NCAA Freshman Eligibility Standards

Students pursuing athletics at a NCAA division institution must meet eligibility requirements. We recommend student-athletes review the following information beginning their freshman year to schedule the appropriate core courses to meet NCAA standards. Be sure to meet with a college guidance counselor regularly to ensure you are meeting the following requirements.

Core Courses

NCAA Division I requires 16 core courses as of August 1, 2008. This rule applies to any student first entering any Division I college or university on or after August 1, 2008.

  • 16 Core Courses:
    • 4 years of English.
    • 3 years of mathematics (Algebra I or higher).
    • 2 years of natural/physical science (1 year of lab if offered by high school).
    • 1 year of additional English, mathematics or natural/physical science.
    • 2 years of social science.
    • 4 years of additional courses (from any area above, foreign language or nondoctrinal religion/philosophy). 

NCAA Division II requires 14 core courses. Please note, Division II will require 16 core courses beginning August 1, 2013.

  • 14 Core Courses:
    • 3 years of English.
    • 2 years of mathematics (Algebra I or higher).
    • 2 years of natural/physical science (1 year of lab if offered by high school).
    • 2 years of additional English, mathematics or natural/physical science.
    • 2 years of social science.
    • 3 years of additional courses (from any area above, foreign language or nondoctrinal religion/philosophy).

Test Scores

Division I has a sliding scale for test score and grade-point average. The sliding scale is available here.

Division II has a minimum SAT score requirement of 820 or an ACT sum score of 68.

The SAT score used for NCAA purposes includes only the critical reading and math sections. The writing section of the SAT is not used.

The ACT score used for NCAA purposes is a sum of the four sections on the ACT: English, mathematics, reading and science.

All SAT and ACT scores must be reported directly to the NCAA Eligibility Center by the testing agency. Test scores that appear on transcripts will not be used. When registering for the SAT or ACT, use the Eligibility Center code of 9999 to make sure the score is reported to the Eligibility Center.

Grade-Point Average


Only core courses are used in the calculation of the grade-point average.

Be sure to look at your high school’s list of NCAA-approved core courses on the Eligibility Center's Web site to make certain that courses being taken have been approved as core courses. The Web site is www.ncaaclearinghouse.net.

Division I grade-point-average requirements are listed here.

The Division II grade-point-average requirement is a minimum of 2.000.

Other Important Information

Students enrolling at an NCAA Division I or II institution for the first time need to also complete the amateurism questionnaire through the Eligibility Center Web site. Students need to request final amateurism certification prior to enrollment.

For more information regarding the rules, please go to www.ncaa.org. Click on "Academics and Athletes" then "Eligibility and Recruiting." Or visit the Eligibility Center Web site at www.ncaaclearinghouse.net.

Please call the NCAA Eligibility Center if you have questions:

Toll-free number: (877) 262-1492.

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