Sunday, November 20, 2016

Division I and II Membership Requirements

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Division I currently has 346 member institutions and Division II has 307 member institutions.1 There are specific requirements that must be met by all institutions, depending on the division that the institution is a member of. More specifically, there are certain requirements that must be met by Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) members and Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) members.2

Division I institutions must sponsor at least fourteen sports in total. This total can be met by sponsoring either seven sports for men and seven sports for women or by sponsoring six sports for men and eight sports for women.2 Each gender must be represented in each playing season, fall, winter, and spring.2 There are also minimum contest and participant requirements for each sport as well as scheduling criteria.2 All sports, excluding football and basketball, must play 100% of the minimum number of contests against Division I opponents.2 For additional contests that exceed the minimum requirement, half of the contests must be played against Division I institutions.2 Men’s and women’s basketball have more stringent requirements in which every contest, except for two, must be played against Division I opponents.2 Men’s basketball must play at least one-third of the total number of contests on their home court.2

Division I institutions that sponsor football are either classified as an FBS member or an FCS member. FBS institutions must average at least 15,000 people in attendance for home football games.2 This requirement must be met once in a continuous two-year period.2 FCS subdivision members are not required to meet the minimum attendance numbers.2 All sports at Division I institutions must meet minimum financial aid awards for each athletic program, and there are also maximum financial aid awards for each athletic program that must not be exceeded.2

Division II institutions must sponsor at least ten sports in total. This can be accomplished by either sponsoring five sports for men and five sports for women or four sports for men and six sports for women.2 Each playing season, fall, winter, and spring, must also be represented by each gender.2 Along with these requirements, there are also contest and participant minimums for each individual sport.2 When it comes to football and basketball, however, there are additional regulations that must be met. These sports must play at least 50 percent of their games against Division II or FBS or FCS opponents.2 There are no attendance requirements for football, or arena game requirements for basketball.2 However, there are maximum financial aid awards for each sport that each institution must not exceed.

While there are many similarities between division requirements, there are also some differences that separate the two. NCAA Division I and II institutions are required to meet these regulations in order to maintain their membership.


1National Collegiate Athletic Association. Composition and sport sponsorship of the NCAA membership. Retrieved from

2National Collegiate Athletic Association. Divisional Differences and the History of Multidivision Classification. Retrieved from

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog with good info! Very helpful for people interested in Athletic Administration or sports management!