NCAA Freshman-Eligibility Standards Quick Reference Sheet


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. See the chart below for the breakdown of this 16 core-course requirement.
  • NCAA Division II requires 14 core courses. See the breakdown of core-course requirements below. Please note, Division II will require 16 core courses beginning August 1, 2013.

Test Scores

  • Division I has a sliding scale for test score and grade-point average. The sliding scale for those requirements is shown on page two of this sheet.
  • 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
  • Division I grade-point-average requirements are listed on page two of this sheet.
  • The Division II grade-point-average requirement is a minimum of 2.000. PLEASE

16 Core-Course Rule

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 non doctrinal religion/philosophy).

14 Core-Course Rule

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 year 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 non doctrinal religion/philosophy).

PLEASE NOTE: Beginning August 1, 2013, students planning to attend an NCAA Division II institution will be required to complete 16 core courses.




Division II has no sliding scale. The minimum core grade-point average is 2.000. The minimum SAT score is 820 (verbal and math sections only) and the minimum ACT sum score is 68.
14 core courses are currently required for Division II. However, beginning 2013, students will be required to complete 16 core courses.
16 core courses are required for Division I.
The SAT combined score is based on the verbal and math sections only. The writing section will not be used.
SAT and ACT scores must be reported directly to the Eligibility Center from the testing agency. Scores on transcripts will not be used.
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 Click on “Academics and Athletes” then “Eligibility and Recruiting.” Or visit the Eligibility Center Web site at

Please call the NCAA Eligibility Center if you have questions:

Toll-free number: 877/262-1492.


New Core GPA / Test Score Index

Core GPA

Verbal and Math ONLY


3.550 & above 400 37
3.525 410 38
3.500 420 39
3.475 430 40
3.450 440 41
3.425 450 41
3.400 460 42
3.375 470 42
3.350 480 43
3.325 490 44
3.300 500 44
3.275 510 45
3.250 520 46
3.225 530 46
3.200 540 47
3.175 550 47
3.150 560 48
3.125 570 49
3.100 580 49
3.075 590 50
3.050 600 51
3.025 610 52
3.000 620 52
2.975 630 53
2.950 640 53
2.925 650 54
2.900 660 55
2.875 670 56
2.850 680 56
2.825 690 57
2.800 700 58
2.775 710 59
2.750 720 59
2.725 730 60
2.700 730 61
2.675 740-750 62
2.650 760 63
2.625 770 64
2.600 780 65
2.575 790 66
2.550 800 67
2.525 810 68
2.500 820 69
2.475 830 70
2.450 840-850 70
2.425 860 71
2.400 860 72
2.375 870 73
2.350 880 74
2.325 890 75
2.300 900 76
2.275 910 77
2.250 920 78
2.225 930 79
2.200 940 80
2.175 950 80
2.150 960 80
2.125 960 81
2.100 970 82
2.075 950 83
2.050 990 84
2.025 1000 85
2.000 1010 86


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Academic Eligibility
Frequently Asked Questions

When should a student register with the NCAA Eligibility Center?
Students should register with the Eligibility Center at the beginning of their junior year in high school. At the end of the student's junior year, a transcript, which includes six semesters of grades, should be sent to the Eligibility Center from the high school. Additionally, students should have their SAT or ACT scores forwarded directly to the Eligibility Center (by using code "9999") whenever they take the exam.

What requirements do I need to be able to practice, play and get a scholarship at an NCAA Division I or II college or university?
You need to complete the following:

  1. Graduate from high school;
  2. Complete a minimum of 16 (for Division I) or 14 (for Division II) core courses;
  3. Present the required grade-point average (GPA) (see the sliding scale in the Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete for Division I or a minimum 2.0 GPA for Division II);
  4. Present a qualifying test score on either the ACT or SAT (see the sliding scale in the Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete); and
  5. Complete the amateurism questionnaire and request final amateurism certification.

How do I know if the courses I am taking will count as core courses?
You need to look at your high school's NCAA List of Approved Core Courses. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the NCAA Eligibility Center Web site at;
  2. Click on "General Information";
  3. Click on "List of Approved Core Courses";
  4. Input your high school's CEEB code (if you know it) or search by your high school's name and state; and
  5. Review the list.
    *Very important: If a core course you took is not on the list, it will not be used in your eligibility determination. Courses that appear on your transcript must exactly match what is on the list.

What do I do if a core course I took is not on the list?
See your high school counselor immediately. Someone at your high school is responsible for keeping your high school's list updated. It is important your high school does this each year to make sure the core courses you are taking appear on the list.

What is the lowest grade that will be used for a course to count as a core course?
Follow your high school's policy regarding its lowest passing grade. If the Eligibility Center does not have this policy, the lowest passing grade that will be used is D.

Will credit-by-exam courses meet core-course requirements?
No. Courses completed through credit-by-exam will not be used.

Are vocational courses acceptable?
No. Traditional vocational courses (e.g., typing, auto mechanics, driver's education and health) are not acceptable.

