#87 Overall Influence #23 Desirability Rank

University of Notre Dame

Catholic university located in South Bend, Indiana, United States
By James Barham, PhD

The University of Notre Dame (ND) was founded in 1842 by Edward Sorin, a Catholic priest of the religious order of the Congregation of Holy Cross (Congregatio a Sancta Cruce—CSC). ND was originally a primary and secondary school. Two years later, in 1844, the school received its college charter from the General Assembly of Indiana (which had been a state since 1816). It awarded its first degree in 1849.

Today, ND is still run by the CSC, although the faculty members and the student body are now recruited from far beyond the confines of the Catholic Church.

ND’s transformation from a small Catholic college to a modern research university has been gradual but steady. Already in 1919, the university began to abandon its traditional Classical and Scholastic curriculum in favor of a modern, secular curriculum. Another major push toward parity with secular institutions nationwide was initiated under the leadership of President Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., beginning in the 1960s.

ND gained further national recognition when Hesburgh became a national figure, standing arm-in-arm with Martin Luther King, Jr., at a Chicago civil-rights rally in 1964. In 1969, Hesburgh was appointed Chairman of the US Civil Rights Commission by President Richard Nixon.

In addition to ND’s college, graduate school, and such highly regarded professional schools as the Notre Dame Law School and the Mendoza College of Business, ND is also home to several highly regarded, specialized institutes, including the Keough School of Global Affairs, the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Studies.

Among many prominent ND alumni and faculty, we may mention the following:

  • Mathematician, Mei-Chi Shaw
  • Computer scientists, Jeffrey Vitter & James Massey
  • Philosophers, Alasdair MacIntyre, Alvin Plantinga, Ralph McInerny, Peter van Inwagen & Gary Gutting
  • Science fiction author, Orson Scott Card
  • Romance novelist, Nicholas Sparks
  • Physicist, Charles W. Misner
  • Electrical engineer, Panos Antsaklis
  • Aeronautical and biomedical engineer, Dava Newman
  • Physiologist, Philip Majerus
  • Geneticist, Anne Villeneuve
  • Developmental biologist and Nobel laureate for physiology or medicine, Eric Wieschaus
  • Priest, explorer, and early evolutionary theorist, John Augustine Zahm
  • Evolutionary biologist, H. Frederik Nijhout
  • Ecologist, William Mitsch
  • Sociologists, Christian Smith, Ann Mische, Lynette Spillman & Saskia Sassen
  • Economist, Kasey Buckles
  • Political scientists, Patrick Deneen, David E. Campbell, Emilia Justyna Powell & Ming Chu-cheng
  • Legal scholar and political scientist, Richard W. Garnett
  • Intellectual historians, George Marsden & Brad S. Gregory
  • American Studies scholar, Murray Sperber
  • Islamic Studies scholar, Ebrahim Moosa
  • Sinologist, Edward L. Shaughnessy
  • Catholic bishop and popular author, Robert Barron
  • Peruvian priest and liberation theologian, Gustavo Gutiérrez
  • Journalist, Robert Costa
  • TV journalist and political commentator, Mark Shields
  • TV personalities, Phil Donahue & Regis Philbin
  • Current US Representative, John Ratcliffe
  • Former US Senator, Joe Donnelly
  • Former US Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice

From Wikipedia

The University of Notre Dame du Lac, known simply as Notre Dame or ND, is a private Catholic research university in Notre Dame, Indiana, outside the city of South Bend. It was founded in 1842 by Edward Sorin. The main campus covers in a suburban setting; it contains a number of recognizable landmarks, such as the Golden Dome, the Word of Life mural , Notre Dame Stadium, and the Basilica.

Source: Wikipedia


What does this school look for?

Annual Applications




Graduation Rate


Median SAT Score


Median ACT Score



How much does it cost to attend?

Tuition (in-state)


Fees (in-state)


IncomeAverage Net Cost
0 - 30K$12,498
30K - 48K$15,609
48K - 75K$17,768
75K - 110K$24,392

After Graduation

Averages for 10 years after enrolling

Avg Earnings




Campus Life

What's it like to attend this school?

The People

Full time on-campus stats

Student Body






The Campus

Where will you be attending?


400 Main Building, Notre Dame IN 46556

What is University of Notre Dame known for?

Our answer to this is to show you the disciplines in which a school's faculty and alumni have had the highest historical influence. A school may be influential in a discipline even if they do not offer degrees in that area. We've organized two lists to show where they are influential and offer corresponding degrees, and where they are influential through scholarship although they don't offer degrees in the disciplines.

Top areas of influence with degrees offered

#33 World Rank
#73 World Rank
#39 World Rank
#33 World Rank
#68 World Rank
#36 World Rank
#43 World Rank
#27 World Rank
Religious Studies
#141 World Rank
#64 World Rank
Political Science
#155 World Rank
#258 World Rank
#128 World Rank
Computer Science
#145 World Rank
#156 World Rank
#123 World Rank
#155 World Rank
#116 World Rank
#240 World Rank

Other areas of influence

#46 World Rank
Social Work
#80 World Rank
#111 World Rank
Criminal Justice
#112 World Rank
#127 World Rank
Earth Sciences

Influential People

Who are University of Notre Dame's Most influential alumni?

University of Notre Dame 's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Religious Studies, Philosophy, and Law

Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks

American writer and novelist

Edwin O'Connor

American journalist and fiction writer

Percy A. Pierre

American electrical engineer

Barry Voight

Barry Voight

American geologist

Steve Odland

American businessman

Pete Delkus

American meteorologist

Richard William Timm

Richard William Timm

American Catholic priest, educator, and zoologist

Frank Ching

American architect

Thomas S. Hibbs

American philosopher

Neve Gordon

Neve Gordon

Israeli political scientist

Jack Swarbrick

Athletic director of Notre Dame University

Jim Fitzgerald

American entrepreneur and businessman