Frequently Asked Questions

I have questions about the University’s policies relating to COVID-19. Where can I go for information?

Our Notre Dame community continues to monitor and respond to the developing risks of the coronavirus pandemic to students, faculty, and staff. continues to be the best resource to stay up to date on all new developments. 

Where can I get information about academic policies?

Please refer to the Undergraduate Academic Code for rules and regulations governing undergraduate academic policies and procedures at Notre Dame. 


Who is my first-year advisor?

You will receive the name of your First Year Advisor in June. Students are assigned advisors based on their intended college. If you have questions or concerns during the summer, email First Year Advising at or call  574-631-7421. Once you know who your advisor is, you can email him or her directly.


When do I choose my courses?

You will register for courses at the end of July. Throughout the summer we will send you information about how to prepare and register for courses. You will also meet with your advisor during the summer to review your curriculum requirements and to answer any questions you have about the registration process. In early August, after you have registered for classes, your advisor will review your Fall schedule to ensure that you are in the appropriate classes. If they need to make any changes they will contact you to discuss alternative selections.


What are time tickets?

“Time tickets” is a term Notre Dame uses to describe the time period during which a student can register for courses.   


How many classes students will need to have on their Fall schedule based on their major?

This depends on the major but typically students are required to take five 3+ credit courses, plus a 1-credit first year experience Moreau course.  Go to the First Year Sample Schedule page to see the course requirements for each college and major.


What requirements should students fulfill in their first semester?

  • The first of two 1-credit Moreau First Year Experience Courses

  • Writing and Rhetoric or University Seminar

  • The first semester prerequisites for upper-level courses

  • College requirements (e.g. language course for Arts and Letters or Science)

  • Core requirements


How do I make sure Notre Dame received my AP, IB, or SAT II exam scores?

For AP and SAT II Exams: Check the “My Test Scores” app on InsideND after July 5th. If all of your scores appear there, then you do not need to do anything. You can check the “Grade History” app on Inside ND to see what, if any, credit you have been granted for your exam scores.

If some or all of your exam scores are missing, then do the following:

For AP Exams: Log in to your account at Click “Download score report” in the upper right corner of the page. Save the score report as a PDF, and email it to your advisor as an attachment.

For SAT II Exams (French, German, Italian, and Spanish only): Log in to your account at, download your score report as a PDF, and email it to your advisor as an attachment.

For IB Exams: Check the “Grade History” app on Inside ND after July 5th. If you have not been granted the IB credit that you have earned, contact your first-year advisor to see if we have received your scores. If we have not received your scores, follow the directions at: to have your score report sent to Notre Dame. IB scores only appear in the “My Test Scores” app if you were granted credit.  


What is the Core Curriculum and do AP Credits count toward Core Courses?

The Core Curriculum is the heart of undergraduate education at Notre Dame. Courses for which AP credit was received do not count toward Core Curriculum requirements. Click here to learn more!


Can I pursue a major in the Mendoza College of Business?

Only students who were pre-approved for the Mendoza College of Business at the time of admission are able to begin their time at Notre Dame as intended Business majors. Students not pre-approved for Mendoza will have the opportunity after the first semester to apply for an internal transfer to Mendoza.


I am a pre-health student. Does it matter what I indicate as my intended major?

Students interested in a health profession should major in the discipline that most interests them. Certain majors in Arts and Letters and Science lend themselves to helping you complete the prerequisite courses for health professional school and prepare for the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) or DAT (Dental Admission Test), but your major does not play an influential role in the health professional school admissions decision. All students considering a health profession should take in the first semester CHEM 10171 or CHEM 10181 and an appropriate calculus course (unless they have credit by examination for Calculus I and II).


Should I choose Writing and Rhetoric (WR) or a University Seminar (USEM) for my first semester?

All students must complete a USEM during their first year. In addition, if they do not have AP or IB credit for WR, they must take WR during their first year. Half of the first-year students take a USEM in the first semester, and the other half take WR. If students have AP or IB credit for WR, they may take an elective or other required Core course - depending on their intended area of study. In the second semester, students who took a USEM first semester take WR (or an elective/Core course if they have credit for WR) and vice-versa.


I have AP or IB credit for Writing and Rhetoric. What course should I take in its place?

Students with AP or IB credit for Writing and Rhetoric are required to take another writing-intensive course before they graduate and do not have to complete Writing and Rhetoric in the first year

For their first year, students have the option of taking another core requirement, a College or major requirement, or an elective (note that some majors, including engineering majors, may not have space for electives).  Course choices depend upon a student's intended college of study and exploration of interests.


What advice do you have for choosing a University Seminar (USEM)?

The USEM is a unique opportunity to study deeply a special topic with an exceptional faculty member and a small group of your fellow first-year students. Choose the four or five USEMs that seem most interesting to you. Do not choose a USEM just because you want to be done with a specific Core requirement. Any USEM can double-count towards two requirements: (1) the Writing 1 Core course and (2) the relevant Way of Knowing. For example, a Literature USEM can satisfy either the Liberal Arts 4 or Liberal Arts 6 Core requirement in addition to the Writing 1 Core requirement.

Also, USEMs typically do not count toward major requirements. If you are thinking of majoring in political science, for example, it is best not to select a political science USEM. You would still need to take ten more political science courses to complete the political science major in addition to the USEM.


What math course should I take?

For assistance with choosing the correct math course, see the Mathematics Requirements page.


I intend to pursue a life science or pre-health major and received AP credit for MATH 10550. Can I take MATH 10360 or do I have to take MATH 10560?

