What Colleges Have Boxing? These 8 Schools Have the Top Programs

When most people think of boxing, they think of trained killers like Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather. Guys capable of putting your lights out for good with one well-timed haymaker.

Many boxing enthusiasts, however, are everyday people looking for a way to build self-confidence, learn self-defense, and stay in shape. In fact, most recreational boxers never take a serious blow to the head, as they train with headgear and big padded gloves.

Boxing is one of the best ways for a college student not only to stay in shape but to relieve stress and make new friends. If you’re wondering what colleges have boxing, the eight schools profiled below have the most active and supportive club programs in the nation.

A collegiate boxing match.

Table of Contents

What Colleges Have Boxing? Check Out These 8 Programs

No colleges offer boxing as a varsity intercollegiate sport. That means there are no school-sponsored scholarships available for boxing — although a number of outside organizations offer partial scholarships to talented young boxers.

Instead, the top boxing schools offer it as a club sport. Campus boxing clubs are organized and run by students, usually with the oversight of a faculty adviser. At some schools the boxing club competes against teams from other colleges, while at others the members simply spar amongst themselves.

The eight colleges we picked as having the top boxing club programs in America all compete against other schools, as well as in tournaments sanctioned by various boxing organizations.

So, you have the opportunity to compete at a high level if you wish. On the other hand, if you want to be involved just for the exercise and the social opportunities, you’ll still be welcomed by these programs.

The beauty of competing in club sports in college is that you can train as much or as little as you want, and you’ll never lose your scholarship or be kicked off the team for not performing up to expectations.

Without further adieu, here are the top 8 schools with collegiate boxing programs.

Oregon State University Boxing

  • Location: Corvallis, OR
  • Enrollment: 27,500
  • Varsity or club sport: Club
  • Scholarships available: No
  • Team website: Boxing Club at OSU

About the School

Oregon State University, located in Corvallis, Oregon, is a public research university with an acceptance rate of 78%. It’s the land grand university of Oregon, so it has a reputation of being an “ag” school, but with more than 100 majors offered, many of them in the humanities, Oregon State has something for everyone.

OSU is particularly known for its programs in engineering, math, and computer science. The university has a beautiful campus, with plenty of green space and historic buildings. It draws more students from the rural reaches of the state than its archrival, the University of Oregon, whose student body comes largely from the Portland metro and from California.

About the Boxing Club

Oregon State’s boxing club is competitive but laid back. They practice three days a week, usually for two hours at a time, in a YMCA in Albany, just down the road from campus. There are no tryouts or cuts, so you can join the team no matter your skill level — even if you’ve never boxed before. They even allow interested students to try it out for a week before being asked to pay club dues.

University of Southern California Boxing

  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Enrollment: 21,000
  • Varsity or club sport: Club
  • Scholarships available: No
  • Team website: USC Trojan Boxing Club
USC's campus in Los Angeles.
USC’s campus in Los Angeles.

About the School

The University of Southern California is a private research university. Located in Los Angeles, USC has a diverse student body and is known for its strong academics and athletics.

USC has more than 20,000 undergraduates and offers more than 150 majors. The university also has strong research capabilities, with over $700 million in research funding annually. USC is home to several world-renowned research centers, including the Keck School of Medicine and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

USC is considered a highly selective and prestigious undergraduate institution. Its acceptance rate is less than 15%, and it’s ranked in the top 25 of all National Universities in U.S. News.

About the Boxing Club

The USC Trojan Boxing Club competes against other schools in the Southern California area, including USC’s archrival, UCLA. Members also compete in tournaments sanctioned by boxing organizations outside the college world.

That said, many club members never actually compete. They just enjoy training and sparring in practice for the fun and exercise. The team usually practices two days a week for two hours at a time.

University of Washington Boxing

  • Location: Seattle, WA
  • Enrollment: 36,200
  • Varsity or club sport: Club
  • Scholarships available: No
  • Team website: Husky Boxing Club

About the School

The University of Washington is a flagship state university located in Seattle. The school has a strong reputation for its academics, especially in the STEM fields. Its computer science department is ranked in the top 10 in the nation, putting it alongside powerhouses such as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Georgia Tech.

The campus is beautiful and located right near some of Seattle’s best neighborhoods. The school spirit at UW is very strong, and students are passionate about Husky athletics, particularly the football team.

About the Boxing Club

The Husky Boxing Club’s motto is “Pride, Poise, Team, Family!” It is one of the tightest-knit club boxing programs in the country. If you’re attending UW and don’t know a lot of people going in, joining the boxing club can be a great way to find your “tribe,” even if you’re new to the sport.

The club competes against other schools in the Pacific Northwest and in events sanctioned by the National Collegiate Boxing Association.

The Ohio State University Boxing

  • Location: Columbus, OH
  • Enrollment: 47,000
  • Varsity or club sport: Club
  • Scholarships available: No
  • Team website: OSU Boxing Club
Aerial shot of Ohio State's campus in Columbus.
Aerial shot of Ohio State’s campus in Columbus.

