Sun Belt Conference

Learn About the 12 Universities in the NCAA Division I Sun Belt Conference

Sun Belt Basketball Tournament - Championship
Jonathan Bachman / Getty Images

The Sun Belt college athletic conference is headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana. Member institutions are located in the southern half of the U.S. from Texas to Florida. All members of the Sun Belt Conference are public universities. Admissions criteria vary widely although a comparison of ACT data and SAT data for the conference shows that none of the schools are overly selective. Georgia Southern and Appalachian State have the highest bar for admission.

The conference supports nine men's sports (baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, indoor track & field, outdoor track & field, and tennis) and nine women's sports (basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, indoor track & field, outdoor track & field, volleyball, and tennis).

Appalachian State University Stadium
Appalachian State University Stadium. allison / Flickr

Appalachian State University fields all 18 sports supported by the Sun Belt Conference. The university frequently ranks well among best value colleges because of its strong academic programs and relatively low tuition. The university offers 140 major programs through its six colleges and schools. Appalachian State has a 16 to 1 student / faculty ratio and an average class size of 25. The university has higher retention and graduation rates than the majority of schools in the North Carolina system. Appalachian State made our list of top North Carolina colleges.

  • Location: Boone, North Carolina
  • School type: Public University
  • Enrollment: 18,295 (16,595 undergraduates)
  • Team: Mountaineers
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Appalachian State University admissions profile.
University of Arkansas at Little Rock Student Services Center
University of Arkansas at Little Rock Student Services Center. Ualrcomm / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

With four men's sports and six women's sports, the athletic program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock isn't as extensive as some of the other members of the Sun Belt Conference. Business is the most popular undergraduate major at UALR. The university admits 90% of applicants and features a learning resource center to support students who may need help with college success skills. Academics are supported by a healthy 13 to 1 student / faculty ratio.

The Arkansas State University Stadium
The Arkansas State University Stadium. Intrepidsfsu / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Arkansas state is home to five men's sports (including football) and seven women's sports. The university offers 168 fields of study and has a 18 to 1 student / faculty ratio. On the student life front, ASU has an impressive 300 student organizations, including an active Greek system in which about 15% of students participate.

  • Location: Jonesboro, Arkansas
  • School type: Public University
  • Enrollment: 14,085 (9,839 undergraduates)
  • Team: Red Wolves
  • For acceptance rates, test scores, costs and financial aid data, see the Arkansas State profile.
The Bell Tower at Coastal Carolina University
The Bell Tower at Coastal Carolina University. Sk5893 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Coastal Carolina fields seven men's sports and nine women's sports including beach volleyball and lacrosse teams that are not part of the Sun Belt Conference. Founded in 1954, Coastal Carolina University has students from 46 states and 43 countries. CCU owns Waties Island, a 1,105-acre barrier island that is used for the study of marine science and wetland biology. Students can choose from 53 Bachelor's degree programs, and the school has a 17 to 1 student / faculty ratio. Business and psychology are the most popular undergraduate majors. The university has a wide range of student clubs and organizations including an active Greek system. 

  • Location: Conway, South Carolina
  • School type: Private university
  • Enrollment: 10,479 (9,747 undergraduates)
  • Team: Chanticleers
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Coastal Carolina University profile.
Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern University. Alex Crumpton / Wikipedia

Georgia Southern University is home to six men's and nine women's sports. Women's rifle and women's swimming/diving do not compete within the Sun Belt Conference. The university is located about an hour from the coast. Students come from all 50 states and 86 countries, and they can choose from over 110 degree programs across Georgia Southern's eight colleges. Among undergraduates, business fields are the most popular. The university has a 22 to 1 student / faculty ratio. The school has more than 200 campus organizations including an active fraternity and sorority system. 

  • Location: Statesboro, Georgia
  • School type: Public University
  • Enrollment: 20,673 (18,005 undergraduates)
  • Team: Eagles
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Georgia Southern University admissions profile.
Plaza, GSU Centennial Hall, Atlanta
Centennial Hall at Georgia State University. Barry Winiker / Getty Images

Georgia State fields six men's and nine women's sports. Football and women's track are the most popular. The university is part of the University System of Georgia. Students can choose from 52 degree programs and 250 fields of study across the university's six colleges. Among undergraduates, fields in business and the social sciences are most popular. The student body is diverse in terms both of age and race, and students come from all 50 states and 160 countries.

