Case Western vs Notre Dame: Which School is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

woman in white shirt typing her laptop

Case Western vs Notre Dame: Which School is Right for You?

When it comes to choosing which university to attend, the decision can be overwhelming. You have to consider numerous factors such as tuition, location, campus environment, academic programs, faculty and student ratio, extracurricular activities, and many more. In this article, we will compare two well-known universities – Case Western vs Notre Dame – to help you decide which school is right for you.

Location and Campus Environment: Case Western vs Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame is located in Notre Dame, Indiana, a small town with a population of approximately 5,800 people. The campus spans over 1,250 acres of land in a suburban setting that is known for its iconic Golden Dome and Touchdown Jesus. Case Western Reserve University, on the other hand, is located in Cleveland, Ohio, a bustling city that is home to over 385,000 people. The campus spans over 267 acres and is situated in a semi-urban setting.

While each university offers a different environment, discerning which is right for you is a matter of personal preference. If you prefer the small-town charm of Notre Dame, its serene environment, and its sense of community, then you may find yourself right at home. However, if you’re drawn to the fast-paced and dynamic lifestyle of the city, then the lively campus of Case Western Reserve University may be more suitable for you.

Another factor to consider when comparing the location and campus environment of these two universities is the weather. Notre Dame experiences all four seasons, with cold winters and hot summers. In contrast, Case Western Reserve University has a more moderate climate, with milder winters and cooler summers. This may be an important consideration for students who are sensitive to extreme temperatures or who have a preference for a particular type of weather.

Additionally, both universities offer a variety of outdoor recreational activities for students to enjoy. Notre Dame has a beautiful campus with plenty of green spaces, walking trails, and athletic fields. Case Western Reserve University has a large park nearby, as well as access to Lake Erie for water sports and activities. Students who enjoy spending time outdoors will find plenty of opportunities to do so at either university.

Academic Programs: Case Western vs Notre Dame

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a university is the academic programs it offers. Both universities have credible academic programs in different fields, from arts and humanities to science and engineering, law, business, and medicine. At Notre Dame, you can choose from 75 undergraduate degree programs, while at Case Western Reserve, you can choose from over 95 undergraduate degree programs.

View of students taking an exam.

If you are interested in business or accounting, for example, Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business offers top-rated undergraduate programs in both business analytics and management. On the other hand, Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management offers a flexible undergraduate curriculum that allows students to tailor their studies to meet their career goals.

Additionally, both universities offer unique and specialized programs that cater to specific interests. For instance, Notre Dame has a renowned program in theology and religious studies, while Case Western Reserve has a strong focus on research and innovation, with programs such as biomedical engineering and materials science. It is important to research and consider these specialized programs when making a decision about which university is the best fit for your academic interests and career goals.

Admissions Criteria: Case Western vs Notre Dame

Getting into either Notre Dame or Case Western Reserve University is highly competitive. Both universities require a high school diploma or its equivalent and a minimum GPA of 3.0. Notre Dame’s average SAT and ACT score ranges are 1410 – 1550 and 32 – 35, respectively, while Case Western Reserve’s average SAT and ACT score ranges are 1410 – 1530 and 32 – 35, respectively.

Aside from test scores and GPA, other factors such as extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, and essays also play a crucial role in the admission process. To boost your chances of getting into either university, it is essential to maintain a strong academic record and get involved in extracurricular activities that align with your interests and passions.

It is important to note that both universities also consider demonstrated interest in their institution. This can include attending information sessions, visiting campus, and reaching out to admissions counselors with questions. Demonstrating a genuine interest in the university can set you apart from other applicants and show that you are committed to attending if accepted.

Student Life: Case Western vs Notre Dame

Both universities offer an exceptional student life experience. At Notre Dame, students have access to over 400 clubs and organizations to join, including academic clubs, service organizations, and recreational activities. Case Western Reserve University also offers over 200 student organizations ranging from academic organizations to performing arts and student government.

Additionally, both universities have various Greek life organizations and sports clubs. At Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish have a broad range of Division I sports teams, including football, basketball, ice hockey, and volleyball. Case Western Reserve’s varsity sports teams, known as the Spartans, also compete at the Division III level, and its students have access to state-of-the-art athletic facilities.

