Top 50 Best College Swim Teams in 2023 [LATEST UPDATE]

Swimming is great all-around activity and one of the best ways to stay in shape. It has been one of the most lucrative sports in colleges recently.

Are you a lover of the sport? Do you have the passion to follow up as a career? Joining the best college swim teams for late bloomers and newbies can be difficult due to their program cuts.

But do you know that the best college swim teams expose you to the most competitive swimming leagues in the world? Of course, nothing great comes easy.

Table of contents

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Are The Best College Swim Teams Worth It?

Are you having doubts about getting into the best college swim teams in 2023? Although, some universities have been cutting swimming and diving programs in the last two decades due to high costs and lack of success.

We are here to clear those doubts and have you make the right choice amongst the best college swim teams.

Check Out: What Does it Mean To Dream about Swimming?

What are the Benefits Of Getting Into The Best College Swim Teams?

Swimming is a beneficial and a good all-around healthy exercise. It helps build endurance, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness. This, in return, helps to maintain a healthy weight, healthy heart, and lungs.

Some of the valid reasons for joining the best college swim teams include the following:

#1. Exposure:

These teams have an excellent track record. They have successful swimming and diving programs that have produced world-class champions.

They have produced NCAA champions, All-American athletes, Olympic Trials qualifiers, and Olympians.

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#2. Experience:

Joining any of these teams means you’d gain a lot of great experience. You gain great experience by being around great competitors. Also, you will get quality guidance from the best college swim team coaches.

#3. Excellent offers:

Club swimming offers the close and competitive atmosphere that many swimmers enjoy. Their programs also provide them with a great space to work out in as against the tight school schedule.

#4. Recreation:

These teams are ideal for a competitive, sport-loving student who doesn’t want to or otherwise can’t compete at the NCAA level.

The best college swim team are flexible about practice schedules. This means that swimmers can attend practice whenever they have time.

Recommended: Dream About Swimming

Steps to Becoming a Part of the Best College Swim Teams

Some of these teams have flourished for almost a century. These are teams that have achieved winning records during regular season competitions.

Looking to be amongst the best college swim teams? Read on to know what it takes to be among the best college swim teams.

1. Maintaining Good Academic Standings:

A poor-performing student cannot be on the swim team, for it is a distraction. Apart from maintaining good grades.

2. Having The Necessary Skill Of A Swimmer

Student-athletes must dedicate a lot of time and effort to their swimming skills. Also, they need to manage their own recruiting process. Some basic skill requirements include

  • Freestyles With Side-Breathing
  • The backstroke
  • Ability to stay afloat
  • Coordination with body movement
  • Kicking

Read Also: Academic Skills To Prepare For College

3. What Can You Offer To The Team

Best college swim team coaches are interested in swimmers who score points at meets. They also extend offers to swimmers who show potential to score, who are good training partners, and exhibit strong team spirit.

4. Level Of Intensity:

Different teams have varying priorities. Some swim teams make academics a priority while others emphasize on swimming. Can you cope if there is a tight schedule of activities?

But it all depends on your future plans, especially if the academic, extracurricular activities are rigorous.

5. The Cost:

The best college swim team needs certain fees during the registration process. Club team memberships can range from around $300 to $600 for beginners. On average, it may cost approximately $1000 to $2000 for advanced swimmers.

Once a young swimmer is ready to join a USA swim team, there are other fees to consider. Once again, the fee may vary depending on if you are a school student.

In some cases, the school handles the cost through scholarships, making it free for students, terms and conditions may apply.

The scholarship processes can appear to be complex. Interested in a scholarship? Get to know what it takes.

Read also: Sports Unlimited Scholarship

6. Be Ready To Compete:

Always work hard and take in more lessons and programs that would help you improve. Best college swim teams geared for younger swimmers may have more relaxed requirements.

They focus on developing basic skills and reducing costs. Check with the team before registration.

How to Apply to the Best College Swim Teams

1. Visiting college websites

2. Verifying that each college has a swim team

3. Checking recent swim activities schedules and rosters:

Stay up to date with crucial team information so as not to miss out on their registration process. You can also stay alert for swimming camps, competitions, and other activities.

