Sixty-four schools sponsor NCAA Division I men's college hockey, competing in six conferences, and 44 schools sponsor NCAA Division I women’s hockey across five conferences. Each season culminates with the NCAA Frozen Four.
The universities that participate are some of the finest in the world, and the level of hockey is second to none. College hockey players receive more than $30 million annually in athletic scholarships and are a primary feeder system for professional hockey. Approximately one-third of all NHL players – including a record 349 in 2021-22 – develop in the college ranks.
The atmosphere at a college hockey game is truly unique thanks to raucous student sections, energetic pep bands and timeless traditions. Teams also participate in special events, from rivalry games throughout the season to tournaments at NHL arenas like the Beanpot and the Great Lakes Invitational. Outdoor games are a staple of the college calendar, and the season ends with a celebration of the sport at the NCAA Frozen Four.
College hockey honors its best players with conference awards and All-America accolades. Additionally, the Hobey Baker Memorial Award is given to the nation’s top men’s player, and the Patty Kazmaier award is given to the top women’s player in the country.
NCAA Hockey also includes more than 70 schools that compete at the Division III level, which offers high-level hockey but without athletic scholarships. Six schools compete in Division II, though that does not crown a national champion.
In addition, hundreds of U.S. schools compete in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (achahockey.org), a very competitive non-varsity league.
To learn more about playing college hockey, click here.