How many women’s college hockey teams are there? How many colleges have women’s hockey?
There is a total of 112 women’s hockey programs across the NCAA and NAIA. Women’s hockey is one of the smallest women’s sports leagues with 108 NCAA teams.
Women’s college hockey is not a sponsored NAIA program, but there are four NAIA institutions that offer women’s hockey programs. These four programs were previously governed by the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), until the NAIA Hockey Coaches Association took over governance in 2018.
With a mission to reinstate ice hockey as a sponsored NAIA sport, the NAIA Hockey Coaches Association was established by a group of coaches and athletic administrators with the help of the NAIA. Starting in 2018, the NAIA Hockey Coaches Association is the sole governing body of the NAIA Division. As the governing body, the NAIA Hockey Coaches Association is dedicated to the growth of college hockey at NAIA institutions, while is maintains operations and organizes a national championship for the existing NAIA Division programs.
What is the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA)?
The American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) governs men's and women’s varsity and club level college hockey programs. In all, the ACHA sponsors 500 varsity and club level teams across 49 states. As hockey continues to grow in the United States, the ACHA is dedicated to supporting women’s hockey as an early supporter of the NAIA Hockey Coaches Association’s mission.
In 2017, the ACHA and NAIA Hockey Coaches Association established a new division, the NAIA Division. During the inaugural 2017-18 season, the ACHA governed the NAIA Division. Before the start of the 2018-19 season, it was announced that the NAIA Hockey Coaches Association would take over governance of the NAIA Division. This early effort by the ACHA to support NAIA hockey programs contributed to the NAIA Hockey Coaches Association’s goal to restore hockey as a championship NAIA sport.
Division 1 women’s ice hockey colleges
The NCAA created the National Collegiate division, which is a women’s college hockey division that includes both Division 1 and 2 programs. There are 36 National Collegiate women’s hockey teams organized into four conferences; College Hockey America, ECAC Hockey, Hockey East and Western Collegiate Hockey Association. While these is no Division 2 championship for women’s ice hockey, the NCAA rules allow Division 2 schools to compete against Division 1 teams when a sport only offers Divisions 1 and 3 champions.
To learn about each of these schools and where they rank, visit NCSA's Power Rankings which analyzes schools size, cost, academics, graduation rate and more. View the top D1 women's ice hockey colleges.