Each college and school offers different majors and minors. In addition to the Core Curriculum and College or School Requirements, each major and minor has distinct requirements that must be met before graduation. While students do not formally declare a specific program of study until the end of the first year, some majors require or recommend students to complete specific courses in the first year based on sequencing. 

This page briefly outlines major-specific course requirements and recommendations for the first year, organized by college or school.

If a major is not listed below, no specific requirements must be completed during the first year. Rather, students should consider recommendations based on their intended college or school.

View majors-specific requirements or recommendations, organized by your intended college

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

First-Year Requirements and Recommendations by Major

The School of Architecture does not have distinct majors, but Architecture students can pursue one of three concentrations, which help students develop specialized skills. All first-year Architecture students take ARCH 11011 (Drawing) in their first semester and ARCH 10211 (Global History of Architecture) and ARCH 11021 (Drafting) in their second semester.

Architecture also requires one semester of calculus (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 is also required for Architecture students in the first semester. The PHYS 10111 requirement can be satisfied with AP Exam Credit for the Physics I exam or the Physics C, Mechanics exam. It can also be satisfied with IB HL Credit.

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

First-Year Requirements and Recommendations by Major

Most majors in Arts and Letters do not require specific courses in 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.

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art and Design: Students pursuing the BFA should take two Art or Design courses in both semesters of their first year. Learn more here.
  • Economics: Students should take Principles of Microeconomics (ECON 10010) in the first semester and Principles of Macroeconomics (ECON 10020) in the second semester. These requirements can be satisfied with AP or IB credit. Students should also take two semesters of calculus (MATH 10350 and MATH 10360 or MATH 10550 and MATH 10560). These requirements can be satisfied with AP or IB credit.
  • Music: Students should take MUS 20001 (Theory I) and MUS 20011 (Musicianship I) in the first semester and MUS 20002 (Theory II) and MUS 20012 (Musicianship II) in the second semester. The Musicianship courses are one credit each.
  • Neuroscience and Behavior (BA NSBH): Students should take Introductory Psychology (PSY 10000) in the first or second semester. AP or IB credit can be used to satisfy this requirement. Students should also take one semester of calculus (MATH 10350)  (the second semester of calculus [MATH 10360] is also required for majors who are pre-medicine or who will take physics). Students should also take CHEM 10171 (Introduction to Chemical Principles) and CHEM 10172 (Organic Structure and Reactivity), BIOS 10171 (Biology I: Big Questions) with the lab, and BIOS 10172 (Biology II: Molecules to Ecosystems) with the lab during the first year.
  • Program of Liberal Studies: Potential PLS majors are encouraged to take a PLS University Seminar during the first year.
  • Arts and Letters Pre-Health: Students should take two semesters of calculus (MATH 10350 and MATH 10360). Students should also take CHEM 10171 (Introduction to Chemical Principles) and CHEM 10172 (Organic Structure and Reactivity) during the first year.
  • Honors Mathematics: Students should take two semesters of calculus (MATH 10850 and MATH 10860), even if they have Advanced Credit for calculus.
  • Students with interest in the health professions should take CHEM 10171 (Introduction to Chemical Problems).

To learn about all majors and minors in the College of Arts and Letters, visit the Majors page of the College of Arts and Letters website.


Mendoza College of Business

First-Year Requirements and Recommendations by Major 

The Mendoza College of Business does not require specific courses during the first year based on a student’s intended major. Rather, all students should review the Mendoza College of Business College Requirements to inform their first year at Notre Dame. If possible, students may want to take a Foundations course related to the major they intend to pursue, but that’s a recommendation for the student’s benefit and not a requirement of the College.

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


College of Engineering

First-Year Requirements and Recommendations by Major

Majors within the College of Engineering do not require or recommend specific courses during the first year based on students’ intended major. Rather, all students of the College of Engineering should review the College of Engineering College Requirements to inform their first year at Notre Dame.  All Engineering students must eventually complete the PHYS 10310 - PHYS 10320 sequence. Students usually begin this sequence in the second semester of their first year. 

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

First-Year Requirements and Recommendations by Major

In addition to Core Curriculum and Keough School Requirements, students who major in the Keough School’s undergraduate major in global affairs must complete the Global Affairs Major Requirements including Introduction to Global Affairs and Integral Human Development (3 credits), Introduction to Global Politics and Policy (3 credits), Statistics or Quantitative Methods (3 credits), Principles of Economics or other Economics (3 credits), six elective courses (18 credits), and one capstone seminar (3 credits). No specific courses are required during the first year, although all students are encouraged to take Introduction to Global Affairs, 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

First-Year Requirements and Recommendations by Major

  • Neuroscience and Behavior majors should complete PSY 10000 (Introductory Psychology) in the first year if possible. Advanced Credit can be used to satisfy this requirement.
  • Environmental Sciences and Science-Business majors should complete ECON 10010 (Principles of Microeconomics) in the first or second year. Advanced Credit can be used to satisfy this requirement.

See the Sample First-Year Student Schedules for the calculus and science courses required in the first year for each Science major.