According to a study conducted by Campus Pride, about 23% of LGBTQ faculty members and students were significantly more likely to experience harassment than their heterosexual peers. In addition, LGBT students and faculty members were significantly less likely to feel very comfortable with their environment on-campus. These findings demonstrate the need for colleges to take an active stance against LGBTQ harassment and discrimination ― a stance that, in part, will make it so that LGBTQ students feel safe and welcome to attend.

This year we partnered with Campus Pride to bring you the top colleges in the country for LGBTQ students. The ranking below combines our Academic and Affordability Metrics along with the Campus Pride Index score, which is a comprehensive national rating system that measures LGBTQ-friendly campus life. Campus Pride takes an exhaustive and multifaceted approach, considering eight LGBTQ-inclusive factors to reach a measurement. The listing also includes descriptions of unique campus resources that provide support to students of various gender and sexual identities.

LGBTQ is not a comprehensive acronym. Students looking for resources will likely come across many other abbreviations, since gender and sexuality fall across spectrums rather than set categories. Other examples include pansexual (P), gender non-conforming (GNC), and queer (Q). Acronyms aside, most LGBTQ campus resources try to serve as an umbrella resource for many identities. This list examines colleges that provide an exceptional level of support for students of various gender and sexual identities.

Academic institutions continue to take steps to create environments and policies that meet the needs of students with a wide range of gender and sexual identities. These populations have historically been underserved by hegemonic culture, so many college administrations are spearheading efforts to raise awareness of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) identities.

Want to see even more LGBTQ friendly schools?

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What Are The Best Colleges for LGBTQ Students?

Rank School Location Campus Pride Rating Description Toggle

University of Washington-Seattle Campus

Seattle, WA Campus Pride Rating:

UW's commitment to all students -- regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identities, and expressions -- begins with its participation in LGBTQ-friendly college admission fairs, and continues throughout a student's academic experience. The Q Center, a student-run resource for LGBTQ+ students and allies, invites new students to a Welcome Luncheon and sponsors a full program of support services and activities during the academic year. The center offers a queer mentoring program, counseling, and a two-credit course that explores gender intersectionalities. The center also provides free, anonymous HIV testing and Safer Sex Education workshops. To learn more about the work they do check out our interview with them below.

The university offers several options for gender-inclusive housing, provides non-gendered restrooms throughout the campus, and gender-accessible locker rooms in its sports facilities. Students may pursue gender and sexuality degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level taught by faculty actively engaged in LGBTQ-related scholarship. UW also holds an annual Lavender Graduation to acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of LGBTQ+ students as they complete their studies.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


Tufts University

Medford, MA Campus Pride Rating:

Tufts University, located in metropolitan Boston, offers a supportive environment for many LGTBQ+ students, faculty, and staff. The curriculum includes a major and minor in women's, gender, and sexuality studies. Meanwhile, Tuft's LGBT Center provides a broad array of support groups and peer counseling services, resources for transgender students, information about LGBTQ+ and trans health care, and lists of internships, scholarships, and volunteer and career opportunities. The center also sponsors several student organizations reflecting the diversity of the community, including groups for queer students of color, trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming students, and those who identify as asexual.

Tufts has implemented several policies and practices to support and engage its LGBTQ+ student body. It conducts ongoing staff instruction in hate crime prevention and provides campus security with training on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression issues. Rainbow House, one of Tufts' special themed residence halls, provides a safe, friendly atmosphere for LGBTQ+ students and others interested in exploring issues related to sexuality and gender.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


Princeton University

Princeton, NJ Campus Pride Rating:

Princeton University, one of the nation's most prestigious Ivy League institutions, provides a welcoming environment for LGTBQ+ students through an array of academic opportunities and supportive services. Princeton's Gender and Sexuality Studies certificate program enables undergraduate and graduate students to develop individualized areas of study exploring intersectional perspectives on sexuality and gender.

An important resource for students of all identities and all a/sexual orientations and a/gender identities, Princeton's LGBT Center provides programming, counseling and advocacy. The center hosts training sessions that address heterosexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other LGBTQ+ issues.

