beautiful (in my opinion), with bright yellow daffodils, sweet-smelling lilacs, and the swans on the lakes.
Bang for the buck
I must admit that Notre Dame is expensive, but you really do get what you pay for.
Tips for prospective students
Take advantage of the program Notre Dame offers in which prospective students visit campus and stay with a student in the dorms overnight. It's the best way to understand what it's really like to be a student at Notre Dame and to see if it's a good fit for you! If you cannot participate in this program, I recommend at least taking a tour. But be careful--you're sure to fall in love with Notre Dame as soon as you set foot on our campus!
Great for these types of students
Notre Dame is great for students who are serious about their studies and willing to work hard.
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Kathryn from Palatine, IL

a current student here
11 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Once a Notre Dame student, always a Notre Dame alumni. This school has a huge following and very active alumni. If you are accepted into ND and decide to attend, welcome to the community and family!
Tips for prospective students
Almost everyone loves it here, and I know way more people that transfer in than transfer out. Odds are great that you'll like it, the only problems are getting in and paying for it, which can be pretty tough. Don't write off ND for either reason, though. I didn't think I would get in, and I did, and Notre Dame gives plenty of financial aid.

Also, buy football tickets. The games are so much fun and totally worth it.
Academic Rigor
Notre Dame students are best described as having a work hard, play hard mentality. The work load is heavy here, but definitely not impossible. Just make sure you're ready to go hard.
Dorm Life
Dorm life is pretty amazing for a lot of people. The dorms are all single-sex, which may sound strange, but actually works out quite well. The dorms become communities, almost like greek life, but without the hazing and other not-so-nice attributes. They compete against each other to be the best hall of the year and some people can even get a little extreme about it. The single-sex concept is also cute and fun because each dorm has a brother or sister dorm with which they do activities.
Food and Dining
ND's food has been rated as some of the best in the nation repeatedly in recent years, and it deserves its rating. There are so many options, and a lot of quality breakfast, lunch, and dinner foods, both prepared and untouched for use by the students. There are all different kinds of cuisines offered each day, and several others are on rotation throughout the month (i.e. Indian, Mediterranean, fajita night). The meal plan includes 14 meals a week and $350 in flex points each semester. Flex points can be used at the convenience store on campus, at all the different cafes and on-campus restaurants (including starbucks), and at the 24-hour university-owned pizza place. It's great.
What to do for fun
South Bend isn't the best college town, in fact, the most glamorous part of it is almost definitely the university, but there are still definitely things to do. We have two great students boards the bring fun and free things to campus every weekend, including concerts, comedians, improv groups, magicians, and food, of course. The student organizations and dorm committees are very active as well in providing events and other fun things to do throughout the week. There is also a mall that is within 15 minutes of campus, and a free bus that rides through campus all day every day can take you there.
Bang for the buck
Notre Dame is crazy expensive, but if you can pay for it without going in to too much debt, you won't regret it. The education you will receive is excellent, the alumni network will be an advocate for you on the job market for the rest of your life, and the people you will meet at ND are simply amazing. Not to mention the spirituality boost you may or may not receive. It simply cannot be beat.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The most fun traditions at ND revolve around football. For example: After a big win at home, it is custom to run through the Stonehenge fountain at midnight. Other strange traditions include girls kissing the moose in the basement of Zahm House (a guys dorm) upon entering for the first time.
Greek Life
Greek Life does not exist at ND, but the dorms are such tight knit communities, it almost feels like it does sometimes.
Campus Safety
Notre Dame is a bubble. A student's biggest safety concern is taking care of oneself at parties.
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Benjamin from Temple City, CA

