Track Colleges (Best Men/Women Track, FAQs)

Track Colleges: Are you a student-athlete who intends to compete in track and field at the collegiate level but is unsure of the colleges to apply to? Then this article is for you.

Finding the school that is the best fit for you is a process that takes time and involves a lot of studies.

The NCSA Power Rankings are derived from an in-house analysis of NCSA Favorites data collected from the college search activity of over 2 million student-athletes using the NCSA recruiting network.

Other things that went into the rankings were the graduation rates reported by IPEDS and the average cost of attending a school after financial aid.

The top collegiate track teams in the country are listed below for your convenience. I hope that the college you choose turns out to be the one that best suits you. Read on.

Overview of Track Colleges:

The sport of track and field in college has a long and illustrious history. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) held its inaugural national championships in 1921, and they were for track and field.

There are 949 men’s outdoor programs and 1,017 women’s outdoor programs funded by four-year universities and two-year universities.

College track is one of the most popular sports in the world. It is common for several universities to operate as cross-country and indoor track and field colleges.

During the collegiate track and field outdoor season, which runs from March until June, practically every week has a new meet.

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Colleges with the Best Men’s Track and Field Teams:

It should come as no surprise that the most recent rankings for men’s college track and field are dominated by powerhouse schools with significant name recognition when considering all the 950+ four-year universities that sponsor college track and field programs.

The majority of the top 100 colleges for men’s track and field are schools that compete in NCAA Division 1, but the list also includes 19 schools that compete in NCAA Division 3 and one school that competes in NCAA Division 2. The top five:

  • University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • The University of Florida.
  • Stanford University
  • Princeton University

Colleges with the Best Male Track and Field Programs in NCAA Division 1:

More than 250 colleges in the United States offer men’s track and field at the NCAA Division 1 level. These colleges range in size from small college campuses to large universities.

It is permissible for schools to provide up to 12.6 scholarships per team for athletic programs that get full funding from the institution.

The entire rankings feature a variety of colleges, but then the majority of student-athletes are familiar with the schools whose programs reached the top 5 list below:

  • Princeton University
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Florida
  • University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • Stanford University

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Colleges with the Best Men’s NCAA Division 2 Track and Field Programs:

There is no shortage of options to compete at the NCAA Division 2 level since more than 200 men’s college track, and field programs are available.

Track and field teams that are fully supported at the Division 2 level can award as many as 12.6 scholarships per team, much like those at the Division 1 level of the NCAA. NCAA Division 2 may not receive the same attention as Division 1 schools.

Still, these programs are frequently filled with comparable talent who chose to go to Division 2 because they were a better fit overall. Despite this, NCAA Division 2 schools are eligible for postseason play.

  • Western Washington University
  • University of California – San Diego
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • California State Polytechnic University – Pomona
  • Hillsdale College

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Colleges with the Best Men’s NCAA Division 3 Track and Field Programs:

At the NCAA Division 3 level, which has more than 300 sponsored programs, student-athletes have the most opportunities to compete in a collegiate men’s track and field program.

This level also has the most opportunities.

Even though these schools can’t offer sports scholarships, student-athletes can get a competitive merit-based scholarship and other financial aid forms to help pay for college.

  • University of Chicago
  • Amherst College
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • California Institute of Technology

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Colleges with the Best Men’s NAIA Track and field programs:

Although NAIA colleges do not have the same level of brand recognition as NCAA schools, students who participate in these programs have the opportunity to compete at the collegiate level and obtain financial aid.

Fully funded programs at the NAIA colleges that offer men’s track and field can offer up to 12 scholarships per team. There are currently 150 NAIA colleges that offer track and field programs.

  • Loyola University New Orleans
  • Asbury University
  • Bethel University – Indiana
  • University of Michigan – Dearborn
  • The College of Idaho

Colleges with the Best Women’s Track and Field Programs:

Up to a thousand four-year institutions in the United States provide college track and field for women.

The recent ranking of the top 100 colleges for women’s track and field is dominated by colleges that compete in NCAA Division 1.

Still, it also includes 23 colleges that compete in NCAA Division 3 and one college that competes in NCAA Division 2.

