Beyond the Classroom: Extracurricular Activities at Notre Dame

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

University of Notre Dame

Beyond the Classroom: Extracurriculars at Notre Dame

Extracurricular activities at Notre Dame play a pivotal role in shaping the holistic development of students, providing them with invaluable opportunities to explore their interests, engage in community service, and foster lifelong connections.

With a rich tradition of promoting academic excellence and personal growth, the University of Notre Dame boasts an extensive array of clubs, organizations, and programs that cater to a diverse range of passions and pursuits. Students at Notre Dame are encouraged to actively participate in these extracurricular activities, which not only enrich their college experience but also help them develop essential life skills such as teamwork, leadership, and effective communication.

The unique and vibrant campus culture at Notre Dame is greatly enhanced by the extracurricular activities available to students. From recreational sports and cultural associations to academic clubs and service organizations, there is no shortage of avenues for students to immerse themselves in the spirit of camaraderie and shared values that define the Notre Dame community.

By participating in these extracurricular activities, Notre Dame students are empowered to forge meaningful relationships, embrace diverse perspectives, and make lasting contributions to the world around them, all while nurturing their own personal growth and development.

Aerial view of Notre Dame

This blog will delve into the exciting world of Notre Dame’s extracurricular landscape, highlighting the many clubs, organizations, and programs available to students.

What is Notre Dame Known for?

What is Notre Dame known for? The University of Notre Dame, located in Notre Dame, Indiana, is a prestigious private Catholic research university that is internationally renowned for its rich history, academic excellence, and strong commitment to faith and service. Established in 1842 by Rev. Edward F. Sorin, a French priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross, the university has grown into a leading institution of higher learning that embraces its mission to provide an environment that nurtures intellectual, spiritual, and ethical development.

Notre Dame is known for its rigorous academic programs, which span a wide range of disciplines, including business, engineering, arts and letters, and science. The university is especially well-regarded for its Mendoza College of Business, which has consistently ranked among the best undergraduate business schools in the United States. The College of Engineering, too, has garnered national recognition for its innovative research and commitment to sustainability.

a student writing on her notebook and looking at the camera

The university’s commitment to undergraduate education and research opportunities is reflected in its impressive faculty, which includes distinguished scholars, researchers, and educators who are dedicated to fostering intellectual curiosity and discovery. Notre Dame’s undergraduate research programs enable students to work closely with faculty members on cutting-edge research projects, providing valuable hands-on experience and contributing to the advancement of knowledge in various fields.

What’s it Like to Attend Notre Dame?

What’s it like to attend Notre Dame? Attending the University of Notre Dame is an enriching and transformative experience that extends far beyond academics. Students are immersed in a vibrant campus culture that values intellectual curiosity, spiritual growth, community involvement, and personal development. With its strong Catholic heritage, emphasis on service, and commitment to excellence, Notre Dame offers a unique environment in which students can forge lifelong friendships, engage in meaningful activities, and develop the skills necessary to become thoughtful, compassionate leaders in their respective fields.

Life at Notre Dame begins with a strong sense of community. Students live in one of the 33 residence halls on campus, each with its own distinct character, traditions, and history. These residence halls serve as more than just living spaces; they are the foundation of the Notre Dame family, fostering camaraderie, mentorship, and support among students. Living in close-knit communities, students often form lasting friendships that span their entire college experience and beyond.

Academically, Notre Dame offers a rigorous and well-rounded education, with a vast array of majors and minors to choose from. The university’s commitment to undergraduate education is evident in its small class sizes, which encourage active participation and foster strong relationships between students and faculty. Students are encouraged to engage in undergraduate research and experiential learning opportunities, enabling them to delve deeply into their chosen fields and gain practical experience to prepare for future careers or graduate studies.

Spirituality is a significant aspect of life at Notre Dame, with the Catholic faith deeply ingrained in the university’s identity. Mass is celebrated daily in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, and students have numerous opportunities to engage in retreats, faith-sharing groups, and other spiritual activities. However, the university also embraces students of all faith backgrounds and encourages interfaith dialogue, fostering a sense of inclusivity and respect for diverse perspectives.

