What Are Notre Dame’s GPA and SAT Requirements?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a group of college students looking happy

What Are Notre Dame’s GPA and SAT Requirements?

Understanding the University of Notre Dame’s GPA and SAT requirements is crucial for students aiming to get into this prestigious institution. The university’s high academic standards are reflected in these criteria, which are pivotal in assessing a student’s readiness for the challenges ahead.

Notre Dame GPA Requirements

Your high school GPA is a pivotal factor in your University of Notre Dame application. It provides a clear indication of your academic performance and capability over an extended period, reflecting your consistency and dedication to your studies.

A high GPA can significantly bolster your application, demonstrating your ability to meet and exceed academic challenges.

View of the University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame considers the following factors affecting your GPA:

  • High School Courses Taken: The types of courses you’ve completed in high school play a significant role. Notre Dame looks favorably upon applicants who have challenged themselves with advanced or honors courses.
  • Course Rigor: The level of difficulty of your courses is crucial. A rigorous curriculum, including AP or IB courses, can positively impact how your GPA is perceived.
  • Class Rank: Where you stand in comparison to your classmates can also influence how your GPA is evaluated. A high class rank often suggests a strong performance in a competitive environment.
  • Grade Trends: The progression of your grades throughout high school is also considered. An upward trend in grades can be a positive indicator of your growth and potential.
  • School Context: Notre Dame takes into account the context of your educational environment, understanding that GPAs can vary significantly across different schools.

Understanding these factors is essential as they contribute to how your GPA is assessed in the context of the University of Notre Dame GPA and SAT requirements. While a strong GPA is important, Notre Dame’s comprehensive review process means that these other elements are also crucial in painting a full picture of your academic readiness.

Portrait of smiling asian male student sitting at desk in classroom at university,

Does Notre Dame have a minimum GPA requirement?

The University of Notre Dame does not enforce a strict minimum GPA requirement for admission. This policy aligns with their holistic approach to admissions, allowing them to consider a wide range of factors beyond just academic metrics.

However, the absence of a minimum GPA does not diminish the importance of maintaining a strong academic record.

Notre Dame average GPA

Despite the lack of a minimum GPA requirement, it’s crucial to be aware of the GPA statistics of admitted students. The average GPA of students admitted to Notre Dame is around 4.0.

An average GPA of around 4.0 places Notre Dame among the most selective institutions nationally. This reflects not only the academic strength of the student body but also underscores the university’s commitment to academic excellence. It’s a clear indication that successful applicants usually have a track record of high academic achievement.

When considering Notre Dame’s GPA and SAT requirements, it’s important to view these statistics as benchmarks rather than absolutes. If your GPA is close to or exceeds this average, it’s a strong indication that you’re academically aligned with previous successful applicants.

However, if your GPA is lower, it’s crucial to focus on other aspects of your application, such as SAT scores, extracurricular activities, and personal essays, to demonstrate your unique strengths and potential to contribute to the Notre Dame community. Remember, a holistic admissions process means every part of your application has the potential to make an impact.

GPA tips for Notre Dame

Aiming for a GPA of 4.0 or higher is advisable when applying to the University of Notre Dame. Since the average admitted student’s GPA hovers around this mark, aspiring to this level or beyond can significantly strengthen your application.

Pursuing advanced subjects, like AP or IB courses, can not only challenge you academically but also push your GPA beyond 4.0, making you a more competitive candidate.

Here are more tips to meet and maintain Notre Dame’s GPA requirements:

  • Opt for a mix of advanced courses that align with your strengths and interests. Balancing rigor with your capabilities is key to maintaining a high GPA.
  • Strive for consistency in your grades throughout high school. A steady or upward trend in grades is viewed positively.
  • Don’t hesitate to seek extra help if you’re struggling with certain subjects. Tutors, study groups, or additional resources can make a big difference.
  • Develop strong time management skills to balance coursework, extracurricular activities, and personal commitments. This balance is crucial for maintaining a high GPA.
  • Active engagement in your classes can enhance your understanding and interest in the subjects, leading to better performance.
  • Adequate preparation for tests and exams is essential. Develop effective study habits and start reviewing material well in advance.
  • Regularly seek feedback from your teachers and work on areas of improvement. Constructive criticism can guide you towards academic excellence.