4. Filling out recruiting profiles

5. Sending your swim times to colleges of interest

6. Meeting up with the proper attire and equipment necessary;

7. Meeting up with standards shows you pick interest in the programs. It is a good indicator that you want to play a part in the best college swim teams.

8. Show you are up to the task:

9. Having the basic skills gives you an edge in being part of the swim team. You must be willing to participate and engage in her various activities.

Overview of the Best College Swim Teams in 2023

There are over many swimming colleges across major athletic divisions. They include NCAA Division 1, Division 2, and Division 3 as well as NAIA and Junior colleges.

#1 NCAA:

NCAA Division 1 level with large campus and class sizes, holds the highest level of athletic competition and elite programs. Not surprisingly, it has the largest athletic budget.

At NCAA Division 2 level; one can find almost as much of the athletic talent seen at the Division 1 level. Here there is more balance between athletics, academics, and social life. It is highly competitive too.

Division 3 is NCAA’s largest division. It provides a lot of flexibility for its student-athletes. It is best for athletes who want to make the most of their academics and seek to pursue other endeavors aside from athletics. The Division 3 programs don’t offer scholarships.


They have a smaller campus and class size with a strong sense of community. Their programs are flexible in recruiting processes. They balance athletics, academics, and social life.

#3 Junior colleges:

They offer NJCCA and CCCAA swimming programs. Junior colleges offer great value to student-athletes. They still compete with higher-level divisions and offer athletic scholarships.

Junior colleges provide steady academic growth. They can also transfer to a school at another division level.

But, the best college swim team can be the perfect choice for athletes who enjoy swimming but cannot commit to their main school team for some reason. Whether you’re a male or female, these best college swim teams have their gender categories.

Read also: Best Colleges On the Beach

50 Best College Swim Teams in 2023

Choosing the best might be a difficult choice for a student-athlete. This is an exhaustive, comprehensive list of the best college swim teams of 2023.

1. Stanford University swim team: 

This swim team is recognized worldwide as one of the best College swim teams. Their programs ensure a balance between athletics and academics. They give honorary rewards to their best-performing all-around students.

They offer athletic scholarships for NCAA Divisions I and II, NAIA, and junior college programs. Club swim programs run through the entire academic year. It starts in September and goes all the way through June. During a normal year, practices run five days a week.

Anyone is welcome to join Club Swim as there are no limits on team size with over 40 active members each year. Outside of the pool, club swim members often have classes, study, and engage in activities. Most of these activities help to enhance communication between athletes.

They plan to adapt out-of-the-water activities to an online environment. This is to foster a closer community. Becoming familiar with the Swimming and Diving program is an important first step in recruiting.

How Do You Get Into Stanford Swim Team?

Interested in getting recruited by Stanford University Swimming and Diving team? If yes, you should get to know more about the school and the academic programs the institutions are offering.

At first, you have to fill out the Stanford University Swimming And Diving recruiting questionnaire and get on their list, but that’s only the start. There they would provide details on registering with Stanford Club Sports and College Club Swimming, paying dues, and more. Sign up for their email list

Join the men’s team here

Join the women’s team here

#2. Princeton University swim team:      

Princeton University is in Princeton, NJ and the Swimming And Diving program competes in the Ivy League conference.

Basically, Princeton has one of the largest and best college swim teams with successful athletic programs in the NCAA Division I and the Ivy League.

It has sent several athletes to the Olympics. Princeton University is a world-class undergraduate education. They have one of the oldest swimming programs in college athletics dating back to 1904.

The swim team (the Tigers) has been a big part of the college swimming scene since its foundation. Princeton student-athletes also excel in their studies while leading in intercollegiate competition.

If you intend to join this team, you have to fill out the Stanford University Swimming and Diving recruiting questionnaire and get on their list.

Join the team here

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#3. Yale University swim team:   

Ever since its birth in the late 1800s, the Yale Bulldogs swimming and diving program has produced many champion athletes. Many Yale swimmers have gone on to earn all-American honors and even break world records.