a current student here
8 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The professors know and fully understand you are not there to become a slave towards textbooks, they realize each individual has passions outside of academia. With that in mind, the professors do a great job challenging each individual, not by overwhelming them with work, but by giving them opportunities to succeed. I found that the level of compassion the professors embody has helped me tremendously in learning not to be a great student, but a successful individual.
Am enjoying being here
As a transfer student, I have a different perspective than most of the student body. Sometimes, people don't appreciate the smaller benefits of being at Notre Dame. Most people come for religion, football, and things like that. I find small things that I love about my school every single day, but the single greatest thing I love is the fact that every single individual loves being at ND. Even the school food service workers love interacting with students, and everyone glows with school pride all day, every day. Never in my life have I felt so welcome anywhere.
Bang for the buck
The financial aid is very helpful (but is limited). Other than that, hell yes this place is worth the money.
Tips for prospective students
Work hard, know exactly why you want to come here (besides the cliche reasons of football and etc). And if you don't get in, apply to transfer! :)
Great for these types of students
Hardworking, passionate, and fun-loving.
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Therese

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Students feel like they are immediately a part of the tradition and history of a school that so many people love.
Tips for prospective students
Show what you can bring to the community. Be open to personal growth and discernment.
Academic Rigor
Great teachers, great classes, great academic programs. Top business undergraduate college in the country.
Dorm Life
Dorm life is perhaps the best part of the campus community spirit. First year students are randomly assigned a dorm, but quickly grow loyal to their new home. One of the first questions students ask each other when they meet for the first time is what dorm are you from?
Food and Dining
The two dining halls on campus have loyal followings. There are north dining hall people and south dining hall people.
What to do for fun
Lots of dorm, clubs, and school sponsored events.
Bang for the buck
You'll be a part of Notre Dame your whole life.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Notre Dame is full of traditions and beloved campus locations. Even each dorm has it's own little traditions such as annual themed dances and charity events. The grotto is perhaps one of the most loved locations on campus by students and alumni.
Great for these types of students
Great for students interested in investing in all aspects of personal development and growth.
Clubs and Activities
Everything you could look for. Every accessible and open to new students.
Greek Life
No Greek life.
Campus Safety
Campus police and fire station on campus.
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Lindsay from Downers Grove, IL

a current student here
33 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
In and out of the classroom, you are guaranteed to learn...A LOT. From going to conferences and listening to lectures by distinguished professors at many different universities to the actual learning in the classroom (and the fabulous & intelligent professors), you will realize how much you truly don't know about the world and how much you truly *will* learn here at Notre Dame. And this is coming from someone who graduated within the top 2% of her high school class of 720 and got top AP, SAT and ACT scores.
Am enjoying being here
I couldn't find a better fit, or a university with kinder and more passionate people. Intelligent, kind, compassionate and passionate are only a few qualities of the students and professors you will encounter here.
Bang for the buck
Considering the about $50,000/year price tag (and the low financial aid for anyone who has parents who make over $100,000 annually), I can't make myself giving five out of five stars here.

HOWEVER, when you graduate you are practically *guaranteed* great connections from the ND family that will get you where you want, whether it's a job, graduate school, volunteering, or nearly anything else you want to do with your life.

So in the end, I think the big bucks you pay for the university are worth it...
Tips for prospective students
APPLY EARLY--I applied early action and it was great to know in *December* that I had gotten in. Waiting until March or April is not fun, as I learned with other college applications.
Great for these types of students
Very intelligent, passionate, compassionate, caring, and curious students. Being Catholic doesn't hurt, considering the school's Catholic values and reputation effuses through everything at Notre Dame.
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Athena from DC

