For the last decade, Campus Pride continues to be the most trusted, reliable educational resource for students and families to find the best campuses for LGBTQ inclusion and safety. The organization work alongside students, faculty, staff and administrators at 1400+ campuses annually to help support and improve the quality of campus life for LGBTQ people.
Campus Pride chose the twenty-five campuses this year based on their overall ratings on the Campus Pride Index and specific LGBTQ-inclusive benchmark measures. The Campus Pride Index, currently 300+ campuses, is the premier national benchmarking tool which self-assesses LGBTQ-friendly policies, programs and practices. The tool is free of charge and can be found online at CampusPrideIndex.org.
“If you are looking for the most trusted, reliable list of LGBTQ-friendly colleges, then you have found the right one. LGBTQ youth and families today want to know what campuses are doing when it comes to inclusive policies, programs and practices. This Best of the Best list highlights the Top 25,’” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride and creator of the Campus Pride Index. “These are the campuses leading the way for LGBTQ inclusion and who have come out to support LGBTQ students from the first day of classes through graduation day.”
According to Campus Pride, “the list this year shows more LGBTQ progress than ever, even in more rural conservative places.” Dr. Genny Beemyn, the coordinator of Campus Pride’s Trans Policy Clearinghouse, said: “It is especially important to see colleges from Kansas, Kentucky, and North Carolina among the Top 25. If these colleges can become supportive oases in largely anti-LGBTQ states, then other institutions in very conservative states have no excuse not to do likewise.”
In order to be in the Top 25 listing, an institution had to score the highest percentages in the LGBTQ-friendly benchmarks for policies, programs and practices. The listing this year includes colleges from sixteen states including more conservative places like North Carolina, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Colorado, Wisconsin and Ohio. These campuses represent a range of academic studies with student populations from 807 to over 45,000, public and private schools alike.
“It is both exciting and promising to see the diversity and growth of the number of campuses participating in the Campus Pride Index. Particularly, we see institutions thoughtfully considering the inclusion of queer spectrum and trans spectrum policies and programs,” said Dr. Sue Rankin, the volunteer director of Campus Pride’s Q Research Institute for Higher Education. “In the current political climate, where executive orders by the President of the United States are rescinding decades of progressive work, this work on college campuses is more important than ever.”
Along with the Top 25 campuses, there are 300+ other campuses listed on the Campus Pride Index. Many of these campuses participate annually ever Fall in the Campus Pride LGBTQ-friendly College Fair Program in cities like Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Charlotte and Atlanta. Learn more online at CampusPride.org/CollegeFair
Campus Pride also launched two years ago, the Campus Pride Sports Index which measures LGBTQ progress in athletics and recreation online. Learn more CampusPrideSportsIndex.org.
The Top 25 list is in alphabetical order and you can click on the name of the campus to learn more.
Founded in 1869, Augsburg College is in the heart of Minneapolis and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees to more than 3,500 diverse students. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) Student Services “works to improve the campus environment for all students, staff, faculty, and visitors at Augsburg College by developing and supporting inclusive understandings of gender and sexuality.” Augsburg College offers 20 gender-neutral bathrooms and are listed on their website. Learn more.
Elon University, originally Elon College founded in 1889, was established in 2001 and is a private liberal arts university located in Elon, North Carolina. The Gender and LGBTQIA Center (GLC) “exists so LGBTQIA and ally students & employees feel respected, safe, and valued on campus, so they may fully participate in the full array of academic, co-curricular, and leadership experiences offered at Elon University.” Elon University offers over 90 gender-neutral bathrooms and are listed on the GLC website. Learn More
Harvey Mudd College
Harvey Mudd College was founded in 1955 and is a private residential liberal arts college of science, engineering, and mathematics. The Office of Institutional Diversity is a social justice educational source that strives to increase Awareness, Allyship and Action. Harvey Mudd College offers gender-neutral housing and multiple resources for trans students on campus. Learn More
Indiana University Bloomington
Indiana University, Bloomington is a public research university in Bloomington, Indiana. The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Student Support Services (GLBTSSS) Office offers resources and provides “a welcoming environment for individuals seeking to grow in their understanding of LGBT issues.” IU Bloomington also offers LGBTQ and ally groups and organizations such as Sigma Phi Beta Fraternity and the Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority. Learn more.
Ithaca College, originally a music conservatory founded in 1892, is a private college. The Center for LGBT Education was founded in 2001 and “actively fosters the academic success and personal growth of LGBT students, and it offers college-wide services to enhance the campus community’s understanding and appreciation of LGBT people and themes.” Ithaca College also offers four LGBT student organizations on campus that include Created Equal, PRISM, Spectrum, and Athlete Ally. Students may also choose to live in LGBTQ friendly residential housing called House of Roy. Learn more.
Kansas State University
Kansas State University is a comprehensive, research, land-grant institution serving students and the people of Kansas, the nation, and the world. Since its founding in 1863, the university has evolved into a modern institution of higher education, committed to quality programs, and responsive to a rapidly changing world and the aspirations of an increasingly diverse society. The LGBT Resource Center at Kansas State University is dedicated to helping the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) students, staff, and faculty and allied members of our campus and surrounding communities to be more secure, educated, and productive in their personal and professional surroundings. Learn more.
Macalester College, or Mac, is a private liberal arts college in St. Paul, Minnesota and was founded in 1874. LGBTQ @ Mac is part of the Department of Multicultural Life “as part of our mission to integrate and affirm the peoples, discourses, thoughts, and experiences of marginalized people into the fabric of the Macalester community.” It includes many student-run groups and annual events such as the Allies Project Training, Trans @ Mac, and the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center. Learn more.