  • Location: Atlanta, Georgia
  • School type: Public research university
  • Enrollment: 32,237 (25,228 undergraduates)
  • Team: Panthers
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Georgia State University profile
Dupre Library at the University of Louisiana Lafayette
Dupre Library at the University of Louisiana Lafayette. Billy Hathorn / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

Men's football and both men and women's track are the most popular sports at ULL. The university fields seven sports for men and seven for women. This research-intensive university has 10 different schools and colleges with Business, Education, and General Studies being quite popular among undergraduates. The school has been recognized by Princeton Review for its value.

  • Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
  • School type: Public University
  • Enrollment: 17,519 (15,998 undergraduates)
  • Team: Ragin' Cajuns
  • For acceptance rates, test scores, costs and financial aid data, see the University of Louisiana at Lafayette profile.
Library and Conference Center at the University of Louisiana at Monroe
Library and Conference Center at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Billy Hathorn / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Of the six men's and nine women's sports, football and track are the most popular at the University of Monroe. Compared to many similar universities, UL Monroe is a good educational value with low tuition and a majority of students receiving grant aid. The university has 21 to 1 student / faculty ratio and a small average class size.

  • Location: Monroe, Louisiana
  • School type: Public University
  • Enrollment: 9,038 (7,778 undergraduates)
  • Team: Warhawks
  • For acceptance rates, test scores, costs and financial aid data, see the University of Louisiana at Monroe profile.
Bell Tower at the University of South Alabama
Bell Tower at the University of South Alabama. faungg / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Like many of the universities in the Sun Belt Conference, football and track and field are the most popular sports at the University of South Alabama. The school is a fast-growing public university with strong health science and medical programs. Nursing is the most popular undergraduate major. Football is a relatively recent addition to the USA intercollegiate athletic program, and the team entered the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in 2013.

  • Location: Mobile, Alabama
  • School type: Public University
  • Enrollment: 16,443 (11,761 undergraduates)
  • Team: Jaguars
  • For acceptance rates, test scores, costs and financial aid data, see the University of South Alabama profile.
The University of Texas Arlington
The University of Texas Arlington. Kllwiki / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

For a large school, the University of Texas at Arlington has a modest athletic program that fields six men's and seven women's sports. Track is the most popular, and the school does not have a football program. The University of Texas at Arlington offers a vast number of degrees throughout its 12 schools and colleges, from 78 bachelor's, 74 master's, to 33 doctoral degree programs. Some of their most popular undergraduates majors include biology, nursing, business, and interdisciplinary studies. Outside of academics, the university has a rich student life with over 280 clubs and organizations, which includes an active sorority and fraternity system. In Division I, the university fields seven men's sports and seven women's sports.

  • Location: Arlington, Texas
  • School type: Public University
  • Enrollment: 45,282 (32,775 undergraduates)
  • Team: Mavericks
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the University of Texas at Arlington profile.
The Student Center at the University of Texas in San Marcos
The Student Center at the University of Texas in San Marcos. TxStateFAN / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Football and track are the most popular sports among Texas State University's six men's and eight women's varsity sports. Texas State University allows students to explore a wide variety of majors and degrees, having 97 bachelor programs that students can choose from, as well as a similar number of graduate degree programs. Outside of academics, the university has 5,038 acres dedicated to supporting recreation, instruction, farming and ranching. Because of the degree grants granted to Hispanic students, Texas State University has won high marks.

  • Location: San Marcos, Texas
  • School type: Public University
  • Enrollment: 38,808 (34,244 undergraduates)
  • Team: Bobcats
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Texas State University profile.
The Troy University Trojan
The Troy University Trojan. Frank Morales R / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Troy University fields seven men's and eight women's varsity sports. The university is made up of a network of 60 campuses throughout the world, including four in Alabama. The university has a large distance learning program, and the business fields are the most popular among undergraduates. On the student life front, Troy has an active marching band and many Greek organizations.

  • Location: Troy, Alabama
  • School type: Public University
  • Enrollment: 17,855 (14,144 undergraduates)
  • Team: Trojans
  • For acceptance rates, test scores, costs and financial aid data, see the Troy University profile.