Extracurricular activities abound at Notre Dame, with over 400 clubs and organizations catering to a wide range of interests. From cultural associations and academic clubs to service organizations and recreational sports, students can pursue their passions and engage in activities that enrich their college experience. The extracurricular activities at Notre Dame also place a strong emphasis on service and social justice, encouraging students to participate in service projects and volunteer opportunities both locally and globally.

Athletics are a prominent aspect of the Notre Dame experience, with the Fighting Irish enjoying a storied history of success across numerous sports. Students can participate in various levels of athletic competition, from intramural sports to highly competitive varsity teams. Football weekends, in particular, are a time-honored tradition that brings together the entire Notre Dame community, fostering a spirited and celebratory atmosphere on campus.

In essence, attending Notre Dame is a multifaceted experience that combines rigorous academics, spiritual growth, extracurricular involvement, and athletic traditions within a supportive and nurturing community. Students are not only challenged intellectually but also encouraged to develop their character, leadership skills, and sense of social responsibility, ultimately preparing them for meaningful lives and careers beyond the university.

What are the Extracurricular Activities at Notre Dame?

What are the extracurricular activities at Notre Dame? Since its founding in 1842, the University of Notre Dame is not only known for its outstanding academics but also for its rich and diverse extracurricular offerings. As students pursue their educational goals, they also have the opportunity to explore their passions, develop new skills, and create lifelong memories through a wide array of extracurricular activities.

Club Sports

One of the most popular extracurricular activities at Notre Dame is club sports. With over 30 club sports to choose from, students can engage in competitive or recreational athletics at various skill levels. Some of the most popular club sports include soccer, rugby, volleyball, and ultimate frisbee. By participating in club sports, students can stay active, develop teamwork skills, and form lasting friendships with their teammates.

sports equipment

Student Government

Students looking to make a difference on campus and represent the voice of their peers should consider joining the Notre Dame Student Government. This organization is responsible for advocating for student interests, promoting campus-wide initiatives, and allocating funding to various clubs and organizations. By getting involved in student government, students have the opportunity to develop leadership skills and gain experience in policy-making and project management.

Performing Arts

Notre Dame boasts a thriving performing arts scene, with numerous clubs and organizations dedicated to music, theater, and dance. Whether you’re interested in joining an a cappella group, participating in a musical theater production, or showcasing your talents in a dance ensemble, there’s a place for you at Notre Dame. Some of the notable performing arts groups include the Notre Dame Glee Club, the Pasquerilla East Musical Company, and the Notre Dame Ballet Folklorico.

View of a person looking through the audience.

Service and Social Justice

Students passionate about service and social justice will find a supportive community at Notre Dame. Many clubs and organizations focus on addressing pressing social issues, both locally and globally. From tutoring underprivileged students to advocating for environmental sustainability, these groups enable students to make a positive impact on the world around them. Notable service and social justice organizations include the Center for Social Concerns, the Notre Dame Right to Life Club, and the Environmental Law Society.

Cultural and Identity-Based Organizations

Notre Dame is home to a diverse student body, with numerous cultural and identity-based organizations providing support, community, and opportunities for learning and celebration. These groups aim to promote understanding and appreciation for different cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives on campus. Some popular cultural and identity-based organizations include the Black Student Association, the Muslim Student Association, and the Latino Student Alliance.

Academic and Professional Development

For students looking to enhance their academic and professional development, Notre Dame offers various clubs and organizations that cater to specific majors or career paths. These groups provide networking opportunities, academic support, and resources to help students excel in their chosen fields. Examples of academic and professional development organizations include the Notre Dame Economics Club, the Society of Women Engineers, and the American Marketing Association.

Close up face of school girl looking at camera while studying on computer.

