Student Life

Notre Dame is one of a handful of truly international universities, with a student body drawn from all 50 states and more than 1,300 international students from 100 countries. About 75 percent of the undergraduates and 15 percent of advanced students live on campus, and more than 80 percent are active in service learning and community volunteer activities. There are no social fraternities or sororities at Notre Dame—the residence halls are the focus of social, religious, and intramural athletic activities.

Student Activities

Social, cultural, intellectual, recreational, and governance programs are coordinated and sponsored by more than 500 recognized student clubs and organizations. All undergraduate student organizations fall under the umbrella of the Student Union Board. A few highlighted undergraduate groups are the Hall Presidents’ Council, Class Councils, Student Union Board, Club Coordination Council, and Student Government. The major graduate organizations are Graduate Student Union, Student Bar Association, Master’s of Science in Accountancy Association, and the MBA Association.


In laboratories, studios, theaters, libraries, and institutes on campus and around the world, Notre Dame students are engaged in a wide array of research, scholarly, and creative projects. They are selected to the leading academic honor societies and have received such prestigious awards as Rhodes, Fulbright, Marshall, and Truman Scholarships and fellowships from the Goldwater, Mellon, and National Science Foundations.

2016 Student Facts

First-Year Class Profile (Class of 2021)

  • 81% Catholic
  • 32% U.S. students of color or international citizens
  • 24% children of ND alumni
  • 7% first generation

Degrees Awarded (Summer/Fall 2016, Spring 2017)

  • 2,146 Baccalaureate
  • 239 Doctoral/Research
  • 1,062 Master’s
  • 206 Doctoral/Professional

National Test Scores

  • SAT 1390-1530 (middle 50%)
  • ACT 32-34 (middle 50%)

Geographic Distribution

  • 35% Midwest
  • 24% East Coast
  • 19% West/Southwest
  • 15% South/Southeast
  • 7% International/U.S. abroad

Enrollment (Fall 2016)

  • 8,530 Undergraduate
  • 2,143 Graduate School
  • 1,720 Professional (Law, M.Div., Business, M.Ed.)
  • 12,393 Total

Other Stats

  • 98% - Notre Dame’s 98 percent retention rate between the freshman and sophomore years is among the highest in the country, thanks in large part to the University’s unique First Year of Studies Program.
  • Oldest College Marching Band - The Notre Dame Marching Band was founded in 1843 and is the oldest college marching band still in existence.
  • 2nd Most Academic All-americans - Fighting Irish athletics programs have produced the second most Academic All-Americans among Division I-A colleges and universities.
  • Oldest College Publication - Scholastic, the University’s student magazine, is the oldest college publication in the country.
  • 95% - Notre Dame’s graduation rate of 95 percent annually ranks in the top 5 among research universities.

Notre Dame has one of the highest undergraduate residential concentrations of any national university, with 75 percent of its students living in 30 residence halls. About 40 Holy Cross religious and some 15 men and women of other religious communities continue to live and provide a pastoral presence in the halls.

International Students and Scholars

More than 1,300 international students from over 90 countries attend Notre Dame. Additionally, Notre Dame hosts more than 350 international scholars each year in various academic departments.

Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Programs (ROTC)

Four branches of the military (Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force) are represented on campus.

Notre Dame band

The Notre Dame Marching Band was founded in 1843 and is the oldest college marching band still in existence.