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NCAA Academic Eligibility Requirements

NCAA Academic Requirements


Fortunately, 75% of college athletes meet the minimum academic requirements outlined by the NCAA. However, every year many strong academic student-athletes are declared academically ineligible due to one or more of the following reasons:

  • Core Course Requirement: Every high school has a specific list of approved NCAA Core courses. Student-athletes are required to pass 16 core courses in high school. There is a slight variation between the requirements for DI and DII school; however, if an athlete meets the DI requirements, then they will meet the DII guidelines.

  • GPA for Core Courses: The NCAA calculates an athlete’s GPA based on the average of their core courses mentioned above, not all high school courses. The core course GPA minimum is 2.3 on a 4.0 scale for D1 and 2.0 on a 4.0 scale for D2.

  • ACT/SAT Scores: In general, the minimum ACT and SAT scores are 75 (sum score) and 900, respectively. Both standardized tests can be retaken to achieve one’s best score.

  • NCAA Sliding Scale: The NCAA usually uses a combination of an athlete’s GPA and standardized testing scores to determine their eligibility. Although, it is impossible to know what GPA or standardized testing scores are needed without knowing the other.


Division I eligibility requirements

For high school students graduating in 2021 or 2022, as well as enrolling in college full-time in 2021-22 or 2022-23:

  • High school diploma

  • Complete 16 core courses (pass/fail grades)

  • Awarded final certification on amateurism status via the NCAA Eligibility Center

  • Standardized testing nor core course GPA of 2.3 or higher is no longer required

For high school student-athletes graduating in 2023 and later:

  • High school diploma

  • Core course GPA of at least a 2.3

  • Complete 16 core courses:

    • 4 years of English, 3 years of math (Algebra 1 or higher)

    • 2 years of natural/physical science (1 year must be a lab science course if offered)

    • 1 additional year of either English, math, or natural/physical science

    • 2 years of social science

    • 4 additional years of any of the following: English, math, natural/physical science, philosophy, comparative religion or foreign language

Note: Athletes must complete 10 of the core courses by the end of their junior year of high school. Of these 10 core courses, seven need to be in English, math, or the natural and physical sciences. Athletes cannot retake these courses to improve their GPA.

Division 2 Eligibility Requirements:

  • High school diploma

  • Core course GPA of at least 2.2

  • Complete 16 core courses:

    • 3 years of English

    • 2 years of math (Algebra 1 or greater)

    • 2 years of natural/physical science (1 must be a lab course if offered by the school)

    • 3 additional years of English, math, or the physical and natural sciences

    • 4 additional years of English, math, natural/physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion, or philosophy

  • Earn a standardized test score matching core-course GPA on the DII sliding scale

  • Receive final certification of amateurism status via the NCAA Eligibility Center

Division 3 Eligibility Requirements

Division III schools set their own academic requirements. Thus, it is best for athletes interested in playing at the DIII level to contact coaches directly and look up each specific school to find out their requirements.

The Meaning of an Athlete's Academic Status with the NCAA

The NCAA only reviews an athlete’s eligibility status if requested by a DI or DII college. This process begins once an athlete completes all requirements shown above in the ‘eligibility requirement list’. Once the NCAA reviews an athlete’s account, they will assign an academic status.

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