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Northwestern vs Notre Dame: More than just football?

I know Northwestern and Notre Dame have a pretty intense football rivalry, but I'm really more interested in comparing their academics, campus culture, and student life. Can anybody share their knowledge and experiences for both universities to help me make a more informed decision about where to apply? Thanks!

6 months ago

Of course! It's essential to consider academics, campus culture, and student life, as they contribute significantly to your overall college experience. Let's dive into each topic for both Northwestern and Notre Dame.


Northwestern is a top-tier research university known for strong programs in journalism through Medill, theatre and arts through the School of Communication, engineering through McCormick, and business at Kellogg. On the other hand, Notre Dame stands out for its business program at Mendoza, engineering, liberal arts, and a strong foundation in Catholic values.

Both universities take pride in offering excellent academic experiences and resources for their students. Northwestern is generally perceived as more pre-professional, whereas Notre Dame has more of a traditional liberal arts focus, with a robust commitment to undergraduate teaching.

Campus Culture:

Northwestern's campus, located in Evanston, IL, is situated just north of Chicago, with access to the city via public transportation. Students often enjoy the balance of a suburban campus with the ability to explore one of America's largest cities. Notre Dame, located in South Bend, IN, has a beautiful and self-contained campus, fostering a strong sense of community. Still, it may feel more isolated in comparison to Northwestern.

Student Life:

Northwestern's student body is known to be ambitious and diverse. The university offers over 500 clubs and organizations, various residential neighborhoods and housing options, and support for different interests. Greek life is present on campus but not as dominant as at some other large universities.

At Notre Dame, students experience a strong sense of school spirit and tradition. Many students live on campus, residing in one of the many dorms that have their own events, mascots, and traditions, building a tight-knit residential community. Notre Dame's Division I sports and the Catholic atmosphere create a unique social environment.

Considering these factors, both Northwestern and Notre Dame have much to offer academically, socially, and culturally. It ultimately depends on your preference for location, the balance of academic and social experiences, and campus values. Be sure to visit each campus (if you can) to get a feel for where you'd be most comfortable and engaged. Good luck with your decision-making process!

6 months ago

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