Can I get into Notre Dame with a low GPA?

It is possible to be a competitive applicant for the University of Notre Dame even with a GPA that falls below the average. The holistic admissions process at Notre Dame means that other aspects of your application can significantly influence the decision.

a female student thinking/studying

If your GPA isn’t as high as you’d like, you can still demonstrate your potential through other strengths and achievements. For instance, exceptional talent in extracurricular activities, leadership experiences, community service, or unique personal circumstances can all play a crucial role in your application.

When considering the University of Notre Dame GPA and SAT requirements, it’s essential to remember that they are just parts of the whole picture. The following components can also greatly impact your application:

  • Strong SAT/ACT Scores: High standardized test scores can sometimes offset a lower GPA, showing that you have the academic skills needed to succeed.
  • Compelling Essays: Your application essays are a chance to voice your story, perspectives, and aspirations. Well-crafted essays can leave a strong impression on the admissions committee.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Letters from teachers or counselors who can vouch for your abilities, character, and potential can be extremely influential.
  • Extracurricular Involvement: Active participation in extracurricular activities, especially in leadership roles, can showcase your diverse talents and commitment.
  • Personal Achievements: Any unique personal achievements or experiences that demonstrate resilience, creativity, or leadership can significantly strengthen your application.

Even if your GPA isn’t as high as the typical Notre Dame applicant, a well-rounded application showcasing your strengths in these other areas can make you a competitive candidate. Remember, Notre Dame seeks students who will contribute to their community in various ways, not just academically.

Notre Dame SAT Requirements

Your SAT score is a crucial component of your University of Notre Dame application. It serves as a standard metric for comparing academic capabilities across a wide range of applicants.

A strong SAT score can significantly enhance your application, especially if your GPA is not as high as the typical Notre Dame student.

In the context of the University of Notre Dame GPA and SAT requirements, your SAT score can balance your academic profile, showcasing your readiness for the rigorous academic environment at Notre Dame. It’s important to aim for a high score, as it can be a determining factor in the holistic admissions process, particularly in a competitive applicant pool.

Does Notre Dame have a minimum SAT requirement?

The University of Notre Dame does not set a minimum SAT requirement for admission. This approach aligns with their holistic evaluation process, allowing the admissions committee to consider a broader range of applicant qualities beyond standardized test scores.

However, understanding SAT score statistics is important to gauge the competition and the quality of students typically admitted to Notre Dame.

Notre Dame average SAT

These are the typical SAT scores of Notre Dame admits:

Average SAT Score 25th Percentile SAT Score 75th Percentile SAT Score
1475 1400 1550

These SAT scores place Notre Dame among the more selective universities both nationally and internationally. The average score reflects a high level of academic ability among the student body. The 25th and 75th percentile scores provide a window into the range of scores that Notre Dame considers acceptable.

Scoring at or above the average (1475) or 75th percentile (1550) indicates that you are well within the typical range for Notre Dame admits. It suggests a strong academic foundation and readiness for Notre Dame’s rigorous curriculum.

Group of students taking entrance exams

If your SAT score is around the 25th percentile (1400), it’s still possible to be considered for admission, but it’s crucial to strengthen other parts of your application. This might include showcasing exceptional talents, leadership experiences, community involvement, or a compelling personal story.

Regardless of where your score falls, it’s important to remember that the University of Notre Dame’s holistic admissions process considers more than just SAT scores. Every element of your application, from essays to extracurricular activities, contributes to the overall impression you make on the admissions committee.

SAT tips for Notre Dame

When preparing for the SAT as part of your application to Notre Dame, aim for a score of 1550 or higher overall, with at least 790 in SAT Math and 760 in SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing.

Achieving these scores can significantly enhance your application, positioning you well within the range of competitive applicants.

