Degree Requirements

Basic Requirements


The College of Science offers curricula leading to the degree of bachelor of science. Basic requirements for all science majors are:

  • Completion of University Requirements
  • Completion of College Requirements
  • Completion of Major Requirements
  • A minimum cumulative and Major GPA of 2.000
  • A minimum of 60 credit hours at the University
  • A minimum of 124 degree credits
  • The last year must be in residence, meaning that you must be attending Notre Dame; you cannot be abroad or at another university

College Requirements

All College of Science majors must take year-long sequences in Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics. The appropriate sequence for a student depends on the student's major.

Science Course Sequences

The following contains information on introductory course sequences for science majors.

Language Requirement

The College also requires language proficiency through intermediate level in one of the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Irish ("Gaelic"), Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. "Intermediate proficiency" is defined differently in each of the languages, depending on the complexity of the language and the intensity of the course. Students may complete the language requirement by either completing a course taught at intermediate level or by demonstrating proficiency through placement examination.

Technical notes on acceptable sequences and on language placement are given below. Every effort is made to make this information as current as possible, but is subject to our general disclaimer.

University Requirements

All College of Science majors must fulfill University requirements composed of fourteen courses. Four of these courses (two in Mathematics and two in Natural Science) are covered by the college requirements, discussed above. The remaining ten courses include one course in Composition, History, Social Science, Fine Arts, or Literature, and two courses in Theology, Philosophy, and Moreau First Year Experience. The student is also required to take one course that is designated to be a University Seminar, which is typically a course that also satisfies the university requirement in fine arts, literature, history, social science, philosophy, or theology.

The specific courses that satisfy these requirements are determined by Core Curriculum Subcommittees. In the university's list of course offerings, available online at Class Search, a course that satisfies a core requirement is so designated with a course attribute. A student can also search for all courses in a given semester that satisfy a requirement by selecting an attribute, e.g., Univ. req. - Fine Arts.

Degree Credit

Degree Credit is defined to be the credit that is counted by the Dean towards completion of the student's degree requirements.

Not all courses listed on a student's transcript will count towards the student's degree. The three common cases where degree credit is lost are described below.

Science Electives

All majors in the College of Science require Science Electives. In general, for a course to be a science elective, it must meet the following rules:

  1. It is offered through one of the departments in the College of Science or through the college itself.
  2. It is a major’s level; that is, other science majors are required to take this course to meet major requirements; or it has a prerequisite course that is offered for science majors; or the Undergraduate Bulletin description for the course states that it is a Science Elective in the College of Science.

The following courses count for Science credit.  Therefore, they will satisfy Science Elective requirement, if (i) they are not already counted as part of your program requirement, (ii) they are allowed by your program, and (iii) they are not in a forbidden combination with another course.

  1. College sequence courses:

BIOS 10161-10162, BIOS 20201-20202

CHEM 10171-10172, 10181-10182, or 10171-10122

MATH 10250-10360, 10550-10560, or 10850-10860

PHYS 10310-10320, 10411-10422-20433, or 30210-30220


  1. College program courses:

ACMS 20210 or higher

All S/U courses are excluded

BIOS 20203 or higher

All S/U courses are excluded

CHEM 20204 or higher

All S/U courses are excluded

MATH 20210 or higher

All S/U courses are excluded

PHYS 20330 or higher, PHYS 20054

All S/U courses are excluded

SCPP 23100

Currently the only SCPP course satisfying science elective requirement

SC 10000 to 49999 except SC 40500 to 40600

All S/U courses are excluded


  1. Any course with S/U grade does not count for Science Elective credit.
  2. When the P/F option is approved for a course, this course will no longer satisfy Science Elective requirement
  3. Courses listed above may not count for your program requirements.  For example, MATH 10350-10360 does not satisfy requirements for Mathematics majors.  ACMS 30440 is not allowed for ACMS major.  Please consult with your advisor.


  1. In addition, some courses offered in the College of Engineering will satisfy Science Elective requirements.

Rules and Procedures

The following describes procedures and forms to be used when a student changes major, seeks transfer course approval, etc.