Brubeck will receive the award at Notre Dame's commencement ceremony on May 21.
"The composed energy of Mr. Brubeck's art helps us apprehend the fullness of creation," Notre Dame president John I. Jenkins said in a statement. "His life and his music splendidly interweave the celebration of beauty with the imperative to worship."
Brubeck is best known for the seminal 1959 album Time Out, which includes "Take Five" and "Blue Rondo š la Turk," and other small-group recordings, but he is also the composer of a jazz oratorio and the choral work The Commandments, which debuted last fall.
The winner of the Laetare Medal is announced each year on Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent. It recognizes a Catholic "whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the Church, and enriched the heritage of humanity."
Previous recipients include tenor John McCormack, president John F. Kennedy, novelist Walker Percy, and anti-death penalty activist Helen Prejean.