The 15 Most LGBTQ-Friendly Universities For 2017

Being a minority in college can prove difficult. Fortunately, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students have many school options that are as highly ranked as they are welcoming to LGBTQ students. We understand that LGBTQ students are looking for colleges that promote their safety, learning, and growth.That’s why we have compiled this list of the best schools for LGBTQ students to look into if they want to ensure a more supportive experience to complement their lifestyle.


University of Chicago

Students at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business have access to several conferences that support LGBTQ students, such as Reaching Out’s Annual LGBT MBA conference and the Out for Undergraduate Business Conference. They are also dedicated to advancing queer studies and gender studies so that undergraduates can focus their studies in gender and sexuality. In addition to these efforts, they work with OUTreach, a program that aims to advance social and professional opportunities


Stanford University

Stanford University has a reliable and welcoming LGBT Community Resource Center where students can meet each other and learn about their LGBT community. At the LGBT Community Resource Center, they have access to magazines, academic journals, films, and arts publications that center around the LGBT community. This is a great place for students to come and feel welcome, relax, and converse with those who support the LGBTQ community.


Stanford also has the Vaden Health Center, where students can receive special medical care mental health counseling, and sexual health education. What’s more, Stanford scored highly on Princeton Review’s LGBT-friendly campuses and won the Award for Excellence Through Diversity. Stanford partners with LGBT-CRC professional staff to provide help and support for students struggling with challenges associated with sexual orientation and gender identity. Other resources Stanford University offers are QuEst, The Flourish program, SOSAS.


University of Michigan

The University of Michigan has many programs that aim to promote diversity, such as Ross Out for Business, which helps LGBTQ students find social activities, receive mentoring services, and find off-campus recruiting events. There is also the Spectrum Center, which organizes events to help LGBTQ students, some of which are the LGBTQ Ally Development Training, and the My Voice speaker’s program. One 2016 event is the health and wellness week which will address topics, experiences, and issues regarding LGBTQ.


The University of Michigan also provides mentoring services for those thinking about or wanting to discuss their sexuality or gender identity with peer mentors. There are many minors available in the University of Michigan’s Women’s Studies Department regarding gender and sexuality, such as Gender and Health, Gender, Race, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Sexuality Studies (LGBTQS).


Cornell University

Cornell University has had a thriving LGBTQ community and has provided helpful resources since 1994. Their LGBT Resource Center offers many services and opportunities for their LGBT students to receive support. One group they offer is the First Year Queer Connections Group, which helps students transition from high school to their first year of college. There, students receive social and academic support.


Cornell University has many events and organizations to support LGBTQ students, such as the Safer People/Safer Places network which works to reduce phobias related to LGBTQ people, the Lavender Graduation which celebrates special achievements from the LGBTQQIA community at Cornell, and the LGBTW mentoring program. There are also many health services available for LGBTQ students, such as medical care, counseling services, and information related to gender transition.


Brown University

Brown University has made it a great priority to provide support for LGBTQ students. Since 2004, their LGBTQ Center has been providing social events, educational programs, training services, and advocacy to students in their LGBTQ community. They strive to maintain an open and inclusive environment for their LGBTQ community. They also have the Renn Mentoring Program, which helps students connect with faculty who are in the LGBTQ community, as well as the Queer Alliance which participates in community outreach activities.


Students at Brown University have access to STI testing, counseling, psychological services, and support groups. Brown University has a Gender and Sexuality Studies Program which encourages students to explore how differences are produced culturally, politically, and epistemologically.


University of California – Berkeley

The University of California at Berkeley has a gender equality resource center which offers discussion groups, internships, events, a newsletter, and more. Some events they host are the LGBTQ Career Conference, TRANS: A Gender Identity Inclusion Workshop, and many more. They also have SHEP available, which is a group of trained student peer educators who aim to promote sexual health by providing accurate information. For increased support, the Tang Center is available, which is the Health Services department where students can receive medical care and counseling. Some groups at Berkeley that help the LGBTQ community are the National Lesbian Health Organization, Suicide Risk and Prevention for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth, and The National Coalition for LGBT Health.


University of Maryland – College Park

At the LGBT Equity Center, students can enjoy lunch and socialize with others in the LGBTQ community. At the Center, students can be trained in social justice activities through the Rainbow Terrapin Network. Students also have the opportunity to attend a campus-wide LGBTQ event that welcomes new students, fosters networking, and showcases available resources and opportunities on campus and in the community. Students have access to excellent care at the University Health Center where LGBTQ resources are available for promoting health and wellness. At the University of Maryland at College Park, students can minor in LGBT studies.


University of Wisconsin – Madison

The University of Wisconsin at Madison has long been dedicated to supporting and providing resources for their LGBTQ community. They provide many discussion groups to ensure support such as Gender Explorers, Asexual Identities, World Wide Rainbow, and Fluid Sexualities. Their LGBTQ Leadership Institute helps students with the exploration of gender identity and making connections with others. Their Queer Emerging Leaders Program helps students connect and build leadership skills. They have an abundance of course options for those wanting to center their studies around LGBTQ issues, such as The Meanings of Women in Western Culture, Introduction to LGBT Studies, Gender and Language, and much more.


