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Top 50 LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges and Universities

List produced by the Experts more info

  • 1. Stamps School of Art & Design—University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI): Spectrum Center, the hub of the LGBTQ+ universe on campus; resources from mentoring and crisis intervention to academic tutoring and help navigating campus; fun social events, support groups, jobs, leadership opportunities, and connections with LGBTQ+ alumni
  • 2. Ithaca College (Ithaca, NY): LGBTQ-specific course offerings; advisory committee dedicated to LGBTQ+ issues on campus; ally programs for all students on campus to raise awareness; Center for LGBT Education, Outreach & Services, with an LGBTQ+ resource library; LGBT Awareness Month; special guest speakers; resources for navigating the college experience
  • 3. University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY): Admission officers with specific training in helping LGBTQ+ students apply to the University; counseling staff to help students make the transition to college, including dedicated trans-inclusive counselors; LGBTQ+ campus police liaisons to help students feel safe; special graduation ceremony for LGBTQ+ students and their allies
  • 4. University of Massachusetts Amherst (Amherst, MA): Stonewall Center, a thriving community that offers LGBTQ+ workshops for all students, a wide variety of support groups, dedicated trans resources, and Queer-e, a newspaper with a readership of over 2,000; robust mentorship program for first-year students focusing on guidance, friendship, and identity development
  • 5. DePauw University (Greencastle, IN): Center for Diversity and Inclusion, offering a wide range of resources for LGBTQ+ students such as counseling, trans sports teams, and alumni engagement; LGBTQIA+ Advisory Board that meets monthly to make sure the University is doing everything it can to support students; on-campus Rainbow Community with a living and socializing space where LGBTQ+ students are surrounded by like-minded students and supportive advocates
  • 6. Indiana University Bloomington (Bloomington, IN): LGBTQ+ Culture Center offering a wide range of special scholarships to pay for school, queer and trans mentors, and connections with LGBTQ-friendly employers in the area; "sexual orientation," "gender identity," and "gender identity or expression" included in the University's non-discrimination policies; special housing opportunities for transgender and genderqueer students; many gender-inclusive restrooms across campus
  • 7. Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS): Thriving student organizations such as the Kansas State University Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA), the Gender Collective, and Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM); LGBTQ Studies program; LGBTQ+ career services; inclusivity training programs for all University faculty and staff
  • 8. University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH): Inclusive Excellence Strategic Plan created in 2010 to recruit more diverse students, redesign programs to be more inclusive, and create a campus climate that's welcoming; academics including Queer and Gender Studies; a wealth of LGBTQ+ student clubs and gender-inclusive housing
  • 9. Kent State University (Kent, OH): QUEST mentorship program, PRIDE!Kent, Trans*Fusion, Threads (for LGBTQ+ students of color), and an LGBTQ Emergency Fund for struggling students; events for LGBTQ+ students and allies like the Rainbow Run; Lavender Graduation ceremony
  • 10. The University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ): SafeZone, a campus-wide training program for staff and students; student organizations such as Pride Alliance and MedPride-Gay/Straight Medical Student Alliance; Delta Lambda Phi, a fraternity for gay, bisexual, and allied men; Institute for LGBT Studies, where students can contribute to research, advocacy, and leadership in the fight for equality around the world
  • 11. University of Louisville (Louisville, KY): Bayard Rustin LGBT and Social Justice Themed Living Community; Cardinal OUTlook Day for prospective students, showcasing support services such as LGBTQ-affirming health services and student clubs like the LGBTQ+ Writing Group, Shades (for students of color), Lambda Law Caucus, and Inside Out, an exemplary support group for LGBTQ+ students
  • 12. Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR): LGBTQ Services Office that reaches out to prospective students, helps new students transition to college life, and educates all students and staff about the importance of acceptance; OSU Pride Center with gender-inclusive bathrooms, queer history library, full kitchen, and lounge area for studying
  • 13. University of Vermont (Burlington, VT): Actively recruits LGBTQ+ students through unique admission fairs; LGBTQ living-learning communities; gender-inclusive bathrooms; affirming health care services; Meezan-Brittenback Student Emergency Fund for students with urgent needs; Rainbow Graduation ceremony
