List of NCAA conferences
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is divided into three divisions, based roughly on school size. Each division is made up of several conferences for regional league play. Unless otherwise noted, changes in conference affiliation will occur on July 1 of the given year.
- 1 Division I
- 2 Division II
- 3 Division III
- 4 Defunct NCAA conferences
- 5 Conferences set to disband
- 6 References
- 7 See also
Football Bowl Subdivision
|American Athletic Conference||The American||1979
|Atlantic Coast Conference||ACC||1953||15
|Big Ten Conference||Big Ten||1896||14||28||Rosemont,
|Big 12 Conference||Big 12||1996||10||23||Irving,
|Mountain West Conference||MW
|Sun Belt Conference||Sun Belt||1976||11
- Known as Big East Conference prior to 2013.
- 11 members (12 football) in 2015 with addition of Navy for football only
- 15 members (14 football)
- 14 members (13 football)
- 13 football members in 2015 when UAB drops football and Charlotte's football program joins
- 3 members in 2015 with Navy joining The American as a football-only affiliate
- 12 members (13 football) with Massachusetts as a football-only affiliate
- 12 members (12 football) in 2016 with loss of Massachusetts football
- 11 members (12 football) with Hawaii as a football-only affiliate
- Pacific Coast Conference chartered in 1915; current charter formed 1959 by five former PCC members, with three others joining by 1964
- 11 full members; 11 football-playing schools with Idaho and New Mexico State as football-only affiliates
Football Championship Subdivision
|Big Sky Conference||Big Sky
|Big South Conference||Big South||1983||11
|19||Charlotte, North Carolina|
|Colonial Athletic Association||CAA||1983||10
|Division I FCS Independents||1
|Ivy League||Ivy League||1954
|8||33||Princeton, New Jersey|
|Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference||MEAC||1970||13||15||Norfolk, Virginia|
|Missouri Valley Football Conference||MVFC||1985
|10||1||St. Louis, Missouri|
|23||Somerset, New Jersey|
|Ohio Valley Conference||OVC||1948||12
|24||Center Valley, Pennsylvania|
|Pioneer Football League||PFL||1991||11||1||St. Louis, Missouri|
|20||Spartanburg, South Carolina|
|Southwestern Athletic Conference||SWAC||1920||10||18||Birmingham, Alabama|
- 12 full members, with Idaho as a non-football member; 13 football members with Cal Poly and UC Davis as football-only affiliates
- 11 full members, 6 football members with Monmouth as a football-only affiliate (one full member, Campbell, plays football outside the Big South in the Pioneer Football League)
- 11 full members and 7 football members in 2015 with Kennesaw State starting a new football program as a football-only member
- 10 full members and 12 football members
- 1 FCS independent in 2015 after the following changes:
- Charlotte football joins Conference USA in FBS
- East Tennessee State revives football as an independent before joining Southern Conference football in 2016
- While the Ivy League considers its athletic conference to have been established in 1954, the history of the athletic league can be traced back decades earlier:
- In 1901, the Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League (EIBL) was formed by five schools that would later become part of the current Ivy League; the EIBL membership eventually became identical to that of the future all-sports league. The EIBL was directly absorbed into the all-sports Ivy League, which considers the EIBL to be part of its history.
- In 1945, the Ivy Group Agreement, which governed competition and policies among the Ivy schools in football, was signed by all eight schools that eventually formed the all-sports league.
- The official formation of the athletic Ivy League came in 1954, when the Ivy Group Agreement was extended to cover all sports.
- While the MVFC began football competition in 1985, the conference charter dates to 1982. See History of the Missouri Valley Football Conference for more details.
