Is Notre Dame An Ivy League School?

About the University of Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame du Lac was founded in 1842 and is the premier private Catholic university in the United States. The university’s midwestern setting in South Bend, Indiana belies a truly global campus that includes landmarks such as the Golden Dome, the historic Basilica of the Sacred Heart church, and the Word of Life mural (affectionately dubbed “touchdown Jesus”).

Famous Notre Dame Alumni

Notre Dame alumni include former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Nobel Laureate Eric F. Wieschaus, and bestselling author Nicholas Sparks. The University has a strong presence in popular culture, appearing in television shows such as The West Wing and Parks and Recreation, as well as feature films such as Knute Rockne, All American, and Rudy. Both films are about Notre Dame’s illustrious football program, which has won 13 national championships and produced seven Heisman Trophy winners.

Notre Dame Research

However, even more impressive than its illustrious alumni and successful football program are Notre Dame’s numerous research accomplishments. Professor Joseph Green was the first American to transmit a wireless message, and Professor Julius Nieuwland was instrumental in developing neoprene. The university is home to one of the nation’s first nuclear accelerators and is a world leader in nuclear physics. Novelist Richard T. Sullivan, pioneering Christian literary critic Frank O’Malley, and philosopher Kenneth Sayre are just a few of the Humanities faculty who stand out.

Even today, the University continues to be a leader in a number of fields of research, thanks to programs such as the Medieval Institute, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and the Center for Social Concerns. With 65 fellows from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the school is the nation’s leader.

Is Notre Dame An Ivy League School?

The University of Notre Dame is not an Ivy League School.

Let’s make sure we’re all on the same page regarding the terms. The Ivy League is an NCAA Division I athletic conference, rather than an academic designation.

Established in 1958, the Ivy League consists of eight private research universities, including Brown University and Columbia University, as well as Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University. Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University.

Nonetheless, because it is comprised of some of the country’s oldest and most prestigious institutions, the term “Ivy League” has become synonymous with “good school.” When people inquire about the Ivy League status of a particular college or university, they are not inquiring about the school’s upcoming football schedule; they are inquiring about the school’s impressive faculty and graduates.

Except for Cornell University (founded in 1865), all Ivy League institutions were founded prior to the United States’ independence. More importantly, Ivy League schools are known for their rigorous academic standards, commitment to research, and illustrious alumni. It’s unsurprising that the Ivies have some of the world’s most stringent admissions policies.

Notre Dame is similar to the schools listed here in a variety of ways. As previously demonstrated, the University has produced outstanding alumni and continues to be a leader in academic research. It maintains rigorous admissions standards and is widely regarded as one of the country’s best schools.

Notre Dame, on the other hand, is an independent institution that does not participate in any athletic conferences. As a result, the response is a resounding no. Notre Dame is not a member of the Ivy League Schools.

Why People Think Notre Dame Is An Ivy League School?

Because many people use the term “Ivy League” to refer to prestigious colleges, many assume that Notre Dame is an Ivy League school. And they are correct, at least in terms of connotation. Notre Dame is without a doubt one of the best universities in the country.

Nonetheless, Notre Dame is less selective than the majority of Ivy League schools. Whereas Harvard accepts just 4.9 percent of applicants and Brown only 6.9 percent, Notre Dame accepted 4,055 of the 21,273 applicants in 2020. While a 19 percent acceptance rate is higher than that of the Ivies, it is still a remarkably low rate, making Notre Dame more difficult to enter than the vast majority of American universities.

More than the acceptance rate, Notre Dame’s endowment puts it on par with the Ivy League schools. In 2020, the University will have a $12 billion endowment to support its $1.7 billion annual budget. According to bestschools.com, this amount places Notre Dame 13th in terms of wealth, ahead of Ivies Cornell, Dartmouth, and Brown. With such substantial resources, it’s unsurprising that the school can devote itself to some of the world’s most significant scientific research, investing more than $240 million in these endeavors in 2019.

Thus, on a technical level, Notre Dame is not an Ivy League institution because it is not a member of any athletic conference. However, as these statistics demonstrate, the University possesses all of the Ivy League’s prestige, history, and spending power. It is deserving of inclusion on any list of the world’s best schools.

How To Get Into Notre Dame?

Unsurprisingly, admission to the University of Notre Dame is competitive. The school expects the very best of its students and thus accepts only the very best from among the thousands of applicants.

Notre Dame admits students with an average GPA of 4.06, indicating that they prefer straight-A students, many of whom take challenging AP and college-level courses in high school. Additionally, while the ACT and SAT are now optional, admissions officers prefer to see strong performance on both tests. The University anticipates SAT scores in the range of 1400-1550, reading scores in the range of 680-760, and math scores in the range of 720-790. On the ACT, you should score between 32 and 35 to have the best chance of admission.

Unsurprisingly, admission to the University of Notre Dame is competitive. The school expects the very best of its students and thus accepts only the very best from among the thousands of applicants.

Notre Dame admits students with an average GPA of 4.06, indicating that they prefer straight-A students, many of whom take challenging AP and college-level courses in high school. Additionally, while the ACT and SAT are now optional, admissions officers prefer to see strong performance on both tests. The University anticipates SAT scores in the range of 1400-1550, reading scores in the range of 680-760, and math scores in the range of 720-790. On the ACT, you should score between 32 and 35 to have the best chance of admission.

While those numbers are critical, Notre Dame admission counselors take a holistic approach to student selection. According to the University’s admissions website, they are looking for applicants who are “involved—in the classroom, in the community, and in the unrelenting pursuit of truth.” Students can demonstrate their commitment through a variety of extracurricular activities that demonstrate their interests, as well as strong letters of recommendation from respected individuals.

While recommendations and extracurricular activities cannot compensate for poor grades, they can make the difference for students whose GPAs and standardized test scores are slightly below average. These elements enable applicants to put their studies into context and provide the school with an opportunity to see the applicant as a whole person beyond their numbers.

As a result, students’ attention should be drawn specifically to the essay portion of their application. You will respond to the following question in your essay: “How do you hope that a Notre Dame education and experience will transform your mind and heart?” Your response will assist the school in determining your values and aspirations. By examining your successes and failures, as well as your hopes and dreams, admissions counselors can determine whether you will benefit from a Notre Dame education and contribute to the school’s already sterling reputation.

In Conclusion: Notre Dame Is Not An Ivy League School

If you are set on attending an Ivy League school solely for the sake of the title, Notre Dame is not the school for you. It is not a member of the Ivy League athletic conference and thus is not considered an Ivie.

However, if you value a robust educational experience, the best available facilities, and a storied history, Notre Dame is unquestionably worth considering. Not only does the school compete with the Ivies on nearly every academic metric, it also possesses characteristics that neither Harvard nor Yale can match.

The University of Notre Dame is a highly selective institution with an elite student body taught by some of the nation’s most decorated faculty. Its distinctive landmarks and significant research facilities in fields ranging from science to the humanities equip ambitious students with everything they need to succeed.

And if athletics are important to you, Notre Dame will not disappoint. Their football program is legendary, immortalized on television and in films. Their athletic record rivals that of the majority of Ivy League schools.

Thus, while Notre Dame is not an Ivy League institution, it competes with and often outperforms them in nearly every category. Those seeking an elite education at a storied institution need look no further than Notre Dame. The University is proud to stand alongside any school in the country, including every Ivy League institution.