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Notre Dame College of Ohio is a Catholic institution of higher learning, established in the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame. The school educates a diverse population of students in the liberal arts, focusing on personal, professional and global responsibility.

The Sisters of Notre Dame founded Notre Dame College of Ohio in 1922 as a Catholic, four-year liberal arts institution for women. Over the years, Notre Dame consistently embraced the challenge of adapting to the changing needs of its students and has seen many changes. In 2001, Notre Dame College of Ohio began admitting men to the institution, thus paving the way for continuous growth of the College through the addition of new programs and athletics. Since then, enrollment has risen to a record high of almost 2,000 students.

The growth of Notre Dame College of Ohio can be attributed to their career-oriented liberal arts programs that help students succeed in the real world. The school offers bachelor's degrees in 30 distinct majors, with interdisciplinary programs and self-designed majors, and exceptional programs in education, business and science.

The athletic program at Notre Dame College of Ohio has also grown tremendously over the past 10 years. Today, the Falcons participate in 22 men’s and women’s intercollegiate sports. In July 2011, Notre Dame was approved for provisional status in the NCAA membership process. Being approved for a provisional year got the Falcon athletic programs one step closer to becoming a full-fledged NCAA Division II member, a status it achieved in the 2012-13 academic year.

Above all, Notre Dame College of Ohio strives to provide a mission-focused, values-based, private Catholic education to students who might otherwise not have access to such an experience. Their mission is to be faithful to the College’s Catholic heritage and identity. It is to be faithful to the charisma of the Sisters of Notre Dame, who sought to provide a student-centered education characterized by excellence.

Brief History of Notre Dame College of Ohio

The Sisters of Notre Dame founded Notre Dame College as a Catholic, four-year, liberal arts institution for women in 1922. The Sisters had fled Coesfeld, Germany during Bismarck’s Kulturkampf in the 1870s.  Many of them had come to Cleveland at the request of Bishop Richard Gilmour, who had sought German-speaking teachers for the parish schools of St. Stephens in Cleveland and St. Joseph’s in Fremont, Ohio.

In 1878, the Sisters established Notre Dame Academy in Cleveland for 14 students. After several relocations, in 1915 a new provincial house and academy were built on Ansel Road. After 1920, boys were no longer enrolled. Soon, the female students and their families clamored for a college to continue their education under the Sisters of Notre Dame.

In April 1921, the Sisters in Cleveland sent a letter to Mother Mary Cecilia Romen in Germany, asking that "work of college grade" be offered in the fall of 1921. In response, the Mother General of the Sisters of Notre Dame decided to visit the Cleveland Diocese, where the Sisters now operated one academy, seven high schools and 25 parochial schools.

On March 26, 1922, Mother Mary Cecilia wrote a letter to Cleveland Bishop Joseph Schrembs asking for permission to open a college for women. Less than a month later, the bishop granted permission.

Under the guidance of Mother M. Cecilia Romen, the College opened its doors to 13 women and 11 novices on Sept. 18, 1922; the articles of incorporation for Notre Dame College were signed and filed with the State of Ohio on March 30, 1923. Mother Mary Evarista Harks became the first president of NDC; Sr. Mary Agnes Bosche was appointed the first dean. A semester’s tuition was $75.

In June 1923, the Sisters leased 39 acres from the Jordan Family along Green Road in South Euclid. A year later they purchased 15 more acres. Construction of the campus began in the fall of 1926. On Sept. 17, 1928, 13 seniors, 16 juniors, 21 sophomores and 32 freshmen began classes in the new Administration Building.

Three residence halls and the Administration Building’s west wing were built in the 1960s. The Clara Fritzsche Library (1971), the Keller Center (1987) and two more residence halls (2009) followed. The College acquired the former Regina High School complex in 2011.

Other important milestones since Notre Dame College Ohio opened its doors include:

  • On June 15, 1925, Notre Dame College celebrated its first graduates of the two-year (certificate only) teacher training school: Kathleen Foster, Helen Maher, Josephine Ogrin, Estelle Weist and Kathryn Poelking. A year later, 14 students received their bachelor’s degrees and state certificates to teach in Ohio high schools. They were the College’s first graduating class of four-year college degree students.
  • On June 9, 1938, Betty Brown became the first black student to graduate from NDC with a degree in art and music. She returned as a faculty member in the early 1950s.
  • In 1942, Notre Dame College implemented the war-time accelerated program. The degree could be completed in three years with three 10-week summer sessions.
  • On June 4, 1955, Suzanne Gelin earned the first summa cum laude designation in Notre Dame’s history.
  • In 1969, the College’s sociology department initiated the Law Enforcement Education Program in which men could obtain an A.A. degree.
  • In 1975, the College established the Lifelong Learning Center for the education of mature women and to ease the return to college for women over age 25.
  • On May 18, 1975, the first two male students graduated from the College with A.A. degrees.
  • In September 1978, Sr. Mary LeRoy Finn opened Notre Dame's Weekend College to 40 women.
  • In May 1983, 12 pioneer Weekend College (WECO) students, who had completed their coursework in July 1982, became the first WECO grads to receive their degrees.
  • In the fall of 1991, Notre Dame’s Master of Education program started. Marcia Anselmo and Lu Kinblade were the first M.Ed. graduates of Notre Dame in 1994. Bruce I. Brownfield became the first male to receive the M.Ed. degree at the College a year later.
  • In July 1994, the Center for Excellence began operation. Renamed the Center for Professional Development in 1998, it offers programs in teaching, technology and learning.
  • In January 2001, the first three men enrolled as undergraduate students, compared to 875 women.
  • On May 7, 2005, 118 members of the first co-ed class graduated.
  • In November 2005, the Academic Support Center for Students with Learning Differences opened.
  • By fall 2011, enrollment had grown to a record 2,156 students with 1,346 full-time undergraduates.
  • On June 30, 2014, Thomas G. Kruczek became the 14th president of Notre Dame College.

