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Homepage Home > College Guidance > Preparing Students for College > Working with Student-Athletes > NCAA Course Work Requirements

NCAA Course Work Requirements

Help your student-athletes stay on track

Student-athletes must complete appropriate course work in order to qualify for NCAA programs. Therefore, it's important that you and the 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

Here is an overview of the basic NCAA eligibility criteria. Visit the NCAA Eligibility Center, the authoritative source for more details.

Division I:

16 Core Courses

Division II:

14 Core Courses (if enrolling prior to August 1, 2013)

16 Core Courses (if enrolling on or after August 1, 2013)

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;
3 extra years if enrolling on or after August 1, 2013

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);
4 extra years if enrolling on or after August 1, 2013

Academic standards

Division I eligibility

  • All students entering college must have completed 16 core courses in high school.
  • Students must earn a minimum required GPA in core courses and a combined SAT or ACT sum score that matches this GPA on a sliding scale, which can be found in the NCAA Eligibility Center Quick Reference Guide (.pdf/270K). Requires Adobe Reader (latest version recommended).

Division II eligibility

  • All students entering college prior to August 1, 2013, must have completed 14 core courses in high school.
  • All students entering college on or after August 1, 2013, must have completed 16 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.

NCAA core courses definition

  • An academic course in one or a combination of these areas: English, mathematics, natural/physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative 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 courses, or those taught at a slower pace or that cover less content 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 Eligibility Center High School Portal

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 college's admission policies and apply directly to that college.

Customized Entry Pages

HIGHLIGHT

For a complete index of core GPAs and test scores as well as more details on all academic eligibility requirements and conditions, download the current NCAA Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete from the Publications section of the NCAA website.

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