This competition is the culmination of the Intercollegiate Competition Series, in which colleges participated in three conference events in their respective sections (Eastern, Midwestern and Pacific Coast) throughout the year, earning team points for each skater's placement in an individual event. The teams that collected the most points throughout the season qualified to compete at the U.S. Intercollegiate Team Championships. Approximately 30 colleges entered the series, with the top three from each section qualifying.
Intercollegiate team skating began in 1996. Colleges can have any number of athletes on their teams but are limited to a maximum of 35 starts per competition. No more than five athletes per college may enter a senior-level event, and no more than three from a college may enter any other particular event. The restriction on entries encourages teams to strategize to earn the maximum points with their athletes.
Boston University has won each of the last two U.S. Intercollegiate championships. Prior to that, Dartmouth College was the dominant program, winning the title every year from 2004-08.