NCAA Division III independent schools are four-year institutions that compete in college athletics at the NCAA Division III level, but do not belong to an established athletic conference for a particular sport. These schools may however still compete as members of an athletic conference in other sports. A school may also be fully independent, and not belong to any athletic conference for any sport at all. The reason for independent status varies among institutions, but it is frequently because the school's primary athletic conference does not sponsor a particular sport.

Full independents

Departing members are highlighted in pink.

Current members

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Football? Future
primary
conference
Asbury University Wilmore, Kentucky 1890 Christian 1,054 Eagles 2021 No Collegiate Conference of the South (CCS) (in 2024)
Maranatha Baptist University Watertown, Wisconsin 1968 Baptist 1,169 Sabercats 2013 No None
Trinity Washington University[a] Washington, D.C. 1897 Catholic
(SNDdeN)
2,100 Tigers 2007;
2015[b]
No None
Notes
  1. ^ This institution is a women's college, therefore it does not compete in men's sports.
  2. ^ Trinity Washington left the Independent ranks after the 2011–12 school year; before re-joining, effective in the 2015–16 school year.

Former members

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Football? Current
primary
conference
Alfred State College Alfred, New York 1908 Public[a] 3,500 Pioneers 2013 2017 Yes Allegheny Mountain (AMCC)
Alverno College[b] Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1887 Catholic
(S.S.S.F.)
1,664 Inferno 2000 2004 No Northern Athletics (NACC)
Bard College Annandale-on-Hudson, New York 1860 Episcopal 1,958 Raptors 1990 2004 No Liberty (LL)
Berea College Berea, Kentucky 1855 Christian
(Unaffiliated)
1,613 Mountaineers 2014 2017 No C.C. of the South (CCS)
Binghamton University Vestal, New York 1844 Public[a] 17,768 Bearcats 1997 1998 No America East (AEC)[c]
Bluffton University Bluffton, Ohio 1899 Mennonite 1,094 Beavers 1996 1998 Yes Heartland (HCAC)
Bob Jones University Greenville, South Carolina 1927 Nondenominational 2,916 Bruins 2020 2023 No NCCAA
Cairn University[d] Langhorne, Pennsylvania 1913 Nondenominational 2,200 Highlanders 2001 2004 No United East (UEC)
Castleton University Castleton, Vermont 1787 Public[e] 2,399 Spartans 1973 2001 Yes N/A[f]
Centenary University Hackettstown, New Jersey 1867 United Methodist 1,597 Cyclones 1997 2003 No Atlantic East (AEC)
Chapman University Orange, California 1861 DoC & UCC 10,001 Panthers 1994 2011 Yes Southern California (SCIAC)
Chowan University Murfreesboro, North Carolina 1848 Baptist 981 Hawks 2004 2007 Yes Carolinas (CC)[g]
Clarks Summit University[h] Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania 1932 Baptist 1,142 Defenders 2001 2004 No United East (UEC)
Colorado College Colorado Springs, Colorado 1874 Nonsectarian 2,266 Tigers 1973 2006 No Southern Collegiate (SCAC)
University of Dallas Irving, Texas 1956 Catholic 2,538 Crusaders 2001;
2010[i]
2008;
2011
No Southern Collegiate (SCAC)
Defiance College Defiance, Ohio 1850 United Church of Christ 1,000 Yellow Jackets 1995 1997 Yes Heartland (HCAC)
Farmingdale State College East Farmingdale, New York 1912 Public[a] 8,162 Rams 2001 2003 No Skyline
