NOTE: This section was taken directly from the NCAA web site
What are core courses?
Not all high school classes count as NCAA core courses. Only classes
in English, math (Algebra 1 or higher), natural or physical science,
social science, foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy may
be approved as NCAA core courses. Remedial classes and classes
completed through credit-by-exam are not considered NCAA core courses.
Classes that are NCAA core courses include:
- 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
- Additional: comparative religion, Spanish 1-4
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.
If you take a high school class such as Algebra 1 or Spanish 1
before you start ninth grade, the class may count for your 16 core
courses if it is on your high school’s list of approved core courses and
is shown on your high school transcript with a grade and a credit.
You can earn credit for a core course only once. If you take a course
that repeats the content of another core course, you earn credit for
only one of these courses and the higher grade counts toward your
Generally, you receive the same number of credits from the NCAA for a
core course that you receive from your high school for the class. One
academic semester of a class counts for .5 of a core course credit. One
academic trimester of a class counts for .34 of a core-course credit.
One academic quarter of a class counts for .25 of a core-course credit. A
one-year class taken over a longer period of time is considered one
core course and is not awarded more than one credit.