Best Women’s Basketball Colleges

Women's basketball
April 26, 2024
8 min read
Expert Reviewed


Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 4/26/24

If you’re applying to college and are interested in playing women’s basketball, read on to find the best women’s basketball colleges that’ll kickstart your sports career!

Sue Bird is argued to be the best WNBA player. She won five Olympic gold medals for Team USA, was on four World Cup-winning teams, and was on many title-winning leagues. 

Her prosperous sports career kicked off in university when she attended the University of Connecticut, joined its basketball team, and won two NCAA championships. 

If you have aspirations to become a great athlete like Sue, an excellent way to begin training like a pro and even get drafted is to join a top college for women’s basketball.

20 Best Colleges for Women’s Basketball

To give you a variety of options to choose from, here are 20 of the top women’s basketball colleges, according to NCSA - the largest college-recruiting platform. 

NCSA ranks their colleges based on “NCSA Favorites” data from college search activity, the US News & World Report rankings for academic standing, and information from the US Department of Education College Scorecard. 

​​1. Stanford University

Stanford University is a prestigious institution that ranks as the number one college for student-athletes interested in playing women’s basketball. 

Playing 36 NCAA tournaments and winning three NCAA championships, Stanford is known to produce excellent athletes. As a Division 1 school, they are also the highest-level college athletes by NCAA standards!

Speaking of standards, Stanford holds all prospective students to high ones! Their acceptance rate is under 4%, and applicants will need high GPAs and top ACT or SAT scores to get in. 

Info Value
Acceptance Rate 3.91%
Location Stanford, California
Average Incoming GPA 3.95
Average SAT Score 1540
Average ACT Score 35
Tuition Fees $65,127

2. Princeton University

In second place is Princeton University, beating out other top schools like Yale, Harvard, and MIT. 

Princeton is a Division 1 school that has proven itself to be a major collegiate athletic power. In fact, WNBA star Blake Dietrick graduated from Princeton and won a 30-0 regular season, leading to her title as the unanimous Ivey League Player of the Year. 

Basketball enthusiasts wishing to follow Dietrick’s footsteps can expect to pay over $60,000 in tuition fees

Info Value
Acceptance Rate 4.50%
Location Princeton, New Jersey
Average Incoming GPA 3.95
Average SAT Score 1540-1580
Average ACT Score 34-35
Tuition Fees $62,400

3. Harvard University

As another college giant on this list, Harvard is the third-best college for women’s basketball. This Division 1 school consistently outperforms its opponents. In 2023-2024 alone, it outranked its opponents in its points per game, shooting, and assists.

Harvard is a prestigious school with a low acceptance rate of only 3.4%. To attend Harvard, you’ll need to pay nearly $55K in tuition fees

Info Value
Acceptance Rate 3.59%
Location Cambridge, Massachusetts
Average Incoming GPA 4.2
Average SAT Score 1550
Average ACT Score 35
Tuition Fees $56,550

4. The University of Florida

The University of Florida is another Division 1 school that ranks fourth as the best women’s basketball college.

These athletes live up to their name as the Florida Gators by being intimidating opponents on the court! According to their 2023-2024 stats alone, the Gators consistently dominated their opponents in not only points per game but also shooting, assists, and steals.

Info Value
Acceptance Rate 23.3%
Location Gainesville, Florida
Average Incoming GPA 3.93
Average SAT Score 1400
Average ACT Score 31
Tuition Fees $6,380 (in-state), $28,658 (out-of-state)

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Coming in at fifth, MIT is home to one of the best women’s college basketball teams! Their 2023-24 stats show them outplaying their opponents in points per game, shooting, rebounding, and steals!

If you hope to play for the MIT Engineers, you should be ready to score between 1520-1580 on the SAT and 34-36 on the ACT. MIT’s acceptance rate is less than 5%, so you’ll need to be a competitive applicant to get in. 

Info Value
Acceptance Rate 4.52%
Location Cambridge, Massachusetts
Average Incoming GPA 4.19
Average SAT Score 1520-1580
Average ACT Score 34-36
Tuition Fees $61,990

6. Columbia University

In sixth place is Columbia University. As another impressive D1 team that lives up to its name as powerful players, the Columbia Lions have received numerous team and individual awards throughout its decades-long basketball journey. 

Becoming a Lion isn’t cheap! In fact, Columbia has the most expensive tuition on this list, coming in at over $68K a year. However, the school makes up for its tuition cost with its prestigious reputation and world-renowned academic programs. Student-athletes can also take advantage of many outside athletic scholarships to afford tuition. 

Info Value
Acceptance Rate 3.85%
Location New York City, New York
Average Incoming GPA 4.15
Average SAT Score 1540
Average ACT Score 35
Tuition Fees $68,400

7. Yale University

Yale University is another one of the best women’s basketball colleges and is home to the Bulldogs, who consistently make headlines for their wins and streaks! Recently, this D1 team celebrated a triumph in their three-seed claim in Ivy Madness!