Media and Publications

Notre Dame has a vibrant media and publications scene, with several student-run newspapers, magazines, and broadcasting stations. By getting involved in these organizations, students can develop their writing, editing, and multimedia production skills while informing and entertaining the campus community. Some notable media and publications groups include The Observer, the Scholastic Magazine, and the Notre Dame Television (NDtv).

Special Interest Clubs

With over 400 student clubs and organizations, Notre Dame offers something for everyone. Special interest clubs allow students to explore unique hobbies, passions, and topics in a supportive and inclusive environment. From the Notre Dame Cheese Club to the Super Smash Bros Club, there’s a niche for every interest. These clubs provide a welcoming space for students to share their passions, learn new skills, and connect with like-minded individuals.

Greek Life

While Notre Dame does not have a traditional Greek system, the university does offer a unique alternative known as service sororities and fraternities. These organizations focus on philanthropy, service, and building strong, supportive communities. By joining a service sorority or fraternity, students can develop leadership skills, form lifelong friendships, and give back to the community. Some of the service sororities and fraternities at Notre Dame include Alpha Phi Omega, Gamma Phi Omega, and Sigma Theta Tau.

Spiritual Life

As a Catholic university, Notre Dame offers numerous opportunities for students to engage in spiritual life, regardless of their religious background. Campus Ministry, one of the largest organizations at Notre Dame, supports students in their spiritual journey through retreats, worship services, and faith-sharing groups. Students can also join religiously-affiliated clubs such as the Iron Sharpens Iron Interdenominational Ministry, the Jewish Club, and the Hindu Student Association.

Why are Extracurriculars Important?

Why are extracurriculars important at Notre Dame? Extracurricular activities are an integral part of the Notre Dame experience, playing a significant role in shaping well-rounded individuals and promoting personal growth. By participating in these activities, students can explore their interests, develop essential life skills, and forge lasting connections within the university community.

First, extracurricular activities at Notre Dame allow students to pursue their passions outside the classroom, fostering intellectual curiosity and encouraging personal development. With a wide range of clubs and organizations available, students can delve into various interests, from academic disciplines and cultural associations to community service and recreational sports. Engaging in these activities not only enriches the college experience but also broadens students’ perspectives and helps them discover potential career paths or lifelong hobbies.

Second, extracurricular activities are important at Notre Dame because they provide students with opportunities to develop critical life skills such as teamwork, leadership, effective communication, and time management.

By taking on roles in clubs and organizations, students learn to collaborate with others, navigate challenges, and make decisions that impact their communities. These experiences equip students with the tools necessary to succeed in their future careers and become effective leaders in their chosen fields.

Furthermore, extracurricular activities at Notre Dame foster a sense of camaraderie and belonging among students. By participating in activities that resonate with their interests, students can build meaningful relationships with like-minded individuals, forging connections that last beyond their time at the university. These relationships not only contribute to a supportive campus environment but also create an extensive network of alumni and peers that students can rely on in their personal and professional lives.

In addition, Notre Dame places a strong emphasis on service and social responsibility, encouraging students to engage in community outreach and volunteer programs. By participating in extracurricular service activities, students can make a tangible impact on the world around them, embodying the university’s mission of fostering morally and ethically responsible leaders. These service experiences not only enrich students’ lives but also contribute to the greater good and help address pressing societal challenges.

Extracurricular activities are important at Notre Dame because they promote personal growth, develop essential life skills, foster a sense of community, and encourage students to make a positive impact on the world. By participating in these activities, Notre Dame students are better prepared to navigate the complexities of life beyond the university and make meaningful contributions to society.


The University of Notre Dame’s extracurricular landscape is rich and diverse, offering something for every student’s interests and passions. From club sports and performing arts to service organizations and special interest clubs, there’s a place for everyone to explore, grow, and connect with others. By getting involved in extracurricular activities, Notre Dame students can enhance their college experience, build lasting friendships, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Want to learn more about your chance of getting into the University of Notre Dame? You’ve come to the right place. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.


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