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NCAA Eligibility Starts in the Classroom: Core Courses & GPA

Coaches say “Work hard on and off the field” and they are right. If you want to continue to play sports and compete in college - no matter the division - you need to first get it done in the classroom.

In order to be eligible to compete right away as a freshman in college, you must meet the minimum requirements of high school graduation, core course completion and a sliding scale of Core GPA and corresponding test score (See Impact of COVID-19 on NCAA eligibility for updates regarding testing procedures and requirements). Today we will take a closer look at Core Courses and Core GPA.

First, there’s a difference between your high school grade point average and your high school Core grade point average. While we love electives such as art, music, physical education, industrial arts, and they are a much needed component of development and learning, these course grades do not count towards your Core GPA.

Here’s what counts and what is needed in regard to Core Courses and these are the courses that make up your Core GPA in regard to your eligibility to compete in college athletics.

Complete 16 Approved Core Courses Click here to find your high school’s approved core course list.

English: 4 Years

Math (Algebra or higher): 3 Years Natural/Physical Science: 2 Years Additional (English, Match or Natural Science): 1 Year Social Sciences: 2 Years Additional Courses*: 4 Years

*Includes: Any more of the above, foreign language, or comparative religion/philosophy

For Division I Athletics:

  • You must complete 10 of 16 core courses before your 7th semester, and

  • 7 of those 10 core courses must be in English, Math or Natural/Physical Science

Be sure to visit and communicate with your high school guidance counselor to make a plan and stay on track.

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