With an acceptance rate of less than 5%, Yale is a competitive university. Aim for a high GPA and build a strong application to increase your admission chances. 

Info Value
Acceptance Rate 3.73%
Location New Haven, Connecticut
Average Incoming GPA 4.14
Average SAT Score 1450-1560
Average ACT Score 33-35
Tuition Fees $64,700

8. The University of Pennsylvania

The Penn Quakers are another top-notch women’s college basketball team! The team at UPenn has proven itself to be a strong contender, as the team’s 2023-24 stats show them outscoring their opponents in both total points and points per game. 

To become a Quaker, you’ll need to build a stellar application to make it through Penn’s low acceptance rate. Aim for a 4.0 GPA and an SAT score above 1510. 

Info Value
Acceptance Rate 5.8%
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Average Incoming GPA 3.9
Average SAT Score 1510-1560
Average ACT Score 34-35
Tuition Fees $60,920

9. The University of California - Los Angeles

UCLA ranks ninth as the best college for women’s basketball and is another Division 1 school with elaborate facilities for its athletes. Adhering to its motto, “champions made here,” the UCLA women’s basketball team consistently makes headlines for its athletic triumphs. 

These UCLA players are not only athletically accomplished but also academically accomplished. The median GPA of accepted students is 3.95-4.0, and less than 10% of all applicants are able to meet this school’s expectations and gain admission to UCLA!

Info Value
Acceptance Rate 8.73%
Location Los Angeles, California
Average Incoming GPA 3.93
Average SAT Score 1290–1510
Average ACT Score 27–34
Tuition Fees $14,478 (in-state), $47,052 (out-of-state)

10. The University of California - Berkeley

UC Berkeley is the tenth-best college for women’s basketball. This D1 school’s women’s basketball players are known as the Golden Bears and certainly live up to their title as golden athletes. In its history, this school has produced 11 WNBA players for various teams!

If you want to become a Golden Bear, you’ll need top-notch grades since the average incoming GPA is 3.9!

Info Value
Acceptance Rate 11.73%
Location Berkeley, California
Average Incoming GPA 3.9
Average SAT Score N/A
Average ACT Score N/A
Tuition Fees $16,522 (in-state), $48,574 (out-of-state)

11. Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University ranks eleventh on this list and boasts a stellar women’s basketball team. Their season stats show them dominating their opponents in scoring, shooting, rebounding, and assisting, and they’ve scored 3 championships in their 8 NCAA appearances. 

To join the Blue Jays, you’ll need top grades to make it into the 7.3% of applicants who are accepted to Johns Hopkins. 

Info Value
Acceptance Rate 6.20%
Location Baltimore, Maryland
Average Incoming GPA 3.93
Average SAT Score 1530-1560
Average ACT Score 34-35
Tuition Fees $62,840

12. The University of Michigan

The University of Michigan comes in twelfth place and has made 10 NCAA appearances in its school’s history. In the 2022 NCAA tournament, U-M’s team received the number three seed, the highest seed the team has received thus far. 

The University of Michigan only accepts 18% of all its applicants. To maximize your chances of becoming one of them, you should aim for a median SAT score of 1470, ACT score of 33, and GPA of 3.9. 

Info Value
Acceptance Rate 18%
Location Ann Arbor, Michigan
Average Incoming GPA 3.9
Average SAT Score 1350-1530
Average ACT Score 29-35
Tuition Fees $17,228 (in-state), $58,072 (out-of-state)

13. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a D1 school that has appeared in 27 NCAA tournaments and won five NCAA championships. This school is also the only school in the history of college basketball to have four national titles.

UNC also boasts basketball legend Michael Jordan as one of its alumni, so if you want to walk the same halls that he did, start working on your application!

Info Value
Acceptance Rate 18.39%
Location Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Average Incoming GPA 4.00
Average SAT Score 1260-1420
Average ACT Score 27-32
Tuition Fees $7,020 (in-state), $39,228 (out-of-state)

14. The University of Virginia

The University of Virginia’s Division 1 women’s basketball team has consistently bred excellent players. In the school’s history, 11 women have been taken into the WNBA drafts, 12 have played in the WNBA, and two have been WNBA champions.

If you’d like to join this WNBA player-producing school, you should be prepared to pay up to $50,00 in tuition fees if you’re a Virginia resident and up to over $80K if you’re coming from out-of-state. 

Info Value
Acceptance Rate 16.38%
Location Charlottesville, Virginia
Average Incoming GPA 4.32
Average SAT Score 1400-1540
Average ACT Score 32-35
Tuition Fees Ranges from $37,828 to $88,228, depending on several factors

15. Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University ranks 15th on this list. This Division 1 team appeared in a whopping 27 NCAA tournaments, advanced to the Final Four in one game, and the Elite Eight in five. 