Princeton strives to create a hospitable climate for all students. It offers gender-inclusive housing and an LGTBQ-friendly roommate matching service. Prospective students may apply for LGBTQ-specific scholarships and, once admitted, they can participate in mentoring programs to assist in the transition to college life. Princeton provides students with an accessible and simple process to change their name or gender identity on university documents. The LGBTQ Center sponsors an annual Lavender Graduation ceremony honoring undergraduate and graduate LGBTQ+ students, recognizing leadership and service within the community.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA Campus Pride Rating:

MIT, best known as a top-tier university for its engineering and science programs, provides strong support for LBGTQ+ students, faculty, and staff. LBGTQ+ Services is the primary resource center responsible for MIT's LBGTQ+ students. It administers the Rainbow Lounge, a meeting space open to all members of the community for events and training programs. First-year students receive a week-long orientation that stresses inclusivity. MIT also hosts several student organizations, including a group exclusively for LBGTQ+ graduate students and one for trans and queer people of color. A recent initiative, the "You Are Welcome Here" campaign, requests that faculty and staff post "You Are Welcome" signs in visible locations to affirm the presence and acceptance of LBGTQ+ students and to indicate the institution's willingness to provide appropriate resources.

Resident life and healthcare services at MIT provide inclusive access to all students, regardless of their sexual and gender identities or expressions. These include gender-neutral housing options, single occupancy restrooms and showers in residence halls, and LBGTQ-inclusive student health insurance that covers counseling services and hormone replacement therapy.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


University of Maryland-College Park

College Park, MD Campus Pride Rating:

The flagship institution of the University System of Maryland, the University of Maryland-College Park maintains a strong commitment to the participation and development of LGBTQ+ students. UMD's nondiscrimination policy includes "gender identity or expression" as a protected category, and the university offers an accessible, simple process for students to change their name or to self-identify sexual orientation and gender identity/expression on university documents.

The LGBT Equity Center assists students, faculty, and staff of all sexual orientations and gender expressions and identities, through a variety of supportive services, trainings, and resources. It sponsors scholarships, internships, and the Lavender Leadership Honor Society which celebrates and develops leadership for LGBTQ+ social justice. The website offers a complete list of all faculty and staff who identify as LGBTQ+.

An important campus-wide organization, the Rainbow Terrapin Network provides in-person trainings to promote equity and inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities. UMD sponsors Theta Pi Sigma, Epsilon Chapter, an all gender-inclusive Greek organization for LGBTQ+ students and allies.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA Campus Pride Rating:

Established in 1982, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center at UPenn offers supportive services and programming for the entire LGBTQ+ community and serves as a social hub and safe space for LGBTQ+ students. The center hosts dozens of undergraduate and graduate student groups representing diverse identities and interests, including organizations for Jewish, Asian, and Muslim LGBTQ+ students. UPenn also sponsors a chapter of the oSTEM (Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) national student society for LGBTQ+ students in the sciences.

UPenn's administration strives to create and maintain a welcoming environment for all LGBTQ+ students. Faculty and staff complete a training seminar to participate in the safe zones program that supports inclusion and networking. The safe zone sign displayed at various offices and other locations signifies a safe place for LGBTQ+ students to talk about their concerns and receive referrals and resources to help them navigate campus life. The university also provides gender-neutral restrooms and shower stalls in residence halls, access to gender-inclusive housing, and offers an easy process to change names or specify gender identity/sexual orientation on university documents.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA Campus Pride Rating:

The University of Virginia ranks among the most LGBTQ-friendly higher education institutions in the state. The LGBTQ Center, established by the Office of the Dean of Students in 2001, sponsors several initiatives to develop and support sexual and gender inclusivities, and provide a safe gathering space for meetings, studying, and socializing. The Center receives support from the Serpentine Society, an inclusive organization for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer UVA alums. The university's division of student services coordinates the LGBTQ Speakers Bureau and offers safe space training for LGBTQ+ allies. UVA offers an inclusive open housing option, to third- and fourth-year undergraduate and transfer students.