  • Harvard University
  • Stanford University
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • Princeton University

Colleges with the Best Women’s NCAA Division 1 Track and Field Programs:

Almost 300 colleges and universities in NCAA Division 1 provide track and field programs specifically for women.

The maximum number of scholarships awarded to a single team is 18, and this number is reserved for fully sponsored Division 1 programs.

The Power 5 schools dominate the top five spots in the best Division I colleges for women’s track and field.

  • Princeton University
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • Stanford University
  • Harvard University

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Colleges with the Best Women’s NCAA Division 2 Track and Field Programs:

There are over 200 institutions that compete in NCAA Division 2 for women’s track and field programs.

If the program has adequate funding, track and field schools that compete at the Division 2 level can give out up to 12.6 scholarships to each of their teams.

Many of the programs in NCAA Division 2 offer a playing field that is just as competitive as those offered by Division 1 institutions, even though Division 2 schools do not receive the same amount of recognition.

  • Hillsdale College
  • University of California – San Diego
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Truman University
  • Western Washington University

Colleges with the Best Women’s NCAA Division 3 Track and Field Programs:

Over 300 different women’s track and field programs belong to the NCAA Division 3; these programs provide numerous opportunities for women to compete at the collegiate level.

Division 3 institutions offer a competitive academic scholarship package and several other forms of financial aid to cover the cost of tuition.

Still, college coaches who run these teams cannot give recruits sports scholarships. 

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Williams College
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Emory University
  • Amherst College

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Colleges with the Best Women’s NAIA Track and Field Programs:

More than 150 women’s track and field programs are supported financially by the NAIA.

When all of the necessary funds have been raised for a program, the head coach will be authorized to give out a maximum of twelve scholarships.

Student-athletes who participate in NAIA programs have the opportunity to pursue a collegiate athletic career and earn scholarships.

However, NAIA athletes do not receive the same level of attention as NCAA athletes do when they compete for their respective programs. 

  • John Brown University
  • Aquinas College – Michigan
  • Soka University of America
  • University of Michigan – Dearborn
  • Loyola University New Orleans

The following suggestions will help you get off to a good start.

Requirements:

Find out first what the requirements are for each higher division. Although the NCAA Division 1 colleges are the most desirable to attend, the requirements for participation in their athletic programs are the toughest, both academically and athletically.

The recruitment and selection methods they use can be quite difficult, which means that only the very best athletes can join and remain in the program.

Research:

Do some research on the schools that you are considering attending.

You need to consider the academic and athletic reputations of the colleges and their locations, scholarship programs, and overall cultures.

You must be a good match for the team since you may spend the next four years of your life there.

Develop Skills:

Develop your skills and make yourself look like a strong prospect, if not a fantastic one, for track and field programs by building your resume. You must look at the part so that it will attract the coaches’ attention.

Emails are the most common method of communication with college coaches. Put yourself in the position of the coaches and think of inventive ways to differentiate yourself from the other athletes.

Personalize your email, include a link to your skills video, and use an appropriate subject line.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Track Colleges:

Can I run track in college?

If you do not have the required GPA and ACT/SAT score, you will not meet NCAA clearinghouse requirements, and you will not be able to compete in track or cross country in your first year of college.

Is tracking a good sport for college?

The track is an excellent method to receive a scholarship for college. With players competing in several sports, there will be a demand for strong grades. If football players are going to participate in track, they cannot view it as an extracurricular activity.

What’s the fastest 1 mile run time?

3:43.13

Why do I run so slow?

Something might be wrong with your training, which is one of the most common reasons you might be running slower. Your training might be the reason you are getting slower. It could be the number of miles you run, the quality of your workouts, the range of speeds you run at, or several other things.

Conclusion:

The competition to get into a good college track and field program is, in many aspects, a race itself.

You have to push yourself to be the best you can be and compete in the race in the same manner as a genuine champion would, with enthusiasm, preparation, and persistence. 

Awesome one; I hope this article answered your question.

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ST Admin
ST Admin

Hello, I am ST Admin! For five years, I began actively assisting students in Europe, the United States, and Canada in their pursuit of college advice and scholarship prospects. I am the Administrator of www.schoolandtravel.com at present.

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