The Chippewas' 3.48 team GPA ranks higher than all but three Division I teams in the country, placing slightly behind private institutions American (3.49), Drexel (3.51) and Northwestern (3.54).
"I am very proud of our team for being recognized as the top academic public program in Division I and among the top five overall," said head coach Cristy Freese. "Our players work very hard in the classroom to accomplish this. Our emphasis on academics and the academic reputation of Central Michigan University allows us to recruit top student-athletes to our program."
"Our priority is always the academic success of our student athletes and this is another illustration of the overall success of the Central Michigan University athletics department," said Director of Athletics Dave Heeke. "Certainly our field hockey program has reached an elite level that we are very proud of and is reflective of what CMU athletics stands for."
In all, 52 programs were honored with the NFHCA Division I Team Award for compiling a GPA of 3.0 or higher during the first semester of the 2010-11 academic year.
The Chippewas also won the award in 2007-08 and 2009-10.