In order to practice, play and get a scholarship at an NCAA Division I university, a prospect must complete the following:
- Graduate from high school;
- Complete a minimum of 16 core courses;
- Present the required grade-point average (GPA);
- Present a qualifying test score on either the ACT or SAT; and
- Request final amateurism certification (beginning April 1 for fall enrollees or beginning October 1 for spring enrollees).
NCAA Division I currently requires prospects to complete 16 core courses. A core course is a four-year preparatory class in English, mathematics, physical science, social science, foreign language, nondoctrinal religion or philosophy that is at or above the regular academic level of classes at a prospect's high school. College-bound student-athletes must complete core-course requirements in eight semesters beginning when they initially started high school with their ninth grade class.
The 16 core courses must consist of:
- 4 years of English
- 3 years of mathematics (Algebra I or higher)
- 2 years of natural/physical science
- 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 comparative religion/philosophy)
For those prospects who will enroll in college beginning August 1, 2016, they are required to complete 10 core courses prior to the seventh semester (seven of the 10 core courses must be a combination of English, math or natural or physical science). These 10 courses become "locked in" at the seventh semester and cannot be retaken for grade improvement. If a prospect fails to meet the 10 course requirement, they may still receive athletics aid and the ability to practice, but they would not be eligible to compete in their first year.
NCAA Division I uses a sliding scale to match test scores and core GPA. The sliding scale can be found on the NCAA Eligibility Center Quick Reference Guide.
The SAT score used for NCAA purposes includes only the critical reading and math sections. The writing section of the SAT is not used. For more information about the SAT and to find out upcoming SAT test dates, visit their website here.
The ACT score used for NCAA purposes is the sum of the following four sections: English, mathematics, reading and science. For more information about the ACT and to find out upcoming ACT test dates, visit their website here.
Grade Point Average
Only courses that appear on a prospect's high school's List of NCAA Courses will be used in calculating their GPA. For a complete of list of your school's NCAA Courses go to the NCAA Eligibility Center website and search under resources.
Using the sliding scale found on the NCAA Eligibility Quick Reference Guide, the minimum GPA required to receive athletics aid, practice and compete is 2.000.
For those prospects entering college after August 1, 2016, they will be required to have a minimum GPA of 2.300 to be eligible for competition and a minimum GPA of 2.000 to be eligible to receive athletics aid and practice in their first year.
Initial Eligibility FAQs
Students with Education-Impacting Disabilities FAQs
Home School FAQs
International Students FAQs
NCAA Transfer Guide