There are three NCAA divisions in college baseball ranking from Division I to Division III, and as an aspiring student-athlete, you can get into any of the divisions provided you meet the requirements. In this blog post, I have provided a list of the best small D1 baseball programs to help make your search for a baseball division 1 school easier and faster.
If you are hoping to play baseball in college while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science, civil engineering, agriculture, or any program for that matter, it is entirely possible. You will be referred to as a student-athlete and your college application will be different from that of a regular student because your entry requirement will be different.
Entry requirements for aspiring baseball student-athlete vary from school to school and the division you want to play under. The higher the division, the tougher the requirements. In my previous articles, best d1 baseball schools and best d2 baseball schools, I have clearly discussed their various requirements for students who want to play baseball under any of the two divisions.
If you wonder why the requirements are tougher for aspiring student-athletes, well, here’s why.
Firstly, you get the opportunity to pursue a big career in sports e.g. baseball as well as an academic degree in business or engineering at the same time while on scholarship. Thus, only the best of the best has to be selected for such an opportunity. Secondly, schools with baseball programs under any of the three NCAA divisions are top-leading colleges in the US and globally so you’d be getting a widely recognized degree when you graduate leaving you with several opportunities to explore.
Finding a suitable college with a baseball program is like finding a needle in a haystack. There are so many of them and making a decision would be hard. I mentioned earlier that there are three NCAA Divisions under which you can play baseball as a college student. In Division I, there are 299 colleges, Division II has 274 colleges, and Division III has 389 colleges with baseball teams.
It would be hard to leave aspiring student-athletes with the option of choosing from so many schools which is why we have published this blog post to help you make better-informed decisions with the help of your teachers and parents combined. This article covers the best small d1 baseball programs, from here, you will find suitable options on where to play baseball in college.
Best Small Division 1 Baseball Programs
The following are the best small d1 baseball programs in the US:
- Brigham Young University (BYU)
- Coastal Carolina University
- Wake Forest University
- Ball State University
- Samford University
- The University of Central Florida
- McNeese State University
- Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO)
- The University of Richmond
- The College of William & Mary
1. Brigham Young University (BYU)
BYU is a Christian private research university located in the US state of Utah with campuses in Idaho and Hawaii. The institution is known for its excellence in language education, offering over 62 different language courses and nearly 65% of the student population speaks more than one language. The school is ranked #89 out of 43 national universities by the US News.
You can join the baseball team at BYU provided you meet the academic and non-academic entry requirements. The team is under the NCAA Division I and is a member of the West Coast Conference. The team is led by a head coach, an assistant coach, a pitching coach, and a director of operations.
2. Coastal Carolina University
This is a small public university with a little above 10,000 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business administration and marketing, exercise science, marketing, etc. According to the US News, Coastal Carolina University is ranked No.38 out of 136 Regional Universities South.
You can consider joining the baseball team here and becoming a Coastal Carolina Chanticleers provided you meet the set requirements which include being in good academic standing and being involved in extracurricular activities while in high school. The baseball team has been the most successful consistent program at the university.
3. Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University is a private research university situated in North Carolina. It offers a vibrant and diverse community ensuring every student feels at home when they arrive at the campus. It is a small school of approximately 6,000 students enrolled in various undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons – that is the baseball team of Wake Forest University – is one of the best small d1 baseball programs. They represent the university under the NCAA Division I and compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The program is ranked #11 in the conference.
4. Ball State University
This is a public research university in Indiana with satellite facilities in Fisher and Indianapolis offering graduate and undergraduate programs. The institution ranks top in best online programs and #212 in best national universities. There are about 22,000 students enrolled in 120 majors and 100 graduate degrees.
The baseball team at Ball State University is under Division I under the Mid-American Conference and ranks 3rd.
5. Samford University
This is a private Christian university in Alabama and is one of the oldest universities in the US. It is a fairly large college with about 5,700 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The school is renowned for student engagement and ranked #127 out of 443 national universities according to rankings by the US News.
Samford University has 17 varsity sports, 8 men’s and 9 women’s, that participate at the NCAA Division I level in the Southern Conference and are ranked at No. 2.
6. The University of Central Florida
This is a public research university in Florida recognized as one of America’s best colleges for academics, research, impact, and value. The school offers a wide range of degree programs leading to bachelor’s master’s, and doctorate degrees. Many of the programs are also offered online. You need a GPA of 4.0 to be considered for admission into UCF.
The baseball team – UCF Knights – is among the best small d1 programs in the US, competing in the American Athletic Conference.
7. McNeese State University
McNeese State University is ranked top in regional public universities and one of the best universities in Louisiana. Undergraduate and graduate programs alike are offered both to international and domestic students. The baseball team is under NCAA Division I, thus, the requirements to enter are tough but with good academic standing, you could gain entry and play with one of the best d1 leagues in the country.
8. Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO)
This is a public university in Missouri ranked #89 out of 167 Regional Universities Midwest. The school is recognized for excellence in education, research, engagement, and creativity. Undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered in a wide range of disciplines including engineering, biology, business, and arts.
SEMO has a baseball team that is under NCAA Division I and thus is recognized for its academic quality and performance in baseball competitions. The baseball team is the recipient of the 2021-22 Ohio Valley Conference Team Sportsmanship Award for baseball.
9. The University of Richmond
The University of Richmond is a nationally-ranked private liberal arts university in Richmond offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The school is ranked #18 out of 210 national liberal arts colleges in the US. A minimum GPA of 2.7 is required to get into UR and even higher if you aim to get into the baseball team.
The baseball team is under NCAA Division I and competes under the Atlantic 10 Conference. The team earned the American Baseball Coaches Association Team Academic Excellence Award. The team is led by one coach and three assistant coaches.
10. The College of William & Mary
This is a public research university in Virginia and the second-oldest higher institution in the US. The school is ranked #41 out of 443 national universities offering popular majors in social sciences, biological and biomedical sciences, management, and marketing.
The college has a baseball team under NCAA Division I competing under the Colonial Athletic Association. The team has won a total of 7 conference championships.