A view of the Goodman Center basketball court with green Roosevelt colors featured on the walls and floor.

Roosevelt University is taking the first steps in applying for National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II membership, announcing it has been approved for provisional membership by the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC), an active NCAA Division II league. The University currently competes in a majority of its athletic programs as members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) and Mid-States Football Association (MSFA). Over the next several months, Roosevelt will be assessing its readiness to move forward with this proposed transition and formally submit a membership application to the NCAA no later than February 1, 2023. Upon application and acceptance as a provisional member of NCAA Division II in July 2023, Roosevelt would join the GLIAC as its 11th member and begin league competition in 2024-25. Roosevelt would continue to compete as members of its current athletic national and conference affiliations during the 2023-24 academic year.

"The NCAA Division II membership would fit in with our Enrollment Growth strategy, enhance an established Athletics program and raise the visibility of Roosevelt," said Roosevelt president Ali R. Malekzadeh, "Our goal is to provide access and opportunity for all students locally, nationally and globally. We are eager to take advantage of this transition that would support our overall university strategy. There are four Universities in Illinois that compete in NCAA II, and none are in the City of Chicago where we are. It would be another point of differentiation in addition to our mission."

Commissioner Kris Dunbar of GLIAC said, "Roosevelt demonstrated that its mission, both academically and athletically, ideally fits into the framework of the GLIAC's vision and that its leadership has a strong commitment to long-term competitiveness at the Division II level. The GLIAC is excited for what the future holds, as it continues to attract members who are dedicated to enhancing the student-athlete experience and contributing to the GLIAC's championship culture."

"We are excited to have Roosevelt University join the GLIAC once it has admittance to the NCAA," said Davenport President Rick Pappas, Chair of the Presidents Council. "Roosevelt is an outstanding academic institution led by a great president." As part of successful matriculation into year two of the NCAA provisional membership process, beginning in the 2024-25 academic year, Roosevelt would compete in the GLIAC and be eligible for conference championships and tournaments. Once the NCAA Division II provisional membership process is completed, Roosevelt would be able to compete in NCAA tournaments starting in the 2026-27 academic year.

"I am excited for the potential the opportunity a move to NCAA Division II and the GLIAC provides Roosevelt Athletics, continuing to build on its commitment to providing platforms for students to have an unmatched academic and athletic experience in a world-class city," said Vice President for Athletics and Student Success Mike Cassidy. "This can increase our visibility both locally and regionally, and it aligns with our broader departmental and institutional growth initiatives."

About Roosevelt University Athletics

Roosevelt has more than 500 student-athletes who are part of the department’s 23 athletic programs of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), American College Hockey Association (ACHA) and United States Bowling Congress (USBC), as well as its coed spirit, eSports and marching band programs.

About Roosevelt University

Roosevelt University, a private institution founded in 1945 on the principles of inclusion and social justice, has more than 4,100 students with campuses in downtown Chicago and Schaumburg, Illinois.

Roosevelt offers 65 undergraduate and 50 graduate and doctoral programs across five colleges, including arts and sciences, business, performing arts, education, culinary, health sciences and pharmacy.

Students who attend Roosevelt University will become socially conscious citizens who thrive in a diverse and changing world. Roosevelt seeks and serves a diverse student body because it values differences in experiences and perspectives, and uses those differences to promote mutual understanding, inclusion and action toward social justice.


  • Founded: 1945
  • Total enrollment: 4,100
  • Network of over 127,000 alumni
  • 27 percent Hispanic or Latinx
  • 17 percent Black or African American
  • 41 percent of undergraduates are first generation
  • Full-time faculty: 181
  • Student/faculty ration: 11:1
  • Average class size: 18 students
  • Five colleges
  • 65 undergraduate majors and 30 minors
  • 48 graduate programs
  • Two doctoral programs
  • 23 certificate programs

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