Going to college? Serious sports fans will not only be looking at the academic credentials of their preferred colleges, but also at the opportunity to pursue their love of sports in their leisure time.
Let’s take a look at the best colleges for serious sports fans.
All of the ten colleges highlighted will not only cater to the sports fan, but will also deliver a killer education – as according to their ranking on the Forbes list of the best 650 American Colleges.
Top Colleges for Serious Sports Fans
Stanford University (Stanford, CA) – Rank: 3
Not only is Stanford ranked in the top three American colleges, its 8,000 acre campus (fondly known as “The Farm”) is centrally located amid the three major metropolises of the Bay Area and their respective top-tier sports teams. Stanford boasts its own 50,000 capacity stadium, meaning that students won’t have to go far to catch some serious sporting action. Notable past events include the Super Bowl, Olympics, and World Cup events. Perhaps the only thing to be wary of is the quarter of a million dollars in tuition fees.
Duke University (Durham, NC) – Rank: 24
Occupying a spot in the top 25 American colleges is Duke University in North Carolina. Many of the more than 15,000 enrolled students are die-hard NCAA fans. The Duke Blue Devils (taking their name from WWI French aerial soldiers) comprises no less than 26 varsity sports teams including serious contenders in basketball, golf, and tennis.
Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA) – Rank: 26
Nipping at the heels of Duke in terms of the Forbes rankings is Boston College in Massachusetts. Occupying a still very respectable ranking at number 26, this college, colloquially known as “The Heights” is the perfect choice for Red Sox fans. The college teams, the BC Eagles, compete in NCAA Division I-A athletics. Other residential colleges in the city provide a healthy dose of competition with equally strong athletic programs.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC) – Rank: 47
With a large student population of almost 30,000, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill caters well for sports fans. The college sports teams, affectionately known as “Tar Heels” compete in a range of sports including soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, and basketball. Successes include the 2011 College Cup for men’s soccer and five NCAA basketball champions trophies. Outside of the college leagues, North Carolina has played host to major sporting events including the Special Olympics World Games, the U.S. Open golf tournaments (both men’s and women’s), and the U.S. Olympic Festival.
University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) – Rank 57
Ranked number 57 of the 650 best American colleges, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor fields several teams in the NCAA Division I-A and also in intramural sports. Sports fans wishing to pursue a career in the world of sports management may choose to study the sports management/business dual degree.
Villanova University (Villanova, PA) – Rank 83
Established in 1842, Villanova University has fielded athletes in every Summer Olympics Games since way back in 1948, producing more than 60 Olympians in total. University teams compete in the NCAA and the intramurals, allowing the almost 11,000 students to choose their preferred level of participation.
University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA) – Rank 95
With a student population of almost 40,000, it’s hardly surprising that the University of Southern California in Los Angeles has fielded more students in the Olympic Games than any other educational institution in the world. College teams compete in NCAA Division I-A athletics. Its enviable location close to the beach and professional sports venues affords USC students with an array of opportunities to follow off-campus sports. A degree in sports Journalism is offered to those students wishing to turn their love of sports into a future career.
New York University (New York, NY) – Rank 97
Just making it into the top 100 best American colleges is New York University. School teams compete in NCAA Division III. Those who want to cheer on higher ranked sports will love the school’s close proximity to Madison Square Gardens. Follow the trials and tribulations of the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers, Liberty Basketball, WWE, and of course the boxing.
University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX) – Rank 104
Narrowly missing out on a top 100 spot, the University of Texas at Austin fields sporting teams (known as Longhorns) in Division I-A athletics (and was once awarded the top spot in a ranking of Division I athletic programs by Sports Illustrated magazine). There’s a distinct sporting vibe among students, with a reported 90% participating in RecSports activities. UT has claimed more titles in Big 12 Conference sports than any other college. That’s a lot of titles to cheer home.
University of Colorado (Boulder, CO) – Rank 133
Ranked 133 out of 650 top American colleges, the University of Colorado in Boulder boasts close proximity to some of the nation’s best ski destinations, making it a serious contender for fans of winter sports. School teams compete in NCAA Division I-A athletics.
Students will spend four years of their lives attending college, so it makes sense for the sports fan to choose a college where they can not only gain their degree, but also be well placed to follow their favourite teams. With colleges of this calibre, there’s no need to sacrifice academic credentials in the pursuit of sport.
Comment below with schools you think would be great for sports fans. Send us a tweet and a follow @SportsNetworker