College of Arts and Letters

This page outlines the requirements for all students in the College of Arts and Letters. In some cases, courses taken for the Arts and Letters college requirements can satisfy Core Curriculum requirements and/or major or minor requirements. The multi-count rules for Arts and Letters are explained here.

The Arts and Letters curriculum is broad, deep, and flexible. In addition to the Core, college, and major requirements, most Arts and Letters students have the opportunity to take free electives, courses of interest that do not satisfy requirements. With this freedom to study what you love and explore new topics—through interdisciplinary coursework, cultural immersion, and independent research—you will broaden your view of the world, find a greater sense of purpose, and develop a skillset that will help you flourish no matter where your path leads.

Arts and Letters houses departments in the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts and offers a wide variety of majors and minors. Arts and Letters students also have the opportunity to pursue second majors and minors in other colleges and schools. 

Most of the Arts and Letters majors and minors are open to students in other colleges or schools at Notre Dame, provided that the student has enough space in their curriculum to complete a second major or minor.

Arts and Letters students interested in a health profession often pursue the neuroscience and behavior major or the pre-health major. Pre-health is a supplementary major that must be paired with a primary major in Arts and Letters. The College of Science page explains the non-science courses that are recommended for students interested in a health profession.

Arts and Letters College Requirements

None of the Arts and Letters college requirements must be completed in the first year, although students are encouraged to begin language study in the first year. The college requirements cannot be satisfied by Advanced Credit.

  • The College Seminar (taken sophomore year)
  • Language study (see below for more information)
  • One Literature course
  • One Fine Arts course
  • One History course
  • One Social Science course

Language Study

Arts and Letters students must take at least one course in a language other than English at the intermediate level (i.e., the fourth semester of the language sequence) or higher. The courses that satisfy this requirement have the Arts and Letters language requirement attribute (ALLN) in PATH Class Search and NOVO Browse Classes. 

Depending on the level at which you begin your language study at Notre Dame, you will have to take one to four courses to satisfy the requirement. You are encouraged to begin your language study in your first year, especially if you need to take four courses to satisfy the requirement.

Students are encouraged to select a language that fits with their broader academic interests. Many students choose to continue the language they studied in high school. Others choose to study a new language to prepare for a study abroad program or to complement their primary major. For instance, if you are interested in studying abroad in Berlin, take German, even if you studied a different language previously. Your first-year advisor will help you decide which language makes sense for you.

Arts and Letters Course Selection Guide

Use these fall and spring semester sample schedules as a guide when planning your courses.