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D1 Colleges in California

California is known for its great weather, Hollywood stars and Silicon Valley, but it’s also home to many Division 1 colleges and universities that participate in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sports. These D1 schools in California have a wide range of athletic programs and are known for their high level of competition and talent. Also known for their academic excellence, they attract top-level student-athletes from around the country. 

 
As a student, parent or guardian researching top schools, California is a great place to start your search. Interested in sunny Southern California? The University of San Diego could be a good fit. Prefer to be closer to nature in NorCal? Check out California State University – Sacramento.  

How many D1 schools are in California?

There are 26 D1 colleges in California that are members of the NCAA. These schools are spread throughout the state and compete in various conferences, including the Pac-12, Big West and West Coast Conferences. 

Many colleges stand out in specific sports, such as Stanford University and its baseball team or the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and its women’s basketball program. If you’re interested in learning more about specific schools, each college’s website should have more information about how to contact coaches or school representatives. 

What is the largest college in California?

The largest Division 1 school in California in terms of enrollment is UCLA, which has just under 46,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

The university is a member of the Pac-12 Conference and fields teams in a wide variety of sports, including basketball, football and soccer. UCLA has a strong athletic tradition and has won 120 NCAA team championships, second only to fellow California D1 school Stanford

Why choose a D1 college in California?

List of D1 schools in California by sport

Check out our full list below to see what D1 sports teams each California school offers. 

Division 1 colleges in california

D1 baseball colleges in California

View all Division 1 baseball colleges. 

Men’s D1 basketball colleges in California

View all men’s Division 1 basketball colleges. 

Women’s D1 basketball colleges in California

View all women’s Division 1 basketball colleges. 

D1 field hockey colleges in California

View all Division 1 field hockey colleges. 

D1 football colleges in California

View all Division 1 football colleges. 

Men’s D1 golf colleges in California

View all men’s Division 1 golf colleges. 

Women’s D1 golf colleges in California 

View all women’s Division 1 golf colleges. 

Women’s D1 lacrosse colleges in California

View all women’s Division 1 lacrosse colleges. 

Men’s D1 soccer colleges in California

View all men’s Division 1 soccer colleges. 

Women’s D1 soccer colleges in California

View all women’s Division 1 soccer colleges. 

D1 softball colleges in California

View all Division 1 softball colleges. 

Men’s D1 swimming colleges in California

View all men’s Division 1 swimming colleges. 

Women’s D1 swimming colleges in California

View all women’s Division 1 swimming colleges. 

Men’s D1 tennis colleges in California

View all men’s Division 1 tennis colleges. 

Women’s D1 tennis colleges in California

View all women’s Division 1 tennis colleges. 

Men’s D1 track and field colleges in California

View all men’s Division 1 track and field colleges. 

Women’s D1 track and field colleges in California

View all women’s Division 1 track and field colleges. 

Women’s D1 volleyball colleges in California

View all women’s Division 1 volleyball colleges. 

Men’s D1 wrestling colleges in California

View all men’s Division 1 wrestling colleges. 

D1 college sports recruiting in California

Families can turn to NCSA to improve their children’s chances of being recruited by one or more of California’s D1 colleges — or even an out-of-state D1 school

Check out our recruitment guide to learn more about how to kick off the recruiting process. For a rundown of key milestones and helpful pointers on targeting the right schools, NCSA’s guide to managing the recruiting process has you covered.