UVA provides its LGBTQ+ students with several opportunities for academic enrichment, career enhancement, and community service including specialized internships, awards, and scholarships. The women, gender and sexuality department gives students the opportunity to explore LGBTQ+ studies through a variety of courses that address intersectionalities, human sexualities, queer theory, and gender-based violence.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA Campus Pride Rating:

Founded in 1865 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Lehigh University's mission and value statement explicitly rejects discrimination in all its forms, and affirms its commitment to inclusivity for LGBTQ+ students and employees. The Pride Center for Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity provides a gateway for bias reporting, links to counseling services, maps to gender-neutral restrooms, and resources for transgender, nonconforming, and gender-questioning students, faculty, and staff. The Pride Center makes it easy for students to also get help for health and wellness concerns, sign up for LUally (safe zone) training, and find out about gay-, lesbian-, and trans-friendly clubs, fraternities, sororities, and religious organizations.

Lehigh offers an all-gender housing option for undergraduate students who identify as transgender, nonbinary, or are questioning their gender identity. This option helps reduce heteronormative assumptions regarding housing assignments, and enables students to request roommates regardless of their gender identity/expression or sexual orientation.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


Harvey Mudd College

Claremont, CA Campus Pride Rating:

One of seven schools that form the consortium of Claremont Colleges in California, Harvey Mudd serves an exclusively undergraduate student body of almost 900. Known for its strong emphasis on STEM programs, Harvey Mudd ranks as one of the most academically selective among LGBTQ-friendly schools.

Seven Claremont Colleges have partnered to create the Queer Resource Center, which is dedicated to educational programming, advocacy, and support services for LGBTQ+ students. The QRC also coordinates Ally Trainings, a program dedicated to creating a safe and welcoming campus environment, as well as to strengthening and supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and asexual communities.

Harvey Mudd demonstrates its commitment to LGBTQ+ students throughout their campus experience. The college provides students with the option to self-identify gender identity/expression on admission forms and other college documents, while gender-inclusive housing and gender-neutral dormitories are available for transitioning students. Students can also access an online map showing the location of all gender-neutral restrooms throughout the campus.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


University of California-Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA Campus Pride Rating:

UCLA offers LGBTQ+ students an inclusive environment along with a quality educational experience in a vibrant urban setting. For over two decades, the LGBT Campus Resource Center has sponsored counseling and therapy groups, free health supplies and information, and weekly educational programs. The center allocates specific resources for the transgender community, including medical and mental health services. The LGBTQ Allyship Training program helps students develop an understanding of gender identities and expressions and learn specific strategies to foster inclusion and maintain safe spaces.

UCLA has emerged as a leading center for LGBTQ+ education and research. The LGBTQ studies department offers an interdisciplinary minor for undergraduates. The university also hosts the Williams Institute, a think tank whose pioneering research has informed policies on LGBTQ+ parenting and adoption, transgender rights, and public health.

UCLA graduates benefit from the activities of the Lambda Alumni Association, whose social events and mentorship opportunities provide personal support and professional development for UCLA's LGBTQ+ alum community and current students.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


Rutgers University-New Brunswick

New Brunswick, NJ Campus Pride Rating:

Rutgers University ranks among the most supportive schools for LGBTQ+ students. The Center of Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities offers a full slate of programs, leadership workshops, and consulting for all members of the LGBTQ+ community. It sponsors the Q-mmunity orientation for new students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, gender nonconforming, asexual and allies. Additionally, the Trans@RU website connects transgender and gender nonconforming students with health services, legal aid, and a map of all single-use restrooms on campus.

Rutgers invites undergraduates to investigate academic perspectives on sexuality and gender. The interdisciplinary LGBTQ studies minor includes courses on human diversity, the psychology of sexual orientation, the sociology of sex and gender, and sex, law, and public policy.

LGTBQ+ and ally students may select from several gender-inclusive and gender-neutral housing options. A thematic-living community encourages students to explore lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and asexual issues outside the classroom. Returning students may designate roommates of any gender and the university offers roommate matching for freshman interested in LGBTQ+ issues.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


San Diego State University

San Diego, CA Campus Pride Rating:

The Pride Center at San Diego State University has made great strides since it opened in 2014, creating and supporting an affirming campus environment for LGBTQ+ students. It provides an array of services and resources that address the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and ally communities. One of its major initiatives, SafeZones@SDSU, offers training to maintain a safe campus environment, sponsors a National Coming Out Day, and organizes an annual Lavender Graduation that celebrates the accomplishments of LGTBQ+ students. Student organizations under the auspices of the Pride Center include a fraternity and sorority geared to LGBTQ+ students, the Womyn's Outreach Association, and a chapter of oSTEM.