Finlandia University Hancock, Michigan 1896 Lutheran
(ELCA)
507 Lions 2002 2017[j] No Closed in 2023
Green Mountain College Poultney, Vermont 1834 United Methodist N/A Eagles 2005 2008 No Closed in 2019
Husson University Bangor, Maine 1898 Nonsectarian 3,476 Eagles 2001 2003 Yes North Atlantic (NAC)
Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago, Illinois 1890 Nonsectarian 2,977 Scarlet Hawks 2013 2018 No Northern Athletics (NACC)
La Sierra University Riverside, California 1922 Seventh-day Adventist 2,199 Golden Eagles 2006 2010 No CalPac (CPC)[k]
Lancaster Bible College Lancaster, Pennsylvania 1933 Nondenominational 954 Chargers 2006 2011 No United East (UEC)
Lincoln University Oxford, Pennsylvania 1854 Public 2,650 Lions 1973 2008 Yes Central Intercollegiate (CIAA)[g]
Lyon College Batesville, Arkansas 1872 Presbyterian
(PCUSA)
700 Scots 2022 2023 Yes St. Louis (SLIAC)
University of Maine at Farmington Farmington, Maine 1863 Public[l] 1,861 Beavers 1999 2003 No North Atlantic (NAC)
University of Maine at Presque Isle[m] Presque Isle, Maine 1903 Public[l] 1,469 Owls 2005 2017 No North Atlantic (NAC)
Meredith College[b] Raleigh, North Carolina 1891 Nonsectarian 1,990 Avenging Angels 1986 2007 No USA South (USAC)
Mills College[b] Oakland, California 1852 Nonsectarian 1,345 Cyclones 1994;
2016[n]
2013;
2017
No N/A[o]
Milwaukee School of Engineering Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1903 Nonsectarian 2,122 Raiders 2006 2007 No Northern Athletics (NACC)
Mississippi University for Women[p] Columbus, Mississippi 1884 Public 2,479 Owls 2019 2023 No St. Louis (SLIAC)
Mitchell College New London, Connecticut 1938 Nonsectarian 572 Mariners 2005 2008 No Great Northeast (GNAC)
Mount Mary University[b] Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1913 Catholic
(SSND)
1,209 Blue Angels 2007;
2016[q]
2015;
2018
No Coast to Coast (C2C)
Mount St. Joseph University Delhi Township, Ohio 1920 Catholic
(S.C.C.)
1,889 Lions 1996 1998 Yes Heartland (HCAC)
Nebraska Wesleyan University Lincoln, Nebraska 1887 United
Methodist
1,600 Prairie Wolves 1982[r] 2016[r] Yes American Rivers (ARC)
New Jersey City University Jersey City, New Jersey 1929 Public 7,300 Gothic Knights 2004 2005 No New Jersey (NJAC)
College of New Rochelle[s] New Rochelle, New York 1904 Catholic N/A Blue Angels 1982 2019 No N/A[t]
New York University Tandon School of Engineering[u] Brooklyn, New York 1854 Nonsectarian 4,487 Fighting Blue Jays 1979 2004 No N/A[u]
Newbury College Brookline, Massachusetts 1962 Nonsectarian N/A Nighthawks 2001 2008 No Closed in 2019
North Central University Minneapolis, Minnesota 1930 Assemblies of God 1,200 Rams 2006 2013 No Upper Midwest (UMAC)
Northern Vermont University–Johnson Johnson, Vermont 1881 Public[e] 1,803 Badgers 1973 2001 No N/A[v]
Northern Vermont University–Lyndon Lyndon, Vermont 1911 Public[e] 1,519 Hornets 2006 2008 No N/A[v]
Pine Manor College[w] Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 1911 Nonsectarian 419 Gators 1983;
2016[x]
1995;
2017
No N/A[y]
Russell Sage College Albany and Troy, New York 1916 Nonsectarian 2,389 Gators 1993 2007 No Empire 8 (E8)
Rust College Holly Springs, Mississippi 1866 United Methodist 900 Bearcats 1988 2017 No Gulf Coast (GCAC)[k]
Saint Elizabeth University[z][w] Morristown, New Jersey 1899 Catholic
(Sisters of Charity)
