Is Notre Dame An Ivy League School? What You Should Know About Notre Dame

Notre Dame has been recognized as one of the top universities in the United States. The university is organized into seven schools and colleges.

Notre Dame’s graduate program has more than 50 master, doctoral and professional degrees offered by the six schools, including the Notre Dame Law School and an MD–PhD program offered in combination with the Indiana University School of Medicine.

This school has its fair share of reputation.

You are probably wondering if University of Notre Dame can be identified as one of the Ivy league schools.

In this article, I would be giving you facts about University of Notre Dame, then tell you if it is an Ivy League school and why. Keep reading.

Check Out: What Are Public Ivy League Schools? Overview and Features

What is Notre Dame?

According to Wikipedia, The University of Notre Dame, known simply as Notre Dame or ND, is a private Catholic research university in Notre Dame, Indiana, outside the city of South Bend.

The University of Notre Dame was founded in 1842 by Edward Sorin. The University of Notre Dame has its main campus covering 1,261 acres (510 ha) in a suburban setting; it contains several recognizable landmarks, such as the Golden Dome, the Word of Life mural, Notre Dame Stadium, and the Basilica.

The University of Notre Dame offers over 50 year-long study programs abroad and over 15 summer programs. It maintains a system of libraries, cultural venues, artistic and scientific museums, including the Hesburgh Library and the Snite Museum of Art.

The university’s approximately 134,000 alumni constitute one of the strongest college alumni networks in the U.S.

Notre Dame’s profile grew in the early 20th century, aided by the success of its football team under coach Knute Rockne. Major improvements to the university occurred during the administration of Theodore Hesburgh whose administration greatly increased the university’s resources, academic programs, and reputation.

The university first enrolled women undergraduates in 1972. The University of Notre Dame’s growth has continued in the 21st century; its $13.8 billion endowment is one of the largest of any U.S. university.

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Notre Dame Rankings.

Notre dame has rankings from various sources and researchers. All these have been put together as-

  • The University of Notre Dame ranks #19 in National Universities
  • The University of Notre Dame ranks #11 in Best Undergraduate Teaching
  • Classes with fewer than 20 students in The University of Notre Dame ranks 58.8%
  • The University of Notre Dame ranks #335 in Top Performers on Social Mobility
  • The University of Notre Dame ranks #36 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs
  • Classes with 50 or more students in The University of Notre Dame is 11%
  • The University of Notre Dame ranks #127 in schools whose highest degree is a doctorate in Chemical
  • The University of Notre Dame ranks #7 in Accounting
  • University of Notre Dame score (out of 100) is 85
  • The University of Notre Dame’s average 6-year graduation rate (17.6%)- 96%
  • University of Notre Dame’s 6-year graduation rate of students who received a Pell Grant (2.5%)- 94%

The University of Notre Dame Alumni

According to Wikipedia, the school has over 130,000 alumni and 275 alumni clubs worldwide.

Many give yearly monetary support to the university, and Notre Dame is ranked among the schools with the highest alumni donation rates. A school record of 53.2 percent of alumni donating was set in 2006.

The University of Notre Dame has alumni working in politics amongst other places. There has been recorded state governors, members of the United States Congress, and former United States secretary of state Condoleezza Rice.

Notable alumni from the College of Science are Eric F. Wieschaus, winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in medicine, and Philip Majerus, discoverer of the cardioprotective effects of aspirin. Many university officials are alumni, including the current president, John Jenkins. 

Alumni in media include talk show hosts Regis Philbin and Phil Donahue and television and radio personalities such as Mike Golic and Hannah Storm.

The University of Notre Dame also has its variety of sports alumni, such as Joe Theismann, Joe Montana, Tim Brown, Ross Browner, Rocket Ismail, Ruth Riley, Jeff Samardzija, Jerome Bettis, Justin Tuck, Craig Counsell, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Brett Lebda, Olympic gold medalist Mariel Zagunis, professional boxer Mike Lee, former football coaches such as Charlie Weis, Frank Leahy and Knute Rockne, and Basketball Hall of Famers Austin Carr and Adrian Dantley.