SDSU offers gender-inclusive on-campus housing options that enable students to select a roommate regardless of gender identity. Students interested in academic explorations of sexuality and gender identity can pursue an undergraduate major, minor, or graduate certificate in LGBTQ studies.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


Cornell University

Ithaca, NY Campus Pride Rating:

Cornell University, one of the most LGBTQ-friendly Ivy League schools, has created an inclusive and affirming environment through an array of programs, supportive services, and organizations. The LGBT Resource Center administers many of these initiatives, including the HIV Support Group, the Queer Straight Alliance, and the Ithaca Trans Group.

Cornell Health, the university's medical provider, offers a full range of healthcare and mental health services for LGBTQ+ students. These include specialized services for students who are transgender, those who are questioning their gender identity, and those considering medical and surgical gender transition. Unlike most student insurance programs, Cornell's Student Health Plan covers hormonal and surgical services to support the process of gender identity confirmation.

Cornell University Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association, one of the oldest and largest LGBTQ+ alumni groups in the country, has expanded over the last 30 years into a network of over 3,000 members. The association regularly hosts social and networking events on the Cornell campus and at chapters across the U.S.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


Williams College

Williamstown, MA Campus Pride Rating:

Massachusetts-based Williams College, one of the nation's highest ranked private liberal arts institutions, is widely recognized for its LGBTQ-inclusive policies and initiatives. The Gender and Sexuality Resource Center provides a safe space for everyone, regardless of gender identity or sexuality. Students can use the center to receive sexual health information, as well as safe sex supplies. One aspect of the center's programming emphasizes transgender advocacy: trans students and those transitioning can access resources on health and psychological services, and information explaining how students can change their name or gender identity on college records.

Students will find a diverse LGBTQ+ community at Williams with representation in all aspects of campus life, from dance clubs and athletic teams to the Black Student Union and Muslim Student Association. Several academic departments also offer courses that address LGBTQ-related issues.

William's LGBTQ+ graduates support an active alumni/ae association. BIGLATA, the Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Alumni organization, sponsors professional networking events and mentoring and volunteer opportunities for LGBTQ+ alums and current students.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


The Ohio State University

Columbus, OH Campus Pride Rating:

Ohio State University offers an impressive set of LGBTQ+ services and resources to create an inclusive, affirming campus environment for all students regardless of sexual orientation or gender identities and expressions. OSU's Multicultural Center organizes hundreds of LGBTQ+ initiatives, programs, and resources to connect students with useful information about gender-inclusive housing, as well as policies for changing names and gender identity on university records. It conducts safe zone training, social justice and leadership workshops, and Lavender Graduation ceremonies.

The Center sponsors several Q*mmunity Groups, student cohort organizations that focus on gender identities. These include the QTPOC Q*mmunity for LGBTQ+ students of color, Q*mmunity Dialogues that bring together queer and allied students interested in social justice advocacy, and the First Year Q*mmunity that provides support to new OSU students as they adjust to campus life.

Founded in 1997, Scarlet and Gray -- OSU's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer alumni society -- sponsors a scholarship program for current students and networking events for students and alums.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY Campus Pride Rating:

LGBTQ+ initiatives at Columbia University reflect the diversity of its students and the multiculturalism of New York City. The university coordinates much of its LGBTQ+ programming through LGBTQ @ Columbia. Students can access their webpage for information on gender-inclusive housing, the university's preferred name policy, and medical care and mental health services.

Columbia hosts several LGBTQ+ student organizations representing a variety of interests. The Columbia Queer Alliance is the oldest, and was established in 1967 to bring together LGBTQ+ student activists. Q & A, a group for queer, genderqueer, and trans Asian students, provides support to Asian American and international Asian undergraduates and graduates. JQ creates a safe space and educational forum for Jewish LGBTQ+ students and allies.