Here are some tips for your SAT preparation:

  • Familiarize yourself with the SAT format, including types of questions, sections, and time constraints. Knowing the test layout can greatly reduce anxiety and improve performance.
  • Take full-length, timed practice tests under exam conditions. This helps in building stamina and gives a realistic sense of your current scoring level and areas needing improvement.
  • Identify your weak points through practice tests and focus on improving these areas. Tailor your study plan to address specific weaknesses, whether in math, reading, or writing.
  • Utilize official SAT preparation materials from the College Board. These resources provide the most accurate representation of the actual test.
  • If self-study isn’t yielding the desired results, consider enrolling in an SAT prep course or hiring a tutor. Professional guidance can offer personalized strategies and insights.
  • Regularly reading a variety of texts and practicing essay writing can improve your performance in the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section.
  • Learn to manage your time effectively during the test. Practice answering questions under timed conditions to improve your speed and accuracy.
  • Ensure you have a strong grasp of the math concepts covered in the SAT. Practice solving problems efficiently and accurately.
  • Keep abreast of any changes or updates to the SAT format or content, as this can affect your preparation strategy.
  • Maintain a balanced study routine with adequate breaks, healthy eating, and enough sleep, especially as the test date approaches.

Notre Dame testing policy

The University of Notre Dame currently upholds a test-optional policy for standardized testing. This policy allows applicants the choice of whether to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of their application.

The decision to adopt a test-optional policy stems from a desire to provide a more equitable and holistic admissions process. Notre Dame recognizes that standardized test scores may not fully capture the potential or academic capabilities of all students, especially in light of educational disruptions and inequalities.

However, if you choose to submit SAT scores, understanding Notre Dame’s GPA and SAT requirements remains important. High scores can enhance your application, particularly if they complement a strong GPA and other compelling application components.

This flexibility in testing policy allows you to decide the best way to present your academic strengths and potential to the admissions committee.

A woman studying

Should I submit my SAT scores to Notre Dame?

Deciding whether to submit your SAT scores to the University of Notre Dame is an important consideration in the context of their test-optional policy.

While the university allows you the flexibility to choose, it’s noteworthy that 36% of successful applicants, those who were not only admitted but also chose to enroll, have submitted their SAT scores. This trend suggests that high SAT scores can still play a beneficial role in the admissions process.

When contemplating the University of Notre Dame GPA and SAT requirements, consider your SAT scores in relation to the average scores of admitted students. If your scores are near or above the average or 75th percentile (1550), they can positively bolster your application.

On the other hand, if your scores are lower, you might be better served by focusing on other strong aspects of your application, such as your GPA, essays, and extracurricular achievements.

Ultimately, the decision to submit SAT scores should be based on how well they reflect your academic abilities and potential. If they are a point of strength in your academic profile, including them could enhance your overall application to Notre Dame.

Does Notre Dame superscore the SAT?

The University of Notre Dame superscores the SAT. This means that if you take the SAT multiple times, Notre Dame will consider the highest score from each section across all your test dates.

Knowing that the university will take the highest scores from different test dates into account, you can focus on improving individual sections in subsequent tests without worrying about other sections’ scores decreasing. This approach can be particularly beneficial if you have strengths in specific areas or if you’ve identified sections where you can improve with additional preparation.

When considering Notre Dame’s GPA and SAT requirements, superscoring provides an opportunity to maximize your SAT results. It encourages multiple attempts, with the goal of achieving the highest possible score in each section, thereby enhancing your overall academic profile.

However, it’s important to balance SAT preparation with other aspects of your application, ensuring a well-rounded and compelling application to Notre Dame.

Can I get into Notre Dame with a low SAT score?

Gaining admission to the University of Notre Dame with a lower SAT score is possible, especially considering the university’s holistic review process.

While SAT scores are an important aspect of the application, they are not the sole determinants of success. The University of Notre Dame’s test-optional policy and approach to admissions mean that other elements of your application can significantly compensate for a lower SAT score:

  • Strong GPA: A robust GPA can demonstrate your consistent academic performance and intellectual capabilities, which is a crucial aspect of the University of Notre Dame GPA and SAT requirements.
  • Compelling Essays: Your essays offer a platform to showcase your personality, motivations, and potential contributions to the Notre Dame community, providing depth beyond quantitative measures.
  • Extracurricular Achievements: Active involvement in extracurricular activities, particularly those demonstrating leadership, commitment, or special talents, can make a strong impression.
  • Community Service and Engagement: Evidence of community involvement or service projects reflects positively on your character and aligns with Notre Dame’s values.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Strong recommendations from teachers or mentors who can vouch for your abilities, work ethic, and character can influence the admissions decision.
  • Unique Personal Experiences: Sharing unique personal experiences, challenges overcome, or distinctive perspectives can add a compelling layer to your application, showcasing your resilience and diversity of thought.

