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NCAA Division I Academic Requirements for High School Athletes

Students who enroll full time at an NCAA Division I school this fall must graduate high school and meet ALL the following 16 core course requirements:

  • Four years of English
  • Three years of math (Algebra 1 or higher)
  • Two years of natural/physical science (including one year of lab science if your high school offers it)
  • One additional year of English, math or natural/physical science
  • Two years of social science
  • Four additional years of English, math, natural/physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy
  • Complete 10 core courses, including seven in English, math or natural/physical science, before the start of the seventh semester. Once students begin their seventh semester, they must have more than 10 core courses completed to be able to repeat or replace any of the 10 courses used in the preliminary academic certification.
  • Earn at least a 2.3 GPA in their core courses.
  • Earn an SAT combined score or ACT sum score matching their core-course GPA on the Division I sliding scale, which balances their test score and core-course GPA. If students have a low test score, they will need a higher core-course GPA to be eligible. If they have a low core-course GPA, they will need a higher test score to be eligible. 

For more resources regarding these changes, visit NCAA.org/student-athletes/play-division-i-sports and review and download the Division I Academic Requirements Guide.

Test Score Submissions

In order for a student's academic certification to be processed, the student must have ACT or SAT scores submitted to the NCAA Eligibility Center directly from the testing agency. Review the step-by-step instructions on how to submit student test scores.

Test scores on a high school transcript will not be used. Students may take the ACT or the SAT an unlimited number of times prior to full-time collegiate enrollment, and the best score will be used in the final academic certification. Test scores are matched to the student's NCAA Eligibility Center account by name, date of birth and address.

Note: If a student takes the current SAT before March 2016 and then takes the redesigned SAT, which will be offered beginning March 2016, the NCAA Eligibility Center will not combine section scores from the current and redesigned SAT when determining a student's initial eligibility. The NCAA Eligibility Center will only combine section scores from the same version of the test. Because the redesigned SAT varies in design and measures different academic concepts than the current SAT, a numerical score on the current test may not be equivalent to the same numerical score on the redesigned test.

Update Your Core-Course List

The start of a new semester is always a great time to update your school's list of NCAA courses. A list that has not been updated recently could delay your graduating seniors' academic certification or prevent them from meeting the academic requirements.

You may add courses, archive those no longer taught and change titles quickly and easily on the High School Portal. Additional information on updating your course list including a step-by-step tutorial.

If your list is accurate, please log in to the NCAA High School Portal to verify you have no updates; this will confirm your list is accurate for your school in our system.