As a top-tier school, Columbia promotes quality interdisciplinary feminist and queer scholarship through its Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality. The institute offers an undergraduate major, concentrations, and a graduate certification program for students interested in LGBTQ-related study.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


The University of Texas at Dallas

Richardson, TX Campus Pride Rating:

The mission statement of the University of Texas at Dallas affirms the creation of an inclusive and safe environment that values and celebrates the sexual orientation and gender identities/expressions of students, faculty, and staff. The LGBT+ Education, Advocacy, and Programming (LEAP) initiative, administered through the Galerstein Gender Center, sponsors several progressive measures to address gender equity including a comprehensive nondiscrimination policy, gender-neutral housing options, inclusive counseling services, safe zone training, and an ambitious schedule of programs and events.

Students interested in academic perspectives on LGBTQ-related topics may pursue an 18-credit minor in gender studies offered by the School of Interdisciplinary Studies. Coursework in this program includes networked identities, the psychology of gender, human sexuality, and sex, gender, and society.

The UT-Dallas Alternative Spring Break, a distinctive feature of the university's LGBTQ+ initiatives, offers LGBTQ+ students and allies an immersive week-long service trip. Volunteers spend their time performing hands-on service, community outreach, and leadership-building exercises, supplemented by periods of reflection.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN Campus Pride Rating:

The Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life at UMN coordinates LGBTQ-related services, programs, and policies. The center helps LGBTQ+ students and allies to navigate academic and campus life, and provides links to a broad range of resources including information on name change policies, healthcare insurance, and gender-neutral restrooms.

The Gender and Sexuality Center provides a mentoring program for LGBTQ+ students who need help adjusting to college life. UMN's Lavender House Living Learning Community offers residential students a safe and inclusive environment to explore and express their sexualities and gender identities.

Students can investigate academic perspectives on LGBTQ+ identities and issues through coursework offered in the gender, women and sexuality studies program or by pursuing an interdisciplinary minor in LGBTQ studies. The Steven J. Schochet Endowment supports academic initiatives in LGBTQ studies by hosting lectures that highlight faculty and student research. The endowment funds a full-year interdisciplinary fellowship in queer, trans, and sexuality studies for doctoral students.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


Macalester College

Saint Paul, MN Campus Pride Rating:

Minnesota-based Macalester College ranks as one of the best undergraduate liberal arts schools in the U.S. Not surprisingly, it also ranks high as an LGBTQ-friendly college. Macalester's student-run Gender & Sexuality Resource Center sponsors several organizations that provide students with a safe space to discuss sexuality and gender-related issues within their own communities. These LGBTQ-specific identity collectives include the Trans Identity Collective, the Queer People of Color Collective, the Queer Women's Identity Collective, and the Asexual Spectrum Identity Collective.

In addition to student organizations, Macalester's LGBTQ+ alum association -- Scot's Pride -- hosts networking and social events. The college also maintains the Out and Proud Online Community, a voluntary list of faculty and staff members who identify as LGBTQ+.

Several resources and supportive services address the needs of LGBTQ+ students. The college offers inclusive housing options, gender-neutral restrooms, counseling, and mentoring programs. The Allies Project trains LGBTQ+ faculty, staff and students to help create and maintain safe, supportive environments for all members of the Macalester campus community.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


Indiana University-Bloomington

Bloomington, IN Campus Pride Rating:

Indiana University-Bloomington, a top-tier public institution with a student body of 46,000, has created a welcoming and affirming campus for its LGTBQ+ community. The LGBTQ+ Culture Center is a comprehensive resource and information center that oversees dozens of services, including several ally trainings throughout the year. These sessions are geared to academic and administrative departments interested in learning more about LGBTQ+ issues, and outlines ways to create safe spaces for all.

IU has implemented supportive policies for changing names and gender identity on university records and staffs a full range of counseling and medical services. The university also offers gender-inclusive housing options, including the Sigma Phi Beta Fraternity and Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority for LGBTQ+ students who wish to participate in Greek life.

The LGBTQ+ Culture Center and the LGBTQ+ Alumni Association award several scholarships for students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning. The Alumni Association also sponsors an array of programs, social events, and networking opportunities that connect alums with current students.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


Babson College

Wellesley, MA Campus Pride Rating:

Massachusetts-based Babson College specializes in entrepreneurship education, and its motto, "Entrepreneurship of All Kinds requires Diversity of All Kinds," signifies its strong commitment to creating a community that supports and celebrates LGTBQ+ students and allies.

