College of Science

This page outlines the requirements for all students in the College of Science. In some cases, courses taken for the Science college requirements can satisfy Core Curriculum requirements and/or major or minor requirements.

The College of Science offers thirteen majors and seven minors to incoming students. Applied and computational math and statistics (ACMS), environmental sciences, math, physics, and statistics can be pursued as second majors by students in other colleges or schools, provided they can fit the required courses into their curriculum.

Some, but not all, combinations of Science majors can be pursued as double majors by Science students. If you are interested in more than one Science major, your advisor can help you determine the best path.

Science students can pursue a second major in the College of Arts and Letters or the Keough School of Global Affairs or a minor in any college or school that offers them.

Language Requirement

All Science students must demonstrate intermediate proficiency in a language other than English taught at Notre Dame. Intermediate proficiency is defined as taking, having Advanced Credit for, or placing beyond the third course in the sequence for European languages or the second course in the sequence for East Asian languages and Arabic. The courses that satisfy this requirement have the Science language requirement attribute (SCLN) in PATH Class Search and NOVO Browse Classes.

Some advanced language courses can satisfy the Art and Literature or Advanced Language and Culture requirement of the Core, although these courses are beyond the level needed for the Science language requirement.

Science Requirements

All Science students must complete the following math and science requirements:

  • Two semesters of calculus

  • Two semesters of chemistry

  • Two semesters of physics

Students should complete the calculus and chemistry requirements in their first year. Students complete the physics requirement in their first, second, or third year depending on their major.

Biology is not a college requirement, but biology courses are required for many Science majors, as well as for anyone considering a health profession. Consult the Science Course Selection Guide for more information on which students should take biology in their first year.

Consult the Calculus Requirements by Major page to find out which calculus courses are required for your major.

With the exception of students interested in the honors math major, all students may use Advanced Credit to satisfy the calculus requirement. Students interested in honors math should take MATH 10850: Honors Calculus I and MATH 10860: Honors Calculus II in their first year regardless of Advanced Credit for calculus.

Most Science students cannot use AP or IB credit for biology, chemistry, and physics courses. See the Science Course Selection Guide for more information. 

Any student considering a health profession, regardless of major, cannot use AP or IB credit for biology, chemistry, or physics and should take the equivalent course at Notre Dame.

Recommended Non-Science Courses for Pre-health Students

Students who are considering a health profession are advised to take two introductory behavioral social science courses and at least one literature course in English. These courses do not have to be taken in the first year but are good options for pre-health students with space in their schedules.

Two Introductory Behavioral Social Science Courses

Pre-health students are advised to take two introductory behavioral social science courses: 

  • PSY 10000/PSY 20000: Introductory Psychology
  • A general introductory sociology course or a general introductory anthropology course

First-year students register for Introductory Psychology under the number PSY 10000. Upper-class students register under the number PSY 20000.

Students in the Arts and Letters or Science neuroscience and behavior majors or the psychology major must take PSY 10000 or PSY 20000 at Notre Dame, even if they have AP or IB credit for PSY 10091. Students with AP or IB credit for PSY 10091 who are not majoring in neuroscience and behavior or psychology do not have to take PSY 10000/PSY 20000 and should consider taking an upper-level psychology course to help with preparation for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

Your first-year advisor can help you select an appropriate sociology or anthropology course if you wish to take one in your first year.

PSY 10000/PSY 20000 and many introductory sociology and anthropology courses can satisfy the Social Science requirement of the Core Curriculum. AP or IB credit for PSY 10091 does not count towards the Social Science Core requirement.


One Literature Course in English

Pre-health students should take at least one literature course taught in English. Any of the literature University Seminars count for this requirement, as well as any other course taught in English with the LIT attribute in PATH Class Search or NOVO Browse Classes. This literature course will satisfy the Art and Literature requirement of the Core. 

Science Course Selection Guide

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