Academics at ND

Enter any classroom in Notre Dame and you’ll witness it: the relentless pursuit of academic excellence, by students and teachers alike.

The result: young men of character, compassion and confidence who are ready to excel in college and beyond.

Here, every student is challenged — through rigorous study, innovative teaching practices and personalized exploration — to become a flexible, independent, 21st century thinker. By applying the leading educational approaches within the context of the Catholic Holy Cross tradition, ND is able to offer a curriculum that truly educates both the mind and the heart.


At Notre Dame, Academics Means Excellence.

  • Our curriculum emphasizes academic rigor, differentiated learning, critical thinking and opportunities for interdisciplinary study. Each student’s schedule is specifically designed to challenge them to the best of their ability.

  • Our devoted faculty understand how to educate young men — and take seriously the responsibility of teaching the whole student.

  • Opportunities to learn beyond the classroom play an integral role in character development.

  • Our continuous innovations in teaching focus on developing specific, sought-after 21st-century skills such as digital-age literacy, inventive thinking, effective communication and high productivity.

  • College counseling and our schoolwide structure of support ensure that every ND student finds his own path to success (which is why traditionally 99% of our graduates enter college each fall!).


Physics in Action

Applying their knowledge of speed and force, students in Ms. Snape's Physics classes engineered structures that protected water balloons when dropped off of the fire escape!

“At ND, we understand and respect our student’s talents, goals and challenges.  We provide opportunities for them to find their niche and encourage them to grow and thrive academically, spiritually and socially.”  Carmen Gunneson, Faculty & Chair, Foreign Language Department

Expertise in Teaching Young Men

At Notre Dame, the Brothers of Holy Cross and their colleagues have become known for their particular expertise in educating young men, whose energy and interest need to be channeled if learning and character development are to take place. Seeking a balance between the two elements, schools founded and operated by the Congregation of Holy Cross place equal emphasis on academics and values. At Notre Dame, this student-centered education takes place both in and beyond the classroom.

Students doing math

ND Academics bring out the extraordinary in every ND student.
Ready to learn the ND way?

Pursue Your Potential at ND. 

Innovative, Student-Centered Academics — The ND Way

Typical Academic Program

Freshmen

  • Old Testament or Old Testament Moreau Honors
  • English I or English I Moreau Honors
  • Algebra 1, Honors Algebra 1, or Honors Geometry
  • Western Civilizations or World Cultures Moreau Honors
  • Foreign Language or Developmental Reading
  • Music Appreciation, Art, Band, or Chorus
  • Physical Education 9
  • Conceptual Physics or Honors Conceptual Physics

Sophomores

  • Christ and the Sacraments or Christ and the Sacraments Moreau Honors
  • English II or English II Moreau Honors
  • Geometry or Honors Geometry or Algebra II or Honors Algebra II,
  • Biology or Honors Biology or Honors Chemistry
  • Foreign Language
  • Physical Education 10
  • Life Skills/Guidance Seminar

Juniors

  • Christian Morality and Christian Doctrine
  • English III American Literature or English III Honors American Literature or AP English Composition
  • U.S. History or Honors US History or AP U.S. History
  • Algebra II, Honors Algebra II, Trig, or Honors Trig
  • Chemistry or Honors Chemistry or Biology Level 4
  • Foreign Language and/or an Elective

Seniors

  • Global Issues I, Peer Counseling, Global Issues II, Christian Lifestyles, or Comparative Religions
  • English IV World Literature or Honors World Literature or AP English Literature
  • U.S. Government or Honors US Government or AP U. S. Government & Politics
  • + 3.5 full credits of electives

Graduation Requirements

Class of 2022

The minimum course requirements to be eligible to receive a diploma for the Class of 2022 from Notre Dame High School are:

Religious Studies (4 credits)
English (4 credits)
Social Studies (3 credits)
Math (4 credits)
Science (3 credits)
Foreign Language (2 credits)
Fine Arts (1 credits)
Life Skills (0.5 credit)
Physical Education (1.0 credit)
Technology Credit (0.25 credit)
Experiential Learning (2 credits)
Electives (1.5 credits)

TOTAL CREDITS REQUIRED FOR GRADUATION ARE 26.25

Class of 2021

  • The minimum course requirements to be eligible to receive a diploma for the Class of 2021 from Notre Dame High School are:

    Religious Studies (4 credits)
    English (4 credits)
    Social Studies (3 credits)
    Math (4 credits)
    Science (3 credits)
    Foreign Language (2 credits)
    Fine Arts (0.5 credit)
    Life Skills (0.5 credit)
    Physical Education (1.0 credit)
    Experiential Learning (1.0 credits)
    Electives (3.5 credits)

    TOTAL CREDITS REQUIRED FOR GRADUATION ARE 27

Class of 2020

The minimum course requirements to be eligible to receive a diploma for the Class of 2021 from Notre Dame High School are:

Religious Studies (4 credits)
English (4.5 credits)
Social Studies (3.5 credits)
Math (4 credits)
Science (3 credits)
Foreign Language (2 credits)
Fine Arts (0.5 credit)
Life Skills (0.5 credit)
Physical Education (1.0 credit)
Experiential Learning (1.5 credits)
Electives (3.5 credits)

TOTAL CREDITS REQUIRED FOR GRADUATION ARE 27.5

Class of 2019

The minimum course requirements to be eligible to receive a diploma for the Class of 2021 from Notre Dame High School are:

Religious Studies (4 credits)
English (4.5 credits)
Social Studies (3.5 credits)
Math (4 credits)
Science (3 credits) 
Foreign Language (2 credits)
Fine Arts (0.5 credit)
Life Skills (0.5 credit)
Physical Education (1.0 credit)
Experiential Learning (0.5 credit)
Electives (4.5 credits)

TOTAL CREDITS REQUIRED FOR GRADUATION ARE 28