Campus Pride chose thirty campuses to highlight this year based on their overall ratings on the Campus Pride Index and specific LGBTQ-inclusive benchmark measures. The Campus Pride Index, currently 235+ 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.
“Prospective students and their families expect colleges to be LGBTQ-friendly. They want to know what LGBTQ programs, services and resources are available on the campus – and which are the ‘Best of the Best,’” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride and creator of the Campus Pride Index. “Now more than ever, there are colleges that are recruiting LGBTQ youth – and they are investing in a campus that is fully supportive of LGBTQ students. This Top 30 list showcases those ‘Top’ campuses leading the way.”
According to Windmeyer, “there is a lot to find for LGBTQ life at these campuses.” Many of them are specifically addressing recruitment and academic retention efforts for LGBTQ students as well as concerns for transgender student safety. The campuses listed can also be found this Fall at the Campus Pride LGBTQ-friendly College Fair Program in cities like Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Charlotte, Atlanta, Vancouver and St. Louis. Learn more online at CampusPride.org/CollegeFair
In order to be in the Top 30 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 with student populations from 807 to over 45,000, public and private schools alike. The Top 30 list is in alphabetical order and you can click on the name of the campus to learn more.
Cornell University was founded in 1865 and is a private Ivy League university. The Cornell Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center was opened in 1994. The center “coordinates the efforts of the entire Cornell community to ensure the inclusion of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQQIA) individuals and works to eliminate discrimination based upon sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.” 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 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.
Hobart and William Smith Colleges were founded in 1822 and 1908 and are liberal arts colleges that offer degrees in bachelor of arts, bachelor of science and master of arts in teaching. In 2002, Hobart and William Smith Colleges became the first institution in the nation to offer a LGBT studies program. Learn more.
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.
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 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.
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.
8,014 full-time students
Campus Pride Index Score: 5 out of 5 stars
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 California, Davis was founded in 1905 and is a public research university. It offers gender-inclusive restrooms and multiple LGBTQ events on campus. Learn more.
The University of California, Los Angeles was founded in 1919 and is a public research university. It offers LGBTQ Student Organizations, counseling services, and LGBTQ Ally Training. Learn more.
University of California, Santa Barbara was founded in 1891 and is a public research university. It includes the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, Multicultural Center and and counseling services with queer and queer friendly counselors. Learn more.
University of Illinois at Chicago was founded in 1913 and is a state-funded public research-intensive university. “The Gender and Sexuality Center at UIC creates a more inclusive campus and catalyzes positive social change by challenging heteronormativity and promoting deeply engaged and life affirming thinking, learning, and action.” Learn more.
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.
The University of Maine at Machias was founded in 1909 as a normal school for educating teachers and offers studies in recreation, education, Psychology & Community Studies and physical sciences. “UMM offers a variety of services to students including Safe Zones, physical and mental health services, training on LGBT issues and concerns, gender neutral housing and restroom options, and the opportunity to change names” within their academic systems. Learn more.
The University of Maryland, College Park is a public research university. The LGBT Equity Center at College Park offers resources such as counseling center information to studying abroad as an LGBTQ-identified student. Learn more.
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.
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities was established in 1851. The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Programs Office was established in 1993 and works to support LGBTQ-identified students, staff, and faculty on campus. Learn more.
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.