The Yale Bulldogs have their achievements and trophies, winning several NCAA, EISL, and AAU. Yale University offers athletic scholarships for Swimming And Diving. Need-based and academic scholarships are available for student-athletes.

How Do You Get Into The Yale Swim Team;

  • It is necessary to follow NCAA regulations relating to the Division I Collegiate Institution.
  • You cannot make telephone calls with a prospective student before June 15th. This is due to the completion of the prospect’s sophomore year in high school. In this case, a telephone call includes electronically transmitted correspondence (i.e e-mail).
  • As from the 1st of August before their junior year of high school. Unofficial Visits, Official Visits, and Off-Campus Contact are permissible.

Please consider this as you request information from another institution.

Join them here

#4. University of Duke Swim Team:

Duke University is in Durham, North Carolina, USA. Its Swimming and Diving program competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The program offers swim lessons year-round for swimmers of all levels and ages. Also, it offers health and precautionary safety courses.

All their programs are open to recreational members. No matter the skill level or interest, there is something for everyone at Duke.

How Do You Get Into The University Of Duke Swim Team?

To have the best shot of getting in, you should aim for the 75th percentile, with a 1570 SAT or a 35 ACT. You should also have a 4.13 GPA or higher. This is so to balance athletics with academics.

Stay in contact with coaches and find out what coaches are viewing your profile for. Get matched with the right choices and email them the requirements needed(if necessary).

Join them here

#5. North Carolina Chapel Hill Swim Team: 

The University of North Carolina is definitely among the best college swim team. It provides an environment that promotes a healthy body and mind. Participants can maintain a desired level of competition while building relationships with others.

They welcome all levels of swimmers from summer league to ex-varsity

How To Join:

  • Open membership/Join at any time; New member dues per semester are $40 and include a swim cap.
  • It has its competitive season during fall/spring at the National level governed by the U.S. Masters swimming.

Reach/email them at any time:

Join them here

#6. University of Michigan Swim Team:

The Michigan Wolverines swimming and diving program comprises men’s and women’s teams. Its program is one of the USA’s most respected college swimming programs.

The Department of Michigan combined the men’s and women’s in August 2012 Athletic. Women

Join them here

#7. Harvard University Swim Team: 

Harvard University is in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Swimming And Diving program competes in the Ivy League conference.

How Do You Get Into Harvard University Swim Team?

  • You need to create a Certification Account to make official visits to Divisions I and II schools or to sign a National Letter of Intent.
  • Create a free Profile Page if you plan to compete at a Division III school or are not yet sure where you want to compete.
  • Go through their checklist here, and ensure you have the requirements needed.

Join them here

#8. Columbia University Swim Team:   

Columbia University is in New York, NY and the Swimming And Diving program competes in the Ivy League conference.

The Columbia swim team was recently recognized by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA).

How to get into the university of Columbia swim team

You must pass the swim team test;

The test consists of swimming three continuous unassisted laps using any stroke or a combination of strokes.

You must pass their requirement waiver due to medical conditions. This is particularly due to Covid and other health-related conditions.

Get in touch with them

Join them here

#9.  University of Virginia Swim Team:  

This team represents the University of Virginia in NCAA Division I at the Atlantic Coast Conference.

They are among the best college Swim team because of their performance efficiency. They also have trophies and achievements to prove it.

Join them here

#10. Berkeley University Swim Team:   

Berkeley University offers aquatic programs that help you get in shape, save lives, improve your swimming skills, or have fun. Its swim team offers swim lessons for all levels and the Cal Aquatic Masters swim team for those looking to up their game.

Be part of a swimming community, that strives to motivate and support each other in their shared love of the sport. They also offer dry land workouts and at-home workouts

Join them here

#11. Emory University Swim Team:   

The College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) for their athletic and academic efforts during the 2023 season honored 59 athletes from this team. This includes 29 who are into the Scholar All-America First Team.

