This page outlines first-year student course requirements or recommendations based on a student's intended college or school.

Colleges and schools at Notre Dame have their own distinct requirements for their students. This page outlines a brief overview of college requirements - designed to be completed over multiple years - and specific courses that are required or recommended by some colleges/schools to be completed in the first year. This list is meant to be a starting point as you explore requirements and recommendations based on your intended college or school. If you are interested in requirements or recommendations based on any particular major within a college or school, explore Major Requirements. 

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School of Architecture | College of Arts and Letters | Mendoza College of Business | College of Engineering | Keough School of Global Affairs | College of Science

School of Architecture


In addition to Core Curriculum and Major Requirements, the School of Architecture undergraduate curriculum states all requirements for graduation from the school.

The School of Architecture has a language requirement. Students in Architecture must complete the equivalent of two semesters of Italian by the end of sophomore year to prepare for junior year in Rome. Students can satisfy this requirement by taking Beginning Italian (ROIT 10110), an intensive six-credit course, or by taking ROIT 10101 (Beginning Italian I) and ROIT 10102 (Beginning Italian II). The Italian requirement is normally completed during sophomore year, but students with AP or IB credit for calculus, physics, or Writing & Rhetoric can begin studying Italian during their first year.

The First Year

  • ARCH 11011 (Drawing) in the first semester and ARCH 10311 (Analysis of Architectural Writing) and ARCH 11021 (Drafting) in their second semester.
  • MATH 10250 (or higher) in the first semester and MATH 10270 (Mathematics in Architecture) in the second semester. Students may substitute MATH 10270 with MATH 10360 or 10560 if they have taken the appropriate prerequisite course. 
  • PHYS 10111 (Principles of Physics I) in the first semester. The PHYS 10111 requirement can be satisfied with AP Credit for the Physics I exam or the Physics C, Mechanics exam. It can also be satisfied with IB HL credit.
  • Students with AP or IB credit for calculus, physics, or Writing & Rhetoric can begin studying Italian during their first year.

To learn more about School of Architecture requirements, explore the School of Architecture’s Undergraduate Program. The School outlines a brief glimpse at each year of the undergraduate program, including the first year


College of Arts and Letters


In addition to Core Curriculum and Major Requirements, College of Arts and Letters “College Requirements” include: The College Seminar: 1 course, Language: 1–4 course(s) (more details here), History or Social Science: 1 course, and Literature or Fine Arts: 1 course (whichever is not taken for the University requirement, as Arts and Letters students are required to complete both a fine arts and a literature course).

The First Year

  • No specific courses are required during the first year, although all students are encouraged to take a course in their intended major(s) in the first semester.
  • For a few majors, specific courses are very strongly recommended in the first year because of the sequential nature of the major and/or the number of courses required for the major. Visit Major Requirements to view these major-specific recommendations and explore all major requirements within the College of Arts and Letters.  

To learn more about requirements within the College of Arts and Letters, explore the Degree Requirements page of the Arts and Letters Undergraduate Advising Website. 


Mendoza College of Business

In addition to Core Curriculum and Major Requirements, all students in the Mendoza College of Business must complete the 26.5-credit Business Core within the first two years on campus. The Business Core is made up of an economics course, a calculus-level math course, and a variety of business Foundations courses.

The College of Business does not have a language requirement.

The First Year

  • An economics class is required to be taken at Notre Dame; students will take ECON 10010 – Principles of Microeconomics in their first year. Students who have AP or IB credit for Principles of Microeconomics will take either Managerial Economics or Intermediate Microeconomics, most likely sometime after the first year.
  • Students in Mendoza generally take MATH 10250 – Elements of Calculus to fulfill their math requirement in their first year. However, students considering a second major in Economics should take the two-semester MATH 10350 (Calculus A) and MATH 10360 (Calculus B) sequence instead. Students considering a second major in fields like Math, Statistics, Physics, or Applied and Computational Math and Stats (ACMS) should take the two-semester MATH 10550 (Calculus I) and MATH 10560 (Calculus II) sequence. If a student takes one of those calculus options based on a possible second major, that will fulfill the Mendoza math requirement in addition to math requirements of those specific second majors. AP or IB credit can also be used to satisfy math requirement(s).
  • Mendoza students should take nine credits of Foundations courses, part of the Business Core, in their first year. Courses include Foundations of: Finance, Leadership, Strategy, Marketing, Statistics, Accountancy, Coding, and Ethical Behavior.

College of Engineering

In addition to Core Curriculum and Major Requirements, all students of the College of Engineering must complete a four-semester math sequence: MATH 10550 (Calculus I), MATH 10560 (Calculus II), MATH 20550 (Calculus III), MATH 20580 (Introduction to Linear Algebra and Differential Equations). Any of these math courses can also satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning Core Requirement if taken at Notre Dame.

All students of the College of Engineering must also take or receive AP or IB credit for CHEM 10171 (Introduction to Chemical Principles), PHYS 10310 (Engineering Physics 1: Mechanics), and PHYS 10320 (Engineering Physics 2: Electromagnetism) Any of these science courses can also satisfy the University Science and Technology Reasoning Core Requirement if taken at Notre Dame.

The College of Engineering does not have a language requirement.

The First Year

  • Students should begin the previously described math sequence in their first semester at the appropriate level. Students without Advanced Credit for chemistry should take CHEM 10171 in the first semester.
  • The physics sequence described above is usually begun in the second semester of the first year. 
  • EG 10117: Engineering Design in the fall semester and EG 10118: Engineering Programming in the spring semester. 

To learn more about College of Engineering requirements, explore a specific department within the College of Engineering’s Undergraduate Program.


Keough School of Global Affairs


The Keough School of Global Affairs offers both a global affairs major and multiple supplementary majors and minors. In addition to Core Curriculum and Major Requirements, students who major in the Keough School’s undergraduate major in Global Affairs must complete the Keough School’s School-level Requirements including:  Language requirement (3-20 credits), Cross-cultural requirement (4 credits), Keough School Interdisciplinary Seminar (3 credits), and Ethical Practice Seminar (3 credits).

The First Year

  • No specific courses are required during the first year, although all students are encouraged to take Introduction to Global Affairs (GLAF 1001), Introduction to Global Politics and Policy, Cross-cultural engagement, Statistics or Quantitative Methods, and language course(s) during their first year. 

To learn more about Keough School of Global Affairs requirements, explore the Keough School Requirements section of the global affairs major.


College of Science


In addition to Core Curriculum and Major Requirements, all College of Science students must satisfy the following College Requirements:

  • Two semesters of calculus
  • Two semesters of chemistry
  • Two semesters of physics
  • Intermediate proficiency in a language other than English

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

Students can demonstrate intermediate proficiency in a language other than English in one of three ways:

  • Advanced Credit at the appropriate level
  • An appropriate score on an ND Placement Exam
  • An intermediate course taken at Notre Dame (second- or third-semester course depending on the language)

The First Year

Science students take appropriate calculus and chemistry courses both semesters of the first year, unless they have applicable Advanced Credit. Depending on major, students might also take biology or physics in the first year. See the Sample First-Year Student Schedules for the courses required in the first year for each Science major.

To learn more about College of Science requirements, explore the Degree Requirements page of the College of Science Undergraduate Program.