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NCAA Requirements

NCAA has specific requirements for eligibility. If you have aspirations to play NCAA athletics at a Division I or Division II college, you must meet their core course requirements by the end of your fourth year of high school, which can be difficult if you have repeated a grade or gone to an international high school.

Core Courses Required

There are 16 core course requirements for Division I and 14 for Division II colleges.

Course                                                                         Division I           Division II

English                                                                             4 years               3 years

Math (Algebra I or higher)                                            3 years               2 years

Natural/Physical Science
(1 year of lab if offered by high school)                         2 years               2 years

Additional English, Math, or
Natural/Physical Science                                               1 year               2 years

Social Science                                                                2 years               2 years

Additional Courses                                                       4 years               3 years

(from any area above,
foreign language, or non-doctrinal religion/philosophy)

College-bound student-athletes first entering an NCAA Division I college or university on or after August 2016 will need to meet new academic rules in order to receive athletic aid (scholarship), practice or compete during their first year.

Full Qualifier                               

Complete 16 Core Courses:

*Ten of the 16 core courses must be complete before the seventh semester (senior year) of high school.

*Seven of the 10 core courses must be in English, Math or Science.

Minimum Core-Course GPA of 2.300

Meeting the sliding scale requirement of GPA and ACT/SAT score.

Graduate from high school.

Academic Redshirt

Complete 16 core courses.

Minimum Core-Course GPA of 2.000.

Meeting the sliding scale requirement of GPA and ACT/SAT score.

Graduate from high school.


Does not meet requirements for Full Qualifier or Academic Redshirt.

Repeating a Grade

From the time you first begin ninth grade, you have four years to complete your core course requirements.  THIS IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT: if you repeated a grade, your window for completing all requisite courses closes at the end of your junior year.

Further, when repeating a grade upon entering a new school you may lose NCAA credit for one or more classes—often in English, occasionally in math—taken at your previous school. If NCAA deems that two courses duplicate each other, they will deny credit for one.

One way to have your eligibility status checked is to request an early determination by the NCAA. The NCAA will consider this only in your junior (or third) year (see “Juniors” below). Overt interest from a college can be a powerful catalyst. If a college is interested in you, please let the NCAA know as soon as possible. The college can then act on your behalf, in facilitating an early determination of eligibility. Final approval is based on a completed transcript.

What You Need to Do

9th and 10th Graders

  • Start planning now!

  • Work hard to get the best grades possible.

  • Choose NCAA-approved classes.

Juniors (or students in their third year of eligibility)

  • At the beginning of your third year, log on to the NCAA Eligibility Center website at and register.

  • Register to take the ACT, SAT or both and use the NCAA Eligibility Center code “9999” as a score recipient. (Test score requirements are listed on the website.)

  • Double-check to make sure that you are taking NCAA-approved courses.

  • Check that your high school official transcript has been sent to NCAA Eligibility Center after completing your third year of high school. (If transcript has not been sent,  fill out the Transcript Request Form.)

  • Prior to registration for your fourth year of high school, check with the Academic Dean’s office and the NCAA Eligibility Center to determine the number of core courses that need to be completed that year (i.e., before your window of eligibility closes).

More detailed information can be found on the NCAA website.

Failure to meet requirements could result in you not being able to play Division I or Division II sports in college. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to ensure you have met the NCAA eligibility requirements.

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