1,200 Eagles 1988 2009 No United East (UEC)
Saint Joseph's College of Maine Standish, Maine 1912 Catholic
(R.S.M.)
1,987 Monks 1975 2007 No Great Northeast (GNAC)
Salem College[b] Winston-Salem, North Carolina 1772 Moravian 565 Spirits 2005 2009 No USA South (USAC)
Sarah Lawrence College Yonkers, New York 1926 Nonsectarian 1,782 Gryphons 2013 2014 No Skyline
Savannah College of Art and Design Savannah, Georgia 1978 Non-profit art school 11,897 Bees 1992 2003 No The Sun (SC)[k]
Spalding University Louisville, Kentucky 1814 Catholic
(S.C.N.)
1,692 Golden Eagles 2007 2009 No St. Louis (SLIAC)
St. Joseph's University, New York – Brooklyn Campus[aa][ab] Brooklyn, New York 1916 Catholic
(C.S.J.)
1,261 Bears 2007 2015 No Skyline
Stephens College[b] Columbia, Missouri 1833 Nonsectarian 754 Stars 1994 2004 No American Midwest (AMC)[k]
Stevenson University[ac] Stevenson, Maryland 1947 Catholic 3,621 Mustangs 1994 2004 Yes MAC Commonwealth (MACC)
Stony Brook University Stony Brook, New York 1957 Public[a] 26,782 Seawolves 1994 1995 Yes Colonial (CAA)[c]
State University of New York at Canton Canton, New York 1906 Public[a] 3,122 Kangaroos 2011 2017 No North Atlantic (NAC)
State University of New York at Morrisville Morrisville, New York 1908 Public[a] 2,486 Mustangs 2006 2007 Yes North Atlantic (NAC)
Thomas College Waterville, Maine 1894 Nonsectarian 1,949 Terriers 2001 2003 No North Atlantic (NAC)
Thomas More University Crestview Hills, Kentucky 1921 Catholic
(Diocese of Covington/
Benedictines)
1,963 Saints 1996 2005 Yes Great Midwest (G-MAC)[g]
University of California, Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, California 1965 Public[ad] 19,700 Banana Slugs 1980 2019[ae] No Coast to Coast (C2C)
University of Valley Forge Phoenixville, Pennsylvania 1939 Assemblies of God 742 Patriots 2013 2017 No United East (UEC)
Warren Wilson College Swannanoa, North Carolina 1894 Presbyterian
(PCUSA)
650 Owls 2020 2022 No Coast to Coast (C2C)
William Peace University[af] [w] Raleigh, North Carolina 1857 Presbyterian
(PCUSA)
950 Pacers 2001 2003 No USA South (USAC)
Wilmington College Wilmington, Ohio 1870 Quakers 990 Quakers 1996 1998 Yes Ohio (OAC)
Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e f Part of the State University of New York system.
  2. ^ a b c d e f This institution is a women's college, therefore it does not compete in men's sports.
  3. ^ a b Currently an NCAA Division I athletic conference.
  4. ^ Cairn was known as Philadelphia Biblical University during its stint as a member. It adopted its current name in 2012.
  5. ^ a b c Part of the Vermont State Colleges System.
  6. ^ Castleton was merged into Vermont State University in 2023, assuming the former's membership in the Little East Conference.
  7. ^ a b c Currently an NCAA Division II athletic conference.
  8. ^ Clarks Summit was known as Baptist Bible College & Seminary during its stint as a member. The school name was changed to Summit University of Pennsylvania in 2015, and to Clarks Summit University in 2016.
  9. ^ Dallas initially left the independents after the 2007–08 school year to join the North Eastern Athletic Conference in some sports, including basketball. However, they rejoined after two years.
  10. ^ Finlandia participated in the Great South Athletic Conference from the 2013–14 to 2015–16 school years, but only in women's sports. Men's sports remained independent during those school years.