- 10 full members, 7 football members
- 12 full members, 9 football members (one full member, Morehead State, plays football outside the OVC in the Pioneer Football League)
- 10 full members and 7 football members
- 10 full members, 8 football members
- 10 full members, 9 football members in 2016 with East Tennessee State moving its football program into the conference
- 13 full members, 11 football members
Non-football, multi-sport conferences
|America East Conference||America East||1979||9||18||Boston, Massachusetts|
|Atlantic Sun Conference||A-Sun||1978||8||19||Macon, Georgia|
|Atlantic 10 Conference||A-10||1975||14||21||Newport News, Virginia|
|Big East Conference||Big East||2013
|10||22||New York, New York|
|Big West Conference||Big West
|Horizon League||Horizon||1979||9||19||Indianapolis, Indiana|
|Division I Independents||1|
|Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference||MAAC||1980||11||23||Edison, New Jersey|
|Missouri Valley Conference||MVC
|1907||10||18||St. Louis, Missouri|
|Mountain Pacific Sports Federation||MPSF||1992||37||12||Woodland, California|
|The Summit League||The Summit||1982||9||19||Elmhurst, Illinois|
|West Coast Conference||WCC||1952||10||14||San Bruno, California|
|Western Athletic Conference||WAC||1962||8
- Although the charter of the current Big East dates only to the 2013 split of the original Big East, both the current Big East and the American Athletic Conference claim 1979 as their founding dates. The current Big East maintains the pre-split history of the original conference in all sports that it sponsors. In football and rowing, the two sports that are sponsored by The American but not the current Big East, neither conference recognizes the history of the original Big East.
- While the number of members will not change, the identity of one current member will change in 2015. Texas–Pan American will merge with Texas–Brownsville to create the new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). The University of Texas System has announced that UTRGV will inherit the Texas–Pan American athletic program.
Ice hockey conferences
|Atlantic Hockey||Atlantic Hockey||1997||11 (11/none)||Haverhill, Massachusetts|
|College Hockey America||CHA||1999 [IH 1]||6 (none/6)||Haverhill, Massachusetts|
|ECAC Hockey||ECAC||1962||12 (12/12)||Albany, New York|
|Hockey East||Hockey East||1984||12 (12/8) [IH 2]||Wakefield, Massachusetts|
|National Collegiate Hockey Conference||NCHC||2011 [IH 3]||8 (8/none)||Colorado Springs, Colorado|
|Western Collegiate Hockey Association||WCHA||1951||16 (10/8)||Denver, Colorado|
- College Hockey America was formed in 1999 as a men's-only conference; women's play began in 2002. The men's side of CHA folded after the 2009–10 season.
- 12 total members, 9 women's members in 2015 with addition of Merrimack women (Merrimack men are already members)
- Although founded in 2011, the NCHC did not begin play until 2013.
Other single-sport conferences
This list includes conferences in sports that the NCAA does not fully split into divisions, such as men's volleyball and rifle.
- Four schools house both men's and women's teams in the CCSA, two house only a men's team, and seven house only a women's team.
- 12 total members in 2016 with loss of women's-only member North Carolina A&T
- 10 schools have both men's & women's varsity teams, 8 have men's varsity teams, 11 have women's varsity teams; additionally, there are 135 men's and 85 women's club teams.
- There are 2 varsity members; the conference also has 7 college club members.
- There are 8 varsity members; the conference also has 7 college club members.
- There are 7 varsity members; the conference also has 6 college club members.
- There are 6 varsity members; the conference also has 13 college club members.
- Founded in 2013 with competition beginning in 2013–14. The conference gained full NCAA recognition for 2014–15.
- There are 10 varsity members; the conference also has 10 college club members.
- There are 8 varsity members; the conference also has 13 college club members.
- There are 8 varsity members; the conference also has 5 college club members.
- 13 members in 2015 with addition of California State University San Marcos.
- 12 members in 2015 with addition of Oklahoma Baptist University.
- 11 members in 2015 with addition of Concordia University–Portland.
- 10 members in 2016 with loss of University of Texas of the Permian Basin.
- 10 members in 2016 with addition of University of Texas of the Permian Basin.
- 14 members in 2015 with addition of Concordia University–Irvine.
- 13 members in 2017 with loss of Brigham Young University–Hawai'i.