Other notable alumni include prominent businessman Edward J. DeBartolo Jr. and astronaut Jim Wetherbee.

Two alumni have received the Presidential Medal of Freedom (Alan Page and Edward J. DeBartolo Jr.) and the Congressional Gold Medal (Thomas Anthony Dooley III and Bill Hanzlik).

The University of Notre Dame Acceptance Rate

The University of Notre Dame admissions is the most selective, with an acceptance rate of 19% and an early acceptance rate of 24.2%.

The SAT score for admission to the university is between 1400 and 1550 or an ACT score of 32 and 35. The University of Notre Dame usually has its application deadline slated for Jan. 1, and the University of Notre Dame application fee is $75.

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Student life

In The University of Notre Dame, most of its 8,000 undergraduates live on campus in one of 33 residence halls, each with its traditions, legacies, events, and intramural sports teams.

The university has a total undergraduate enrollment of 8,874 (fall 2020), with a gender distribution of 52% male and 48% female students.

At this school, 73% of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing, and 27% live off-campus.

University of Notre Dame offers several student services, including nonremedial tutoring, a women’s center, placement service, health service, health insurance.

The University of Notre Dame also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late-night transport and escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways and sidewalks, student patrols, and controlled dormitory access.

Of the University of Notre Dame students, 8% have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at the University of Notre Dame. The University of Notre Dame also offers health insurance.

See Also: How To Get Into An Ivy League School | Step-By-Step Guide

University of Notre Dame Programs

The popular programs offered in Notre Dame are-

Undergraduate Programs

An undergraduate program is a program that allows you to pursue a degree at the first level of higher education at a college or university. Undergraduate students are typically those working to earn a bachelor’s degree.

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Graduate Programs

A graduate program is a program that awards advanced academic degrees like master’s and doctoral degrees, with the general requirement that students must have earned a previous undergraduate (bachelor’s) degree.

Preparatory Programs

A preparatory year is a program designed to prepare you for your first year of higher education. Preparatory year programs often comprise language courses for those who are not native speakers of the language of study.

College preparatory programs, often high school completion or diploma programs, can provide a means to higher education, more money, and more significant job potential.

Part-time Programs

A part-time program means studying equivalent half the rate of a student on a full-time course at any Canadian University. This entails studying 60 credits worth of study a year. You will need around 16- 18 hours to study each week.

Full-time programs

A full-time program is generally a minimum of twelve credits or about four classes. They are usually between six and eleven credits or two to three classes. A full-time student spends more time in class than a part-time student.

Online programs

An online degree is an academic degree (usually a college degree, but sometimes the term includes high school diplomas and non-degree certificate programs) that can be earned primarily or entirely through an Internet-connected computer rather than attending college in a traditional campus setting.

What is an Ivy Ieague School?

Ivy League schools are considered the most prestigious of all colleges in the United States. These schools are primarily located in the Northeastern part of the country.

Eight total colleges are considered to be Ivy League. These schools are- Brown, Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale, Columbia University, and the University of Pennsylvania. Of all institutions of higher learning, these elite schools are considered the most outstanding and sought-after in terms of acceptance and graduation.

Ivy League universities in the U.S. began as a group association of eight highly competitive athletic colleges. As their athletic teams began to attract more funding and gained popularity, the standards for student performance and admission became increasingly more demanding and rigorous. 

The first known instance of the term Ivy League appeared in The Christian Science Monitor on February 7, 1935. Several sportswriters and other journalists used the term shortly later to refer to the older colleges, those along the northeastern seaboard of the United States, chiefly the nine institutions with origins dating from the colonial era, together with the United States Military Academy (West Point), the United States Naval Academy, and a few others.

These schools were known for their long-standing traditions in intercollegiate athletics, often being the first to participate in such activities. At this time, however, none of these institutions attempted to form an athletic league. The Ivies have been competing in sports as long as intercollegiate sports have existed in the United States.