As yet another high-ranking school, Vanderbilt is highly selective in its admissions. It has an acceptance rate of 5.09% and expects students to have ACT scores between 33-36 and SAT scores between 1480-1570

Info Value
Acceptance Rate 5.09%
Location Nashville, Tennessee
Average Incoming GPA 3.91
Average SAT Score 1480–1570
Average ACT Score 33-36
Tuition Fees $61,618

16. Georgia Tech

Despite being known as a leading research university dedicated to advancing science and technology, Georgia Tech also has various Division 1 sports teams, including its women’s basketball team

Georgia Tech is also selective in its application decisions, with a 33% acceptance rate for Georgia residents and only a 10% admit rate for out-of-state and international students. Applicants should maintain a GPA of at least 3.7 and score at least 1400 on the SAT to be considered ideal candidates.

Info Value
Acceptance Rate 33% (in-state), 10% (out-of-state)
Location Atlanta, Georgia
Average Incoming GPA 4.07
Average SAT Score 1310-1500
Average ACT Score 28-34
Tuition Fees $10,258 (in-state), $32,940 (out-of-state)

17. Duke University

Duke University ranks #17 for women’s basketball, and their stats prove they deserve to be in the top 20. They boast a whopping 27 alumni in the WNBA, and in the 2023-24 season, the Blue Devils have outplayed their opponents in nearly every category possible. 

If you want to join this top-notch school, you’ll need a high GPA to be a competitive applicant, as their acceptance rate is below 7%!

Info Value
Acceptance Rate 5.15%
Location Durham, North Carolina
Average Incoming GPA 4.13
Average SAT Score 1510-1560
Average ACT Score 34-35
Tuition Fees $66,326

18. Brown University

Brown University is another top contender for women’s basketball! They’ve produced many top-notch players, with nine players taking a spot in the Brown Hall of Fame and five players named Ivy Legends. Their 2023-24 stats also show them outmatching their opponents in shooting, scoring, and steals. 

A minimum GPA of 4.0 and top-notch test scores are a must to get into Brown since their acceptance rate is only 5%!

Info Value
Acceptance Rate 5.16%
Location Providence, Rhode Island
Average Incoming GPA 4.1
Average SAT Score 1510-1570
Average ACT Score 34-36
Tuition Fees $65,656

19. Georgetown University

You may choose to take your basketball talents to Georgetown University, ranked at #19. The Hoyas are a force to be reckoned with, as their 2023-24 stats prove that they’ve outplayed their opponents in nearly every category. 

If you join the team at Georgetown, you should expect to pay about $32K per semester, or close to $65K per year. 

Info Value
Acceptance Rate 12.33%
Location Washington, D.C.
Average Incoming GPA 3.57
Average SAT Score 1410-1550
Average ACT Score 31-35
Tuition Fees $67,824

20. Northwestern University

Taking the final spot on our list is Northwestern University. Over the years, Northwestern’s women’s basketball team has been full of incredible players, gathering tons of awards, including Kodak, Street & Smith, and Big Ten Honors. 

With an acceptance rate lower than 10%, you should strive to put together a stellar application if you want to join the Wildcat!

Info Value
Acceptance Rate 7.50%
Location Evanston, Illinois
Average Incoming GPA 4.10
Average SAT Score 1500–1560
Average ACT Score 33–35
Tuition Fees $64,887

Discover Your College Basketball Future

Making a decision on which college to attend can be tricky. To help you decide where you’d like to make a name for yourself in women’s basketball, check out our college comparison tool

FAQs: Women’s Basketball Colleges

If you have any remaining questions about women’s basketball colleges, read on to find your answers.

1. What Is The Best College For Women’s Basketball?

Stanford University ranks as the best school for women’s basketball. That said, many other schools have top rankings for different reasons. You should choose your school based on all aspects of your education.

2. How Many D1 Girls’ Basketball Teams Are There?

There are currently over 350 D1 basketball colleges in the nation.

3. What Schools Are D1 Women’s Basketball?

You can find the full list of D1 women’s basketball colleges on the NCAS Sports website.

4. How Do I Get A Roster Spot At A D1 College?

Considering only 1.2% of all high school women’s athletes play on D1 women’s teams, getting a roster spot is challenging! It requires excellent athleticism, strong academic performance, and unwavering dedication to the sport.

5. What Is The Most Expensive College For Women’s Basketball?

Columbia University is the most expensive college on this list for women’s basketball. However, if students are recruited to join the team, they often receive full-ride sports scholarships.

6. What Is The Least Expensive College For Women’s Basketball?

The University of Florida is the cheapest college for women’s basketball on this list for both in-state and out-of-state students.

Final Thoughts

Whether you want to join a college basketball team for your simple love of the sport or to advance your basketball career, the 20 schools listed here can provide you with the right resources, exposure, and opportunities to fulfill all of your sports dreams!

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