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What’s the difference between NCAA Division I, II and III?

  • 12 October 2021
  • By Ryan Neceski

Welcome to Division Talk! 

 

Division I Summary

This is the top-level college athletic competition, typically larger schools with the best athletes. These divisions are the schools that have big budgets and can give you both academic and athletic scholarships. In Division I, sport is your life: you will have less chance to socialize outside athletics. Division I interests the largest crowds and the outstanding sporting facilities but is also a huge commitment. 

 

NCAA – Division I Requirements: 

  • English/Native Language – 4 credits
  • Natural/Physical Science – 2 credits
  • Math – 3 credits
  • Social Science – 2 credits
  • Additional (English, or native language, math or natural/physical science) – 1 credit
  • Additional (English, or native language, math or natural/physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy) – 4 credits
  • Graduate high school
  • Earn a core-course GPA of 2.3 or higher
  • You must complete 10 of the core courses by the end of your junior year (before the start of your seventh semester). Seven of the ten core courses need to be in English, math or natural/physical science. The grades in these seven courses will be “locked in,” meaning you will not be allowed to retake them to improve your rates.
  • Earn an SAT combined score or ACT sum score matching your core-course GPA on Division I sliding scale.
  • Receive final certification on your amateurism status via the NCAA Eligibility Center

 

 

For More information about division 1 and the steps you should be taking each year of high school, follow the link below:

https://www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/play-division-i-sports

Division II Summary

This is the second level of college athletic competition. Again, the best DII athletes are comparable to the best DI athletes but choose a DII school as it is a better fit. Like DI schools, the sport will play a significant role in your college life, and sacrifices may have to be made regarding your social life. DII can give you both academic and athletic scholarships. 

 

NCAA – Division II Requirements:

  • English/Native Language – 3 credits
  • Natural/Physical Science – 2 credits
  • Math – 2 credits
  • Social Science – 2 credits
  • Additional (English, or native language, math or natural/physical science) – 3 credit
  • Additional (English, or native language, math or natural/physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy) – 4 credits
  • Graduate high school
  • Earn a core-course GPA of 2.2 or higher
  • Earn an SAT combined score or ACT sum score matching your core-course GPA on the Division II sliding scale.
  • Receive final certification on your amateurism status via the NCAA Eligibility Center

 

Division III Summary 

 

This is the 3rd level of college athletics. Athletes here are typically looking for smaller schools and the opportunity to continue to compete in their sport. DIII schools don’t offer athletic scholarships, but they can provide academic scholarships and financial need scholarships. In DIII, there is more of a focus on academics, and excellent academics are supplied at most DIII programs. The best DIII athletes can usually play at the DII and some at the DI level as well. 

 

There are no requirements for NCAA Core Courses for Division III. Each Division III school will have their own admission requirements. 

 

Whatever Division you end up playing in, it is most important to find the right fit for you academically, athletically, financially etc. Your degree does not have the Division you played in; it has your academic program. For more information about the NCAA and Division talk visit: https://www.ncaa.org/