  • 14. Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA): Straight Talks Peer Education Program, educating all students and faculty on LGTBQ+ issues; Ally House living and learning community; Queer Peers mentoring program; LGBTQA Student Roundtable, in which students participate in advocacy, leadership, and social outreach; student organizations such as Queer and Transgender People of Color, Opulence, OutLaw, and Out & Allies in Business
  • 15. Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY): LGBTQ Resource Center with educational programs and opportunities for advocacy across New York State; LGBTQ History Month, Trans Day of Remembrance, and Trans Week of Liberation; major conferences like Creating Change; Pronoun Competency Workshops, SafeZone, and the Inclusive Dialogue program, which facilitates communication, collaboration, and understanding between students from all walks of life
  • 16. Eastern Michigan University (Ypsilanti, MI): LGBTQ-affirming health care, gender-inclusive restrooms, LGBTQ-exclusive housing, counseling services, and preferred name policy; student organizations and events such as Coming Out Being Out, Queer and Trans People of Color Collective, and Binder Exchange Program to help students align their bodies with their identities
  • 17. University of Oregon (Eugene, OR): Services such as prospective student outreach; support for transitioning to college life; campus-wide LGTBQ training; LGBTQIA+ Scholars; Gender Equity Hall with two living spaces for LGBTQ+ students; LGBTQA3 office, providing a safe place to relax, study, and hang out
  • 18. Montclair State University (Montclair, NJ): Degrees in Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies as well as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Studies; LGBTQ+ Residential Community and Stonewall Suites; clubs like Q-mmunity, Beyond Binaries, Queer and/or Trans People of Color (QTPoC), and Transcending Boundaries
  • 19. University of Nebraska—Kearney (Kearney, NE): LGBTQ Studies program and LGBTQ courses for students from any major; SafeZone training for faculty, campus police, and professionals who work in dorms, cafeterias, and support centers; inclusive policies that help students express their identities in school records by choosing their name, preferred pronouns, and sex; LGBTQ-specific career services to help students find internships and employment
  • 20. Washington State University (Pullman, WA): Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center, where LGBTQ+ students can connect with resources, find supportive clubs, network with alumni, and report any behavior on campus that makes them uncomfortable; gender-inclusive locker rooms and bathrooms; dedicated trans student resources; ally training; Q*Hort, a dynamic and thriving organization for LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and staff
  • 21. The Ohio State University—Columbus (Columbus, OH): Strictly enforced policies to combat discrimination; clear procedures and repercussions for reporting bias incidents; campus police, staff, and faculty training in LGBTQ+ issues; dedicated LGBTQ+ counselors; LGBTQ Studies program; Lavender Graduation; LGBTQ+ recruitment fairs; inclusive housing and roommate matching; student groups such as Dental Pride Alliance, LGBT and Allies in Medicine, Pride Veterinary Medical Community, Trans*Mission, and Gamma Rho Lambda (GRL)
  • 22. American University (Washington, DC): Center for Diversity and Inclusion for students to hang out, find help, and connect with resources; workshops for understanding identity; affinity group mixers like the Bisexual Chat and Chew; community-building events and educational resources; LGBTQ+ therapists at the AU Counseling Center; affirming health care at the Health Promotion and Advocacy Center; committees that promote inclusion on campus like Queer and Trans People of Color, Queer and Progressive Men, the Queer Women's Advocacy Committee, and the Trans and Non-Binary Collective
  • 23. University of California, Davis (Davis, CA): The Out List—an all-encompassing catalog of students, faculty, and staff who identify as gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, queer, asexual, or intersex—to help students connect, find mentorship opportunities, and offer support; organizations including BlackOUT, Athlete Ally, Ace Club, La Familia, SameLOVE, and more
  • 24. Hofstra University (Hempstead, NY): Intercultural Engagement and Inclusion (IEI), a centralized group that promotes awareness, advocacy, and unity; Q-mmunity, a training program for LGBTQ+ terminology and issues; queer mentoring programs; student organizations like the Pride Network, the Gender Identity Alliance (GIA), and Queer and Trans People of Color Coalition
  • 25. University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA): Degree programs in LGBTQ Studies and Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies; the PennLGBTC Library and Penn Program on Sexuality, Technology & Action Research; LGBTQ+ mentor programs, weekly events, and diverse student groups such as the Association for Queer International Students, J-BAGEL (Jewish Bisexuals, Gays, and Lesbians), and LambdaVets
  • 26. University of Northern Colorado (Greeley, CO): Gender & Sexuality Resource Center with two hangout areas for students, in-house counseling services, a full kitchen, an LGBTQ+ library, and a student garden; thriving LGBTQ+ affinity groups; Coming Out Week; GSRC mentoring program; SpeakOUT panels; educational training for students, faculty, and staff
