“I would hope that if Notre Dame makes a difference in the world, at the heart of that difference would be our commitment to human rights, human dignity, human freedom, and human accomplishment.”

– Father Hesburgh

One of the most valuable aspects of a Notre Dame education is the opportunity to experience hands-on learning. It is true, here at Notre Dame, the classroom is more than four walls. To get to the root of problems, students go out into the world and witness the observations they have made in the classroom. Through the many resources available on campus, students have the chance to make a difference in the world by applying the lessons and skills acquired in the classroom to the world.

Center for Social Concerns

The Center for Social Concerns (CSC) offers many opportunities for students to learn more about the intersection of poverty, injustice, and faith.


The CSC offers seminars for undergraduates to enroll. These seminars involve a combination of traditional classroom learning with a hands-on experience that challenges students to think differently about the world. Over the course of the year, about 20 different seminars are offered, the most popular being the Appalachia service trips offered over Fall and Spring break and the Urban Plunge over Winter break. For a full offering of seminars, please see website.

Summer Learning Programs

The CSC offers students a unique summer experience. Students take a 3-credit Theology course before departing for 8 weeks of service. At the end of the service, students are awarded a $2700 scholarship.  For those who want to stay in the United States, the Summer Service Learning Program (SSLP) allows students to perform service at an organization that is sponsored by the local Notre Dame club. For those who want to gain experience abroad and engage in service in a new way, the International Summer Service Learning Program (ISSLP) allows students to observe poverty and justice issues in a foreign setting.


The University of Notre Dame is a world-class research university. Every day, professors and students collaborate to uncover answers and discover new methods. There are many resources on campus for undergraduates to become involved in research. From designing housing for those affected by earthquakes to examining innovative techniques for genetic sampling, Notre Dame has the resources to help all students delve into their areas of interest. 

To learn more, visit http://research.nd.edu and http://ndigd.nd.edu/.

Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement

The Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE) assists students through the entire research process, from searching for possible areas of interest, getting approval from the Institutional Review Board, applying for funding, and publishing and recognizing the findings. They offer workshops to help students at any stage in the research process. They also provide funding for many students.

Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development

The Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD) works in multidisciplinary fields, including Education, Energy, and Security and Peacebuilding, in order to form just societies. Students can become involved by working as undergraduate assistants, interns, and fellows in order to gain experience in global development.

One-Credit Courses for First Years

First-Year Studies Office offers one-credit courses such as Personal Leadership, NY Times in the Classroom, Giving Back Through Education and others that allow students to receive an academic foundation on social issues.