How to Get Recruited Guide
What is NCAA Division 2?

What is NCAA Division 2?


NCAA Division 2

NCAA Division 2 really is the middle ground of NCAA athletics. Few Division 2 schools are known nationally, but most are recognizable within their state or region. There are currently 314 member colleges. Division 2 is made up of smaller public universities and many private schools. Only six of the schools have more than 15,000 students. The average school size is 2,500 students.


Division 2 athletics have scholarships, but about 75% less than Division 1 allotted number. A detailed look at the numbers of scholarships for each sport and how they are allocated can be found in The How to Get Recruited Guide. Resources and facilities are generally very good. There are often strength coaches and assistant coaches involved in the training process.


The best Division 2 teams are as good as most Division 1 schools. The level on average is below Division 1, but higher than Division 3. Division 2 schools are often the beneficiaries of transfer student-athletes, coming from Division 1. Athletes who for whatever reason did not succeed at the Division 1 level are able to transfer to a Division 2 school without having to sit out a year of competition as they would have to if they transferred to another Division 1 institution.

Out of Season Requirements

The non-traditional season is substantial but less than at the Division 1 level.  Many of the things you see at Division I you will see at Division 2: intense weight training and fitness practices in addition to on the field practices. Most teams will have fitness in the mornings and field sessions in the afternoon. Coaches use this period to build muscle and physical fitness. During the non-traditional season Division teams may participate in several dates of competition.


Division 2 works hard to promote a balance between academics and sport. This is in fact one of their stated goals. A Division 2 sport takes a lot of time, but most institutions are intentional about making sure that academics also have a major role. There is a premium put on having the athletes in class as much as possible and many schools have set up systems of academic help.

3 Questions before we go:

What about scholarships? Division 2 can offer athletic scholarships.

Are there tryouts? Division 2 schools are allowed to hold one practice or tryout. In the following sports competition is not allowed as part of the tryout: ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer and wrestling. Football may hold one practice or tryout without helmets and pads.

Is there an eligibility center? The NCAA has an eligibility center for Division 2. You can access it by going to The eligibility center was formerly known as the NCAA Clearinghouse.

There is no registration deadline for the eligibility center. You must have it completed before you participate in college athletics. The purpose is to certify that you are academically eligible coming out of high school.

For Division 2 you must have a 2.0 core GPA, an 820 SAT or 68 sum on the ACT, and the appropriate core courses.

For more information to help you along toward playing NCAA Division 2, check out the following three articles:

An Athletes Simple Start to a College Search

How can you figure out what level you can play in college?

What is the NCAA?


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