Academic Eligibility

Below is an outline of the basic NCAA Division II academic eligibility rules as they apply at UC San Diego.  If you have any questions about the below rules or need help in determining if your acdemic plan meets NCAA eligibility requirements, please contact your team's assigned eligibility advisor, either Katie McGann ( or Abrina Wheatfall (  Click here to see a breakdown of which teams Katie and Abrina work with for eligibility advising.  While you are welcome to drop by the offices, it is advised that you make an appointment.

If your question relates to general academic planning (ie. does not require a verification of meeting NCAA academic eligibility requirements), you should contact your college or major advisor through the UCSD Virual Advising Center (VAC).  The VAC is accessible through your TritonLink account under your Toolbox section.

Full-Time Enrollment - 12 units

A student-athlete must be a full-time student in order to participate (practice or compete).  The only exception to this rule for both competition and practice eligibility is for graduating students who don't need 12 units to finish their final quarter - they must have notification on file, with the Athletics Department, prior to the term in which they are less than full-time.  The notification includes verification from both their COLLEGE and MAJOR department that they are taking what they need to graduate.  If you are seeking to be part-time in your final quarter, it is advised that you speak with either Abrina or Katie well in advance to ensure you meet the requirements. All required paperwork is available through the Athletics Department & is separate from what you must file with the University if you are seeking to pay only part-time student fees in your final quarter. 

There is an exception, for practice purposes only, to the full-time (12 units) requirement that occurs during the first five days of each quarter; a student can drop and add classes and still be eligible for practice (not competition) during those first five days, if below 12 units.

Cumulative GPA:  2.00

A student-athlete must maintain a 2.00 cumulative GPA each quarter under California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) and UCSD rules.  GPA is based on the UCSD GPA used for graduation.  Each student's GPA will be evaluated at the end of each quarter and must be a 2.00 cumulative GPA, or better, for the student to continue to be eligible for competition.  Students below 2.00 may continue to practice as long as they are enrolled full-time.  Special Note for

Transfer Students: unless you are transferring from another UC institution, your GPA does not transfer over and factor into your UC-GPA.  

Major Declaration:

Students must declare a major by the start of their 7th full-time quarter to remain eligible.  If you plan on switching majors please consult with the Compliance Office first, as it may impact your eligibility.

Annual Competition Requirement: 36/12 Rule

At the start of each academic year (fall quarter), a student's continuing eligibility is determined by whether or not the student has successfully completed at least 36-quarter units since the start of the previous year.  This includes summer school units, however at least 75% of the units (27 units) need to be earned during the regular academic year.

If you are not on track to pass at least 36 units during the academic year, contact the eligiblity advisor assigned to your team (either Abrina or Katie) to discuss potential alternative methods of meeting the 36 unit requirement.  

Quarterly Competition Requirement: 6-unit Rule

Student-athletes must pass at least 6 units each quarter to remain eligible to compete for the next quarter.  Summer school cannot be used to meet the quarterly 6-unit requirement.
What Count for Meeting the 6 & 36-unit requirements?


Prior to the 7th Full-Time Quarter: If you have not yet reached your 7th full-time quarter of enrollment, all units (minus repeated credits) are considered acceptable under NCAA Division II rules and will count towards your annual 36-units and quarterly 6-units requirements.

Start of 7th Full-Time Quarter: Beginning in your 7th full-time quarter, your annual 36 units and your quarterly 6-units must go directly towards towards your degree.  A course is considered as going towards your degree if it:

• Goes towards your MAJOR requirements; or 

• Goes towards your COLLEGE GE requirements; or

  • If a necessary upper division electice or open elective course.  All the colleges aside from Muir require 60 units of upper division credit (Muir requires 72 units).  In addition, you need 180 units of credit to graduate from UC San Diego (if you are a Revelle student, you need 184 units of credit).  

NOTE: To figure out if electives are necessary and will count towards your NCAA requirements, it is stongly advised that you review your degree audit and discuss your audit with your assigned NCAA eligibility advisor (either Abrina or Katie).  Student-athletes are provided education on how to determine necessary vs. unnecessary electives during the Rising Junior Workshop that takes place during the spring quarter of their sophomore year.  

NOTE: Assume that classes taken strictly for a MINOR will not count; exceptions exist so always ask the Compliance Office..


Acceptable vs. Non-Acceptable Grades:

If you receive a "D" in a course where the minimum acceptable grade for your degree program is a C-, you will not receive units towards your eligibility requirements for that course.  If the course is later repeated and an acceptable grade earned, those units will be applied to your eligibility requirements at that time.  You only earn eligibility units for a course ONCE, when an acceptable grade is earned.

Special Considerations

  • During your final 3 quarters at UCSD, there is an exception to the 6-unit rule that may potentially apply to you if you do not have enough required classes remaining to meet the requirement ; see the Compliance Office for questions.
  • If a student is not meeting the requirement that he/she have 36 units from the prior year, then the student's overall record at UCSD is evaluated to see if the student has an average of 12 units per term enrolled at UCSD.  Summer school units cannot be more than 25% of the minimum total units required for meeting the average of 12 units per term enrolled.  This is referred to as the "averaging method" and if the student has an average of at least 12 units completed successfully per term he or she is eligible.  (Starting with the 7th quarter only degree applicable units may be used.)
  • If a student is still not meeting the above requirements at the start of the Fall term, he/she can be re-evaluated at the end of the Fall quarter to see if he/she has met the requirements (i.e., 36 units from the previous three quarters, with no more than 25% of the quarter units during the summer), or any subsequent quarter.
  • AP credit may not be used to meet the minimum units requirements at UC San Diego.
  • Correspondence, extension and credit-by-exam courses taken from a school other than UC San Diego can only be used in determining academic standing or satisfactory progress if the course is accepted by UC San Diego.
  • Units for a course that may be taken several times (i.e., independent study, research) is limited by institutional regulations.
  • Units earned at another institution before initial full-time enrollment at UC San Diego may not be used to satisfy minimum academic progress requirements. However, a student-athlete's total academic record after initial full-time enrollment at UC San Diego, including the record at other institutions later attended, can be considered in evaluating eligibility.

Contacting the Compliance Office

Remember this is not a complete list of NCAA rules. Please contact a compliance staff member if you have any questions or before taking action that may be contrary to NCAA rules.  Click here to view the Compliance staff contact information.


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