LGBTQ+@ Babson is the college's main resource center for initiatives, programming, and events that address LGBTQ+ issues. Babson provides safe zone and gender-expansive training sessions throughout the academic year. They also sponsor several student organization action groups and social affinity and networking organizations, including the Pride Alliance for undergraduates, the Out Network for graduate students in the MBA program, and an active LGBTQ Alumni Affinity Group. The Pride Award announced at the annual Lavender Graduation ceremony honors those who have made significant contributions in support of the Babson LGBTQ+ community.

Babson features an innovative identity-based living-learning community, the LGBTQ+ Neighborhood. This residence space enables LGBTQ+ students to request a community of neighboring rooms and gender-inclusive roommate assignments that do not need to be gender-specific.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


University of California-Davis

Davis, CA Campus Pride Rating:

Recognized as a "Public Ivy League" school, the University of California-Davis has created a positive and LGBTQ-friendly environment that welcomes students, staff, and faculty from all sexes, gender identities, gender expressions, sexualities, and asexualities. The LGBTQIA Resource Center, a full-service space open to all members of the UC Davis community, provides an array of services and training workshops. LGBTQ+ students can find out how to report hate crimes and which faculty and staff members are out. It also publishes We Thrive, a web-based resource where LGBTQ+ students can connect with medical and counseling services, access free HIV testing, and learn about procedures covered by the student insurance plan.

UC Davis offers gender-inclusive housing and gender-neutral restrooms. The Rainbow Community, a living-learning residential experience, invites LGBTQ+ and ally students to explore sexual orientations, gender identities, and differences in a safe and supportive environment. Undergraduates interested in acquiring an academic background in LGBTQ+ studies may pursue one of the interdisciplinary majors or minors through the department of gender, sexuality, and women's studies.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


University of California-Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, CA Campus Pride Rating:

UC Santa Barbara serves over 25,000 students representing a diverse mix of cultures and backgrounds. Its commitment to that diversity extends to its LGBTQ+ students, ensuring that they experience an enriching and supportive environment.

The Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity plays a major role in this effort through its social and educational events, training programs, and links to resources and essential services. Students can easily find information on federal and California policies governing gender designation and name changes and procedures for reporting hate crimes and bias incidents. The Center publishes a current list of LGBTQ-specific scholarships and awards and provides information about gender-neutral restrooms, gender-inclusive housing, and LGBTQ+ living-learning residence spaces.

In addition to the Center's full schedule of educational programs, UC Santa Barbara offers undergraduates the opportunity to pursue a minor in LGBTQ studies. The university also supports the LGBTQ+ Alumni Network which helps to keep LGBTQ+ graduates connected to the university through professional development events and community service.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


University of Delaware

Newark, DE Campus Pride Rating:

The University of Delaware, the largest institution of higher education in the state, provides an affirming environment for its LGBTQ+ students under the auspices of the LGBTQ Program Coordinator. The LGBTQ+ Advocacy, Support, and Resources Program connects UD's LGBTQ+ students with a broad array of support services, resources, and opportunities for advocacy and activism. Students can learn more about name change and gender designation policies on university forms, health care and counseling services, and ally training workshops.

The LGBTQ+ program hosts the annual Lavender Welcome Reception open to new LGBTQ+ students. SD supports two major LGBTQ+ student organization: HAVEN for undergraduates and Prism for graduate students. Sophomore, juniors, and seniors may request assignments to all-gender housing options if they are 18 or older. Students interested in adding an academic exploration of LGBTQ+ history, theories, and current perspectives into their education may pursue a minor in sexuality and gender offered through the women and gender studies department.

Learn more at Campus Pride.


Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH Campus Pride Rating:

New Hampshire-based Dartmouth College enjoys national prominence for its academic programming, and, in recent years, has become one of the top LGBTQ-friendly schools in the U.S. The Office of Pluralism and Leadership coordinates supportive services and resources available to Dartmouth's LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and staff. Their webpage directs students to information about gender-inclusive housing options, and the Triangle House Living Learning Community for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and allied people. The office connects students with information about LGBTQ-specific scholarships and awards and offers internship with organizations that work with LGBTQ+ individuals, their families, and allies.