Happy students walking together.

Furthermore, both universities offer a wide range of academic resources to their students. Notre Dame has a Writing Center, a Math Learning Center, and a Multicultural Student Programs and Services office, among others. Case Western Reserve has a Center for Civic Engagement and Learning, a Career Center, and a Disability Resources office, among others. These resources provide students with the support they need to succeed academically and personally.

Moreover, both universities have a strong commitment to community service and social justice. Notre Dame has a Center for Social Concerns, which offers service opportunities and promotes social justice education. Case Western Reserve has a Social Justice Institute, which provides students with opportunities to engage in social justice work and advocacy. These initiatives reflect the universities’ values and encourage students to become active and engaged citizens.

Athletics and Extracurricular Activities: Case Western vs Notre Dame

Notre Dame has a long-standing reputation for athletic success and is home to some of the most iconic sporting events in the United States. It boasts a legendary football program and has won 11 national championships in the sport. Other sports, including basketball and hockey, also have a strong following at Notre Dame.

Meanwhile, at Case Western Reserve University, athletics play a pivotal role in student life, and students have access to first-rate athletic facilities. They can take part in more than 20 varsity teams and numerous club sports, including rugby, soccer, and ice hockey.

However, extracurricular activities at Notre Dame extend beyond athletics. The university offers over 400 student organizations, including academic clubs, service organizations, and cultural groups. Students can participate in activities such as the Notre Dame Marching Band, the student-run newspaper, and the debate team.

Similarly, Case Western Reserve University offers a wide range of extracurricular activities beyond athletics. Students can join over 200 student organizations, including a robotics club, a film society, and a community service organization. The university also has a strong emphasis on research, and students can participate in research projects in various fields.

Tuition and Financial Aid: Case Western vs Notre Dame

Both universities have high tuition fees, and the cost can be a deterrent to some students. For the academic year, tuition and fees at Notre Dame total $60,301, while Case Western Reserve’s tuition and fees amount to approximately $62,234 per year. However, both universities offer various need-based and merit-based financial aid programs, including scholarships and grants.

It is essential to fill out the FAFSA to complete the financial aid application process, and you should explore different financing options and scholarships to determine what works best for you. Despite the high cost of attendance, both universities have a solid reputation for producing successful graduates who are well-prepared for the job market.

Additionally, both universities have dedicated financial aid offices that can assist students in navigating the financial aid process and finding the best options for their individual needs. These offices can guide you in filling out the FAFSA, understanding loan options, and finding external scholarships and grants. It is important to reach out to these offices early in the application process to ensure that you have all the necessary information and resources to make an informed decision about attending either university.

Alumni Network: Case Western vs Notre Dame

After graduation, most students are concerned with job prospects and career opportunities. Both Notre Dame and Case Western Reserve University have strong alumni networks that are committed to helping graduates achieve success in their respective fields.

Notre Dame has an alumni base of over 139,000 grads, many of whom are prominent figures in various industries. The university’s Career Center provides students with resources to help them secure internships and job opportunities. Similarly, Case Western Reserve University’s Career Center offers students a wide variety of resources, including internship and job searches, interview preparation, and career counseling.

However, when it comes to alumni networking events, Notre Dame has a clear advantage. The university hosts numerous events throughout the year, including regional networking events, industry-specific events, and even virtual networking opportunities. These events provide students and alumni with the chance to connect, share experiences, and build professional relationships that can lead to career advancement.

Faculty and Student Ratio: Case Western vs Notre Dame

The faculty and student ratio is another crucial factor to consider when choosing a university. At Notre Dame, the faculty-student ratio is 9:1, meaning students have access to personalized attention from their instructors. Similarly, at Case Western Reserve University, the faculty-student ratio is 9:1 as well.

However, it’s important to note that the faculty-student ratio is not the only factor that determines the quality of education. At Case Western Reserve University, the faculty members are highly qualified and experienced in their respective fields. They are dedicated to providing students with a challenging and rewarding academic experience.

Moreover, Case Western Reserve University offers a wide range of research opportunities for students. The university has state-of-the-art research facilities and laboratories, where students can work alongside faculty members on cutting-edge research projects. This hands-on experience can be invaluable for students who are interested in pursuing careers in research or academia.

