Academics All NCAA Rules

Q: What is an NCAA Core Course? Do all of my classes count towards the required GPA needed for athletic scholarships?


A: From the NCAA…A core course must:
• Be an academic course in one or a combination of these areas: English (English 1-4, American Literature, creative writing), Math (Algebra 1-3, Geometry, statistics), Natural of physical science (biology, chemistry, physics), Social science (American History, civics, government) or additional areas (comparative religion, Spanish 1-4).

• Be taught at or above your high school’s regular academic level (no remedial courses, those taught at a slower pace or those that cover less content).

Not all classes you take to meet high school graduation requirements may be used as core courses. Also, courses completed through credit-by-exam will not be used.

A high school course (e.g., Algebra 1, Spanish 1) taken in the eighth grade may be used if the course is on the student’s high school transcript with a grade and credit and if the course is on the high school’s List of NCAA Courses.

Classes that are not NCAA core courses include:
• Classes in non-core areas, fine arts or vocations such as driver education, typing, art, music, physical education or welding.

• Personal skill classes such as personal finance or consumer education.

• Classes taught below grade level, at a slower pace or with less rigor or depth. These classes are often titled basic, essential, fundamental or foundational.

• Classes that are not academic in nature such as film appreciation, video editing or greenhouse management.

Check your high school’s List of NCAA Courses located on the Resources page of the NCAA Eligibility Center website at or ask your high school counselor.

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