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Core Courses: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You


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Unless you're a hotshot chess player, puzzle master, or pro detective, the core course requirements can be an extremely confusing pile of nonsense. Between the various divisions (and their unique setups), sliding scale matrices, and minimum GPAs changing every which way, it's a lot to take in and process. We've broken it down by division, so you can pick up the core courses you need and get back to the good stuff.

NCAA Schools


For all students graduating after 2016 the requirements are higher than they were before, so get your study groups in order to make sure you make the mark!

Division I



  • Core Courses:

    • 16 core courses (find which ones from your school qualify here). Generally, this means 4 years of English, 3 years of math (Algebra I or higher), 2 years of natural/physical science, 1 additional year of English, math, or science, 2 years of social science, and 4 years of additional courses (from the subjects above, foreign language, or comparative religion/philosophy).

    • 10 of those must be completed before your senior year/seventh semester, and those grades are locked at the start of your seventh semester. This means that you cannot take them again to raise your overall GPA.

    • Your core course GPA must be 2.3 or higher.



  • Your test scores for the SAT (critical reading and math sections) and ACT (English, math, reading, and science sections) must correspond to your GPA on the sliding scale for NCAA DI.

  • If you're a senior and you don't meet these requirements, don't fret! You may still be eligible to receive athletic aid and practice by meeting the redshirt requirements. This means you've taken 16 core courses (none are locked in), met the requirements on the test score sliding scale (with a minimum GPA of 2.0), and graduated from high school.


 

Division II



  • Core Courses:

    • 16 core courses (find which ones from your school qualify here). Generally, this means 3 years of English, 2 years of math (Algebra 1 or higher), 2 years of natural/physical science, 3 years of additional English, math, or science, 2 years of social science, and 4 years of additional courses (from the subjects above, foreign language, or comparative religion/philosophy).

    • If you are graduating in 2016 or 2017, your core course GPA must be 2.0 or higher.

    • If you are graduating in 2018 or later, your core course GPA must be 2.2 or higher.



  • Test Scores:

    • If you are graduating in 2016 or 2017, you must have a minimum SAT score of 820 (reading and math sections only) and an ACT sum score of 68 (English, math, reading, and science).

    • If you are graduating in 2018 or later, you must present a corresponding set of test scores based on the sliding scale for NCAA DII, which can be found here.




 

Division III


There are no NCAA requirements to play Division III, so check individual school requirements now to make sure you're on track for your top choices.

 

NAIA Schools


The NAIA has offered a much simpler system, which requires you to achieve 2 out of 3 of the following:

  • A minimum score of 18 for the ACT or 860 for the SAT (reading and math sections only),

  • Graduate in the top half of your high school class, or

  • Get a minimum 2.0 GPA (overall, no core courses required).


 

Craving more on academic eligibility? Look no further: we've got you covered.

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