  • 27. University of Wisconsin—Madison (Madison, WI): LGBTQ-affirming anti-discrimination policies; Preferred Name Policy, allowing students to register their preferred name and pronouns at the school; peer mentoring program; Open House (LGBTQ+ and Ally housing); student organizations like Out for Business, Q-Grads, and oSTEM
  • 28. The University of Texas at Dallas (Richardson, TX): The Gender Center, the heart of LGBTQ+ affairs on campus; organizations like the Queer and Trans Action Group (QTAG); National Coming Out Day; Alternative Spring Break; the Rainbow Guard, UTD's LGBTQ+ advocacy group
  • 29. Princeton University (Princeton, NJ): LGBTQ+ counseling; gender-inclusive housing; gathering places like the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding and the Women*s Center; organizations such as blaQT+ for Black LGBTQ+ students, Home Away From Home for international LGBTQ+ students, PULPO LGBT+ for Latinx LGBTQ+ students, the Queer Quorum FLI Forum for first-year/low-income LGBTQ+ students, and Queering Faith for students interested in the intersection of spirituality and identity
  • 30. Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA): Inclusive policies and community-building efforts; Pride Center, where students can connect with peer-led support groups (TGNC, SPEAK, Coming Out, QTPOC, BPFQ, ACE), join a student club (Spectrum, SPEAK Peer Educators, Greek Allies, Prism, Athlete Ally), work with friends in the LUally educational programs, and find scholarships to help pay for college
  • 31. Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH): Well-regarded Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies department and degree program; Baldwin Cottage housing the Women and Trans* Collective, a unique living-learning environment that fosters academic and personal growth
  • 32. Guilford College (Greensboro, NC): Free gender-therapy consultations; gender-inclusive housing; Trans and Gender Non-Binary Committee; Lavender Graduation; discrimination reporting policy; Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department; Guilford College PRIDE student organization
  • 33. University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA): Home of the first queer student organization (Gay Liberation Front, formed in 1970, now called Spectrum UI); first US institution of higher learning to extend insurance benefits to domestic partners in 1993; Rainbow Graduation Ceremony; additional student groups like EQUAL Meds, Reaching Out in Business, and the UI Trans Alliance
  • 34. Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO): The Pride Resource Center, offering LGBTQ-exclusive mental health counseling, mindfulness workshops, help finding a community (Queer Connections), and advice for how to get finances in order, including emergency aid and scholarships; fun, engaging, and growth-producing events throughout the school year
  • 35. Connecticut College (New London, CT): LGBTQIA Center to help create awareness about phobias and give LGBTQ+ and allied students a place to study, relax, and socialize; LGBTQ health, academic, financial, and living resources; student groups like CQ2: Connecticut College Queer & Questioning, QTPOC: Queer & Trans People of Color, and PRISM
  • 36. University of California, Riverside (Riverside, CA): LGBT Resource Center; Tuesday Talks, a tradition since 1998, in which students, faculty, and staff discuss topics like Gender Presentation in Fashion, Labels & Language, Faith Talk, and Coming Out Stories; T Camp, an initiative that brings together transgender, genderqueer, or gender-questioning students on a retreat for fun activities and personal growth
  • 37. Southern Illinois University (Carbondale, IL): Inclusive Excellence, a school-wide initiative that introduces more diversity into every degree's curriculum, makes the campus a safer place, and strives for equality for all students; the LGBTQ Resource Center, where LGBTQ+ students and allies can connect with the QM mentoring program, participate in advocacy, and find a safe space to hang out
  • 38. Stanford University (Stanford, CA): LGBTQ-friendly policies; robust ally training programs; gender-inclusive housing; QT Umbrella Assistance Fund, helping students afford gender-affirming medical services, legal fees for name changes, and mental health counseling; QSpot, an LGBTQ+ resource center with a dedicated team and fun, meaningful events such as queer video game club, visits from LGBTQ+ icons, Queer Jeopardy, and Crossword Chill
  • 39. University of Nebraska—Lincoln (Lincoln, NE): LGBTQIA+ Center, offering volunteer opportunities, help with transitioning to college life, special events, peer mentoring, an LGBTQ+ library, and a safe hangout space; Lavender Closet Clothing Exchange with free and discreet access to clothes and accessories that affirm a student's gender
  • 40. Macalester College (St. Paul, MN): Gender & Sexuality Resource Center (GSRC); Scot's Pride, an alumni group that supports current students; Out & Proud Faculty & Staff Community, where students can connect with faculty and staff who are part of the LGBTQ+ community; LGBTQ+ support programs and groups such as the Trans Identity Collective (TrIC), Queer Women's Identity Collective (QWIC), Multisexual and Multiromantic Identity Collective (M&M), and more
