The Notre Dame Common Data Set

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of the main building of the University of Notre Dame

The Notre Dame Common Data Set

The Notre Dame Common Data Set (CDS) is a comprehensive set of information that provides a detailed snapshot of the university’s academic programs, policies, enrollment statistics, and more. This information is collected annually and shared with educational organizations, university rankings, and other interested parties. Understanding the Common Data Set is crucial for anyone who wants to learn more about Notre Dame’s programs and its student body.

Understanding the Common Data Set

Before diving into the specifics of the Notre Dame CDS, it is important first to understand exactly what the Common Data Set is and why it is used.

The Common Data Set (CDS) is a standardized format for collecting important information about universities and colleges. It was created as a collaborative effort between publishers of college guides and higher education data providers, such as Peterson’s and U.S. News & World Report. The CDS covers a wide range of topics, including institutional characteristics, enrollment, admissions, financial aid, student life, and more.

University of Notre Dame signage

The purpose of the CDS is to provide consistent data, allowing for easy comparisons between different institutions. This is especially important for prospective students and their families, who use the data to make informed decisions about where to apply and ultimately attend college.

Importance for Higher Education Institutions

The Common Data Set is of significant importance to higher education institutions, as it helps them to publicly showcase their academic programs and services to potential students, faculty, and staff. By providing comprehensive and accurate data, universities can demonstrate their strengths and unique offerings, and attract the best and brightest students and faculty.

Additionally, data compiled within the CDS allows for more informed decisions on policy and strategic planning, ensuring that universities offer the best academic experience for their students. By analyzing trends and patterns in the data, institutions can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to enhance the student experience.

How the Common Data Set is Compiled

The Common Data Set is compiled through a joint effort between university officials and external organizations such as U.S. News and World Report. Survey data is collected annually and is used to compare institutions to others of similar size and demographics within the region and across the United States.

Universities are responsible for providing accurate and up-to-date data to the CDS, which is then verified by external organizations. This ensures that the data is reliable and consistent across all institutions.

In conclusion, the Common Data Set is an essential tool for both higher education institutions and prospective students. It provides a standardized format for collecting and comparing important information about universities and colleges, and allows institutions to showcase their strengths and make informed decisions about policy and strategic planning. By providing accurate and comprehensive data, the CDS helps to ensure that universities offer the best academic experience for their students.

Key Components of the Notre Dame Common Data Set

Now that we understand what the Common Data Set is and how it is compiled, let’s dive into Notre Dame’s CDS and its essential components.

Teenage schoolboy sitting at classroom and doing exam with his classmates.

General Information

The first section of the Notre Dame CDS contains general information about the university, such as the institution’s name, address, and contact information. Notre Dame is a private Catholic research university located in Notre Dame, Indiana. Founded in 1842, Notre Dame has a rich history and tradition of academic excellence. The university’s campus spans over 1,250 acres and includes numerous academic buildings, residence halls, and recreational facilities.

Enrollment and Persistence

This section provides information regarding the university’s undergraduate and graduate enrollment levels, such as headcounts by class year and demographic data. Notre Dame has a total undergraduate enrollment of approximately 8,600 students and a graduate enrollment of approximately 3,500 students. The student body is diverse, with students representing all 50 states and over 100 countries. Additionally, this section provides data about student persistence rates, including both retention and graduation rates. Notre Dame has a 98% first-year retention rate, and the four-year graduation rate is 90%.

First-Year Admission

The first-year admission section of the CDS covers information about the undergraduate application process, including deadlines, standardized test score data, high school rankings, and other admissions criteria. Notre Dame is a highly selective university, with an acceptance rate of 15%. The average SAT score for admitted students is 1490, and the average ACT score is 34. Admissions decisions are based on a holistic review of each applicant’s academic achievement, extracurricular involvement, and personal qualities.

Transfer Admission

The Notre Dame CDS provides information about the transfer admissions process, including transfer credit policies, deadlines, and application requirements. Notre Dame accepts a small number of transfer students each year, and admission is highly competitive. Transfer applicants must have completed at least one year of college coursework and have a minimum GPA of 3.5. Admissions decisions are based on a review of the applicant’s academic record, extracurricular involvement, and personal qualities.

Academic Offerings and Policies

This section covers information about Notre Dame’s academic offerings, including programs, degrees conferred, and faculty-to-student ratios. Notre Dame offers over 75 undergraduate majors and more than 50 graduate programs. The university has a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1, and 98% of classes have fewer than 50 students. Additionally, academic policies such as credit hour limits and study abroad opportunities are also covered in this section of the CDS. Notre Dame has a robust study abroad program, with over 50% of students participating in study abroad programs during their time at the university.

Student Life

The student life section of the CDS provides insights into Notre Dame’s student body’s composition, including information about student organizations, varsity athletics, and campus living arrangements. Notre Dame has over 400 student organizations, including academic clubs, service organizations, and recreational clubs. The university is also known for its varsity athletics program, with 26 varsity sports teams competing at the NCAA Division I level. Campus living arrangements include traditional residence halls, apartment-style housing, and themed communities.

Annual Expenses

This section covers tuition and fees, room and board costs, and other expenses associated with attending Notre Dame. For the 2021-2022 academic year, tuition and fees for undergraduate students total $57,699. Room and board costs vary depending on the type of housing and meal plan selected by the student.

Financial Aid

Financial aid information provided in the CDS includes information on need-based and merit scholarships, as well as student loan data. Notre Dame is committed to making a Notre Dame education affordable for all students, regardless of their financial circumstances. Approximately 60% of Notre Dame students receive some form of financial aid, and the university meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for admitted students.

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Instructional Faculty and Class Size

This section provides information about faculty composition, such as the number of full-time and part-time instructors. Notre Dame has over 1,200 instructional faculty members, with 88% holding terminal degrees in their field. Additionally, data about class size, including student-to-faculty ratios, is also included in this section. Notre Dame’s small class sizes allow for personalized attention and meaningful interactions between students and faculty.

Degrees Conferred

Finally, this section covers information about the types and numbers of degrees awarded at Notre Dame, including undergraduate and graduate programs. In the 2020-2021 academic year, Notre Dame conferred 2,090 undergraduate degrees and 1,203 graduate degrees across a wide range of disciplines.


The Notre Dame Common Data Set provides a wealth of information about the university and its academic programs, policies, and services. Utilizing this information can help prospective students and their parents evaluate Notre Dame and compare it to other universities. Additionally, institutional officials also use the CDS to inform their policy and strategic planning. The Notre Dame CDS is a valuable resource for anyone interested in learning more about the university’s academic offerings and student life.

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