As a result, since the 1960s, these Ivy League schools and colleges have gained a widespread reputation for producing graduates with high academic performances, social prestige, and promising career futures.

Even today, these universities maintain their reputation and have a large presence among the top-ranked universities in the U.S. These colleges offer the best law and medical programs across the U.S.. They have a very strict selection process. Entering any of these schools is an accomplishment and will require an outstanding work ethic.

Is Notre Dame an ivy league school

The University of Notre Dame, having high acceptance and graduation rates, high rankings and a lot of prestigious alumni is still NOT an Ivy League school. The Ivy League schools are a consortium of eight private universities based in the northeast region of the US. 

No matter how prestigious or competitive a school is, if it’s not one of the eight schools listed above, it is not an Ivy League school and can no longer add to the list. As such, even though Notre Dame is ranked really high, it can no longer be grouped among the Ivy League schools.

Why is Notre Dame not an Ivy League School

There are quite several reasons why Notre Dame is not an ivy league school. The few that quickly come to mind are-

  • The Ivy League didn’t start out as a group of the most academically prestigious and elite universities. Rather, it began as an athletic conference. Only in recent decades has it become the pinnacle of academic excellence and admissions selectivity. When this was done, MIT was nowhere close in terms of athletics. Today, even though Notre Dame now has a prestigious student-athlete accolade, it can no longer be ranked amongst the Ivy League schools.
  • The Ivy League schools are a consortium of eight private universities based in the northeast region of the US. No matter how prestigious or competitive a school is, if it’s not one of the eight schools listed above, it is not an Ivy League school and can no longer be added. As such, even though Notre Dame is ranked high, it can no longer be grouped amongst the Ivy League schools.
  • The Ivy League schools 7 of them pre-dated the independence of the US; Cornell was admitted later (1865). Notre Dame was founded in 1842, but at the time, it didn’t have standards anywhere close to the elite ivy league schools 
  • The Ivy League schools were elite schools. Notre Dame was not an elite school or even anywhere close to being one. 
  • The Ivy League schools have some good Math and Physics departments but not the breadth and scope of hard-core research, engineering, and science at Notre Dame. The ivies are at least in part liberal arts schools. Notre Dame is not.
  • Notre Dame is a newer university from a different age, created for different reasons. That is why it is not an Ivy.
  • The ivy league schools have very low acceptance rates, and Notre Dame’s acceptance rates are higher than that of the ivy League. Also, the ivy leagues are for the selected few who meet the requirements and show good character and learning.
  • The ivy league schools are very expensive. Notre Dame on the other hand, does not cost as much as it would cost to attend an ivy league school. They can even be considered inexpensive compared to these ivy league schools.
  • These ivy league schools are primarily located in the Northeastern part of the United States. Notre Dame is located in Indiana, U.S. The different locations throw more gap between the ivy league schools and Notre dame.


Can Notre Dame still join the Ivy League schools?

No. Even though Notre Dame is prestigious, they cannot add it to the Ivy League Schools as it does not even have the very key features of those ivy league schools.

Can we compare Notre Dame to the Ivy League Schools?

No. Even though it is prestigious, has academic excellence, and has all the features of an Ivy League school, it cannot generally be compared because it is not elite and has a higher acceptance rate than the ivy league schools.

Does Notre Dame not being an Ivy League school affect its standards?

No. Even without being an Ivy League, Notre Dame still performs excellently, putting its efforts at producing world-class graduates.

Can we regard Notre Dame as the 9th Ivy League school?

No. There are only 8 Ivy League schools, and Notre Dame is not one of them.

What feature of an Ivy League school does Notre Dame not have?

Ivy league schools are known for their stringent acceptance rates, high graduation rates, high tuition, prestige, and reputation. Notre Dame has these, but not like these ivy league schools do.


Attending an ivy league school is the dream of most students. Most people think that the only benefit of ivy league schools is their reputation, outside of which they are overrated.

However, you should make the best out of any university you find yourself. If you perform excellently, it should pave a bright way for you.

Notre Dame not being ivy league should not stop you from reaching your dreams.


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