University of Notre Dame Admissions: The SAT Scores, ACT Scores, and GPA You Need to Get In

Notre Dame Admissions - Magoosh

Interested in joining the Fighting Irish for stellar academics, global opportunities, a focus on service…and of course, great football? With a beautiful campus and lots of school pride, the University of Notre Dame is the top choice for many students. No doubt you’re already familiar with a few reasons why Notre Dame is such a popular choice, but let’s take a look at a few more:

  • Notre Dame was recently ranked 11th for Best Undergraduate Teaching.
  • The median starting salary of a Notre Dame alum is $65,300, which shows the caliber of students graduating and the solid job opportunities available to them.
  • The Fighting Irish, especially the football team, are a source of pride among the student body and make up a large part of the activities for students.

Not surprisingly, Notre Dame is a highly competitive school with an acceptance rate under 20%. We’ll talk more about how to get into Notre Dame, but first let’s look at why admissions officers say it all comes to down to being a Notre Dame “fit.”

Are You a Good Fit for Notre Dame?

Notre Dame is a unique school for many reasons. Since you’d be there for four years of your life, it’s important to think about how you would fit in with the student body and culture of the university.

Notre Dame is a Catholic university that strongly emphasizes faith and service as part of its mission. While you don’t have to be Catholic to attend, you should consider whether you would like attending a faith-based university.

In addition to its basis in the Catholic faith, Notre Dame has five pillars that embody the spirit of the Notre Dame education. These principles are Mind, Heart, Zeal, Family, and Hope.

Much like with the faith consideration above, you should spend some time thinking about whether your personal values align with these principles and if you would like them to guide your undergraduate education. Also, keep these in mind when writing your admission essays—you’ll definitely want to weave these principles in throughout your application!

Finally, Notre Dame’s mission is to be a “powerful force for good in the world.” Does this speak to your personal mission in life? If so, and you love Division I athletics, challenging academics, and a scenic campus, keep reading to find out how to get into Notre Dame.

Freshman Profile

So who is the typical Fighting Irish freshman? The class of 2023 is diverse with students from all 50 states and 82 different countries. Accepted students were also very active, with 50% participating in music, drama, fine arts, or dance and 47% captaining a varsity sports team. And they’re a super smart bunch as you’ll see in the SAT and ACT scores reported below.

One more notable statistic about Notre Dame students is that 48% receive need-based aid scholarships, showing the university’s commitment to helping its students.

Notre Dame Admissions Data

Here’s a snapshot of some key Notre Dame admissions stats from the 2018-2019 cycle:

Number of Applications22,200
Number of Admitted Students3,410
Acceptance Rate15%
Undergrad Enrollment8,617
Annual Tuition (2018-2019)$55,553
Application DeadlineJanuary 1
Restrictive Early ActionNovember 1

Notre Dame ACT and Notre Dame SAT Scores

There’s no way around it, really good scores are crucial to getting into Notre Dame. Keep in mind that it’s currently ranked as the 15th best university in the country!

Here’s a quick overview of the Notre Dame SAT scores from the 2018-2019 cycle:

SAT Scores 
SAT Math 25th-75th percentile range 690-770
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing 25th-75th percentile range680-750

Notre Dame also accepts ACT scores; here are their most recent numbers:

ACT Scores 
Median ACT Score 33-35

While Notre Dame doesn’t require any minimum scores to apply, the ranges above let you know where you stand compared with other applicants. If you’re in the ranges above, then Notre Dame is definitely within reach for you, especially if the other parts of your application are strong.

However, don’t be discouraged if your scores aren’t as high as you’d like. There is more to your application, and Notre Dame prides itself on having a diverse student body. Let’s take a look at what else the admissions committee is looking for in addition to strong standardized test scores.

University of Notre Dame GPA Average

The University of Notre Dame does not officially report the average GPA of accepted students, but it’s safe to say the average GPA is mostly likely a 4.0. Why it is safe to assume the average GPA is so high? Well, 89% of admitted students were in the top 10% of their class, while 98% were in the top 25% of their class. This means you’ll need to get the highest GPA possible to ensure you are ranked at the top of your class. If you’re GPA isn’t as high as you need, you’ll need to focus on bringing up your ACT and SAT scores to be more competitive.


Is an in-person interview part of the application process?
No, the University of Notre Dame does not conduct interviews as part of the admissions process, so be sure to tell your story and demonstrate how awesome you are through the writing supplement and test scores.

Does the University of Notre Dame prefer the ACT or SAT?
The University of Notre Dame accepts both the ACT and SAT and does not have a preference for one test over the other. Just be sure to get the highest score you can on whichever test you decide to take!

Are transfer students accepted?
Yes, the University of Notre Dame welcomes transfer students but the application process is highly competitive. Transfer students are accepted into a particular college and major, so you should complete courses similar to Notre Dame’s first year classes to increase your chances of acceptance.

What is the Notre Dame Admissions Process?

Along with good test scores, you’ll want to make sure that you complete a thorough and competitive application for admission. Here is a quick and comprehensive list of what you’ll need for the Notre Dame admissions process:

  • A completed Common Application.
  • Notre Dame writing supplement, which is available to registered members of the common application website. The writing supplement is submitted separately after the application and it is a crucial part of your application.
  • Official results of your ACT or SAT assessment scores.
  • Official high school transcripts or record of academic achievement in secondary school.
  • A letter of evaluation from a high school teacher in a core academic subject area.
  • Counselor evaluation (recommended).
  • A $75 application fee.
  • As you’re putting together all of these pieces of your application, be sure to keep in mind the evaluation criteria that the Notre Dame adcom will use to assess candidates. In particular, they’re looking for stellar academic performance and “passions” (aka extracurricular activities).

    Final word of advice: make sure that your academic strengths shine in your application by demonstrating a range of high-level classes. And if you’re only a freshman or sophomore in high school and Notre Dame is your dream school, make smart choices now to ensure that you are challenging yourself and getting the highest GPA you can.

    The Takeaway

    Notre Dame is a highly competitive university, so you need to make sure you get the highest GPA and SAT or ACT score you can. In addition to strong academics, the adcom wants to see passionate students who have a desire to be of service in the world.

    Given the selective admissions process, you’ll need to prepare, prepare, prepare for your tests ahead of time.

    From all of us here at Magoosh, good luck getting into your dream school!

    Improve your SAT or ACT score, guaranteed. Start your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh SAT Prep or your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh ACT Prep today!

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    • Allyson Evans

      Allyson is one of Magoosh’s Content Creators. She writes on a variety of topics to help aspiring law students excel on the LSAT, from updates on the new digital LSAT to study tips for the logical reasoning section, and much, much more. A practicing attorney based in Austin, Texas, Allyson has spent the past seven years teaching others how to prepare for the LSAT. Allyson earned her BA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and her JD from the University of Texas, Austin. When she’s not helping students demystify the LSAT, you can find her hiking on a trail or relaxing at a campsite in the great outdoors. LinkedIn

    By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!

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