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 Mary Angell (  Click here to see a breakdown of which teams Katie and Mary 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.


Good Academic Standing:

Students must be in “good academic standing” with the University to be eligible to compete. The University defines “good academic standing” for all students as being eligible for continued enrollment.  In order to participate in extracurricular activities at the University, students must remain in “good academic standing.”  Academic standing is separate from Academic Status. For more information click HERE.


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 Unit Rule

At the start of each academic year (fall quarter), a student's continuing eligibility is determined by whether or not the student successfully completed at least 36-quarter units since the start of the previous year.  This includes summer school units, however, at least 27 of the 36 units need to be earned during the regular academic year.  The remaining 9 units are allowed to be earned over the summer.

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


Quarterly Competition Requirement: 8-unit Rule 

Student-athletes must pass at least 8 units each quarter to remain eligible to compete for the next quarter.  Summer school cannot be used to meet the quarterly 8-unit requirement.


What Count for Meeting the 8 & 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 8-units requirements.
  • Start of 7th Full-Time Quarter: Beginning in your 7th full-time quarter, your annual 36 units and your quarterly 8-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 elective or open elective.  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 strongly 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:

Once you’ve reached your 7th full-time quarter, and 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 8-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 at the start of Fall Quarter, his/her record can be re-evaluated at the end of the term to see if he/she earned the 36 units during the previous three quarters. Again, 27 of the 36 units must have been earned during the regular academic year. 
  • Junior Year Exception: if a student entering his/her 7th full-time term (typically the start of junior year) did not earn 36 units towards his/her degree during the previous academic year (sophomore year), the student’s overall record can be evaluated. If the student earned at least 72 degree-applicable units during the first two years of collegiate enrollment, the student will be considered to have met the 36 unit requirement. A minimum of 54 units must have been earned during regular the academic year.
  • AP credit may not be used to meet the minimum unit 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.