About the School

Ohio State University is one of the largest universities in the United States, with over 60,000 total students enrolled, 47,000 of them undergraduates.

The university has a large, sprawling campus that borders downtown Columbus. It offers a plethora of academic, social, and cultural activities both on and off campus. In addition to having a top boxing club, Ohio State is home to one of the best collegiate powerlifting programs in America.

The student body is diverse, with students from all over the world, though the majority of the student body comes from Ohio.

About the Boxing Club

The OSU Boxing Club is more about teaching and development than it is about competition. It stresses that it accepts members of all levels and that no boxing experience is required. The stated objective of the club is not to win belts or trophies but to help each other build self-discipline and self-confidence.

The club is also a great way to meet people and find your niche on such a massive campus. It typically practices on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m.

University of Nevada—Reno Boxing

  • Location: Reno, NV
  • Enrollment: 17,000
  • Varsity or club sport: Club
  • Scholarships available: No
  • Team website: UNR Boxing

About the School

The University of Nevada, Reno is a large public university located in Reno, Nevada. The university is home to more than 17,000 undergraduates and more than 25,000 total students. The campus is situated just north of downtown Reno and offers a variety of academic programs plus easy access to local culture, cuisine, and nightlife.

The university has a strong reputation for its science and engineering programs, as well as its business school. The campus is also home to a number of research centers, including the Sierra Nevada Research Institute and the Great Basin Environmental Sciences Center.

Reno is a vibrant city with plenty to do both on and off campus. There are numerous restaurants and bars downtown, as well as several museums and art galleries. The city also has a lively nightlife scene and is home to several casinos. It is affectionately known as “The Biggest Little City in the World.”

About the Boxing Club

The UNR Boxing Club is one of the most competitive collegiate boxing programs in the country. It competes in local and regional events at least once every couple of months, and it is a staple at the National Collegiate Boxing Association Western Regional tournament, where the most competitive collegiate boxers in the West duke it out every year.

But you don’t have to be a golden glove to thrive in the UNR Boxing Club. They welcome members of all skill and experience levels.

Florida State University Boxing

  • Location: Tallahassee, FL
  • Enrollment: 33,500
  • Varsity or club sport: Club
  • Scholarships available: No
  • Team website: Renegade Boxing at FSU
FSU's campus in Tallahassee.
FSU’s campus in Tallahassee.

About the School

Florida State University is well-known for its Division I athletic programs, particularly its football team, but the school is also rocketing up the academic rankings. It has a picturesque campus set along the gently rolling hills of Tallahassee in the Florida Panhandle.

The university offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. It’s especially well-known for its programs in law, business, and medicine. Its football team has won several NCAA Division I championships, the most recent one coming in the 2013 season.

About the Boxing Club

The FSU Boxing Club, also known as the Renegade Boxing Club, competes in events around the country, including the United States Intercollegiate Boxing Association’s national tournament. It also squares off every year against the school’s two biggest rivals, the University of Florida and the University of Miami.

The club maintains a roster of 20-25 fighters for competition, but all are welcome to train and spar with the team. They typically practice Mondays through Fridays at the Lincoln Center Boxing Club in Tallahassee.

University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign Boxing

  • Location: Urbana, IL
  • Enrollment: 35,000
  • Varsity or club sport: Club
  • Scholarships available: No
  • Team website: Illini Boxing

About the School

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a large Midwestern university with a campus situated in the central part of the state. It has more than 35,000 undergraduates and another 15,000 graduate students.

The university is also home to a vibrant student community, with plenty of opportunities for involvement in campus life. There are more than 1,000 student organizations on campus, ranging from academic clubs to fraternities and sororities. There are also plenty of opportunities to get involved in the arts, with a number of performance groups and organizations.

UIUC is known for strong academics, particularly in STEM fields. Its computer science program is one of the best in the entire country, ranking ahead of powerhouses like Georgia Tech and Michigan and just below MIT.

About the Boxing Club

The Illini Boxing Club is home to some of the most skilled collegiate boxers in the country. It took home the USIBA Collegiate National Championship as recently as 2018.

The club typically carries a competition roster of between 20 and 30 boxers, but all are welcome to practice, train, and spar with the team. They have social events and meetups multiple times a year in addition to their 3-4 day per week practice schedule.

University of Miami Boxing

About the School

The University of Miami is located not actually in Miami proper but in Coral Gables, Florida. It is a private research university with an undergraduate enrollment of about 12,000.

Many people know the University of Miami — affectionately called “The U” by its students and the fans of its sports teams — for its once-dominant football program. But the school is an academic powerhouse too. Its acceptance rate is under 30%, and its incoming students have an average ACT score of over 31.

About the Boxing Club

The University of Miami has both a boxing team and a boxing club. The team competes in events sanctioned by the Florida Collegiate Boxing Conference and the United States Intercollegiate Boxing Association. The club trains together, spars against one another, and has the option of competing in smaller local competitions. Coaches and trainers decide who makes the team. If you aren’t selected for competition, you are still welcome as a club member.

Scroll to Top