The University of Notre Dame is one of the most prestigious institutions in America. The school is located on 1,265 acres in Notre Dame, Indiana, just outside of the city of South Bend.
The university boasts a student body of 8,854 undergraduates, all of whom are full-time students.
Notre Dame has a graduation rate of 96%, one of the highest in the nation. It also has one of the highest retention rates in the country, with 98% of students returning for their second year.
In 2022, US News and World Report ranked Notre Dame as the 19th best University in America.
Notre Dame offers dozens of Division 1 athletics, but is most well known for its football program.
The Fighting Irish have won 11 National Championships and produced seven Heisman Trophy winners. Forty-eight former players are in the College Football Hall of Fame, and ten are in the NFL Hall of Fame.
Famous Notre Dame alumni include Super Bowl MVP Joe Montana, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, broadcaster Hannah Storm, Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court Alan Page, and Actor Jim Caviezel, among others.
The University has also been featured quite frequently in pop culture.
It was the setting for the inspirational sports movie Rudy, based on the life of former Notre Dame walk-on Daniel Ruettiger. Additionally, it was the alma mater of fictional president Jed Bartlett on the television show The West Wing.
Read on to learn more about the University of Notre Dame, it’s early action acceptance rate, and more.
University of Notre Dame Early Action Acceptance Rate
The University of Notre Dame has an early action acceptance rate of 17%.
The school received a total of 9,683 applications for its restrictive early action and admitted 1,675 students for the graduating class of 2026.
Notre Dame offers students restrictive early action.
Over the past three years, Notre Dame’s overall acceptance rate has declined, while the number of applicants has gone up.
For the class of 2024, the overall acceptance rate for all applicants was 16.5%, and for 2025, the rate was 14.6%. The number of applications increased by more than 5,000 from the class of 2024 to the class of 2026.
During this same three-year period, the total number of students applying for restrictive early action has increased, while the admissions rate has declined.
University of Notre Dame Early Action Decision Date
Notre Dame’s early action decision date is mid-December.
There are three possible outcomes for students who wish to apply Early Action.
The first is that they will be admitted to Notre Dame.
The second is that they are denied admittance, and the third is that they are deferred until the regular decision date.
The regular decision date for Notre Dame is Jan. 1.
With regular decision, there is the possibility of being put on the waiting list for admission. Notre Dame accepts between 20 – 100 students a year from its waiting list.
For applicants who have been deferred, this university offers a checklist of items that allows them to increase their chances of acceptance the second time around.
The priority for students who have been deferred should be to ensure that their first semester grades are sent to the admissions office.
Students should also use this opportunity to update their resumes with any significant extracurricular activities, awards, or achievements that have occurred since the early action application was submitted.
Students should not submit additional letters of recommendation.
However, if a student believes that acceptance into Notre Dame is their top priority, they are encouraged to write a letter explaining to the admission department explaining why Notre Dame is their top choice.
This is an opportunity for the student to tell admission a little more about themselves and their desire to attend Notre Dame.
University of Notre Dame Early Action Deadline
Notre Dame’s early action deadline is Nov. 1.
Students interested in applying early action to Notre Dame must make sure that they have all of their essays completed and recommendations to ensure they can get all of their information in by this date.
The regular decision to the University of Notre Dame is Jan.1. Unlike the early action deadline, there is no deferment for regular decision.
However, besides being accepted or denied, there is a possibility of being waited listed to the university.
Students who apply regular decision should expect to hear a decision from the university by late March.
Students who are accepted to the university have until May 1 to decide to attend Notre Dame.
Anyone who was placed on the waiting list is asked to confirm their interest in Notre Dame via their applicant status portal. Students on the waiting list will receive the final decision from the university by mid-June.
Students who are not accepted into Notre Dame, however, can apply in the future as a transfer student if the school remains at the top of their list.
Transfer admission is much more selective than regular admission.
University of Notre Dame Early Action Deferral Rate
Out of the 9,683 students who applied to Notre Dame via early action, 17% of those were deferred to regular decision.
This is the exact same percentage of applicants who were accepted through early action.
Sixty-six percent of all students who applied to Notre Dame by early action were rejected from the university.
For the accepted class of 2026 students, 14% were legacies, meaning someone in their families had attended the university at some point.
Nearly a third of the students who were accepted to the university did not supply an ACT or SAT score.
How to Apply to the University of Notre Dame for Early Action
Notre Dame accepts either the Common Application or the Coalition Application.
The university also requires the common app. essay and two additional supplemental essays from the school.
There is one required question for all applicants and then a choice of four topics; the student must choose one.
Each one of the supplemental essays may be no longer than 200 words.
Besides the applications and essays, Notre Dame also requires a full transcript direct from the student’s high school.
Notre Dame is test optional for students applying during the 2022-23 school year.
If students choose to submit their scores, they must self-report; however, once they are admitted to the university, they are required to submit official SAT or ACT scores before enrolling.
Students who have taken AP tests or SAT subject tests should submit their scores only if they believe doing so will enhance their application.
Students applying to the university are not required to take AP test or SAT subject tests.
If a student is planning on majoring in a subject in the Department of Art, Department of Design or the School of Architecture, they are encourage to submit a portfolio of their work for consideration.