Do pass/fail grades count?
Yes, these grades may satisfy your core-course requirements. The Eligibility Center will assign your high school's lowest passing grade for a pass/fail class.

May courses taken in the eighth grade that are high school core courses (e.g., Algebra I, Spanish 1, Freshman Composition) be used to meet the core-course requirement?
A high school course taken in the eighth grade may be used if the course is on the high school transcript with a grade and credit and if the course is on the high school's NCAA List of Approved Core Courses.

May independent-study, Internet and correspondence courses count as core courses?
Yes, if the following four conditions are met:

  1. The course meets core-course requirements;
  2. You and the instructor have access to each other during the course so that the instructor can teach, evaluate and provide assistance to you;
  3. Appropriate academic authorities evaluate your work according to the high school's academic policies; and
  4. The course is acceptable for any student to take and is placed on your high school transcript.

May college courses count as core courses?
College courses may be used to satisfy core-curriculum requirements if the courses are accepted and awarded credit by the high school for any student and meet all other requirements for core courses. For NCAA Division I only, such courses must be placed on the student's high school transcript. Courses taken at a college will NOT appear on the high school's NCAA List of Approved Core Courses. The high school's NCAA List of Approved Core Courses will include only those courses taught/offered by the high school.

How are courses taken over two years counted?
A one-year course that is spread over a longer period of time is considered one course and will receive a maximum of one core-course credit. (Example: Algebra 1, spread over two years, would receive one unit of credit.)

May my study in a foreign country help me meet core-course requirements?
If you attended a secondary school outside the United States for all or part of grades nine through 12, different evaluation procedures will be applied to your international education documents. You must submit original-language documents with certified translations for Eligibility Center evaluation.

How is my core-course GPA calculated?
Your core-course GPA is the average of your best grades achieved for all required core courses. If you have taken extra core courses, those courses will be used in your GPA, only if they improve your GPA.

Can weighted grades for honors or advanced-placement courses be factored into the calculation of the student's core GPA?
A school's normal practice of weighting honors or advanced courses may be used, as long as the weighting is used for computing GPAs. Weighting cannot be used if the high school weights grades for the purpose of determining class rank. Additionally, in no instance may the student receive greater than 1.000 additional quality points for purposes of calculating the GPA for initial eligibility.

How is the NCAA core GPA different from a student's overall GPA?
The NCAA core-course GPA is calculated using only NCAA-approved core courses in the required number of core units. High school GPAs generally include the grades from most or all courses attempted in grades nine through 12.

Will courses taken after my senior year meet core-course requirements?
For Division I, maybe. Only courses completed in grades nine through 12 will qualify as core courses for Division I. If you graduate from high school on schedule (in eight semesters) with your incoming ninth grade class, you may use one core course completed in the year after graduation (summer or academic year). You may complete the core course at a location other than the high school from which you graduated and may initially enroll full time at a collegiate institution at any time after completion of the core course.
For Division II, yes. All core courses completed before your full-time enrollment at any college may be used by the Eligibility Center.
For Division I students with diagnosed disabilities, yes. If you have a properly diagnosed and documented disability, you may use one or more core courses completed after high school but before full-time enrollment in college.

How does the NCAA treat courses similar in content?
Some approved core courses might be considered duplicates. That is, the content of one course is the same as that of another, even though the classes might have different titles. If you have taken two classes considered to be duplicates, you will receive only one core-course credit (typically for the course with the higher grade). Please ask your high school counselor if you have questions about duplicate courses.

May courses taken at high school "A" be accepted if they appear on high school "B's" transcript?
No. High school "A" may provide the Eligibility Center with an official copy of high school "B's" transcript, but grades from one high school cannot be accepted on another high school's transcript.

Does the prohibition against special education, remedial or compensatory courses apply to students with education-impacted disabilities?
No. In order for courses designated for students with education-impacted disabilities to be approved, the course must be substantially comparable, qualitatively and quantitatively, as a regular core course offered in that academic area.

Can students with a diagnosed education-impacted disability use courses that are designated for students with an education-impacted disability to meet NCAA core-course requirements?
Students with appropriately diagnosed education-impacted disabilities may use courses for students with education-impacted disabilities for the purpose of meeting NCAA core-course requirements. Courses for students with education-impacted disabilities must appear on the high school's NCAA List of Approved Core Courses in order for a student to receive NCAA credit for the course.

May a nonstandard ACT/SAT exam be used for initial eligibility?
Yes. Students with diagnosed education-impacted disabilities may take a nonstandard ACT or SAT exam. The test score must be provided to the Eligibility Center from the testing agency, just as any other test score.

How are students prioritized for processing at the Eligibility Center?
Students who have their status requested by an NCAA institution are prioritized by the Eligibility Center for processing. If a student's eligibility status is never requested by a member institution, the Eligibility Center may not process such a student's status.

*If you have additional questions or need further assistance, please contact the Eligibility Center's customer service staff at

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