  11. ^ a b c d Currently an NAIA athletic conference.
  12. ^ a b Part of the University of Maine System.
  13. ^ Maine–Presque Isle was also a dual member with the NAIA and the Sunrise Athletic Conference from 2005 to its folding in 2011.
  14. ^ Mills initially left the independents after the 2012–13 school year to join the Great South Athletic Conference, however, they rejoined after three years due to the GSAC folding.
  15. ^ Mills was acquired by Northeastern University in 2023, becoming part of that university's extended operations in the San Francisco Bay Area. In advance of this, Mills dropped athletics after the 2021–22 school year.
  16. ^ MUW initially discontinued its athletics program after the 2002–03 school year, however, they restored it before the 2017–18 school year.
  17. ^ Mount Mary initially left the independents after the 2014–15 school year to join the Great South Athletic Conference, however, they rejoined after one year due to the GSAC folding.
  18. ^ a b Nebraska Wesleyan was also a member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) from 1969–70 to 2015–16, therefore it held dual membership with the NAIA and the NCAA.
  19. ^ New Rochelle was also a dual member with the USCAA and the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC) from 2005 to 2019.
  20. ^ New Rochelle merged into Mercy College after the 2018–19 school year.
  21. ^ a b The NYU engineering school was the standalone Polytechnic University while in the NEAC. Polytechnic became affiliated with New York University (NYU) in 2008 as the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (athletically known as NYU Poly), and merged completely into NYU in 2014. And as part of the final merger of NYU Poly with NYU, Poly's athletics program was merged into that of NYU.
  22. ^ a b Northern Vermont was merged into Vermont State University in 2023, assuming the former's membership in the North Atlantic Conference.
  23. ^ a b c This institution is a former women's college, which has eventually turned into a co-educational college (William Peace since 2012–13, Pine Manor since 2014–15 and Saint Elizabeth since 2016–17).
  24. ^ Pine Manor initially left the independents after the 2014–15 school year to join the Great Northeast Athletic Conference, however, they later rejoined after the 2015–16 school year.
  25. ^ Pine Manor was acquired by Boston College in 2021.
  26. ^ Saint Elizabeth (N.J.) was known as The College of Saint Elizabeth during its stint as a member.
  27. ^ St. Joseph's Brooklyn was known as St. Joseph's College during its stint as a member.
  28. ^ St. Joseph's Brooklyn was also a dual member with the USCAA and the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC) from 2004 to 2015.
  29. ^ Stevenson was known as Villa Julie College during its stint as a member. It adopted its current name in 2007.
  30. ^ Part of the University of California system.
  31. ^ UC Santa Cruz participated in the Great South Athletic Conference during the 2015–16 school year, but only in women's sports. Men's sports remained independent during that school year.
  32. ^ William Peace was known as Peace College during its stint as a member. It adopted its current name in 2011.