  • 41. University of Washington, Seattle (Seattle, WA): The Q Center, helping students with services like legal name changes, assimilating to college life, and exploring identity; the Safer Zone Project, an initiative to help end discrimination on campus; CampusQ, a monthly newsletter that unites and informs LGBTQ+ students and the community
  • 42. University of Maryland, College Park (College Park, MD): LGBT Equity Center fostering an inclusive sense of community, offering resources, and welcoming all students; campus-wide Quelcome event; Q Camp community-building retreat; Lavender Leadership Honor Society
  • 43. Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH): Office of Pluralism and Leadership, offering unique programs that create a safe space and foster growth for LGBTQ+ students; Partnerships in Pride mentorship initiative; LGBTQIA+ Social, a meet-and-greet for new and returning students; events like Transgender Awareness Week, Dartmouth PRIDE, and LGBTQIA+ History Month
  • 44. New York University (New York, NY): LGBTQ+ Center Lounge; First Year Queers and Allies; Keshet (for Jewish LGBTQ+ students); discipline-specific groups like AQUA: Allies & Queers for Understanding and Awareness (for students in Dentistry) and the Tisch Queer Artist Guild (for LGBTQ+ artists)
  • 45. Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI): Lesbian Bisexual Gay and Transgender Resource Center, empowering students to thrive academically, emotionally, and socially; workshops, campus-wide LGBTQ+ celebrations, and the bimonthly Meeting of the Minds, where LGBTQ+ students can help shape the school's policies and plan events
  • 46. Yale University (New Haven, CT): Office of LGBTQ Resources; inclusive classrooms and bathrooms; gender-affirming clothing at the Closet Clothing Swap; unique groups like W{holy} Queer (for spiritual LGBTQ students), Not-So-Straight Frosh (for first-year students), and The Bad Romantics, Yale's acclaimed drag troupe
  • 47. The University of Chicago (Chicago, IL): Center for Identity + Inclusion; Queer 101 Orientation to help new students get acquainted with the school's vibrant and diverse LGBTQ+ scene; LGBTQ library; LGBTQ-specific resources like food security programs, an FLI (First-Generation, Lower-Income, and/or Immigrant) network, and Student Advisory Councils
  • 48. Brown University (Providence, RI): LGBTQ Center providing emotional support, advocacy, and acceptance for LGBTQ+ students on campus; LGBTQ Community Leadership Award for outstanding students; member of the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals, proving the University's dedication to fighting for equality in sexual expression and gender identity
  • 49. Williams College (Williamstown, MA): The Davis Center, Engagement Fellows, and the Gender Sexuality Resource Center, offering a variety of programs and resources for LGBTQ+ students such as Engender Integrated Wellness Services; the Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Alumni Network (BiGLATA); and the Dively Committee for Human Sexuality & Diversity
  • 50. Kenyon College (Gambier, OH): Women and Gender Studies degree program, with queer courses incorporated into many other degrees; host to the influential Kenyon Queer and Trans Studies Conference; over 70 gender-neutral bathrooms on campus; LGBTQ-inclusive athletics; diverse student clubs such as the Queer Masculinities Society, Qdubs, Queer and Trans Literary Society, and Kenyon College's Gay and Lesbian Alumni

Source: BestAccreditedColleges.org

Want more information on how this list was compiled? Find out more about where our Lists & Rankings come from.

About This List

Most college students are filled with questions about how they'll do academically, where they'll find friends, and how they'll fit into the college environment. But for LGBTQ+ students, these worries are often magnified tenfold. Campus Pride, an organization dedicated to creating a more inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ students, conducted a landmark survey in 2010 that found 23% of LGBTQ+ students and 39% of transgender students experienced some form of identity-related harassment on their campus. Many respondents from both groups reported being the target of derogatory remarks, being stared at, or being singled out as the "resident authority" for their identity on campus.

This study, and others like it, lay bare the challenge of making college campuses a place of acceptance and growth for LGBTQ+ students. The good news is that many schools have made incredible strides in this area by instituting new policies, educational programs, and other measures to increase awareness and help LGBTQ+ students thrive.

Using data from leading LGBTQ+ advocacy groups, reports from students and faculty, and a comprehensive range of LGBTQ-inclusive factors, Best Accredited Colleges created this definitive list of the top 50 colleges for LGBTQ+ students that will help you choose a college where you'll be supported and safe.

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