Dublin, Ireland (UCD)

Notre Dame's program in Ireland is located in the city of Dublin, a capital city of 1,000,000 people located on the Irish Sea on the east coast of Ireland. Physically a small city—all the major museums and sites are within walking distance—it has a rich cultural life manifested especially in its established and experimental theater and traditional Irish and classical music. Dublin also boasts several excellent museums including the National Museum, with Celtic objects from the 8th and 9th centuries, and the National Gallery of paintings, which has a large collection of Irish artists. It is a young city, with over 100,000 college-age students in its many educational institutions.

Students will take courses at the Keough Naughton Notre Dame Study Center in Dublin and at one of the Republic of Ireland's best universities—University College Dublin (UCD). Notre Dame's Keough Center is located at O'Connell House on Merrion Square, the most elegant Georgian square in central Dublin. The building was the former home to Daniel O'Connell, the early 19th century Irish Catholic political leader. Notre Dame's Center is directed by Professor Kevin Whelan, an historian and member of the Royal Irish Academy.

University College Dublin was founded in 1851 as the Catholic University, and in 1908 it became a part of the National University of Ireland and lost its denominational character. It is now located on a lovely, green 350-acre campus at Belfield, three miles from the center of Dublin. The largest university in the Republic, it is home to over 24,000 students. There are almost 5,000 international students, about 20% of the student body.

Mission Statement for Dublin Centre

The Keough Naughton Centre of the University of Notre Dame in Dublin is committed to excellence in the provision of an International Studies Programme in Ireland. We welcome students of all majors through direct enrollment at Ireland's best universities: simultaneously, we advance their knowledge of Irish Studies through the ND Centre classes. We are a community of learning, of faith, and of culture, dedicated in a team setting to supporting one another in our journeys of discovery. We are Irish ambassadors for the Notre Dame mission, committed to what we are and what we do as a University. Through immersion in the life of Ireland, we endeavor to ensure that participants in our programme find their time here to be happy, productive and fulfilling on every level—intellectual, personal, spiritual and cultural.

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Academic Program and Courses

The Dublin UCD program accommodates students for either a semester or a yearlong period of study.

The Dublin Program is unique in that it can accommodate students from all of Notre Dame's colleges—Arts and Letters, Business, Engineering, and Science.

Students accepted to the program must submit a secondary application to UCD requesting admittance into one of four colleges (Arts, Science, Business, Engineering). They must then take a majority of their courses within that one college, but may take a lesser amount (1-2 courses) in a different college. These outside courses are dependent upon open places and timetable allowances, as are all study abroad courses. Presently, Theology courses are not available at UCD.

 Within each of the UCD colleges there is a wide range of subjects, and students are advised to choose courses with the help of a Designated Undergraduate Advisor at ND: (DUS).

Students in the Dublin program are required to take the course "Introduction to Ireland" taught by Kevin Whelan. This course is cross-listed for HIST, SOC, ANTH, and IRST and satisfies the University history requirement at ND. Two weekend trips are included with the course. One trip usually visits a site in the North of Ireland, and the second trip visits a site in the western or southern portion of Ireland. 

A minimum of 15 credit hours per semester is required for all ND study abroad programs.

Course catalogs for UCD for the current year

All courses taught at UCD potentially can be taken for credit at ND providing that they are approved by the specific academic advisor and/or dean. For a list of courses taken in the past (2005 to present) at UCD please consult the OIS course database listing these past approvals. Courses approved in the past are not guaranteed to be offered by UCD in any future semester.   

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Special Opportunities

Service Opportunities

The Dublin Program is noted for its organized service opportunities. Students regularly drop in to help coach basketball at St. Louis Primary School, and participate in one service event together as a group during the semester.

The Dublin Program also includes a Community Based Learning component, which is part of the “Introduction to Ireland” required course. This allows a pre-selected group of students of the program to formally commit 2-3 hours a week to a service site in Dublin. The students write weekly journals and the required final research essay for the course involves the service site where they volunteered.