a current student here
26 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The classes here are almost all taught by professors who are experts on the subjects they teach, and usually know how to make things interesting. Most professors here make an effort to make themselves available to students outside of class, and there are many resources to help anyone having trouble. Depending on your major, class sizes, especially freshman year, are pretty mixed, but freshmen are required to take a seminar which gives everyone an opportunity to have an intimate, small class about something that interests them.
Am enjoying being here
The atmosphere at Notre Dame is truly unique. I know everyone says that, but it's true. There is a strong emphasis on community and tradition here, an atmosphere that is enhanced by the fact that most people live in the same dorm all 4 years. The fact that students come here from all over the country means that there is a lot of diversity in terms of background, political, and even religious beliefs. However, there is not much racial or ethnic diversity, and some policies here are annoyingly restrictive compared to most other schools. The positives definitely outweigh the negatives however.
Bang for the buck
Tuition is certainly not cheap, but the quality of the school makes the cost worth it. However, the school's large endowment allows them to provide a lot of financial aid most of the time, as well as provide resources to find financial support externally.
Tips for prospective students
Keep your grades up. Slacking off senior year, even second semester, not only can potentially hurt your chances of being accepted or keeping that acceptance, but it also makes the transition to college much more difficult when you're used to coasting through or skipping all of your classes.
Great for these types of students
Hard workers interested in more than just academic work. Athletes, actors, anyone interested in research opportunities, and those looking for lots of ways to get involved in volunteer work and social justice will find plenty of resources and options here.
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Marcus from WI

a current student here
17 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
The University of Notre Dame is a privately funded, Catholic, liberal arts university. It is most well-known for athletics, especially football, ethics and social justice studies, and the Mendoza School of Business. Notre Dame also boasts a beautiful campus and a deeply involved alumni network.
Tips for prospective students
Come to campus in the spring, summer, or fall if you can, and not just to look around. Take an official tour, and I recommend staying overnight in a dorm. It'll help you get a better feel for what being on campus will be like.

Also, search for the Notre Dame Job Board, and apply for a position somewhere before or shortly after arriving on campus. That will prevent you from getting stuck doing food services, which isn't terrible but certainly isn't as good as the opportunities for students who search around in advance.
Academic Rigor
Notre Dame is consistently ranked by US News and World Report as one of the best undergraduate teaching programs in the country, and academic rigor has a lot to do with that. Classes, especially in architecture or the sciences, are tough, but they prepare you well to go to graduate school or into the workforce, and most of the professors here are engaging teachers who are also very accessible outside class time. Students collaborate well together, too, which makes the academic expectations challenging but managable.
Dorm Life
Dorm Life at Notre Dame is a unique experience. All undergraduate dorms are single-sex. That can make it a bit tough at first to find friends of the opposite gender, but the male and female dorms interact a lot, and the university is otherwise co-ed. Dorms have their own sports teams, including, for male dorms, full-contact football. Because you'll be in a dorm with people of the same gender from all different years, there isn't much social distinction between seniors and freshmen, and the upperclassmen help the freshmen with things like finding locations, picking classes, and studying. Dorms can become very tight-knit groups.

Notre Dame also has something called Parietals, a rule which states that residents can get in trouble for having a person of the opposite sex in their room during the hours of midnight to 9am on weekdays and 2am-9am on weekends. This is enforced on the honor system in most dorms, and it is in place to foster a stronger sense of community within the residents of the dorm, as well as to give residents a little more privacy on their way to the shower.
Food and Dining
South Dining Hall, which looks on the inside like the Great Hall from Harry Potter, is one of the best campus dining halls in the nation. Food is all-you-can-eat, and there's usually a wide variety available, including special foods for holidays and football games. There are also several good cafes on campus and a small grocery store. Options nearby but off campus are limited, but expanding.
What to do for fun
Clubs and dorm activities are big draws for students. Nearly all students are involved in some kind of extracurricular activity. Athletics and service are especially popular. Additionally, performances and films are an almost constant presence at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, and there are parties in the mens' dorms and off-campus every weekend.
Bang for the buck
Notre Dame is an incredibly expensive school. That being said, they are committed to meeting 100% of every student's demonstrated financial need, and admission is need-blind. Even if you're in a situation where you'll have to pay full price, though, I recommend doing it. There are advantages for students here, particularly the alumni network, that don't exist in many other places. Additionally, Notre Dame puts a lot of effort into making sure that you can graduate in four years if you want to, so you don't have to worry about paying for a fifth year to finish a bachelor's degree.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Notre Dame has a strong tradition as a football school, to the point where many Catholic images on campus have unofficial football-related names. The large mural on the south side of the Hesburgh Library, facing the stadium, has been affectionately dubbed 'Touchdown Jesus', and there are statues on campus called 'First Down Moses' and the 'Holy Handoff'.

