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 References
- 6 See also
Football Bowl Subdivision
|American Athletic Conference||The American||1979
|Atlantic Coast Conference||ACC||1953||15
|Big Ten Conference||Big Ten
|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) with Navy as a football-only affiliate
- 15 members (14 football)
- 14 members (13 football)
- 14 football members in 2017 with return of UAB football (which dropped the sport after the 2014 season)
- 4 independents in 2016 during start of Coastal Carolina transition from FCS to FBS; 3 independents in 2017 when Coastal Carolina joins Sun Belt Conference football
- 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
- 12 members (11 football) in 2016 with addition of Coastal Carolina, initially as a non-football member
- 12 football members in 2017 with addition of Coastal Carolina football
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, 7 football members with Kennesaw State and Monmouth as football-only affiliates (one full member, Campbell, plays football outside the Big South in the Pioneer Football League)
- 10 full members, 6 football members in 2016 with loss of Coastal Carolina
- 10 full members and 12 football members
- No FCS independents in 2016 after East Tennessee State moves its newly revived football program into the Southern Conference
- 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
|Coastal Collegiate Sports Association||CCSA||2008||22 [NF 2][NF 3]||3||Macon, Georgia|
|Horizon League||Horizon||1979||10||19||Indianapolis, Indiana|
|Division I Independents||0|
|Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference||MAAC||1980||11||24||Edison, New Jersey|
|Missouri Valley Conference||MVC
|1907||10||18||St. Louis, Missouri|
|Mountain Pacific Sports Federation||MPSF||1992||38||10||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||19||Englewood, Colorado|
- 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.
- The conference, which already sponsored men's and women's swimming & diving, added beach volleyball in October 2015. Of the 22 total members, sports sponsorship is grouped as follows:
- Seven schools are members only in beach volleyball.
- Three are members only in men's swimming & diving.
- Seven are members only in women's swimming & diving.
- Four field swimming & diving teams for both sexes.
- One school fields teams in beach volleyball and men's swimming & diving.
- 21 total members in 2016 with loss of North Carolina A&T in women's swimming and diving.
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 (12/9)||Wakefield, Massachusetts|
|National Collegiate Hockey Conference||NCHC||2011 [IH 2]||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.
- 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. Note also that sports in which the NCAA sponsors separate championships for men and women are officially treated by the NCAA as two separate sports.
- 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.
- 6 members in 2016 with departure of Cleveland State, which is dropping wrestling.
- 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.
- The SBL was established during the 2014–15 school year with competition starting immediately. Initially, there is no regular-season league competition, but only a postseason tournament. While the Southland Conference provides administrative support, the SBL operates separately.
- GLIAC — 15 members in 2016 with loss of Malone.
- GLVC — 21 sports in 2016 with addition of Wrestling.
- GMAC — 8 members in 2016 with addition of Malone; and loss of Salem International.
- GMAC — 19 sports in 2017 with addition of football and women's lacrosse.
- HC — 10 members in 2016 with loss of Texas–Permian Basin.
- LSC — 11 members in 2016 with addition of Texas–Permian Basin and Western New Mexico.
- NSIC — 18 sports in 2016 with addition of women's swimming & diving.
- PWC — 13 members in 2017 with loss of Brigham Young–Hawai'i.
- PBC — 15 members in 2016 with addition of Auburn–Montgomery.
- RMAC — 15 members in 2016 with loss of Western New Mexico.
- SAC — 11 members in 2017 with loss of Brevard.
|Appalachian Swimming Conference||ASC||?||7 (men)
|Bluegrass Mountain Conference||BMC||2000||9 (men)
10 (women) [SD2 1]
|swimming||Spartanburg, South Carolina|
|ECAC Division II Field Hockey League||ECAC||2014||4 [SD2 2]||field hockey||Danbury, Connecticut|
|ECAC Division II Lacrosse League||ECAC||2013||9||men's lacrosse||Danbury, Connecticut|
|ECAC Division II Wrestling League||ECAC||2015||7||wrestling||Danbury, Connecticut|
|New South Intercollegiate Swim Conference||NSISC||1995||5 (men)
9 (women) [SD2 3]
|Pacific Collegiate Swim and Dive Conference||PCSC||2003||4 (men)
- BMC — 11 women's members in 2016 with addition of Chowan; men's members will not change.
- ECACFH — 5 members in 2016 with addition of Mercy.
- NSISC — 5 women's members in 2016 with loss of Minnesota State–Mankato, Minnesota State–Moorhead, Northern State, and St. Cloud State; men's members will not change.
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|
|East Coast Conference||ECC||1989||6||bowling||Central Islip, New York|
|Northeast-10 Conference||NE-10||1980||6||men's ice hockey||South Easton, Massachusetts|
|Continental Volleyball Conference||CVC||2011||7||Men's volleyball||Madison, New Jersey|
|ECAC Northeast||ECAC-NE||8 (men only)||Ice hockey||Danbury, Connecticut|
|ECAC West||ECAC-W||6 (men)
|Ice hockey||Danbury, Connecticut|
|Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League||MCVL||2014||14||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|
|New England Hockey Conference||NEHC||2015||10 (men)
|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. Johns Hopkins initially went independent, but is set to join Big Ten women's lacrosse in the 2017 season. 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 West Hockey Conference||Division I||1985||1988||Ice hockey-only conference formed by four Western schools, but had one of its members drop hockey after its first season. After failing to attract additional members in 1988, the league folded when one of the remaining members shut down its entire athletic program.|
|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 Pacific Field Hockey Conference||Division I||1982||2015||Field hockey-only conference that folded 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), became America East affiliates. The remaining two members became independents, at least for the 2015 season.|
|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.|
|Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association||Division II||2010||2015||Lacrosse-only conference absorbed by the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference; all final teams are members of the RMAC, including one affiliate. The RMAC had absorbed the women's side of the WILA in 2013; five of the members were RMAC members including one affiliate, one additional women's member became an independent.|
|Western Wrestling Conference||Division I||2006||2015||Wrestling-only conference effectively absorbed by the Big 12 Conference, with all of its final members becoming single-sport Big 12 associates.|
|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.
- "New Southland Bowling League Established" (Press release). Southland Conference. January 20, 2015. Retrieved March 15, 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