I know you guys are probably sick of this question, but just how religious is ND? The school is a great fit in many respects, but I'm not a fan of zealotry, and if religion is too prevalent, it won't work out. So, can a kid who's essentially an atheist like the school?
i'm "essentially atheist" and i want to go to ND. i have lots of relatives who are alumni and my brother is a current student. the students are pretty religious, but it is possible to avoid it, if you try. there is a chapel in every dorm. there is a huge, beautiful cathedral on campus. there is "The Grotto." You are required to take theology. The alma mater is "Notre Dame, Our Mother."
I'm not catholic (i really don't know what i am right now to tell you the truth.. i've had some problems with organized religion.. call me an agnostic i guess.... or maybe a believer that all religions hold some truths in them), but I still want to apply to ND.. yeah, i'll have to take theology.. ok, no big deal.. i'm open to anything, really.. it's just a class.. it's really up to each individual person.. some can't stand those classes.. some don't mind.. really up to you.. that's just my take in it
I'm not a fan of zealotry, and if religion is too prevalent, it won't work out.
You would do well to visit the campus, I think. ND is not known for 'zealotry' but it is well known for the strong Catholic presence on campus. Many ND students, very happy to be Irish, would probably describe themselves as something like 'not overly religious' and I'm sure there are at least a few other atheists on campus, but only you can decide your level of religious tolerance. ND will make no apologies for being a Catholic university. You either accept that or choose to go elsewhere, IMO.
Location: Minnesota --> Notre Dame --> University of Minnesota Medical School
The stats will tell you that 85% of the campus is Catholic, but that figure includes the lapsed Catholics, who are now essentially agnostic, but who put Catholic on their application for lack of a better answer. Catholicism has a strong presence on campus and is easily accessible, but it isn't forced on anyone. And most ND students aren't too big on "zealotry." If you can't stand being around people who are religious or being in a religious atmosphere, then ND would be a bad choice; however, if you simply don't want to participate yourself, you should have no problems. Religion at ND is a big draw for some, but there are many other things that draw people here.
i know quite a few catholic kids at my school, and if ND students who are catholic are anything like those at my school, you shouldn't have a problem at all at ND... there's not zealotry among them, nothing like that.. i didn't even know 2 of them were catholic until this year, and i've known them since 9th grade.. so even though the majority of notre dame is catholic, it shouldn't be a big deal