Student organizations provide several opportunities for engagement in community service and activism. For example, Outreach Peer Mentors trains its members to provide peer-to-peer mentoring that helps students to develop positive LGBTQ+ identities while successfully adapting to life at Dartmouth. The college also sponsors the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Alumni/ae Association open to graduates interested in maintaining their connection to Dartmouth and addressing issues affecting LGBTQ+ alums and students.

Learn more at Campus Pride.

How to Choose an LGBTQ-Friendly College

In recent years, a growing number of young adults have begun to openly identify as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) community. A 2017 Gallup poll found that 4.5% of U.S. residents ― roughly 10 million individuals ― identify as LGBTQ; this figure was up from 3.5% in 2012. The representation was even higher in Millennials or adults born in 1982 or later; 8.2% of Millennial respondents identified as LGBTQ, up from 5.8% in 2012.

Many of the country's colleges and universities have taken measures to ensure that LGBTQ students feel safe and respected. According to the Consortium of Higher Education Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Professionals, more than 150 postsecondary institutions in the U.S. currently offer on-campus LGBTQ centers, and organizations like Campus Pride maintain up-to-date evaluations of different schools based on how 'LGBTQ-friendly' they are. However, some widespread problems persist. A recent survey published by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) found that 55.5% of LGBTQ students 'felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation'; 30.3% missed at least one day of school in the previous month because they felt unsafe, and more than 10% missed at least four days.

There are many important considerations students face when it comes to choosing the best college or university for them. These include the cost of tuition and housing, available financial aid, academic reputation, and campus size. Additionally, LGBTQ students are encouraged to research different schools based on the following criteria:

  • LGBTQ Campus Safety: Virtually every campus in the country has strict rules regarding the harassment and abuse of other students, but these policies should clearly outline two factors: the specific condemnation of acts of abuse or harassment against members of the LGBTQ community and an explanation of the procedure for LGBTQ students that have been abused or harassed.
  • LGBTQ Housing: Gender identity is a major issue for many LGBTQ individuals. To mitigate this, Campus Pride reports that 263 colleges and universities currently offer 'gender-inclusive housing', which enables any student to have a roommate of either gender. Furthermore, students may feel more comfortable at schools that openly support LGBTQ students in their housing information materials.
  • LGBTQ-Friendly Policies: According to Campus Pride, 1,036 postsecondary institutions in the U.S. have non-discrimination policies that extend to sexual orientation and gender expression. Alternatively, the organization also maintains a 'shame list' of schools that 'openly discriminate against LGBTQ youth and/or have requested Title IX exemptions to perpetuate the harms of religion-based bigotry'.
  • Counseling and Mental Health Opportunities: In addition to organizations and policies that strive to create an inclusive atmosphere for LGBTQ students, many colleges and universities currently offer counseling options aimed at these individuals. In some cases, these services are facilitated by counselors and staff that also identify as LGBTQ.

Video Interview: University of Washington Q Center

Hear from the University of Washington’s Q Center

We sat down with Founder and Director, Jen Self, and Associate Director, Jaimée Marsh, of the Q Center at the University of Washington to talk about the development of their program and the work they do with LGBTQ+ students and allies. Check out what they’re doing right!

How are LGBTQ Students Protected Today?

Before attending a college or university in the U.S., LGBTQ students should be aware of their legal rights. The following three acts have been passed within the last decade in order to provide more protection and advocacy for all LGBTQ individuals, including college students.

The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was passed in 2009. The act was named for two hate crime victims: Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming who was murdered in 1998; and James Byrd, Jr., an African-American man killed by white supremacists the same year. The act provides more leeway for federal law enforcement officials to investigate crimes that local authorities have dismissed or closed, allocates funding to aid the prosecution of hate crime perpetrators, and requires the FBI to maintain statistics regarding hate crime incidence rates for different vulnerable groups.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 explicitly prohibits sex-based discrimination of any individual attending a federally funded educational program. These programs include public colleges and universities, as well as elementary and secondary schools and vocational training programs offered by individuals or organizations that receive federal financial assistance. This law does not extend to private undergraduate colleges or private schools that are controlled by religious organizations.

