Athletics and Popular Extracurriculars at the University of Arizona

Most college students’ lives involve more than just classes, studying, and exams.

Participating in extracurricular activities, clubs, and university athletics is a significant part of college for most students. Those who dedicate time to activities outside of the classroom benefit from the social bonds these organizations foster.

College athletics and student organizations provide some of the best opportunities for social involvement outside the classroom. For new and returning the University of Arizona students interested in learning more about U of A sports, social organizations, and clubs on campus, check out our overview below of athletics and popular extracurriculars at the University of Arizona.

What sport is the University of Arizona known for?

The University of Arizona is most known for its men’s and women’s basketball programs and football teams.

Since the mid-1980s, the men’s basketball team has been one of the most successful programs in the country, having reached the NCAA Final Four in 1988, 1994, 1997, and 2001 and winning the national championship in 1997. While not as successful nationally as the men’s program, the women’s basketball team is very competitive in its conference. Similarly, the football program has not been as successful nationally but draws fans due to the popularity of college football across the country.

These are just three of the 19 athletics programs at the U of A.

The men’s athletic programs at the University of Arizona are:

  1. Baseball
  2. Basketball
  3. Cross Country
  4. Football
  5. Golf
  6. Swimming & Diving
  7. Tennis
  8. Track & Field (Indoor and Outdoor)

Women’s athletic programs at U of A include:

  1. Basketball
  2. Beach Volleyball
  3. Cross Country
  4. Golf
  5. Gymnastics
  6. Soccer
  7. Softball
  8. Swimming & Diving
  9. Tennis
  10. Track & Field (Indoor and Outdoor)
  11. Volleyball

All of the Wildcat athletic programs at the University of Arizona are sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Is the University of Arizona a Division 1 school?

Yes, the University of Arizona Wildcats is a Division I athletics program through the NCAA and a participating member of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) for college-level football.

The U of A is a member of the Pac-12 athletics conference, which it joined in 1978 along with Arizona State University in what was then the Pac-10. The later additions of the University of Colorado and the University of Utah brought the current conference to 12 schools.

The schools currently represented in the Pac-12 conference include:

  1. University of Arizona
  2. Arizona State University
  3. University of California, Berkeley
  4. University of Colorado
  5. University of Oregon
  6. Oregon State University
  7. Stanford University
  8. University of California, Los Angeles
  9. University of Southern California
  10. University of Utah
  11. University of Washington
  12. Washington State University

The Pac-12 Conference, and presumably the athletic schedules of the University of Arizona athletic programs, are set to change in the coming years as two of the conference schools – UCLA and the University of Southern California – plan to leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten Conference beginning in the 2024-2025 school year.

Who is the University of Arizona’s biggest rival?

The University of Arizona’s biggest athletic rival is the Arizona State University (ASU) Sun Devils.

Representing the two largest public universities – and only Division 1 athletic programs – in Arizona, the Wildcats and Sun Devils have a long-standing rivalry across many athletic programs. The two programs host an annual Territorial Cup Series dating back to 2009 based on a points system of wins across 21 events. Each school has won the Territorial Cup 6 times, plus a tie in the 2012-2013 school year. The 2022-2023 winner will be decided based on competitions in the spring 2022 semester.

The football program at the U of A and ASU competes in their rivalry, the Duel in the Desert, with the yearly winner taking home the Territorial Cup, whose name is attributed to the days when Arizona was still a territory. Throughout their football rivalry, the University of Arizona leads with 49 wins compared to ASU’s 40 wins.

How many clubs are there at the University of Arizona?

There are more than 500 student clubs and organizations at the University of Arizona.

Mostly managed by the Dean of Students Office, these organizations are divided into six categories that reflect the diversity of student social clubs and organizations at the U of A:

  1. STEM-Focused Clubs
  2. Athletics and Adventures
  3. Professional Development
  4. Special Interests
  5. Health & Wellness
  6. Creative Clubs

The most popular clubs at the University of Arizona are Greek life and professional development organizations.

Fraternities and sororities are very popular at the U of A, with more than 50 Greek organizations represented on campus. Check out our past posts about fraternity and sorority life for more information about these Greek organizations.

Professional organizations are the most numerous student clubs. Still, membership varies by organization since it has little cross-over among members and is specific to a student’s academic interests and career goals.

Start your year off right at the University of Arizona

On and off-campus housing brings together students of all backgrounds and interests to further foster the college experience. For students looking for an off-campus apartment close to campus that adds to their college experience, there’s no better option than Aspire Tucson.

Aspire Tucson is a student housing community located just blocks from the northwest corner of campus at 950 N Tyndall Avenue. Aspire Tucson offers fully-furnished studio, one, two, three, four, five, and six-bedroom apartments – including limited penthouse duplex floor plans – specifically designed for the University of Arizona students. Aspire Tucson offers residents a rooftop pool and gaming courtyard, 24-hour fitness center, study rooms, resident lounge, central courtyard, and onsite management & maintenance team.

Residents of Aspire Tucson are within walking distance of the University and nearby retail and restaurant areas along University Boulevard.

For information on Fall 2023 availability, roommate matching, and pricing, contact the team at Aspire Tucson today at (520) 532-4065!