University of California – San Diego

At the LGBT Resource Center, students can connect with the community of LGBT faculty, students, and alumni. They provide information and support to the LGBTQ community and even organize events, such as the an annual pride parade. The Center also offers the Rainbow Newsletter, which keeps students current on queer life and activities at the University of California – San Diego. The Health Services Center is available for LGBTQ students so they can have access to trained counselors who can provide information and support. The University of California at San Diego has a Critical Gender Studies undergraduate program that focuses on the study of gender and sexuality.


Emory University

There are many resources and opportunities available for the LGBTQ community at Emory University. There are several discussion groups, including a Trans-Forming Gender Group and groups for LGBTQ students of color. There are events at Emory University to accommodate the LGBTQ community, such as a pride parade and an annual pride awards ceremony.


The university strives to maintain an understanding and open atmosphere to their LGBTQ community through their Safe Space program, which teaches students, faculty, and staff ways to support the LGBTQ community. They also have Queer Connections events to help students network professionally and make connections with other students, faculty, and alumni. Emory University has programs from their Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department for students looking to center their schooling LGBTQ-related issues.


Pennsylvania State University – Main Campus

At Pennsylvania State University, LGBTQ students and allies have access to the LGBTQA Student Resource Center, which offers discussion groups, mentoring, leadership retreats, and even scholarships. The university also seeks to provide support through their Health Services Center, which is a resource for hormonal therapy programs.


There are many opportunities for LGBTQ students and allies to get involved in the University’s LGBTQA community, such as the Lavender Graduation, which recognizes graduating LGBTQ students; university Park Safe Zone Trainings, which gives information about the LGBTQ community and how to be helpful to them; Spring 2016 Leadership Institute, which is a retreat for LGBTQ students and allies; and Pride Week for all to participate in. There are also workshops that teach about creating an inclusive environment and discuss the intersections of race and queerness.


Pennsylvania State University prides itself on their Sexuality and Gender Studies minor, which gives a thorough understanding of sexuality and gender theory and the major events and movements regarding the LGBTQ population.


University of California – Irvine

The LGBT Resource Center at Irvine University is a great resource for their LGBTQ where students have access to workshops and programs. One of these programs is National Coming Out Week, which gives information on the LGBTQ community as well as an online, anonymous Q&A for students with questions or looking for support. Two other programs are Queer History Week and the Queer talks conversation series. The University of California at Irvine has gender neutral bathrooms as well as LGBTQ housing so that their LGBTQ students can feel comfortable and welcome. Their Health Education Center provides free and anonymous HIV testing, and the LGBT resource center offers information on where to find healthcare that is welcoming to the LGBTQ community. The university has a Gender and Sexuality Studies Department where students can focus their academic studies on LGBTQ issues.


New York University

New York University strives to be welcoming and supportive to the LGBTQ community through their many resources. The NYU LGBTQ Student Center is available for students to engage with LGBTQ-related issues and find support, engage in social events, attend film showings, and much more. The Quench Series is a lunch and discussion series which happens regularly and allows students to share ideas regarding the LGBTQ community. There, issues such as queer mental health and racial justice in the LGBTQ community are discussed. New York University also has several LGBTQ clubs, such as:


  • Aces and Aros (for asexual or aromantic students)
  • Shades (for LGBTQ students of color and allies)
  • Campgirl (for lesbian, bisexual, queer, transgender women, and allies.


Several health services are available to New York University students such as hormonal therapy, social services, HIV testing, and counseling.


Michigan State University

Michigan State University has a multitude of resources available to their LGBTQ community. Their LGBT Resource Center hosts Color Me Queer, a discussion group for LGBTQ students to discuss societal issues related to sexuality and gender, and also contains an LGBTQ library that includes novels, reference books, zines, movies, and more. They keep a calendar of LGBTQ-related events online so students can always stay informed.


The LGBT Resource Center works with Michigan State University to always ensure that the university’s policies are supportive of the needs of their LGBTQ students. Ourspace is another resource, which is a confidential support group for LGBTQ+ students. For students seeking health services or counseling, the MSU Student Health Services is available to provide both medical and psychological care. Hormone therapy is available as well as counseling. Michigan State University also offers a minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Sexuality Studies.


Ithica College

The Center for LGBT Education, Outreach, and Services at Ithica College provides services and opportunities for their LGBTQ community. They aim to enhance understanding of LGBTQ people and issues regarding them by providing educational programs and events, such as a film series, the Rainbow reception, a welcome back social, and Gay Prom. Ithica College also hosts an LGBT awareness month, where students can attend discussion groups, workshops, and learn about issues related to the LGBTQ community. Ithica College promotes gender neutral bathrooms with the Pee in Peace app, which locates the single stall and gender neutral bathrooms on campus. A Women’s and Gender Studies program is available for those hoping to earn academic credit in the area of LGBTQ studies.