If you’re looking to combine your love of adrenaline-filled snow sports with a top-tier education, finding the best winter sports colleges is a must.
Whether you’re an athlete with the Olympics in your sights or a regular Joe wanting to have fun on the slopes, these schools have all you need to explore your passion for winter sports. 🏅
- 1. Dartmouth College
- 2. University of Colorado
- 3. Middlebury College
- 4. University of Utah
- 5. Montana State University
- 6. University of Alaska Fairbanks
- 7. Colby College
- 8. University of Denver
- 9. Michigan Technological University
- 10. University of Minnesota Duluth
- 11. St. Lawrence University
- 12. Colorado Mountain College
- 13. University of Wyoming
- 14. University of Vermont
- The Best US Winter Sports Colleges: Frequently Asked Questions
1. Dartmouth College
If you want to become an iconic winter sports champion, then Dartmouth should be on your radar because of its long-standing heritage.
Formed in 1909 under the Dartmouth Outing Club, the college’s ice hockey and skiing programs have produced numerous Olympians and secured over 30 NCAA titles. 🥇
While the school is close to the White Mountains, a go-to skiing and snowboarding spot, athletes can rip through the Dartmouth Skiway — a sprawling 100-acre facility within campus grounds that has 30 trails. 🙀
Several winter sports competitions in Dartmouth can be the stage where you show off your moves, like the Dartmouth Winter Carnival or the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) Championships. ❄️
2. University of Colorado
With over 20 NCAA championships under its belt, the University of Colorado (CU) proves that it’s the place to be when it comes to winter sports. 🏆
And their prime location has much to do with the college’s snow-tastic success! It’s situated in a sweet spot where nearby ski resorts and ideal skiing conditions are found.
For those conscious of their carbon footprint, CU prides itself on being an eco-friendly university committed to sustainable practices.
The school’s Environmental Center is promoting greener habits on and off the slopes through carpooling and environment-friendly ski wax. ✅
3. Middlebury College
You’ll find great company at Middlebury if you’re a fan of ice hockey.
Its ice hockey, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing programs are all great, but the former takes the cake for having multiple NCAA Division III championships and several national championships in its name. 👏
The campus has an Olympic-size ice rink and an outdoor center that students can enjoy with state-of-the-art snowmaking technology and a full-service gear rental shop. 🎿
4. University of Utah
National championships: check. NCAA tournament appearances: check. Conference titles: check. Need any more reason to believe why the University of Utah is one of the best winter sports colleges? 🏆
The Utah Ski and Snowboard Center takes your game to the next level with its world-class weight room and video analysis lab.
Students looking to race down the slopes with friends can hop on a car for a short drive to world-class ski resorts like Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, and Solitude. 🚘
5. Montana State University
Montana State is a winter sports paradise! Its snowboarding and ice hockey varsity sports programs are unbeatable (the men’s hockey team recently took the number one spot in the American College Hockey Association). 🏆
But that’s not all — the school’s Snow and Avalanche Laboratory offers hands-on experience in snow science and engineering, allowing winter sports enthusiasts to explore new frontiers in this exciting field. 💯
And if you’re looking for a beautiful spot to hit the trails, the university’s Nordic ski center features a perfectly groomed 35-kilometer trail, plus an indoor ice rink that’s sure to impress.
6. University of Alaska Fairbanks
What makes the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) an awesome winter sports college is how it balances its desire for athletic achievements with a heart for sustainability.
The college is home to the Ski Land Ski and Snowboard Area — the world’s only ski resort powered by geothermal energy. This allows students to maximize winter adventures while keeping their carbon footprint in mind. 🌍
Students can even catch Division I ice hockey games at the Patty Ice Arena, which is the college’s NHL-sized ice rink with a 1,200-seat capacity.
If that doesn’t put you on board (haha, get it? 😝), UAF is also a frontrunner in studies tackling snow science and avalanche safety.
The university’s Geophysical Institute conducts research on topics such as snowpack stability, snow physics, and avalanche forecasting, contributing to the safety and advancement of winter sports. 🌨️
7. Colby College
Winter is more than just a season at Colby, it’s a reason to celebrate. What better way to feel festive than with the college’s beloved tradition — the Winter Carnival?
Students come together in this carnival to transform the campus into a winter wonderland, complete with snow-covered hills and ice rinks.🏔️
There are skiing and snowboarding competitions for those who love the thrill of the slopes and ice skating for those who prefer a more graceful experience. And for the creative minds, there are snow sculpting contests that bring out the artist in everyone! 🧊
For students looking to compete, Colby College has 32 varsity teams, three of which compete in Division I — Alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, and Squash — and its 350,000-square-foot Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center where they can practice.
8. University of Denver
Get ready to bring your winter sports career to new heights with the University of Denver’s MA programs.
Whether you dream of coaching amateur or professional teams, its MA programs can give you the edge to help athletes perform at their best and teach you ethical and responsible coaching practices suited for the big leagues. 📚
With a holistic approach to education, the university prepares you to make a difference on and off the field by engaging in sustainability and community activities.