Research Opportunities: Case Western vs Notre Dame

Research opportunities are essential to many students, particularly those interested in graduate studies. Both universities have significant research capabilities, with faculty members conducting groundbreaking research across many fields. Notre Dame has a significant reputation in fields like biology, chemistry, and physics, while Case Western Reserve University boasts strength in engineering, medicine, and math.

At both universities, students have access to cutting-edge research facilities, labs, and centers, which provide them with hands-on experience in their respective fields.

Working on a laboratory.

Notre Dame has a unique research facility called the Notre Dame Radiation Laboratory, which is one of the largest university-based nuclear science facilities in the country. This facility provides students with the opportunity to conduct research in nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and radiation effects on materials.

On the other hand, Case Western Reserve University has a state-of-the-art medical simulation center, which allows students to practice medical procedures and surgeries in a safe and controlled environment. This center is equipped with the latest technology, including high-fidelity mannequins and virtual reality simulators, to provide students with a realistic experience.

Diversity on Campus: Case Western vs Notre Dame

Increasing diversity on campus is a continual and critical goal for universities across the United States. Notre Dame has a diverse student body; however, its undergraduate students are 73% white. Contrastingly, Case Western Reserve University’s undergraduate population is 58% white, with more than 50 countries represented in the student body. Also, both universities offer resources and programs aimed at promoting inclusivity and diversity on campus.

It is important to note that diversity on campus goes beyond just racial and ethnic diversity. Both universities also have a diverse range of academic programs and extracurricular activities, providing students with opportunities to explore their interests and engage with people from different backgrounds. Additionally, both universities have active student organizations dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion, such as multicultural clubs and LGBTQ+ groups. These organizations not only provide a sense of community for students but also serve as a platform for advocacy and education on important social issues.

Housing Options: Case Western vs Notre Dame

Both universities offer various housing options for students, ranging from residence halls to apartments. Notre Dame guarantees housing for all four years of undergraduate studies, while Case Western Reserve University offers on-campus housing for all four years as well. However, students may also choose to live off-campus in the surrounding communities. Whether you prefer living on-campus or in off-campus apartments, both universities provide safe and comfortable living environments that meet the needs of their students.

At Notre Dame, students have the option to live in themed housing communities, such as the International House or the Gender Relations Center. These communities provide a unique living experience that allows students to connect with others who share similar interests and values. Additionally, Notre Dame offers a variety of dining options on campus, including vegetarian and vegan options, as well as late-night dining options for students who need to study late into the night.

A woman holding her things while walking in the dorm.

At Case Western Reserve University, students have the opportunity to participate in the Residential College Program, which allows students to live and learn with a group of peers who share similar academic interests. The university also offers a variety of dining options on campus, including a kosher kitchen and a gluten-free station. For students who choose to live off-campus, the university provides resources to help them find safe and affordable housing options in the surrounding communities.

Campus Tour Experience: Case Western vs Notre Dame

Finally, when considering which university to attend, it is essential to schedule a campus tour to experience what each school has to offer. Both universities offer guided campus tours that allow prospective students to learn more about academic offerings, student life, housing options, and more.

During your visit, you will get an opportunity to speak with current students and faculty members, attend classes, and explore the surrounding areas. Additionally, many universities offer virtual tours that you can attend from the comfort of your own home if visiting in person is not possible.

One of the benefits of attending a campus tour is that you get to see the facilities and resources that are available to students. For example, at Case Western, you can visit the state-of-the-art engineering and science buildings, while at Notre Dame, you can explore the impressive library and research centers.

Another advantage of attending a campus tour is that you can get a sense of the campus culture and community. You can observe how students interact with each other, participate in extracurricular activities, and engage in campus events. This can help you determine if the university is a good fit for your personality and interests.


Deciding between Notre Dame and Case Western Reserve University can be overwhelming. However, by considering factors such as location, academic programs, campus life, financial aid, campus safety, and more, you can decide which university is right for you.

Ultimately, choosing a university is a personal decision that depends on individual preferences. By researching and comparing different factors, you will find the right fit that meets your academic and personal needs. We hope that this article has provided a comprehensive comparison of Notre Dame and Case Western Reserve University and helps you make an informed decision on which university to attend.

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