- 16 members in 2015 with addition of Westminster College (UT).
|Appalachian Swimming Conference||ASC||?||6 (men)
|Bluegrass Mountain Conference||BMC||2000||10 (men)
|swimming||Spartanburg, South Carolina|
|ECAC Division II Field Hockey League||ECAC||2014||4||field hockey||Centerville, Massachusetts|
|ECAC Division II Lacrosse League||ECAC||2013||8 [SD2 1]||men's lacrosse||Centerville, Massachusetts|
|New South Intercollegiate Swim Conference||NSISC||1995||4 (men)
|Pacific Collegiate Swim and Dive Conference||PCSC||2003||5 (men)
|Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association||WILA||2010||4||men's lacrosse||Alamosa, Colorado|
- 9 members in 2015 with addition of University of Indianapolis.
These conferences sponsor sports which do not have D-II championships.
|Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association||CIAA||1912||11||bowling||Hampton, Virginia|
|Conference Carolinas||CC||1930||10||men's volleyball||Thomasville, North Carolina|
|Northeast-10 Conference||NE-10||1980||6||men's ice hockey||South Easton, Massachusetts|
- Appalachian Swimming Conference
- Bluegrass Mountain Conference
- Pacific Collegiate Swim and Dive Conference
- 9 members in 2015 with addition of Wisconsin–Superior
- 8 members in 2015 with loss of Wisconsin–Superior
|Continental Volleyball Conference||CVC||2011||7||Men's volleyball||Madison, New Jersey|
|ECAC East||ECAC-E||10 (men)
|Ice hockey||Centerville, Massachusetts|
|ECAC Northeast||ECAC-NE||8 (men only)||Ice hockey||Centerville, Massachusetts|
|ECAC West||ECAC-W||6 (men)
|Ice hockey||Centerville, Massachusetts|
|Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League||MCVL||2014||8 [SSD3 1]||Men's volleyball||Naperville, Illinois|
|Midwest Lacrosse Conference||MLC||2009||7||Men's lacrosse||Waukesha, Wisconsin|
|Midwest Women's Lacrosse Conference||MWLC||2010||8||Women's Lacrosse||Waukesha, Wisconsin|
|Northern Collegiate Hockey Association||NCHA||1981||10 (men)
|Ice hockey||Waukesha, Wisconsin|
|Ohio River Lacrosse Conference||ORLC||2014||7 (men)
|United Volleyball Conference||UVC||2010||9||Men's volleyball||Rochester, New York|
Defunct NCAA conferences
|America Sky Conference||Division I||2007||2014||Men's golf conference absorbed by the Big Sky Conference.|
|American Lacrosse Conference||Division I||2001||2014||Women's lacrosse conference that folded after the 2014 season due to fallout of the early-2010s conference realignment, specifically the 2013 announcement by the Big Ten that it would add men's and women's lacrosse for the 2014–15 school year (2015 season). Four of the seven final ALC members are full Big Ten members. A fifth school announced it would go independent, and the other two members became Big East affiliates.|
|American South Conference||Division I||1987||1991||Merged with the Sun Belt Conference. The new conference used the Sun Belt name.|
|Atlantic Central Football Conference||Division III||1997||2010||Disbanded|
|Atlantic Soccer Conference||Division I||2000||2012||Disbanded|
|Atlantic Women's Colleges Conference||Division III||1995||2007||Disbanded|
|Big Central Soccer Conference||Division I||1987||1991||Men's soccer-only conference disbanded after the all-sports conferences of all but two of its members began sponsoring the sport.|
|Big Eight Conference||Division I||1907||1996||Initially formed in January 1907 as the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association, before six schools split away to form the Big Six in 1928. Disbanded to join with four former Southwest Conference schools to create the Big 12 Conference.|
|Border Conference||University Division||1931||1962||Members split between the newly formed WAC and Independent statuses.|
|Central Collegiate Hockey Association||Division I||1971||2013||The decision of the Big Ten Conference to add men's ice hockey as a sponsored sport in the 2013–14 season, taking three of the most successful members of the then-11-member league, led to a major conference realignment that ultimately consumed the CCHA. Two members joined the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference, one member joined Hockey East, and the remaining five members joined or rejoined the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.|
|Continental Divide Conference||Division II||???||1992||Women's-only conference that merged with the men's-only Great Northwest Conference (not to be confused with the current Great Northwest Athletic Conference) to form the Pacific West Conference.|