Another iconic Notre Dame symbol is the Golden Dome of the main administrative building. Allegedly, the seal on every student's diploma is imbued with a little of the gold from the dome.

Two Notre Dame graduates were intimately involved in the creation process of the original Shrek movie, and they included a few nods to the University. For example, Shrek's accent and physical appearance are modelled after a professor on campus, and Duloc comes from Du Loc, the Notre Dame policy handbook, which includes an old rule about 'keeping off of the grass' on God Quad. Walking on the grass on God Quad is still considered bad luck.

Students never walk up the imposing front steps of the main building, but instead use doors set behind the staircase. This is because it is said that if a student walks up the front steps, he or she will not graduate.

Additionally, each dorm has its own set of traditions.
Great for these types of students
Students who want a close relationship with their professors will fit in well here. Most non-introductory classes have fewer than twenty students, and professors hold office hours for the express purpose of speaking with their students. There are many opportunities to build close relationships with one's professors, who can be a valuable resource later on when applying to other schools or for jobs.
Clubs and Activities
Students are involved in all manner of clubs, ranging from social justice issues, to academic interests, to sports and beyond. There are over 300 active clubs on campus, and almost every student participates in one or more. Additionally, the process for starting a club is fairly straightforward and easy. As long as there are people willing to be officers in a proposed club and said club is not too similar to an existing club, you are free to form it and receive funding for it from the university.
Greek Life
There is no Greek Life at Notre Dame. Instead, community is focused around the single-sex dorms, which have their own student governments, athletic teams, and social events.
Campus Safety
Notre Dame is not immune from the problems that plague all college campuses, but it is closed off from the city of South Bend and patrolled by an effective police force. I generally feel safer here than at home.
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Crystal from Grand Prairie, TX

a current student here
17 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The amount you learn at Notre Dame depends on you. As a first year student, there may be a couple of classes that have 200 people in them. If you go to lecture, take notes, and keep up with your reading, then you'll learn a lot. If not, then you're SOL. There's also those really small, intimate classes that you'll build close relationships with your professors and classmates in. Notre Dame is an academically prestigious school, so nothing comes easily.
Am enjoying being here
At Notre Dame, they basically force you to make friends the first week you're here. You'll find out what I mean when you attend Frosh-o. There's never a bored moment on campus, EVER. There's always something to distract you from studying. The party scene is very unique here. It depends on what you like. People throw dorm parties all the time in the guys dorms, which are basically drinking Keystone Light and squeezing 40 people in a little tiny room with the token Party Playlist for people to dance to. It can be pretty entertaining. There's also a nightclub type thing on campus called Legends, and it has a different theme every night (Friday/Saturday), like 90's night, hip-hop, old school, etc. Basically, if you're bored, just walk around North or South quad and follow the music. You'll be alright.
Bang for the buck
You'll get a great education, make lifelong friends, create amazing experiences, and grow in every way possible. Mind, body, soul is the motto.
Tips for prospective students
Take a heavy course load senior year. You jump right into work on the first day. Join a lot of clubs. It'll help you learn how to manage time.
Great for these types of students
Student who are hard-working, but like to have a good time. There's lots of tradition here so you gotta love that too. Don't mind being in a small town. South Bend sucks, sorry, but campus is very lively.
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Kayla from Jonesboro, GA

a current student here
16 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am enjoying being here
I absolutely love my school. I've always felt that there is just such a welcoming environment and everyone is always very helpful and friendly. The only downside is the weather.
Bang for the buck
It is defintely not a cheap school but you get what you pay for. There are so many opportunities to become involved in the school and the community and there are so many resources to help you if you ever fall behind.
Tips for prospective students
Be prepared for the cold! Also, take advantage of the resources the university provides for you early and start making connections with the faculty. Everyone always says that, but it really makes a difference later on. The Notre Dame network is legendary, make sure you become a part of it early!
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