History has it that the Emory men’s swimming and diving team is the NCAA Division III national champion for the second time. The women’s swimming and diving team finished as the national team runner-up.

Join them here

#12. University of Florida Swim Team:

The University of Florida swim team is the Florida Gators swimming and diving program. They represent the school in aquatics sports of swimming and diving.

Their program competes in the Division of NCAA and the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The program includes separate men’s and women’s, teams.

How To Join the University Of Florida Swim Team

  • All prospective men’s swimming athletes should contact Steve Jungbluth at [email protected].
  • Prospective women’s swimming athletes should contact Whitney Hite at [email protected]
  • All prospective diving student-athletes should contact Bryan Gillooly at [email protected].

Join them here

#13. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Swim Team:   

MIT swim team has a competitive and very supportive culture that accommodates anyone.

MIT offers the perfect combination of balancing academics and athletics. The team culture makes anyone feel at home.

Join them here

#14. University of Austin Swim Team:

The Longhorns represent the University of Texas in the swimming and diving program at the NCAA Division I intercollegiate male and female swimming and diving competition.

Currently, the Longhorns compete in the Big 12 Conference. The women’s team has won several NCAA and AIAW championships.

Join them here

#15 Vanderbilt University Swim Team:   

This team saw many individuals highlighted by a school-record performance from a freshman.

This happened recently at the SEC Championships at the Alan Jones Aquatic Center.

Join them here

#16. Georgia Tech Swim Team: 

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets is the swim team used for all intercollegiate athletic teams representing the Georgia Institute of Technology.

An eight-man and seven-woman team competes in the NCAA Division I athletics and the Football Bowl Subdivision. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets is a member of the Coastal Division in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Meanwhile, Georgia Tech Swim Club founded one of the best college Swim teams in 2017 and now operates as a National governing body. Also, Georgia Tech’s premier team in CCS won the first three national Collegiate Championships.

Join them here

#17. University of Georgia Swim Team:

Georgia Bulldogs or “Swim Dawgs,” the swimming and diving team represents the University of Georgia in NCAA men’s and women’s swimming and diving. They compete at Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Georgia, USA.

They originally built the McAuley Aquatic Center, which is home to the 1996 Olympic Games, one of the fastest pools in the world. So it’s definitely not missing out on the list of the best college Swim teams.

Join them here

#18. NorthWestern University Swim Team: 

Northwestern Swim Club, established in 2008, provides a club swimming opportunity for undergraduate students at Northwestern University.

They practice every week at Norris Aquatics Center at SPAC. They have no male or female swim teams competing in NCAA Division I.

Join them here

#19. University of Pennsylvania Swim Team:

Penn Club Swim is a collegiate swim team at the University of Pennsylvania. They are a group of student-athletes in which swimmers of all abilities are welcome to come to stay in shape, improve their swimming skills, and make friends in a low-pressure environment. They also compete in the Ivy League conference.

The swim team no longer requires a swim test for entry, and the school has removed its fitness test and a previously required three credits of physical education

Join the women’s team here

Join the men’s team here

#20. Amherst University Swim Team:

College of Amherst is in Amherst, MA and the Swimming And Diving program competes in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) conference.

One of about 450 NCAA’s Division III athletes, Amherst student-athletes compete for the love of the game.

Join them now

#21. Ohio State University Swim Team:

Ohio State University is in Columbus and the Swimming and Diving program competes in the Big Ten Conference. Recently OHIO’s swimming and diving team are recognized by the 2019-20 College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA).

How To Join Ohio State University Swim Team

  • Membership is open to students and faculty of The Ohio State University who have a current membership to the University recreational centers.
  • Submit an insurance waiver form here.
  • Submit the team registration form
  • Turn in Team Dues

Join them now

#22. Purdue University Swim Team:

Purdue University is in West Lafayette, IN, and the Swimming And Diving program competes in the Big Ten Conference.

Based at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center, the Purdue Club Swimming is an active member of College Club Swimming.