In addition to federal measures like the two listed above, many anti-discrimination laws exist at the state level. According to Lambda Legal, a nonprofit organization that advocates for LGBTQ civil rights, 19 U.S. states have passed laws ensuring that LGBTQ individuals can utilize ''public accommodations' ― such as colleges and universities ― in the same manner as other citizens. These states are: California, Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. New Hampshire and Wisconsin have laws protecting equal rights based on sexual orientation, but not gender expression.

How Can Prospective Students Utilize Campus Pride?

Campus Pride was founded in 2001 as an online networking community known as Campus PrideNet; the current name was adopted in 2006. Campus Pride abides by a mission to serve 'LGBTQ and ally student leaders and campus organizations in the areas of leadership development, support programs and services to create safer, more inclusive LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities'. The organization's projects and initiatives are concentrated in five core values: social justice, youth voice and action, empowerment, positive change, and diversity.

One of Campus Pride's most noteworthy initiatives, the Lambda 10 Project, was launched to 'heighten the visibility' of LGBTQ students in fraternities and sororities. The success of Lambda 10 has led to the creation of other projects centered around LGBTQ members of the Greek community, including the Out & Greek Conference and the Greek Ally Network. Campus Pride also conducts student surveys at college and university campuses across the country. The results of these surveys are used to update the Campus Pride Index, which awards star ratings (scaled one to five) for different schools based on anti-discrimination policies, LGBTQ student resources, and other criteria. Campus Pride also maintains the shame list, a directory of 'the absolute worst campuses for LGBTQ youth'.

Students can get involved with Campus Pride in several ways. The organization offers 'stop the hate' training programs that are intended to reduce the number of discrimination incidents and hate crimes on college campuses. Students can also download the 'Lil' Purple Backpack', a comprehensive resource guide regarding laws, organizations, and advocacy programs for LGBTQ students; this guide is available for free. Other activities and opportunities include job and career fairs, online training, internships, and Camp Pride, a leadership academy for LGBTQ undergraduate students.

Resources for LGBTQ College Students

There are many resources available to today's LGBTQ college students; the following list represents a sampling of hundreds of options. Please contact your school's LGBTQ center for more information about LGBTQ policies, programs, and initiatives. You can also search for your institution on Campus Pride to see its current 'LGBTQ-friendly' rating.

Scholarships For LGBTQ Students

This list includes more than 30 merit- and need-based scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid that are geared toward LGBTQ students. Candidates can also learn about financial awards from high school and college counselors.

LGBTQ Student Guide

This comprehensive guide outlines the unique difficulties faced by LGBTQ students, as well as a glossary of current terms, tips for choosing an LGBTQ-friendly institution, and a list of pro-LGBTQ organizations.

The Campus Pride Ultimate Queer College Guide

This extensive resource from Campus Pride includes checklists and guidelines for prospective LGBTQ students for every stage of the application and enrollment process. It offers some strategies for locating LGBTQ-friendly organizations and resources on-campus and within the school's local community.

Effective LGBTQ Strategies for a Safer, More Welcoming Campus

Campus Pride created this list of guidelines to help students hold their schools accountable for LGBTQ safety. The list includes tips for evaluating institutional policies, implementing training and development workshops, and creating more visibility for LGBTQ students and community concerns on college campuses.

LGBTQ on Campus Online Trainings

Campus Pride currently offers free, 30-minute video training courses for LGBTQ college students, faculty, and staff members. The goals of these tutorials are twofold: to increase 'empathy and awareness' for the challenges faced by LGBTQ students and build skills and knowledge that foster an environment of on-campus respect.

Transgender Membership in Fraternities & Sororities and Title IX

According to Campus Pride, some organizations have misinterpreted Title IX to mean that fraternities and sororities should remain single-gender and not admit transgender students. This information page outlines current policies and ways that Greek systems can create a more inclusive environment for all students.

Campus Pride's 2018 Best of the Best Top 30 LGBTQ-friendly Colleges & Universities

Every year, Campus Pride publishes a list of the friendliest U.S. schools for LGBTQ students. The 2018 ranking includes schools from 16 different states, including historically conservative states like Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin.