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Driscoll Scholars

Great things happen when Holy Cross and Notre Dame join forces

Exhibit A: The Driscoll Scholars Program.

This program is a 1+4 STEM prep program to build your foundation for success at the University of Notre Dame.  Your year at Holy Cross College gives you time, structured experiences, a success coach, small classes, and amazing faculty mentors to ensure you will thrive at Notre Dame.  As many know, we are neighbors, part of the tri-campus of Notre Dame, Indiana.  Along with Saint Mary’s, we at Holy Cross College share with Notre Dame not only the same zip code, but the same mission of preparing your for success.

The Driscoll Scholars Program is designed for just this purpose of preparing you for success.  In your year at Holy Cross College, you will take core STEM courses in science and math that are proven to be related to success at a top-tier, prestigious research university like Notre Dame. Your schedule will also give you time and space to explore other courses of interest, and also to learn more about the fields and career possibilities open to you.  Upon successful completion of the program, you are guaranteed admission to the University of Notre Dame as a first-year student. Then, upon successful completion of the next four years, you will graduate with the Notre Dame Class of 2028!


Driscoll Scholars can choose from 12 different majors.

Prior to matriculating to Notre Dame, Driscoll Scholars indicate one of the following majors, each one following a 1+4 Curriculum, or a five-year program:

College of Engineering

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Earth Sciences
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

College of Science

  • Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics
  • Mathematics

College of Arts and Letters 


Admission to the Driscoll Scholars Program is invitation only.

There is no application for the Driscoll Scholars Program other than a first-year application (Common Application or Coalition Application) to Notre Dame, nor can you indicate interest in the Driscoll Scholars


Program on the first-year application.

If you’ve been selected for the Driscoll Program, an invitation will be included in your Notre Dame application decision release. Students will be selected from the Regular Decision pool.

The program size is purposefully small (approximately 10 students) to ensure personal attention and one-on-one advising.

Selection and release of notification for the Driscoll Scholars Program will take place in March. Those accepting the invitation must confirm their intention of enrolling at Holy Cross College as a Driscoll Scholar by submitting an enrollment deposit on or before May 1.  Admitted students are encouraged to schedule a visit to Holy Cross and Notre Dame to tour campuses and learn more about the Program.  Also important to note is that Holy Cross and Notre Dame meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for Driscoll Scholars.  That means, for example, that if the FAFSA determines your EFC to be zero, then your financial aid will cover all of your tuition, fees, room & board, and books at Holy Cross! Notre Dame also meets full demonstrated need.   To see how this will work once you are a Notre Dame student in year two, families also may use the Notre Dame Net Price Calculator. On the academic side, in order to have the guaranteed matriculation to Notre Dame, students must earn a 3.5 at Holy Cross, and all grades at B or above. Students must remain in good social/disciplinary standing as well.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who is in the program?
A: Those chosen for this highly selective program are students from the state of Indiana who indicated on their application to the University of Notre Dame that they were interested in a major from the College of Science, the College of Engineering, or Neuroscience and Behavior and the Arts & Letter Pre-Health Supplementary major in the College of Arts & Letters.

Q: Why is the program 5 years?
A: In fields as rigorous as the ones above, often students at major universities do not complete all requirements in four years.  In particular, those with high aptitude and potential but perhaps lacking some of the most advanced coursework are at risk of not graduating within four years.  Therefore, in order to ensure a solid foundation, and to give you the opportunity to grow over time in your skills and interests in the field, we have designed this 5-year experience with one year at Holy Cross College and four years at Notre Dame.

Q: How many students are in the program?
A: The cohort for the Driscoll Scholars Program is purposefully small, structured to be around 10-15 students. This allows for personalized attention and intentional community.

Q: What courses will I be taking at Holy Cross College?
A: At Holy Cross College, you will be taking a year-long Chemistry sequence, Physics I, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus I, Writing and Rhetoric, and a few other courses as electives that’ll help round out your curriculum. By investing most of your coursework in STEM classes, you will be able to determine which STEM path is right for you.

Q: What if I decide that I want to pursue a major not in STEM?
A: The beauty of the program is that you can discern whether STEM is right for you or not. Should you decide that you would rather major in something else, you are more than welcome to declare another major at Notre Dame.

Q: Will I have an advisor at Holy Cross College?
A: All students in the Driscoll Scholars Program will have an academic advisor tailored to their needs and knowledgeable about the requirements for the program. That advisor will also serve as a mentor who will help you discern what path you would like to pursue at Notre Dame.

Q: Are there any perks that come with being a Driscoll Scholar?
A: Yes! In addition to a particular advisor for the program, and all perks that come with being a Notre Dame student upon matriculation to the university, students will be able to go on an externship excursion over fall break exploring a variety of firms and companies in the STEM field in Indianapolis. To allow students to properly discern STEM with working professionals, all expenses for this trip will be covered by the program.

Q: How can I learn more about Holy Cross College and the Driscoll Scholars Program?
A: Admitted students can learn more about the Driscoll Scholars Program and Holy Cross College by attending a Virtual Session on Tuesday, March 21 or by coming to an Admitted Student Day at Holy Cross College on April 3 or 17.


Questions about the Holy Cross College curriculum? Please email Juan Maldonado, Driscoll Scholars Advisor