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Colonial Athletic Association

Learn About the 9 Colleges in the Colonial Athletic Association


The Colonial Athletic Association is an NCAA Division I athletic conference with members coming from states along the Atlantic coast from Massachusetts to Georgia. The conference headquarters are located in Richmond, Virginia. The majority of members are public universities, but the conference includes a wide range of school types. The College of William and Mary is the most prestigious and selective member institution, but all nine schools have strong academic programs.

1. College of Charleston

College of Charleston
lhilyer libr / Flickr

Founded in 1770 the College of Charleston provides a historically rich environment for students. The has a 13 to 1 student / faculty ratio and an average class size of about 21. Because of this, the College of Charleston represents a great educational value, especially for South Carolina residents. The curriculum is grounded in the liberal arts and sciences, but students will also find thriving pre-professional programs in business and education.

2. Delaware, University of

University of Delaware
mathplourde / Flickr

The University of Delaware at Newark is the largest university in the state of Delaware. The university is made up of seven different colleges of which the College of Arts and Sciences is the largest. UD's College of Engineering and its College of Business and Economics often place well on national rankings. The University of Delaware's strengths in liberal arts and sciences earned it a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

  • Location: Newark, Delaware
  • School type: Public research university
  • Enrollment: 21,489 (17,872 undergraduates)
  • Team: Fightin' Blue Hens
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the University of Delaware profile
  • 3. Drexel University

    Drexel University
    kjarrett / Flickr

    Located in West Philadelphia right next door to the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University is well-regarded for its pre-professional programs in fields such as business, engineering and nursing. Drexel values experiential learning, and students can take advantage of a wide range of programs for international study, internships, and co-operative education. The university helps place students in its network of 1,200 companies in 28 states and 25 international locations.

  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • School type: Private university (science and engineering focus)
  • Enrollment: 24,860 (15,047 undergraduates)
  • Team: Dragons
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Drexel University profile
  • 4. Hofstra University

    Hofstra University
    slgckgc / Flickr

    Hofstra University's 240-acre campus on Long Island places it within easy reach of all the opportunities of New York City. The university has a 14 to 1 student / faculty ratio and an average class size of 22. Campus life is active, and Hofstra can boast of roughly 170 student clubs and organizations including an active Greek system. Business is most popular among undergraduate's, but Hofstra University's strengths in the liberal arts and sciences earned the school a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

  • Location: Hempstead, New York
  • School type: Private university
  • Enrollment: 11,404 (7,183 undergraduates)
  • Team: Pride
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Hofstra University profile
  • 5. James Madison University

    James Madison University
    taberandrew / Flickr

    JMU, James Madison University, offers 68 undergraduate degree programs with areas in business being the most popular. JMU has a high retention and graduation rate compared to similar public universities, and the school frequently does well on national rankings for both its value and its academic quality. The attractive campus features an open quad, a lake, and the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum. 

  • Location: Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • School type: Public university
  • Enrollment: 19,722 (17,900 undergraduates)
  • Team: Dukes
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the James Madison University profile
  • 6. Northeastern University

    Northeastern University Crew Team
    SignalPAD / Flickr

    Northeastern university undergraduates can choose from 65 major programs among the university's six colleges. Business, engineering and health fields are some of the most popular. Northeastern's curriculum emphasizes experiential learning, and the school has a strong internship and co-op program that has often received national attention. High achieving students should check out the Northeastern Honors Program. 

  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts
  • School type: Private university
  • Enrollment: 26,959 (16,576 undergraduates)
  • Team: Huskies
  • Explore Campus: Northeastern Photo Tour
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Northeastern University profile
  • 7. Towson University

    Towson University Graduation
    Urban Hippie Love / Flickr

    Towson University's 328-acre campus is located eight miles north of Baltimore. Towson is the second largest public university in Maryland, and the school often does well in rankings of regional public universities. The university offers over 100 degree programs, and among undergraduates profession fields such as business, education, nursing and communications are extremely popular. Towson has a 17 to 1 student / faculty ratio. The school wins high marks for its safety, value, and green efforts. 

  • Location: Towson, Maryland
  • School type: Public university
  • Enrollment: 21,464 (17,517 undergraduates)
  • Team: Tigers
  • Explore the Campus: Towson University Photo Tour
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Towson University profile
  • 8. University of North Carolina Wilmington

    UNC Wilmington
    Aaron / Flickr

    UNC Wilmington is located just five miles from Wrightsville Beach and the Atlantic Ocean. UNC undergraduates can choose from 52 bachelor's degree programs. Professional fields such as business, communications, education and nursing are the most popular. The university is highly ranked among southern master's universities. UNCW wins high marks for value, and among North Carolina's public universities it is second only to UNC Chapel Hill for its four-year graduation rate. 

  • Location: Wilmington, North Carolina
  • School type: Public university
  • Enrollment: 13,145 (11,950 undergraduates)
  • Team: Seahawks
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the University of North Carolina Wilmington profile
  • 9. William & Mary

    William and Mary
    Lyndi&Jason / flickr
    William and Mary typically ranks among the best public universities in the country, and its small size sets it apart from other highly ranked universities. The college has well-respected programs in business, law, accounting, international relations and history. Founded in 1693, the College of William and Mary is the second oldest institution of higher learning in the country. The campus is located in historic Williamsburg, Virginia, and the school educated three U.S. presidents: Thomas Jefferson, John Tyler and James Monroe. The college not only has a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, but the honor society originated there.
    • Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
    • School type: Pubilc university
    • Enrollment: 8,200 (6,071 undergraduates) 
    • Team: Tribe
    • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the College of William & Mary profile

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