9. Michigan Technological University
Picture this: a 200-inch-thick layer of fresh, delicate snow each year, providing the perfect terrain for winning NCAA championships and national tournaments.
This is the reality for students at one of the best US colleges for winter sports, Michigan Technological University. 🌨️
Plus, thanks to the 13 ski courses with an outstanding 200-foot vertical drop and a trail network that connects to the Michigan Tech Trails System, students have countless possibilities to discover their skiing potential.
And when they’re not on the slopes, the 24/7 gym on campus can help them stay active and agile. 🏋️
Aside from building a great physique, MTU also knows that adapting to high altitudes and cold temperatures makes for better athletes. This is what you can find at its Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology. 🥶
10. University of Minnesota Duluth
Is your college search looking bleak? The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) brings some needed ice-spiration to your choices. 💯
Winter sports reign supreme at UMD thanks to its exceptional facilities, such as the AMSOIL Arena and an ice skating rink.
The skiing and ice hockey programs are no slouch either, with both the men’s and women’s teams consistently ranking among the best in the nation.
So, grab your gloves and discover what it takes to stick the landing in college and beyond at UMD. 🏒
11. St. Lawrence University
No winter is too cold when your campus has a ski hill and a snowshoeing trail that you can enjoy. That’s St. Lawrence University for you.
Not only does this college have a ski hill and a snowshoeing trail, but it also has its own ice hockey team that takes home national championships and accolades every year.
Ice hockey at St. Lawrence is also a winning sport, taking home a total of two national championships.
The teams can thank the university’s Appleton Arena, a huge on-campus rink that can seat 1,000 spectators, for providing the best space to practice. 🎿
The university is nestled in the Adirondack Mountains, and this prime location (with an annual snowfall of 200 inches) makes winter sports a fun campus activity. ❄
12. Colorado Mountain College
If you’re looking for a college that can heighten your passion for skiing and snowboarding, then your answer is Colorado Mountain College.
Workshops on avalanche safety, ski and snowboard tuning, and ski patrol training are available, making Colorado Mountain a one-stop shop for competitive, adventurous, or ambitious students.
13. University of Wyoming
Sign up and join the ranks of elite skiers, coaches, and racers at the University of Wyoming’s International Nordic Ski Training Program — participate in international exchanges and take your skills to the next level.
With a state-of-the-art indoor training center, top-notch coaching staff, and access to some of the best ski trails in the region, you can compete at the highest levels of collegiate competition! 🎿
UW is situated right in the heart of Wyoming, where winter sports are a way of life. You’ll get to experience local traditions like ice fishing, dog sledding, and cross-country skiing with your fellow athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. 🛷
So, what are you waiting for? Come join the Wyoming Cowboys and Cowgirls and start living your winter sports dreams!
14. University of Vermont
Step into the frosty paradise of the University of Vermont where students are greeted with fantastic student clubs and facilities, like the Gutterson Fieldhouse.⛸️
To prove that its all for helping student-athletes become great, the school offers discounted lift tickets and equipment rentals through the ski and snowboard clubs.
These top-of-the-line amenities boost your chances of competing in the Olympics (and other world championships). Did you know that there were 12 UVermont students who competed in the Winter Olympics last 2018? 🥇
If that’s a path you want for yourself, you can join the Ski and Snowboard Club or the Nordic Skiing and Biathlon Club to enjoy a different level of training and competition sprinkled with other social activities like fundraising and game nights.
All of these winter sports colleges are the best at what they do.
The right choice is a matter of which of these schools has the best combination of education, extracurriculars, facilities, equipment, and yes, even financial aid.
So, why wait? Take the leap and chase your winter sports dream now!
The Best US Winter Sports Colleges: Frequently Asked Questions
Are there available scholarships for winter sports athletes?
Yes. Winter sports athletes can receive scholarships from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for skiing, subject to various academic requirements.
For instance, snowboarders must meet a minimum GPA to be eligible for scholarships and join a college team. Maintaining a high academic record is important for all NCAA sports scholarship recipients to participate in their collegiate sports programs.
Do US colleges have winter sports teams?
Yes. US colleges and universities have winter sports teams, such as skiing, snowboarding, ice hockey, and figure skating, among others. These teams participate in intercollegiate team competitions such as the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) Championships. In fact, some colleges are known for their winter sports programs and have gained a reputation for producing top-notch athletes in these sports.
What winter sports are recognized by the NCAA?
NCAA recognizes a diverse range of winter sports, including skiing (both alpine and cross-country), snowboarding, ice hockey, and figure skating. Each of these sports has its own set of guidelines and requirements for eligibility and scholarship opportunities.
Is there a career for winter sports athletes?
Yes. Winter sports athletes have a variety of career options available to them beyond becoming professional competitors such as coaching, instructing, and sports journalism.
Other popular paths like sports marketing, event management, and product development are interesting options too.
Aside from that, athletes can use their personal brand to explore fields such as public speaking, entrepreneurship, or social media influencing.