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Disclaimer: This article is about rules. Its contents are not authoritative. Please consult official rules for up-to-date information.

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The Rules of the Game

Undergraduate (UG) is a designation used in collegiate quizbowl to refer to any individual player who has not yet received a B.A. or higher degree from a post-secondary school, and who has not been eligible for more than four years. Many collegiate tournaments, including both ICT and ACF Nationals, award separate titles and trophies for teams comprised entirely of undergraduate players (though these tournaments rarely confine such teams to their own division).



According to NAQT's Eligibility Rules, a player is considered an undergraduate if:

  • They do not possess a bachelor's degree or higher
  • They have not yet completed their fourth distinct year of NAQT competition

Additionally, NAQT rules state that any player who graduates during a competition year is allowed to keep their UG designation through the remainder of that year.


According to ACF's Eligibility Rules, a player is considered an undergraduate if:

  • They have not earned a bachelor's degree or higher prior to the competition year
  • They first enrolled in a collegiate program four or fewer years prior to the beginning of the competition year

Notably, this definition counts years in which players are unenrolled or on leave against their eligibility; for instance, a player who completes three years of school before taking a year-long leave of absence would not be eligible for undergraduate classification upon their return.

Undergraduate Championship

While undergraduate titles have been awarded at ICT since 1998 and ACF Nationals since 2008, many top undergraduate players are excluded from contention due to playing on teams with graduate students. In response to growing calls for a distinct, exclusive undergraduate-only national championship, IQBT began hosting the Undergraduate Championship Tournament in 2023.