|Deep South Conference||Division II||1994||2013||Men's lacrosse conference disbanded when the South Atlantic Conference and Sunshine State Conference, home to all nine of the final conference members, began sponsoring the sport.|
|Dixie Conference||*||1930||1942||Disbanded after most of its members suspended athletics during World War II.|
|East Coast Conference||Division I||1958||1994||Absorbed by Mid-Continent Conference|
|Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League||*||1901||1955||Basketball-only conference absorbed by the Ivy League, which claims the EIBL as part of its own history.|
|ECAC Lacrosse League||Division I||1999||2014||Men's lacrosse conference that disbanded after the 2014 season. The conference lost many members after the 2010 season when the original Big East launched a men's lacrosse league, and lost still more members with the Big Ten announcement. At the end of the final ECAC Lacrosse season, only one member had not announced a new lacrosse affiliation for the 2014–15 school year.|
|Freedom Football Conference||Division III||1992||2003||Disbanded|
|Great Lakes Football Conference||Division II||2006||2012||Football-only conference, effectively absorbed by the Great Lakes Valley Conference|
|Great Midwest Conference||Division I||1991||1995||Merged with Metro Conference to form Conference USA|
|Great Northwest Conference||Division II||???||1992||The second part of the merger that created the current Pacific West Conference.|
|Great West Conference||Division I||2004||2013||Disbanded after all but one of its members joined more established conferences during the early-2010s conference realignment. The men's golf history and Internet presence of the Great West were maintained by the America Sky Conference (above) before the latter conference's absorption by the Big Sky.|
|Great Western Lacrosse League||Division I||1993||2010||Members joined the ECAC Lacrosse League (see above).|
|Gulf Coast Conference||College Division||1949||1957||Disbanded|
|Gulf Star Conference||Division I||1984||1987||Effectively absorbed by the Southland Conference.|
|High Country Athletic Conference||Division I||1983||1990||Women's-only conference absorbed by the Western Athletic Conference.|
|Indiana Collegiate Conference||Division II||1950||1978||Disbanded|
|Indiana Intercollegiate Conference||Division II||1922||1950||Disbanded|
|Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||University Division||1908||1970||Previously known as Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, disbanded|
|Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the Northwest||*||1892||1893||Disbanded, precursor to the Big Ten Conference|
|Lake Michigan Conference||Division III||1974||2007||Merged with the Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference to form the Northern Athletics Conference|
|Metro Conference||Division I||1975||1995||Merged with Great Midwest Conference to form Conference USA|
|Metropolitan Collegiate Conference||University Division||1965||1969||Disbanded|
|Metropolitan New York Conference||University Division||1933||1963||Disbanded|
|Mid-Continent Athletic Association||Division II, later Division I||1978||1981||Football-only conference absorbed by the Association of Mid-Continent Universities in 1982. Effectively one of the precursors to the current Missouri Valley Football Conference.|
|Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association||Division III||1998||2013||Absorbed by the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association|
|Midwestern Conference||University Division||1970||1972||The five member schools were unable to find the 6th member required for NCAA recognition.|
|Mountain States Conference (aka Skyline Conference)||University Division||1938||1962||Disbanded, members split between the newly formed WAC and Independent statuses.|
|Mountain West Athletic Conference||Division I||1982||1988||Women's-only conference (not to be confused with the modern Mountain West Conference) absorbed by the Big Sky Conference.|
|National Lacrosse Conference||Division I||2008||2012||Disbanded after the Atlantic Sun Conference and Big South Conference began sponsoring women's lacrosse.|
|New England Conference||*||1938||1947||Disbanded; the final four members joined two other schools to form the Yankee Conference under a new charter. Effectively the earliest ancestor of today's Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) football conference.|
