The Syrian Supreme Court approved only three out of 51 applications to stand in the May 26 ballot, among them the 55-year-old president himself, widely expected to win a fourth mandate.
The court's president said in a press conference broadcast on state TV that Abdallah Salloum Abdallah, a state minister from 2016 to 2020, had been approved to run for president.
The third candidate was named as Mahmoud Marei, a member of the so-called "tolerated opposition" long described by exiled opposition leaders as an extension of the regime.
All 48 other applications were ruled out for "failing to meet constitutional and legal requirements", the court president said without elaborating.
They have until May 7 to appeal.
Applicants needed to garner support from at least 35 members of parliament, each of whom is only allowed to back one candidate.