How to join

  • A due $75 fee is necessary to join the club; this covers pool rental, meet fees, swim caps, etc
  • You can join at any time of the semester

Join them now

#23. University of Auburn Swim Team:

Auburn University is top 10 on this year’s Best Colleges for Men’s Swimming list. This is a large public school, located in Auburn, Alabama, and it awarded 5,370 bachelor’s degrees. The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 92%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year.

Join them here

#24. University of Notre Dame Swim Team:

The Notre Dame Swim Club is a competitive swim team that competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). It comprises Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s, and Holy Cross students.

Join them now

#25. University of Wisconsin Swim Team:

The University Of Wisconsin is in Madison and the Swimming And Diving program competes in the Big Ten Conference.

They provide student-athletes the opportunity to participate and compete in a non-varsity swimming environment. Swimmers of all levels are free to join! The swim club has both recreational and competitive swimming opportunities.

Join them now

 #26. University of Southern California Swim Team:

The Uytengsu Aquatics Center is also home to the USC Men’s and Women’s Swim and Dive Team. The USC men’s and women’s swimming and diving program earned Division 1 Scholar All-America recognition

How to join

· Membership dues of about $100 per semester for all members.

· They accept members at all points in the semester.

Join them here

#27. John Hopkins University Swim Team:

The Johns Hopkins Blue Jays are the current intercollegiate athletic team that represents John Hopkins University and compete in the NCAA Division III,

They seek to build a team of athletes and be a place that accommodates anyone interested in swimming, from competitive swimmers to beginners

Join them here

#28 University of Chicago Swim Team:

According to the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings, the University of Chicago is an NCAA Division III institution, with a ranking of seventh nationally among 443 institutions in 2023.

Since its establishment in 1973, It supported a wide range of extracurricular programs, including recreational and institutional participation.

Join the men’s team

Join the women’s team

#29. Williams College Swim Team:

The Williams Ephs are the varsity intercollegiate athletic programs of Williams College. Williams Ephs are a Division III member institution of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).

Join the team here

#30. California Institute of Technology Swim Team:

The Caltech swimming and diving team competes in the NCAA Division III. They seek athletes who have the zeal to join the Beavers as intercollegiate scholar-athletes.

Join them here

#31. Georgetown University Swim Team:

Georgetown University is in Washington DC and its represented by GU Hoyas Swimming And Diving team. They compete in the Big East Conference.

Join them here

#32. Cornell University Swim Team:

Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and the Swimming And Diving program competes in the Ivy League conference. This swim team requires you to undergo a swim test, this is to ensure that the athlete is able to survive in the water.

Join them here

#33. University of Illinois Swim Team:

The University Of Illinois is in Champaign, IL. Its Swimming And Diving program competes in the Big Ten Conference.

The purpose of the program shall be to encourage student-athletes to live a healthier lifestyle and realize the joy of swimming by creating a community of people who share the passion and love for the sport.

Join them here

#34. William and Mary Swim Team:

The William and Mary Swim Club welcomes any swimmer both potential and experienced athletes with open arms. William & Mary field NCAA Division I sports teams, including championship-level men’s and women’s swimming

Join them now

#35. Indiana University Swim Team:

They are constantly growing and proud to train swimmers through a positive and well-rounded competitive swimming and diving program.

Recently, they got second runner-up position at the 2023 FINA World Championships with a total of four medals, three of them gold.

Join them here

#36. Davidson College Swim Team:

Davidson College is in Davidson, NC, and is one of America’s strongest liberal arts colleges. The Swimming And Diving program (“davidsonwildcats”) competes in the Atlantic 10 Conference (A-10) conference at the NCAA Division I level

Davidson swim team ranks among the best college swim team. They are in recognition by a vital Honor Code that sets the tone for our academic and residential community. They offer scholarships too.

Join them here

#37. Dartmouth College Swim Team:

Dartmouth College is in Hanover and its swim team competes in Division I athletics and the Ivy League. The Dartmouth men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams are the scholar All-America Teams.

Join them here

#38. Washington University in St Louis Swim Team:

Washington University is currently a National Collegiate Athletic Association member at the NCAA Division III level. The Washington University Bears have won up to 22 NCAA Division III Championships.

