Science Requirements

All students must complete one Science and Technology course to satisfy the Liberal Arts 2 requirement of the Core Curriculum. Students can choose to satisfy the Liberal Arts 3 requirement with a Quantitative Reasoning course or a Science and Technology course. AP and IB credit cannot be used to satisfy the Science and Technology Core requirement.

Students pursuing majors in some of the Colleges and Schools are required to take science courses during the first year as outlined below. In some cases, AP and IB credit can be used to satisfy these requirements. Courses taken at Notre Dame to satisfy college or major science requirements can usually be used to satisfy the Science and Technology Core requirement.

Please note that students who are considering a health profession such as medicine or dentistry cannot use AP or IB credit for any science courses, regardless of major. These students should take CHEM 10171 or CHEM 10181 during the first semester, as well as any other science courses required by their majors. Students considering a health profession can use credit by examination for calculus courses.  

If you are deciding between two majors that have different science requirements, contact First Year Advising to discuss which science course(s) you should take in your first year.

Click here for an explanation of the different chemistry and physics courses offered at Notre Dame.
 

School of Architecture

Architecture requires PHYS 10111 (Principles of Physics I) during the first semester. In the second semester, students can take PHYS 10222 (Physics of Civilization), a different Science and Technology course of their choice, or an elective. AP or IB credit can be used to satisfy the PHYS 10111 requirement. Students who do not take PHYS 10111 because of AP or IB credit must take a different Science and Technology course at Notre Dame for the Core Curriculum, ideally in their first year.
 

College of Arts and Letters

Most majors in Arts and Letters do not require specific science courses. Students in these majors can choose either a lab or topical (no lab) science course to complete the Science and Technology Core requirement. A Science and Technology Core course does not have to be taken in the first year.

Students in the Arts and Letters Neuroscience and Behavior and Arts and Letters Pre-Health majors must take CHEM 10171 (Introduction to Chemical Principles) and CHEM 10172 (Organic Structure and Reactivity) during the first year. Neuroscience majors also take BIOS 11173 (Biological Investigations Lab) in the first semester and BIOS 10172 (Biology II: Molecules to Ecosystems) in the spring of the first year. Students in these majors cannot use AP or IB credit for science courses.

 

Mendoza College of Business

Mendoza does not require specific science courses. Students in Mendoza can choose either a lab or topical (no lab) science course to complete the Science and Technology Core requirement. A Science and Technology Core course does not have to be taken in the first year.

 

College of Engineering

All majors in Engineering must take or receive AP or IB credit for

  • CHEM 10171 (Introduction to Chemical Principles)

  • PHYS 10310 (Engineering Physics 1: Mechanics)

  • PHYS 10320 (Engineering Physics 2: Electromagnetism)

Any of these courses can satisfy the Science and Technology Core requirement if taken at Notre Dame. EG 10111 (Introduction to Engineering Systems I), which is required in the first semester, can also satisfy the Science and Technology Core requirement.

Students without AP or IB credit for chemistry should take CHEM 10171 in the first semester. The physics sequence is usually begun in the second semester of the first year.

 

Keough School of Global Affairs

The supplementary major in Global Affairs offered by Keough does not have a science requirement. Students should complete the science requirement for their primary major. If their primary major does not have a science requirement, students can satisfy the Science and Technology Core requirement with any appropriate course.
 

College of Science

All students in the College of Science, regardless of major, must take two chemistry courses (one semester of general chemistry and one semester of organic chemistry or biochemistry) and two physics courses (one semester of mechanics and one semester of electricity and magnetism) in addition to the science courses required by their major. Most students complete the chemistry requirement in the first year. Students complete the physics requirement in the first, second, or third year depending on major.

Click here to view the sample first-year schedules for the Science majors, which include the required science courses.

As explained below, most Science majors cannot use AP or IB credit for science courses and must take all their science courses at Notre Dame. Science majors can use credit by examination for calculus courses.

Biology Credit: No Science majors can use AP or IB credit for biology to satisfy a requirement for their major or for health professional school.

Chemistry Credit: ACMS, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics majors can use AP or IB credit for CHEM 10171, as long as they are not considering a health profession or a major that requires CHEM 10171 or CHEM 10181 to be taken at Notre Dame. Students in all other Science majors must take CHEM 10171 or CHEM 10181 in the first semester, regardless of AP or IB credit.

Physics Credit: ACMS, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Statistics majors can use AP or IB credit for the PHYS 10310 (Mechanics) and PHYS 10320 (Electromagnetism) requirements, as long as they are not considering a health profession or a major in physics. Students in all other Science majors must take two semesters of physics at Notre Dame, regardless of AP or IB credit.