Merrimack College is elevating all of its athletic programs to the NCAA Division I level, the school said Monday.
The private school in North Andover, Massachusetts accepted an invitation to join the Northeast Conference (NEC) beginning in the fall of 2019.
The school already competes in Division I in men's and women's ice hockey in Hockey East, where each team will remain. But the remaining 22 varsity sports offered at the school will transition to the NEC beginning next school year.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
The school will become a full member in 2023 after a mandatory four-year NCAA reclassification period.
"Our student-athletes have enjoyed tremendous success academically and athletically," said Merrimack Athletic Director Jeremy Gibson.
"We are thrilled that they will have the opportunity to pursue excellence through membership in the Northeast Conference, and that our entire community will experience the excitement of Division I athletics across all of our program."
Merrimack, which has some 3,500 undergraduate students, is leaving behind the Northeast-10 Conference at the Division II level.
Other New England schools in the NEC include Bryant University in Rhode Island and Central Connecticut State University and Sacred Heart University in Connecticut.