Yes, you can take MATH 10360 if you have credit for MATH 10550. See the Calculus Courses page for an explanation of the various levels of calculus offered at Notre Dame.  


I took an AP or IB exam in calculus during my senior year but don’t have my score yet. What math course should I plan to take?

Select the math course you would like to take if you receive credit from your exam. You will have time to update your planned fall schedule to reflect any AP credit earned prior to registering in late July.


I received a 5 on my Calculus BC exam. Should I take Honors Calculus?

The Honors Calculus course is required of Honors Math majors but is open to mathematically inclined students of all majors. The course emphasizes the “why” of mathematics as well as the “how”. If you are a mathematically inclined student interested in mathematical reasoning and proofs, you can consider MATH 10850 (and not use your AP or IB credit).


Should I take science in my first year?

For information on science requirements and AP and IB credit for science courses, see the Science Requirements page.


Should I take CHEM 10181 instead of CHEM 10171?

CHEM 10181 is required for Biochemistry and Chemistry majors. Other students with a strong background and interest in chemistry are welcome to take it. Most students elect to take CHEM 10171.  Students who earned AP Credit for CHEM 10171, but who are in a curriculum that requires General Chemistry often find the experience of CHEM 10181 to be an appropriate challenge with smaller class size that they tend to appreciate.


Do you have advice for choosing electives versus Core requirements?

For your first year, we recommend you prioritize exploring your academic interests and broadening your exposure to multiple disciplines. Deepening your academic curiosity and interdisciplinary knowledge in your first year will help you confidently decide on a major(s) and minor(s).If you are exploring multiple disciplines we recommended that you consider taking courses in several fields in your first year.

There are great options for taking core courses in your first year including: Theology, Philosophy, History, Social Science, Literature, and Art, but you have four years to complete them. Some, but not all majors, require Quantitative Reasoning and/or Science and Technology courses in the first year.  


Should I take a language course in my first year?

Your first year is a great opportunity to continue a language you studied in high school or begin studying a  new language. If you are planning to study abroad in a foreign language program as a sophomore or in the summer after your first year, you should take a language course in your first semester. In addition, students planning to study in the College of Arts and Letters or pursue a supplementary major in the Keough School of Global Affairs are highly encouraged to begin their language study as soon as possible. See the Language Requirements and Language Placement pages for more information on selecting a language course.


I am concerned about my language placement. Can I take a lower-level course?

Only the relevant language department can approve a change in placement. Students who feel that their placement is not correct are strongly encouraged to attend the first class session and talk with their professor before requesting to change levels of a language course.


What is Moreau FYE and how does registration work?

Moreau is a First Year Experience course, taken over both semesters, that every first-year student must take.  Students will register for a section based on the neighborhood in which they will be living (i.e a grouping of residence halls).  Students will be pre-registered for their neighborhood which will direct them to the sections that they can select.


Why am I already registered for one or more sections?

We pre-register certain majors and student populations who must be enrolled in specific sections


I want to make adjustments to my Fall schedule after August 2nd. How do I do this? 

After your advisor has reviewed your schedule in early August, and consulted with you on any changes that need to be made, you can email them if you would like to make further changes. They will review your request and approve the changes based on the following criteria:

  • Will the new course fulfill a first year requirement

  • Is the schedule change one that is required for you to stay on track?

  • Are seats still available?

You have until the 5th day of classes to work with your advisor to adjust your schedule.


How do I prioritize my course selection when there are time conflicts?

Register first for the courses that you are required to take in your first semester and which have corequisites. These will be the courses that take up the majority of your weekly schedule and which are hardest to move around. Next, register for courses that are required in your first semester that do not have corequisites.  They will be easier to move if you need to make adjustments. Finally, register for those courses that you don’t necessarily need in your first semester and can be taken in later semesters if need be.


What happens when my advisor is reviewing my schedule?

After you have registered for your Fall courses, your advisor will review your schedule to ensure that you are in courses that fulfill the first semester requirements for your intended major.  If they need to make changes to your schedule, they will do this in consultation with you to ensure that you are aware of the changes that are being made.


I am a bit concerned about the academic rigor I will be facing at Notre Dame. Do you have recommendations on how I can improve my study skills?

It is not unusual for students to feel worried about the rigor of a Notre Dame education, but you have already proved that you belong here. That’s why you were admitted. Nevertheless, everyone needs to adjust their approach to learning to succeed in college. Your first-year advisor can help you improve your study strategies and time management. You should also take advantage of our free academic support services, such as the Learning Resource Center, the Program for Academic Excellence, the Writing Center, and the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures.


My first-year curriculum requires Calculus and Chemistry.  I did not take the AP level of these courses in high school. How can I prepare myself?

One option might be to take a self-guided, free online course through Khan Academy or similar platform. This will help you to review chemistry and calculus concepts over the summer, arriving on campus with a stronger foundation to begin your college-level courses. On the first day of class at Notre Dame, sign up for our free academic resources offered by the Learning Resource Center. You should also share your concern with your academic advisor in order to receive support in your transition to university-level study.


Can I study abroad? Will my plans to study abroad affect my first-semester courses?

In general, study abroad plans do not impact first-semester courses. If you are planning to study abroad in a foreign language program in the summer after first year or in sophomore year, you should take a language course in the first semester. If you are planning to study abroad in a foreign language program after sophomore year, then you might want to take a language course in the first semester, depending on your other requirements and your current proficiency in the language.

As you move into sophomore year, your advisor in your major(s) can help you figure out which study abroad locations work best with your academic program. Click here to learn more about study abroad at Notre Dame.