|New England Women's Lacrosse Alliance||Division III||1998||2012||Disbanded|
|New South Women's Athletic Conference||Division I||1985||1991||Women's-only conference initially known as the New South Conference; absorbed by the Trans America Athletic Conference, now known as the Atlantic Sun Conference.|
|North Central Conference||Division II||1922||2008||Disbanded|
|North East Collegiate Volleyball Association||Division III||1995||2011||Men's volleyball conference disbanded in 2011 due to the 2012 establishment of the NCAA Men's Division III Volleyball Championship. Most of the all-sports conferences that were home to NECVA members began sponsoring men's volleyball at that time.|
|North Star Conference||Division I||1983||1992||Women's-only conference effectively absorbed by the Mid-Continent Conference (now The Summit League).|
|Northern California Athletic Conference||Division II||1925||1996||Football-only conference, dissolved when most members decided to drop football|
|Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference||Division III||1969||2007||Merged with the Lake Michigan Conference to form the Northern Athletics Conference|
|Northern Pacific Conference||Division I||1982||1986||Women's-only conference. Disbanded when the Pac-10, home to five of the seven final conference members, began sponsoring women's sports.|
|Northern Sun Conference||Division II||1979||1992||Women's-only conference that merged with the men's Northern Intercollegiate Conference, forming the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.|
|Pacific Coast Conference||Division I||1915||1959||Forerunner to the Pac-12, disbanded due to scandal and infighting|
|Pacific Coast Softball Conference||Division I||2002||2013||Softball-only; disbanded due to fallout from the 2010–13 conference realignment. After the 2012 season, it lost five members when the Big Sky added the sport and a sixth to the WAC. After the 2013 season, the final seven members left when the West Coast Conference began sponsoring the sport (five were already WCC members, and the other two joined the WAC in softball).|
|Pilgrim Lacrosse League||Division III||1986||2013||Absorbed by the NEWMAC|
|Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association||*||1894||1941||Disbanded with the onset of American involvement in World War II.|
|Southwest Conference||Division I||1914||1996||Disbanded, members split into the Big 12, WAC, and C-USA|
|United Soccer Conference||Division I||2005||2009||Women's soccer-only, absorbed by Great West Conference|
|West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Division II||1924||2013||Disbanded after the conference's football schools announced a split from the non-football schools. Ultimately, nine of the final schools became charter members of the Mountain East Conference, three joined the Great Midwest Athletic Conference, two joined the PSAC, and one went independent.|
|Western Collegiate Athletic Association||Division I||1981||1986||Women's-only conference; known in its final season of 1985–86 as the Pacific West Conference (not to be confused with the current NCAA Division II conference). Disbanded when the Pac-10, home to the final five conference members, began sponsoring women's sports.|
|Yankee Conference||Division I||1947||1997||Football-only conference from 1975 until its absorption by the Atlantic 10 Conference in 1997. Also an effective ancestor of today's CAA football conference.|
- * - Operated before the NCAA split into divisions in 1955.
Conferences set to disband
This section is reserved for conferences currently in operation, but likely to disband in the near future due to major membership losses.
|Northern Pacific Field Hockey Conference||Division I||1982||2015||Field hockey-only conference set to disband after the 2014 season. After a period in which the conference expanded to span both coasts, most of the eastern teams left over time. Four of the six final members, all from California (and also the league's founding members), will become America East affiliates in 2015.|
- Burton, Roy (June 4, 2014). "WSU joins friends/foes as Big Sky brings back men's golf". Standard-Examiner (Ogden, UT). Retrieved June 13, 2014.
- List of college athletic conferences in the United States
- List of schools reclassifying their athletic programs to NCAA Division I
- List of NAIA conferences