Help our student athletes stay on track!
Student athletes are more likely to be disqualified from NCAA programs due to lack of appropriate course work than they are because of inadequate standardized test scores. Therefore, it's important that you and school's coaches monitor changes in NCAA course work requirements and communicate such changes to your student athletes.
Course work requirements for NCAA athletics and NCAA scholarships*
16 Core Courses
(2008 and Beyond)
14 Core Courses
(2005 and Beyond)
4 years of English 3 years of English 3 years of math (algebra 1 or higher level) 2 years of math (algebra 1 or higher level) 2 years of natural or physical science (including one year of lab science if offered) 2 years of natural or physical science (including one year of lab science if offered) 1 extra year of English, math, or science 2 extra years of English, math, or science 2 years of social science 2 years of social science 4 years of additional core courses (from any category above, or in a foreign language, nondoctrinal religion, or philosophy) 3 years of additional core courses (from any category above, or in a foreign language, nondoctrinal religion, or philosophy)
*The NCAA is the authoritative source for eligibility criteria. Visit the NCAA eligiblity center.
Division I eligibility
- All students entering college on or after August 1, 2008 must have completed 16 core courses in high school.
- Students with a minimum GPA of 2.0 after graduation must have either a combined SAT® score of 1010 or sum ACT score of 86.*
Division II eligibility
- All students entering college on or after August 1, 2005 must have completed 14 core courses in high school.
- Standards require a minimum GPA of 2.0 and a combined minimum SAT score of 820 or sum ACT score of 68.*
*Note that there's a sliding scale between GPA and test scores: if a student has a high GPA, a lower test score is permitted.
NCAA core courses definition
- An academic course in one or a combination of these areas: English, mathematics, natural/physical science, social science, foreign language, nondoctrinal religion, or philosophy.
- A four-year college preparatory course; and a course at or above the high school's regular academic level, for example, an AP® class or outside college course.
Remedial, special education, or compensatory courses are not admissible. And not all classes that meet high school graduation requirements meet NCAA course work requirements.
Help your students check your high school's list of approved core courses on the NCAA Clearinghouse High School Administration page.
Meeting NCAA admission requirements does not guarantee admission into college—it simply determines whether students may participate in athletics during their freshman year. Students must follow each member school's admission policies and apply directly to that school.