The Mission, Purpose and Identity of Notre Dame College of Ohio

Mission Statement

Notre Dame College, a Catholic institution in the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame, educates a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility.

Statement of Purpose

Notre Dame College engages students, staff and the wider community in the educational experience. Those who choose a Notre Dame education are encouraged to develop the following values and skills:

  • Thinking logically, analytically and creatively
  • Communicating effectively in speech and in writing
  • Demonstrating mastery of an academic discipline
  • Choosing wisely for health and well-being
  • Appreciating the fine arts
  • Integrating Judeo-Christian values into their lives
  • Pursuing their personal spiritual development
  • Sharing talents and gifts in the spirit of friendship and compassion
  • Engaging in the lifelong search for truth, beauty, and justice
Catholic Identity Statement

Given the saving death and resurrection of Jesus, Notre Dame College sees itself as having a mission within the Church to extend Christ’s loving, saving activity in the world. The Gospel serves as guide and goal.

  • Those with an interest in Notre Dame College of Ohio live in a way that communicates that they are confident that life has meaning.
  • Students and staff believe that in some way each of them is called to serve others and contribute to the “common good” in their immediate relationships and as a participant in the larger global community.
  • Each one of them is called in Christ to respond to the fullness of gifts they have been given in the Spirit.
  • As they exercise the gifts of the Spirit, they recognize the responsibility to live an honest, ethical, and moral life so that their daily circles of influence are consistently marked in sometimes subtle or dramatic ways by the Notre Dame College mission.

Notre Dame College understands the unique role a Catholic College plays in the 21st century American culture. Committed to our Catholic faith tradition of belief in God’s creating, saving and sustaining love, we strive to daily live out the distinctive characteristics of a Catholic University.

Information for International Students

The small campus atmosphere of Notre Dame College Ohio is the main reason so many international students come there to study and develop as a person. The school currently has 45 international students who hail from 10 different countries around the world.

As an international student, you will receive personal attention from faculty and staff members that will help you build strong and lasting friendships at Notre Dame College. This is due to the small class sizes that the institution offers to their students and the supportive campus environment that they have built.

Admission Information

International students are those who legally reside in a country other than the United States. Notre Dame College requires the following credentials from each international student seeking admission:

  1. Official academic transcripts of all secondary and post-secondary education (if the academic transcripts are in a language other than English, the original transcripts must be submitted along with notarized/certified English translations)
  2. Competency in English – (see the school’s website for more information)
  3. International Student Financial Aid Form, if applicable.
  4. Verification of Country of Birth and Citizenship form
  5. Admissions Essay (recommended but not required).This document must be notarized and be accompanied by a copy of your passport photo page.

A student will be granted Full Admission when the following conditions have been met.

  • Competence in the English language as evidenced by, one of the following:
    • TOEFL (Test of English as a Second Language) minimum score of 550 PB (paper-based) / 213 CB (computer-based
    • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) minimum score of 6.0.
    • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English) minimum score of C (pass)
    • ELS Language Centers level 112 Proficiency Examination.
    • General Certificate of Education minimum score of C (pass) on either O (ordinary) or A (advanced) level. Scores must be no more than 2 years old.
  • 2.5 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale (most recent academic work)
  • ACT 19
  • SAT 900 (Critical Reading/Math)
Financial Aid

Notre Dame College provides financial aid to international students in the form of:

  • Academic scholarships
  • Athletic scholarships, and
  • Need-based scholarships (Student Loans and International Service Activity Grant)

All Programs Available:
  • Arts, Design and Crafts
    • Fine Arts
  • Business
    • Business Administration
  • Communications
    • Communications
  • Education
    • Education
  • Humanities
    • History
    • Theology
  • Sciences
    • Biology
    • Environmental Studies
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
Language of instruction


Type of school

Private University


+(216) 381-1680, Ext. 355


Office of Admissions - 4545 College Road, Cleveland, Ohio, The United States, 44121-4293

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