Football

Departing members are highlighted in pink.

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Primary conference Future conference in sport
Hilbert College Hawks Hamburg, New York 1957 Private 1,100 Allegheny Mountain (AMCC) Empire 8 (2024)
Lyon College Scots Batesville, Arkansas 1872 Presbyterian
(PCUSA)
700 SLIAC Southern (SCAC) (2024)

Field hockey

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Primary conference
Meredith College Avenging Angels Raleigh, North Carolina 1891 Private 1,990 USA South
Southern Virginia University Knights Buena Vista, Virginia 1867 Private 1,106 USA South

† - Women's college, therefore not competing in men's sports.

Golf

Men

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Primary conference
Christopher Newport University Captains Newport News, Virginia 1961 Public 5,186 Coast to Coast
University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire Blugolds Eau Claire 1916 Public 10,043 WIAC

Women

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Primary conference
Christopher Newport University Captains Newport News, Virginia 1961 Public 5,186 Coast to Coast
Mount Mary University Blue Angels Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1913 Private 1,209 Coast to Coast
University of Hartford Hawks West Hartford, Connecticut 1877 Private 6,792 Commonwealth Coast

† - Women's college, therefore not competing in men's sports.

Ice hockey

Further information: NCAA Division III independent schools (ice hockey)

Men

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Primary conference
Albertus Magnus College Falcons New Haven, Connecticut 1925 Private 1,961 GNAC
Anna Maria College Amcats Paxton, Massachusetts 1946 Private 1,500 GNAC
Rivier University Raiders Nashua, New Hampshire 1933 Private 2,520 GNAC
State University of New York at Canton Roos Canton, New York 1906 Public 3,205 NAC

Women

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Primary conference
Anna Maria College Amcats Paxton, Massachusetts 1946 Private 1,500 GNAC
Hilbert College Hawks Hamburg, New York 1957 Private
(Catholic)
1,100 AMCC
Rivier University Raiders Nashua, New Hampshire 1933 Private 2,520 GNAC
Worcester State University Lancers Worcester, Massachusetts 1874 Public 5,724 MASCAC

Lacrosse

Further information: NCAA independent schools (lacrosse)

Men

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Primary conference
Whittier College Poets Whittier, California 1887 Private 1,540 SCIAC

Rowing

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Primary conference
Gordon College Fighting Scots Wenham, Massachusetts 1889 Private 2,109 Commonwealth Coast
Nazareth University Golden Flyers Pittsford, New York 1924 Private 3,140 Empire 8

Swimming & diving

Men

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Primary conference
Coe College[a] Kohawks Cedar Rapids, Iowa 1851 Private 1,355 American Rivers
Gordon College[b] Fighting Scots Wenham, Massachusetts 1889 Private 2,109 Commonwealth Coast
Johns Hopkins University Blue Jays Baltimore, Maryland 1876 Private 20,174 Centennial
Loras College[a] Duhawks Dubuque, Iowa 1839 Private 1,550 American Rivers
Luther College[a] Norse Decorah, Iowa 1861 Lutheran 2,573 American Rivers
Nebraska Wesleyan University[a] Prairie Wolves Lincoln, Nebraska 1887 Private 1,600 American Rivers
Simpson College[a] Storm Indianola, Iowa 1860 Private 1,966 American Rivers
Southern Virginia University Knights Buena Vista, Virginia 1867 Private 1,106 USA South

Women

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Primary conference
Coe College[a] Kohawks Cedar Rapids, Iowa 1851 Private 1,355 American Rivers
Gordon College[b] Fighting Scots Wenham, Massachusetts 1889 Private 2,109 Commonwealth Coast
Johns Hopkins University Blue Jays Baltimore, Maryland 1876 Private 20,174 Centennial
Loras College[a] Duhawks Dubuque, Iowa 1839 Private 1,550 American Rivers
Luther College[a] Norse Decorah, Iowa 1861 Lutheran 2,573 American Rivers
Nebraska Wesleyan University[a] Prairie Wolves Lincoln, Nebraska 1887 Private 1,600 American Rivers
Simpson College[a] Storm Indianola, Iowa 1860 Private 1,966 American Rivers
Southern Virginia University Knights Buena Vista, Virginia 1867 Private 1,106 USA South

† - Women's college, therefore not competing in men's sports.

Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Coe College, Loras College, Luther College, Nebraska Wesleyan University, and Simpson College compete in an invitational held by the American Rivers Conference but it is not an official sport sponsored by the conference so the colleges are functional independents.
  2. ^ a b Gordon College compete in the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championship which is not recognized by the NCAA therefore these colleges are considered independents.

Tennis

Men

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Primary conference
Cairn University Highlanders Langhorne, Pennsylvania 1913 Private 2,200 UEC
State University of New York at Oswego Lakers Oswego, New York 1861 Public 8,909 SUNYAC

Track & field (indoor)

Men

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Primary conference
Alfred State College Pioneers Alfred, New York 1908 Private 3,500 AMCC
Gwynedd Mercy University Griffins Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania 1948 Private 2,017 Atlantic East
Immaculata University Mighty Macs Immaculata, Pennsylvania 1940 Private 1,043 Atlantic East
Marywood University Pacers Scranton, Pennsylvania 1915 Private 2,470 Atlantic East
McMurry University War Hawks Abilene, Texas 1923 Private 1,430 ASC
Wentworth Institute of Technology Leopards Boston, Massachusetts 1904 Private 3,728 Commonwealth Coast

