Top Soccer Universities in America

Are you dreaming of getting an athletic scholarship to play soccer in the USA? No matter how good you are, don’t expect the coaches to come looking for you! You have to take the initiative and reach out to soccer coaches and let them know why you would be a great asset to their team.   You can read more about that in our article about how to apply for a sports scholarships.


There are over 200 schools in the United States with NCAA Division 1 soccer programs. If you think you are good enough to land a soccer scholarship with one of these schools, then you will need to reach out to their coaches. Obviously, it would be excessive to reach out to 200+ coaches, so you’ve got to narrow down the soccer schools.

One way to narrow down soccer schools is to go to the NCAA ranking page for men’s soccer and women’s soccer. You can see which schools are doing best and contact their coaches. But there is more to choosing a soccer school than just its rankings! You will also need to look at factors like the location of the school, the cost of the school (most soccer scholarships are only partial), and the size of the school. Most importantly, make sure you like the academic program because ultimately you will be a student athlete at the school.

We’ve listed the top 10 NCAA Division 1 soccer universities in America based on their soccer stats and academic programs.

 

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

UNC has a lot of reasons to boast. They’ve taken home the NCAA championship 21 times and many of their student athletes have gone on to the USA Olympic Team. They also have great facilities, a huge fan base and are building a brand-new stadium. They also can boast when it comes to academics, ranking #30 on the US News College Rankings list.

Quick Facts:

  • Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Enrollment: 18,350
  • Tuition: $33,644
  • Established: 1789
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
  • Acceptance Rate: 5%

 

University of Notre Dame

Norte Dame has D1 men and women’s soccer, and they are considered one of the best soccer schools in the country. They are one of three schools which has multiple national titles and also ranks second in all-time title game appearances. Their women’s soccer team is particularly impressive with 10 Conference Titles (Big East), 4 MCC Conference Titles, 3 National Championships and 17 College Cup Appearances. Academically, Notre Dame ranked #18.

Quick Facts:

  • Location: Notre Dame, Indiana
  • Enrollment: 8,448
  • Tuition: $47,929
  • Established: 1842
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 10:1
  • Acceptance Rate: 1%

 

UCLA

The UCLA Bruins are top-ranked for both men and women’s soccer. They have an impressive stadium and student athletes will get a thrill out of playing in front of huge, cheering audiences. The real reason that UCLA is one this list of best soccer colleges in the USA though is because the school is so prestigious. They are ranked #23 in the United States and have diverse student body with over 800 student organizations to get involved in.

Quick Facts:

  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Enrollment: 29,633
  • Tuition: $26,322
  • Established: 1919
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
  • Acceptance Rate: 6%

 

University of Virginia

The UVA Cavaliers have played in 15 of the 19 ACC Tournament Championship matches, and won 10 ACC titles and 7 NCAA Tournament Championships. Their Klockner Stadium is also famous and draws in big crowds on game day. As an academic institution, UVA ranks well at #26 and has a more relaxed suburban-style campus than many other large universities.

Quick Facts:

  • Location: Charlottesville, VA
  • Enrollment: 15,483
  • Tuition: $43,822
  • Established: 1819
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
  • Acceptance Rate: 29%

 

Duke University

Ranked #8, Duke University is one of the top universities in the USA and is known worldwide. The Duke Blue Devils may not have won many NCAA soccer championships, but it is still a school to be reckoned with. International student athletes will likely appreciate the high amount of diversity in the school. Just be warned that this is a tough school to get into, academically and athletically!

Quick Facts:

  • Location: Durham, NC
  • Enrollment: 6,626
  • Tuition: $49,341
  • Established: 1838
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 7:1
  • Acceptance Rate: 4%

 

Other Notable Soccer Universities in the USA

  • Clemson University
  • Northwestern University
  • University of Washington
  • Creighton University
  • Stanford University
  • University of Indiana
  • University of Connecticut
  • Louis University
  • University of Akron
  • University of California, Santa Barbara

Remember, there are also soccer scholarships available at the Division 2 level, and through the NAIA and NJCAA.  If you are in the UK, you can schedule a soccer assessment here to see what your chances are of getting a scholarship!