Updated 07/07/2019; Added Lock Haven University and Carthage College to WCWA list
The following is a list of schools with reported women’s wrestling programs. This should be a good starting point for all student-athletes wishing to pursue their wrestling career at the next level. A word of warning, programs come and go so please contact the school and make sure they still have a women’s wrestling program before setting your heart on attending any particular college (I promise to do my best to weed out any that no longer belong in the list).
Schools choose what organizations they become part of based on many factors. These schools may someday join the WCWA and some of the current WCWA schools may someday leave the association to join another. This does not mean that one program is of less quality than another because of the association it is in. Remember, there are many reasons to choose which school to attend, make sure they are the best reasons for you (the student-athlete).
If anyone notices a college is missing post it on the page and I will list it as soon as possible.
The NAIA granted women’s wrestling invitational status starting in the 2018-2019 season. As a result, NAIA programs now have their own national championship tournament. However, many of these programs will still compete in the WCWA, which is responsible for the growth of women’s wrestling at the collegiate level; at least until enough non-NAIA programs join the WCWA. Like the WCWA, these programs compete in freestyle wrestling. NAIA programs offer athletic scholarships to wrestlers that meet their criteria.
The NAIA weight classes are as follow: 101, 109, 116, 123, 130, 136, 143, 155, 170 and 191
The last time the program competed in the WCWA National Championship tournament will be highlighted in yellow.
The Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association (WCWA) is an autonomous association that now governs all collegiate women’s freestyle wrestling programs at NCAA, NAIA, NWAC, and NJCAA institutions. Its primary role is to standardize the competition rules for women until the NCAA and Junior Colleges sanction it as an emerging sport.
Most of the WCWA schools offer athletic scholarships. The exceptions are the NCAA Div. III schools (which do not offer athletic scholarships for any sport) and Lindenwood University-Belleville.
The WCWA weight classes are as follow: 101, 109, 116, 123, 130, 136, 143, 155, 170 and 191
NOTE: Lindenwood University-Belleville, though an NAIA program competes only in the WCWA. It is the only club team that participates in the WCWA. As it is a club team, it does not offer an athletic scholarship in wrestling.
501 Westminster Ave, Fulton, MO 65251 (Program starting fall 2018)
For wrestlers who are looking to attend college and still compete, but not prioritizing wrestling scholarships, schools that offer wrestling as a club sport might be the right fit for them. The National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA) provides a league and national championships for college club women’s wrestling teams. These clubs, however, do not practice freestyle wrestling but collegiate-style (AKA folkstyle) which is what is practiced in most high schools in the United States.
I must add that there are some schools participating in the NCWA that offer wrestling scholarships; but you should check with the school you’re interested in to see if they are one of those schools.
Club wrestling faces the same challenges as school-sponsored wrestling programs and therefore, come and go. Please verify that the club is still active before making a decision based on the existence of the opportunity to wrestle at that school.
The red number in parenthesis signifies the last year they participated in the NCWA Championships, this doe not necessarily mean that they are no longer accepting female wrestlers or that they are no longer operating a wrestling club. It may simply mean they had no wrestlers compete at the Championships since then. Once again please verify that the program is in operation before making your decision.
The schools listed, without a parenthesized year, participated in the 2019 NCWA Women’s Wrestling Championships.