Success in your first year at Notre Dame involves more than just going to class and getting good grades — not only do you need to participate fully in the classroom, but you should be open to the life-changing experiences that engaging with art, music, literature, religion, history, science, and mathematics outside the classroom will bring. Students who actively engage with our many campus communities, both formal and informal, make a smoother transition to the University and have a richer, more fulfilling first-year experience.
Finding your place in our community is so important that the Rev. Hugh Page, Dean of the First Year of Studies, has created a set of “must-do” activities called The Dean’s A-List to inspire you to find your unique calling at Notre Dame and to recognize you for what you achieve outside the classroom in your first year.
The Dean’s A-List is a part of our ND Ignite initiative, a group of events and activities that are designed to engage you in meaningful interactions with Notre Dame faculty and resources, and to provide you with an opportunity to contribute something of your own to our intellectual and cultural communities.
All NDignite programs and events will bring you into contact with faculty members and other first-year students in informal settings. Whether it’s Legends Night Club, Reckers Restaurant, or a faculty member’s home, you will be meeting people in ways that are very different from knowing them as an instructor or as classmates. These contacts will introduce you to the world of educated discourse, give you a chance to get to know people outside your major and field, and help you develop a network of relationships where you can share interests and ideas. The people you will meet through NDignite will both challenge you and support you as you engage in thoughtful conversations and broaden your perspectives.
If you are not sure where to start in finding community, talk with your First Year advisor about what your interests and hobbies are. You advisor is well-versed in the many resources and opportunities at Notre Dame and will be able to connect you with new possibilities for personal and intellectual development.
Here are a few ideas to start your thinking about this important aspect of your first year:
The Center for Social Concerns helps students find co-curricular activities in service, advocacy, community organizing, and other means of becoming engaged locally in addressing social concerns.
Campus Ministry fosters spiritual growth through worship and prayer, reflection and service, and education and faith formation. You can also help as an usher, server, or lector at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. For students of all faiths — there are many kinds of worship on campus that you can connect with through Campus Ministry.
Your residence hall will have many activities that you can join, and Student Government and the Student Activities Office are good places to look for opportunities to participate and make a difference at Notre Dame.
International Student Services and Activities supports students who are coming to Notre Dame from other countries and Multicultural Student Programs and Services offers educational, networking, cosponsorship, and community organizing services and opportunities to the entire campus, most particularly students from groups that have been historically underrepresented at Notre Dame. The Gender Relations Council develops programs and services that address healthy relationships, gender, and sexuality consistent with the Catholic character of the University.
The Arts should be a part of your Notre Dame experience. From the Snite Museum of Art, the DeBartolo Center for the Performance Arts, the Department of Music, the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, and Shakespeare at Notre Dame, to the student-run radio station WVFI and TV station NDtv, there are many places for you to find and express creativity at the University.
The President’s Forum calls on the entire campus to consider an issue of national or international importance over the course of the academic year and, each year, our schools, colleges, departments, and centers bring hundreds of distinguished leaders and scholars from all over the world to the Notre Dame campus to connect students like you with what’s going on in the world. Take a look at what’s happening in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, and the Institute for Latino Studies, as well as the event calendars for the School of Architecture, the College of Arts and Letters, the Mendoza College of Business, the College of Engineering, and the College of Science to find forums, talks, or conferences that may interest and challenge you. The Notre Dame Main Calendar brings together events from all over campus in a central location.
On Monday of Fall Break, your instructors will submit your mid-semester grades. These grades will be available online in insideND and a paper copy of your grades will be mailed to your home address.
For students with a letter grade of “C-,” “D,” or “F,” instructors will also submit a deficiency report that identifies specific problems in class performance. The deficiency report does not become part of a student’s permanent record — it does not harm the student in any way. In many cases, students who receive deficiencies at mid-term are able to bring their averages up to a “B,” or even an “A” by the end of the term.
Deficiency reports are a tool to help first-year students and their advisors proactively address academic problems. If you receive a deficiency report, contact your advisor immediately after returning from Fall Break. Your advisor will work with you to develop solutions to maximize your class performance and help you choose the best options for your academic career.
Requirements for Dropping a Course
To drop a course, you must first meet with you academic advisor.
Every course drop must be approved by the Dean. You must continue to attend class until you have received formal notification in writing that you that drop is approved by Dean Page.
Remember, completion of the First Year requirements is a top priority. These requirements include: a minimum of 24 credit hours, a Writing and Rhetoric course, two semesters of math, two semesters of either science or a foreign language, at least one semester of another University requirement chosen from history, social science, theology, philosophy, literature, or fine arts, and one course in the University Seminar format. If you do not meet these requirements, you will be retained in the First Year of Studies until you do.
Registration for Spring Semester
All first-year students will register online for the spring semester using NOVO. When you return from Fall Break, you should look for an email message from your advisor for details about mandatory Registration Planning Meetings. Your academic advisor will conduct these general advising meetings to assist you in planning for spring registration. You will be given detailed information about major/program requirements, how to build a schedule, a Registration Information for Spring handout, and your PIN, or Personal Identification Number, needed to access NOVO during your assigned registration time.