Join them here

#39. Swarthmore College Swim Team:

Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania has a swimming program designed to maximize each individual’s abilities and offer a rewarding experience in college athletics.

This magnificent team recently won the NCAA Division III Centennial Conference Championship titles for both male and female categories

Join them here

#40. Boston College Swim Team:

Boston College has fantastic men’s and women’s Division I varsity swimming and diving teams. It offers a Masters Swim program where students can train and compete with other members of the BC community.

Basically, Boston College offers athletic scholarships for Swimming and Diving.

Join them here

#41. Virginia Tech Swim Team:

The Virginia Tech Hokies are the athletic teams representing the Virginia Polytechnic Institute in intercollegiate athletics. The Hokies participate in the NCAA’s Division I Atlantic Coast Conference.

Join them here

 #42. Tufts University Swim Team:

Tufts University is in Medford, and the Swimming And Diving program competes in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)

The Tufts women’s swimming and diving team made history at the NCAA Division III championships by winning the national championships in two events.

Join them here

#43. Pomona-Pitzer College Swim Team:

The Pomona-Pitzer Swimming and Diving program competes in the NCAA Division III. I wouldn’t rate the sagehens too high nor would I remove them amongst the best college swim teams in 2023.

The Sagehens earned CSCAA scholar all-American honors.

Join them

#44. Colgate University Swim Team:

Colgate athletics boasts of traditional excellence in Division I that inspires our student-athletes to high achievement on and off the playing fields.

Equally, Colgate university does offer athletic scholarships for swimming and diving. Need-based and academic scholarships are available for student-athletes

Join them here

Read also: College Traditions

#45. Villanova University Swim Team:

Villanova University swim team – “the wild cats” represents the school in varsity Swimming and Diving programs. The Wildcats compete in the NCAA’s Big East Conference.

Join them here

#46. Lehigh University Swim Team:

Lehigh University is in Bethlehem, and the Swimming And Diving program competes in the Patriot League conference. They seek to unite everyone to connect to our current team.

Join the team here

#47. University of Pittsburg Swim Team:

The University Of Pittsburgh is in Pittsburgh, and the Swimming And Diving program competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). They offer athletic scholarships for Swimming And Diving.

Join them here

 #48. Brigham Young University Swim Team:

The Brigham Young University (BYU), is located in Provo, Utah. Its swim team “BYU Cougars” represents the college as an intercollegiate athletic team. BYU fields 21 NCAA varsity athletic teams. They are a member of the West Coast Conference for most sports.

Join them here

#49. University of Bucknell Swim Team:

The Bison men’s swim team represents the University of Bucknell in its swimming & diving program and competes in Division 1 Sports with 27 varsity teams, Bucknell’s athletics program is among the most diverse and best college swim teams.

Join them here

#50. Brown University Swim Team:

Brown University is an urban university represented by the brown bears swimming and diving in NCAA Division I. It has affiliations with Collegiate Water Polo Association (Division I), Eastern College Athletic Conference, etc

Join the men’s team

Join the women’s team

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What college has the best swim team?

It can be difficult to say which college has the best swim team because all the colleges mentioned here have excellent teams.

What college has the best women’s swim team?

It’s hard to pick, but all the colleges mentioned here have strong women’s swim teams.

Which state has the best swim team?

Stanford university swim team areas Nation’s Capital Swim Club claims the No. 1 spot due is due to their high efficiency and performances.

Which Ivy League school has the best swim team?

The TIAA, GEICO, TicketSmarter, NCAA Divisions, and JMI SPORTS have the best competitive programs and swim teams.

Can I get a full scholarship for swimming?

You can get a scholarship for swimming, but like other sports, it may not be a full scholarship.


All levels of competition have their benefits and drawbacks. In order to make the right decision on the best college swim teams. A swimmer must prioritize his academics, having scrutinized the extracurricular activities.

After that, the swimmers should try to figure out which program they would be most happy in – an NCAA or club program. Both offer a supportive and competitive atmosphere.



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