SFU and the NCAA

Football team

Simon Fraser University has been approved as the first international member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II. The NCAA is the world's largest college sports association.

Message from the Senior Director Athletics & Recreation:

Dear friends,

Thank you for your interest in Simon Fraser University Athletics.

In August 2012, Simon Fraser University Athletics was approved as the NCAA’s first international member.  I invite you to explore this website to gather more information about SFU and our school’s journey into becoming a full member of Division II National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Now that we know that we’re Canada’s first NCAA school, our student-athletes and coaches can really focus on the next step of winning an NCAA national championship.  The SFU Clan has a long history of success and everyone is highly motivated to show they can achieve more success at this level.

Thanks for your support and GO CLAN.

Dr. Milton Richards
Senior Director, Athletics and Recreation


In a historic return to its athletic roots, Simon Fraser University was approved in August 2012 as the first non-U.S. member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the world's largest sports organization.  It is humbling for SFU to be accepted as the first international university to compete in the NCAA as a member, as we are reaching back to the original intentions and philosophy of the university's founders: to offer a great Canadian education with ability to compete athletically in the NCAA.  It means a high level of competition and challenge for our athletes, and as always been the case, our primary concern is that our athletes succeed as students.  The NCAA has strong academic requirements and we will continue to maintain the high academic standards that we have always demanded from all of our SFU Clan teams.

After completing two years of NCAA membership candidacy,  and year as a provisional member, our business practices and processes transitioned to abide by all NCAA bylaws and legislation, and we demonstrated institutional commitment to compliance control, submitted annual reports, and underwent annual external reviews to determine our readiness for active membership.

All institutions affiliated with the NCAA must also receive academic accreditation from one of several US based accrediting agencies.   At the same time Simon Fraser University’s application for NCAA membership was made, an application for accreditation by a US accrediting agency, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) was made.  The NWCCU accreditation is an US based grading system and much like SFU is the only school in the NCAA, SFU is the only Canadian school pursuing this accreditation, which we are confident we will achieve.

It is unique for a Canadian school to seek accreditation by this US body and we have been working closely with the NCAA to overcome some unforeseen challenges that have come with seeking accreditation.  Simon Fraser University recently received the formal results from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) visit in the fall 2011, and is pleased to announce that the institution has achieved Candidate for Academic Accreditation status. 

As a full member of the NCAA, SFU will compete in the NCAA Division II, Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC); eligible to compete for regional and national championships;  holds voting rights at the NCAA convention; and may use the NCAA name, logo, and other insignia in accordance with applicable regulations.  And we remain committed to supporting our student-athletes, and providing athletic scholarships and financial aid, as they continue to exhibit the highest levels of dedication to their sports.

Based on the rich history of SFU both in the classroom and in athletics, and based on the strong academic reputation of Simon Fraser University, we are honoured and thrilled to be the first non-American school to achieve NCAA membership.

About our transition to NCAA Division II

Our transition to the NCAA has important implications for the recruitment of student-athletes, and for the promotion of our athletic programs. Go to NCAA transition.

Prospective student-athletes

Prospective student-athletes need to apply to both the NCAA Eligibility Centre and for admission to SFU. Go to prospective student-athletes.

Student-athletes currently at SFU

As a student-athlete enrolled at SFU you need to maintain both good academic standing and your NCAA eligibility. Go to current SFU student-athletes.

Fans, parents, alumni and boosters

Get advice on what a "booster" can and cannot do in relation to a prospective student-athlete. Go to fans, parents, alumni and boosters.


What does the NCAA mean by Official Visit, Extra Benefits, Contact or PSA? Go to definitions.

DISCLAIMER: For complete rules and regulations, refer to the 2012-2013 NCAA Division II Manual.