Women

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Primary conference
Alfred State College Pioneers Alfred, New York 1908 Private 3,500 AMCC
Gwynedd Mercy University Griffins Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania 1948 Private 2,017 Atlantic East
Immaculata University Mighty Macs Immaculata, Pennsylvania 1940 Private 1,043 Atlantic East
Marywood University Pacers Scranton, Pennsylvania 1915 Private 2,470 Atlantic East
McMurry University War Hawks Abilene, Texas 1923 Private 1,430 ASC
Wentworth Institute of Technology Leopards Boston, Massachusetts 1904 Private 3,728 Commonwealth Coast

Track & field (outdoor)

Men

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Primary conference
Wentworth Institute of Technology[a] Leopards Boston, Massachusetts 1904 Private 3,728 Commonwealth Coast
Notes
  1. ^ Wentworth Institute of Technology competes in the Commonwealth Coast Conference Championship which is not recognized as a varsity sport by the conference thus Wentworth Tech is considered an independent.

Volleyball (indoor)

Men

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Primary conference
University of California, Santa Cruz Banana Slugs Santa Cruz, California 1965 Public 19,700 Coast to Coast

Wrestling

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Primary conference
Keystone College Giants La Plume, Pennsylvania 1868 Private 1,600 CSAC
Elizabethtown College Blue Jays Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania 1899 Private 1,671 Landmark Conference
Elmira College Soaring Eagle Elmira, New York 1855 Private 819 Empire 8
Fontbonne University Griffins Clayton, Missouri 1841 Private 944 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Huntingdon College Hawks Montgomery, Alabama 1854 Private 1,107 Collegiate Conference of the South
Marymount University Saints Arlington, Virginia 1950 Private 4,257 Atlantic East Conference
New Jersey City University Gothic Knights Jersey City, New Jersey 1927 Public 6,800 New Jersey Athletic Conference
Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops Delaware, Ohio 1842 Private 1,600 North Coast Athletic Conference
Saint John's University (Minnesota) Johnnies Collegeville, Minnesota 1913 Private 3,640 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Schreiner University Mountaineers Kerrville, Texas 1923 Private 1,308 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference
The College of New Jersey Lions Ewing, New Jersey 1855 Public 7,340 New Jersey Athletic Conference
University of Scranton Royals Scranton, Pennsylvania 1888 Private 5,422 Landmark Conference
University of the Ozarks Eagles Clarksville, Arkansas 1834 Private 872 American Southwest Conference
Wabash College Little Giants Crawfordsville, Indiana 1832 Private 867 North Coast Athletic Conference
Westminster College Blue Jays Fulton, Missouri 1851 Private 609 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

Emerging sports for women

Acrobatics & tumbling

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Primary conference
East Texas Baptist University Tigers Marshall, Texas 1912 Private 1,714 ASC
University of Mary Hardin–Baylor Crusaders Belton, Texas 1845 Private 2,713 ASC

Rugby

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Primary conference
Colby-Sawyer College Chargers New London, New Hampshire 1837 Private 1,043 GNAC
Marywood University Pacers Scranton, Pennsylvania 1915 Private 2,470 Atlantic East
Norwich University Cadets Northfield, Vermont 1819 Military 2,300 GNAC
University of New England Nor'easters Biddeford, Maine 1831 Private 8,085 Commonwealth Coast

Triathlon

Institution Team Location Founded Type Enrollment Primary conference
Central College Dutch Pella, Iowa 1853 Private 1,575 American Rivers
Coe College Kohawks Cedar Rapids, Iowa 1851 Private 1,355 American Rivers
Millikin University Big Blue Decatur, Illinois 1901 Private 2,118 CCIW
North Central College Cardinals Naperville, Illinois 1861 Private 2,490 CCIW

See also