NCAA Eligibility Requirements

NCAA Initial Eligibility Requirements

The NCAA has specific course credit requirements in order for a student to participate in collegiate athletics. Therefore, students who aspire to play Division I athletics should be mindful of the NCAA course requirements below. Since these course requirements must be satisfied in the first four years of high school, Division I-minded students who have repeated a year of high school should be extra vigilant and review the information below. The College Office and Dean of Academic Life will look through student transcripts, but students should review their credits and courses first to ensure discussions are focused and efficient. Most questions about eligibility are answered in the Guide for the College Bound Student Athlete (external link).

Division I overview

In order to be eligible to compete during the initial year of full-time enrollment at an NCAA Division I school, a student must complete sixteen core courses with a minimum 2.0 GPA and have the minimum SAT or ACT scores for that GPA (see the NCAA Eligibility Center website for the NCAA GPA/Testing Sliding Scale). Ten of the sixteen core courses must be completed before the start of the seventh semester of high school and at least seven of these ten core courses must be in English, math, or natural or physical science. The student must reach a 2.3 GPA for the following sixteen core courses:

  • 4 years of English

  • 3 years of mathematics (algebra I or higher)

  • 2 years of natural/physical science (including one year of lab 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)

Further notes

  • Students beginning Hotchkiss as Preps typically do not have any challenges meeting these requirements. Humanities accounts for 6 credits (2 English, 2 History and 2 Philosophy/Religion). If a student takes 4 years of Math, 2 of Science (at a minimum) and 3 of Languages (at a minimum), and a year of electives in science, history or religion/philosophy, then the student would be well positioned to satisfy the requirements.

  • Computer Science and Visual Arts/Performing Arts courses are not NCAA approved. Environmental Ethics and Robotics are not approved, but pending review.

  • Math and Modern Languages: if a repeat student is placed “back” in these subjects, then contact the Dean of Academic Life or College Office before classes begin. (Example: took Algebra or Pre-Calculus at a previous school and Hotchkiss places them in these courses again; or the student took Spanish I or French II at previous school and Hotchkiss places the student in Spanish 150 or French 250). The NCAA does not count what it perceives at repeat courses. It may be to the students benefit to switch languages. There is not much we can do about math, but it may necessitate the student taking extra English).

  • These requirements do not apply to Division III athletics.

NCAA links