Women at Barnard have multiple opportunities to pursue athletics both at Barnard and within Columbia University. In order to accommodate students with varying levels of ability and commitment, the University offers three tiers of competition. Students may participate as one of sixteen NCAA Division I Varsity Columbia University teams (competing alongside women from Columbia College and the School of Engineering and Applied Science and as part of the Ivy League Conference), in more than thirty club sports (also university-wide teams), and in a wide variety of intramural sports available at Barnard and Columbia.

Discover more about the varsity athletic teams

Women at Barnard and the undergraduate colleges of Columbia compete as teammates on Columbia University-wide athletic teams. The arrangement, known as a "consortium" under NCAA rules, is one of just three in the nation and is the only one at the Division I level. The consortium provides the opportunity for female students enrolled at three separate colleges at the University to compete within one program, drawing on the resources of all the colleges. 

Our History

The Columbia/Barnard Athletic Consortium was established in 1983 to coincide with the admission of women to Columbia College and was built upon an already thriving women's athletic program at Barnard. By building on that program, the University sought to provide all undergraduate women with the finest competitive opportunities. Both Barnard and Columbia believe that the consortium creates an athletic program within the Ivy League that is far stronger than what either institution could offer individually. And, the choices made available to prospective student athletes, all within the University, are unparalleled.

Contact Coaches and review NCAA guidelines

Prospective student athletes should begin by filling out an athletic questionnaire. Information requested by coaches normally includes detailed information about both athletic skill and academic profile, in addition to contact information for coaches, parents, and high school counselor. Many students also provide an athletic resume to include personal and academic information and relevant statistics, an athletic profile, news clippings and/or an athletic video, coaches’ recommendations, and a cover letter. Coaches interested in recruiting prospective athletes may then follow up with a request for a transcript, school profile and a record of all testing completed.

Prospective student athletes should familiarize themselves with the rules coaches must follow in communicating with athletes, since there are times of the recruiting cycle where coaches may be limited in their ability to communicate.

  1. Refer to recommendations provided by Columbia’s Office of Compliance.
  2. Download the Guide for the College Bound Student Athlete provided by the NCAA for more detailed communication guidance.
  3. Review the Official Website of Columbia University Athletics.
  4. Be aware that the Ivy League, although Division I, does not offer athletic scholarships, whether students attend Barnard or Columbia.