The University of Notre Dame, founded in 1842 by Rev. Edward F. Sorin, C.S.C., of the Congregation of Holy Cross , is an independent, national Catholic university located in Notre Dame, Ind., adjacent to the city of South Bend and approximately 90 miles east of Chicago.
Admission to the University is highly competitive, with five applicants for each freshman class position. Seventy–one percent of incoming freshmen were in the top five percent of their high school graduating classes.
The University's minority student population has nearly tripled in the past 20 years, and women, first admitted to undergraduate studies at Notre Dame in 1972, now account for 47 percent of undergraduate and overall enrollment.
The University is organized into four colleges— Arts and Letters , Science , Engineering , and the Mendoza College of Business —the School of Architecture , the Law School , the Graduate School, six major research institutes , more than 40 centers and special programs, and the University library system .
One indicator of the quality of Notre Dame’s undergraduate programs is the success of its students in postbaccalaureate studies. The medical school acceptance rate of the University’s preprofessional studies graduates is 80 percent, almost twice the national average, and Notre Dame ranks first among Catholic universities in the number of doctorates earned by its undergraduate alumni—a record compiled over some 85 years.