Montclair State University
Montclair State University was founded in 1908 as the New Jersey State Normal School at Montclair. The LGBTQ Center at Montclair State University was created to offer a safer, more LGBTQ-friendly campus environment through educating, advocating, and supporting LGBTQ identified students, faculty, and staff. The LGBTQ Center at Montclair State University puts on a Pride Awards Ceremony every spring semester to honor and recognize outstanding individuals for their contributions to the LGBTQ community on campus. Learn more.
The Ohio State University
Founded in 1870 as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, Ohio State offers a broad-based, liberal arts education and a diverse range of study. One of the nation’s top-20 public universities, Ohio State is boasts a premier academic medical center, cancer hospital and research center. The “Q*mmunity Groups offered for LGBTQ students by the Student Life Multicultural Center focus on intersections between identities, community building, personal development and leadership.” Learn more.
The Pennsylvania State University
The Pennsylvania State University was founded in 1855.“We work to eliminate homophobia and heterosexism at The Pennsylvania State University so that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students and their allies have equity in every respect and are included in all areas of the Penn State Community.” Penn State established the LGBTQA Resource Center on campus, which offers programming and support to the LGBTQA community. Learn more.
Portland State University
Portland State University was founded in 1946 and is a public research university. It offers a Queer Resource Center, lavender graduation, and a number of events, workshops, and discussions. Learn more.
Princeton University was founded in 1746 and is presently located in Princeton, New Jersey. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Center at Princeton was created in 2005. The center “works to create a safe and supportive academic environment through educational opportunities and advocating for the needs and concerns of LGBTQA students.” The center’s website includes a list of gender-inclusive bathrooms on campus. Learn more.
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick
The Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT communities at Rutgers “provides educational and social programs, leadership development, and policy consultation” with the mission “to provide an inclusive campus experience for all members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender Non-binary, Queer, Questioning, Asexual and Ally community.” It provides a guide on a weekly basis including social justice programs, opportunities across campus and the surrounding communities, and has six LGBTQ organizations, including Queer & Asian and Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (oSTEM). Learn more.
San Diego State University
The Pride Center was created to supply resources and support to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities and their allies. In January 2012, San Diego State University became the second public college in North America to offer a major in LGBT Studies. Learn more.
Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University was founded in 1926 and is a public liberal arts college. The Queer Resource Center provides “visible and accessible advocacy for the needs of queer students while expanding awareness and knowledge of queer issues on campus” in their community. Southern Oregon University also hosts a pride week every year and offers a Lavender Graduation to recognize LGBTQ students. Learn more.
Tufts University is a private research university and has campuses in Medford/Somerville, Boston, and Grafton Massachusetts, as well as Taillores, France. Tufts has multiple centers that work together to help increase awareness of the diversity on campus. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Center was founded in 1992 and “provides programming, advising, and educational resources and aims to improve the experience of gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, and transgender people at Tufts, as well as to provide campus-wide education about sexuality, gender, and the effects of heterosexism, cissupremacy, queerphobia, and other forms of dehumanization.” Learn more.
University of Colorado at Boulder
The University of Colorado Boulder is a public research university located in Boulder, Colorado. The GSC works to promote social justice and inclusive excellence for academic, social and personal development for all LGBTQIa students, staff, faculty and their allies in a safe and support environment. Learn more.
University of Louisville
The University of Louisville was founded in 1798 and is a public university in Louisville, Kentucky. “The LGBT Center offers a variety of programs that support, enrich, and educate students, faculty, and staff members at the University of Louisville.” The university has “LGBTQ inclusive career services, LGBTQ clubs at the undergraduate and graduate level, trans-inclusive health center staff, trans-inclusive healthcare, and free and anonymous HIV/STI testing.” Learn more.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
The University of Massachusetts – Amherst is ranked 29th as the best public universities in the nation. The Stonewall Center is a resource on campus for the LGBTQ community. Only two other college campuses in the country offered a similar resource to this center back in 1985. Learn more.
University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is a flagship public research university in Eugene, Oregon. Founded in 1876, offers over 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The University of Oregon has Specialized Communities within Residence life which allow students to select halls that best fit their needs, beliefs, and lifestyles. The LGBTQIA organizations ensure The University of Oregon “is a welcoming and supportive campus for LGBTQIA+ students, faculty, staff, community members, and visitors.” Learn more.
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania was founded in 1740. Penn’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Center is one of the oldest LGBTQ centers in the country, created over 30 years ago. The center offers events, study space, and education for the university. Learn more.
University of Washington
The University of Washington was founded in 1861 and is a public research university. The Q Center is a student-run resource center and serves “anyone with or without gender or sexuality: UW students, staff, faculty, alum, and community members.” The Q hosts student groups have regular events and run several blogs. Learn more.
University of Wisconsin – Green Bay
The University of Wisconsin – Green Bay is a 4-year public school. The Pride Center’s mission is to “identify and respond to the concerns and needs of the LGBTQ students, faculty, staff and their allies.” The Pride Center offers SAFE Ally training for any individuals wanting to learn more about LGBTQ issues and topics. Learn more.
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee was founded in 1956 and is a public research university. They offer the LGBT Resource Center and “actively engage with other departments on campus to create an affirming and welcoming educational environment for all students.” Learn more.
Washington State University
Washington State University was founded in 1890 and is a public research university. They offer the Gender Identity-Expression Sexual Orientation Resource Center, lavender graduation, and many events available to students, faculty, staff and community members. Learn more.