Preview the Notre Dame Application Essay Questions

Author: Shannon Rooney

If you're a senior with college applications on the brain, you're probably eager to get a jump on your applications.

You can apply to Notre Dame via the Common Application, the Coalition Application, or through Questbridge. Learn more about the application process.

The Common Application and Coalition Application go live August 1. In the meantime, we're bringing you a preview of the Notre Dame Writing Supplement (a.k.a. essay questions).

The writing supplement gives us an opportunity to get to know you in a more personal way outside of your academic achievements.

We want to meet the real you in your application. So, when approaching your essays, find ways to let your personality shine, take risks, and remember that there is no right answer.

On to the essay questions...

Every year, as part of our application requirements, we ask each applicant to answer a question specific to the University of Notre Dame. 

This year's question is:

The founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Blessed Basil Moreau, wrote, “We shall always place education side by side with instruction; the mind will not be cultivated at the expense of the heart.” How do you hope a Notre Dame education and experience will transform your mind and heart?"

In addition to the Notre Dame specific essay question, we ask applicants to answer two (2) additional questions. You may select from five (5) options. 

  • A Notre Dame education is not just for you, but also for those who will benefit from the impact you make. Who do you aspire to serve after you graduate?
  • In response to the rising momentum behind the Black Lives Matter movement during June 2020, G. Marcus Cole, the Joseph A. Matson Dean of the Notre Dame Law School, penned an open letter entitled, “I am George Floyd. Except I can breathe. And I can do something.” He issues a call to the Notre Dame community saying, “Each of us must do what we can, wherever we are.” What is one action you are taking “to change this world for the better?” 
  • God and the Good Life is an interdisciplinary course created by the departments of Philosophy and Film, Television, and Theatre that asks students to consider moral questions about what they believe and how they want to live their lives. What do God and a good life mean to you?
  • Notre Dame has a rich history deeply rooted in tradition. Share how a favorite tradition from your life has impacted who you are today. 
  • What brings you joy?

More Information 

Getting to know you through the application process is what brings us joy.

So get started on your application any time after August 1. Join our mailing list to stay updated on all things Notre Dame. And get in touch if you have questions.

Originally published by Shannon Rooney at on July 21, 2020.