These service site opportunities have included:

Aisling Project

Computer Clubhouse

Fighting Words

Foundation Project

Friends of the Elderly

Life Center


Separated Children’s Educational Services

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Housing and Meals

Students enrolling in the Dublin program and taking courses at UCD will live in dormitories on the UCD main campus with other international and Irish students. Students will live in single rooms or doubles with shared kitchen facilities. UCD accommodations

Students will shop for groceries and prepare meals in their kitchens. Cafeterias and restaurants can be found on campus and in Dublin, but tend to be expensive unless a student purchases a meal plan.

Students will walk to classes held on the UCD campus and commute by bus to city center Dublin to participate in the mandatory course "Introduction to Ireland" held at the Keough-Naughton Notre Dame Study Centre, also known as O'Connell House.  

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Site Calendar

Students in the Dublin UCD fall and academic year program will arrive in Ireland in early September. Students at UCD for the fall semester will complete their exams before Christmas and then return to the states. Since UCD does not have a fall break in their calendar, UCD fall program participants may elect to use their international airline ticket and travel around Europe before their academic program begins. The Keough-Naughton ND Study Center will meet the students arriving at either of two different arrival dates and store their luggage for the 1-2 weeks before they return to Dublin. The official start to the UCD fall program is the Sept. date when students return to Dublin from their pre-program travels. Should a student elect to travel in the pre-program period, they do so independently and not under the direction or supervision of Notre Dame.

Spring semester usually begins during the second week of January. All students arrive on the same day and are picked up by ND Study Centre Staff.  

Spring semester and academic year students usually do their major traveling during spring break. Finals are completed by mid-May and flights are arranged back to the US on the day following the last possible day of finals.  

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University College Dublin eligibility: Sophomores wishing to pursue the UCD option need to have a 3.0 GPA by the end of the fall semester of their sophomore year. Participation in the program is during the junior year. UCD can accommodate almost all majors, from science, engineering, A&L, and business.  However, course availability is not guaranteed by the host institution, UCD or ND.  Students must also check with their academic advisors and determine if UCD fits into their academic plan.

Participants are chosen by a selection committee for International Study Programs. Application deadline: November 15 of a student's sophomore year.

Students wishing to prepare a good application to Dublin should thoroughly understand the specifics of the program and clearly state why they think they would be a good fit for the program. They should inform their academic reference writer(s) and rector of the reasons for their interest in the Dublin program. They should prepare an excellent essay in order to inform the selection committee why their application stands out among the rest and their specific interest(s) in Ireland.  

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Health and Safety


All program participants are provided with worldwide health insurance from the time of the group departure from the United States until the program departure date. The cost of insurance is included in the program fees with coverage provided by HTH Worldwide. For more detailed information, please visit the HTH website at www.hthstudents.com/.

Participating students are required to submit a health questionnaire that is completed and signed by the student and a health care provider.  The provider can be a member of the University Health Services staff or your family physician. Back to Top


Embassy Registration: The Office of International Studies requires participants to register with the Department of State at https://step.state.gov so that the US Embassy or Consulate abroad can assist or communicate with the student in time of need.

Specific consular information about Ireland is available at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1145.html.  Staff onsite provide information pertinent to the site during the orientation period and support the health and safety of students throughout their stay. Back to Top

Personal Property Insurance

You may want to consider insurance coverage for your personal belongings. In many instances, homeowner’s insurance may not extend coverage for personal belongings while traveling abroad. There may also be limitations, restrictions, or high deductibles on the amount of coverage provided. One option to insure your belongings is to purchase Student Personal Property Insurance provided by Haylor, Freyer & Coon, Inc. Coverage is provided worldwide on a replacement cost basis for personal property you own or is entrusted to you by a parent or guardian. An HFC Brochure is available through the Risk Management and Safety Department by calling 631-5037. Back to Top

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Relevant Links

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