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College Sports, Division I, Education

NCAA Division I: Application of Progress-Toward-Degree Requirements to Student-Athletes with Multiple Majors

On September 19, 2011, the NCAA released an educational column discussing the application of progress-toward-degree (PTD) requirements to student-athletes with multiple majors. The column clarified that when certifying a student-athlete who has declared two majors within the same degree program, “an institution may, but is not required to, include course requirements applicable to both majors for purposes of calculating percentage of degree, provided the student-athlete would be permitted to graduate without completing both majors (i.e., upon completion of one major or the other).”

The following highlights some of the major points Division I institutions should take from this column:

  1. If a student-athlete is pursuing a degree as a double major, it is permissible to certify percentage of degree based on the total requirements necessary to graduate with both majors or to certify the percentage of degree based on the requirements of one of the majors, as long as the student-athlete would be permitted by the institution to graduate with only one of the majors.
  2. If the institution chooses to include only requirements necessary to graduate with one of two majors when certifying percentage of degree, the institution must count only credits applicable to the same major in determining fulfillment of the credit-hour requirements.
  3. If an institution certifies percentage of degree based on all course requirements necessary to graduate with both majors, credits obtained toward either major may be used to meet credit-hour requirements, provided the student-athlete was enrolled in the applicable major during the term in which the credits were earned.
  4. Credits from two separate degree programs may not be combined to meet PTD requirements.

This educational column references NCAA Division I Bylaws 14.4.3.1 (fulfillment of credit-hour requirements), 14.4.3.1.8 (hours earned or accepted for degree credit) and 14.4.3.2 (fulfillment of percentage of degree requirements); and staff interpretations (11/10/89, Item No. e), (9/18/92, Item No. c), (2/3/95, Item No. a) and (4/22/98, Item No. b).

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About Justin P. Sievert, Esquire

Bar Admissions (North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee) Practice Area (College Sports Law)

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