Undergraduate Education

Goal II: Offer an unsurpassed undergraduate education that nurtures the formation of mind, body, and spirit

Anyone who reads Notre Dame’s Vision for Undergraduate Education will see that the standard we have set for our students and ourselves is high. It requires that we, as a university, not only excel in traditional learning environments but also that we enroll diverse groups of the very best students to begin with and then, once they arrive on campus, provide them with opportunities both within and beyond the classroom that promote their intellectual, spiritual, and ethical development.

Several principles have proven integral to our pursuit of Goal II and will remain in place as we move forward.

  • Undergraduate enrollment has long been comprised almost exclusively of full-time students, a ratio we expect to remain stable through the period covered by “A Legacy Expanded” and beyond.
  • The University began meeting the full demonstrated financial need of undergraduates in 1999, and this policy is essential to maintaining access to a Notre Dame education, ensuring socioeconomic status does not serve as a barrier to admission.
  • We expect our most talented researchers to be active in our undergraduate classrooms, as well. As such, multi-faceted and rigorous teaching evaluations will continue to be crucial in reappointment, tenure, promotion, and salary decisions. 
  • Complementing our enduring commitment to a core curriculum focused on the liberal arts, we are also leveraging recent investments like those in the Glynn Family Honors Program, the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program, and the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement to infuse innovation and further academic rigor into undergraduate education.
  • Through our residence halls and student services, we seek to cultivate a distinctive sense of community grounded in faith, spirituality, mutual support, and development of the whole person. In addition, a robust variety of extracurricular and service organizations provide opportunities for students to build leadership and entrepreneurial skills.
  • Varsity athletics have played a special role in Notre Dame’s history and growth, and we remain dedicated to offering an integrated student-athlete experience that allows us to achieve academic and competitive success with integrity.

In the current strategic plan, we have identified three new areas of focus that we believe complement the commitments outlined above:

Enhance the quality and diversity of our entering cohort

Enrich the integration and intellectual engagement of students’ experiences

Deepen our students’ global engagement