In essence, while a high SAT score can be advantageous, students with lower SAT scores still have ample opportunities to present themselves as well-rounded, capable applicants through other aspects of their application.

View of a female student working in front of her computer.

Can I get into Notre Dame if I didn’t take the SAT?

Gaining admission to the University of Notre Dame without an SAT score is entirely feasible, thanks to the university’s test-optional policy.

For those who haven’t taken the SAT, or who choose not to submit their scores, there are several ways to build a strong application that aligns with the University of Notre Dame GPA and SAT requirements.

In lieu of SAT scores, focusing on your high school GPA becomes even more critical. A strong GPA, particularly in a rigorous academic program, can be a significant indicator of your academic preparedness and intellectual curiosity.

Additionally, your application essays take on greater importance, providing a platform for you to articulate your passions, experiences, and how you align with Notre Dame’s values and goals.

Extracurricular activities, especially those demonstrating leadership, community engagement, or special talents, also play a pivotal role in showcasing your diverse skills and interests.

Letters of recommendation offer another opportunity to strengthen your application. Recommendations from teachers, counselors, or mentors who can speak to your academic and personal strengths can provide insight into your character and potential for success at Notre Dame.

Finally, any unique personal experiences, achievements, or challenges you’ve overcome can further highlight your resilience, creativity, and the unique perspective you would bring to the Notre Dame community.

Notre Dame Admission Process

The admission process at the University of Notre Dame is both holistic and comprehensive, designed to evaluate applicants from various perspectives. This approach goes beyond mere academic metrics, considering personal achievements, extracurricular involvement, leadership qualities, and community service.

Notre Dame seeks students who demonstrate potential to contribute meaningfully to the campus and beyond, focusing on the whole person rather than just academic statistics.

Despite the holistic nature of the admission process, GPA and SAT scores remain crucial components. These scores are often the first indicators of academic ability and preparedness, making them significant in the initial stages of evaluation.

Notre Dame’s GPA and SAT requirements, therefore, should not be overlooked by any prospective student. High scores in these areas strengthen an application, providing a solid foundation for the rest of the holistic review process. However, it’s important to remember that while essential, GPA and SAT scores are just part of what makes a successful Notre Dame application.

Notre Dame acceptance rate

Gaining admission to Notre Dame is highly competitive, with an acceptance rate of just 11.9%. This statistic underscores the importance of not only meeting but exceeding the standard admission requirements, including GPA and SAT scores.

To navigate the competitive landscape, understanding the University of Notre Dame GPA and SAT requirements is essential. These metrics are key indicators of academic preparedness and play a significant role in the admission process.

Given the low acceptance rate, it’s crucial for applicants to distinguish themselves beyond the basic GPA and SAT requirements. This involves showcasing unique talents, experiences, and personal attributes that align with Notre Dame’s values and academic ethos.


The University of Notre Dame’s GPA and SAT requirements play a significant role in the admissions process. A strong GPA and high SAT scores are key indicators of academic readiness and intellectual capability. Excelling in these areas can significantly bolster your application, making you a competitive candidate for Notre Dame.

However, it’s equally important to remember that Notre Dame adopts a holistic approach to admissions. This means that while GPA and SAT scores are important, they are part of a larger picture. The university values diverse talents, experiences, and perspectives.

Demonstrating your unique qualities through extracurricular activities, leadership roles, community service, compelling essays, and strong letters of recommendation is crucial. These components of your application allow you to showcase your character, potential contributions to the Notre Dame community, and overall fit for the university.

In summary, while striving to meet and exceed Notre Dame’s GPA and SAT requirements, also focus on presenting a well-rounded and authentic representation of who you are. Balancing academic excellence with a strong personal profile is key to creating a compelling application for the University of Notre Dame.



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