Most LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges in the U.S.

on May 4, 2017

For LGBTQ students, measuring the quality of a college’s on-campus resources for the LGBTQ community is a crucial step when choosing a future college. In 2016, the Campus Pride Index rated more than 56 universities as five-star, LGBTQ-friendly institution. Now, more colleges than ever are providing students with mentors, resource centers, identity-related events and health care. Here are some of the nation’s most supportive institutions of higher education.


University of Pennsylvania


This university makes it to the top of nearly every list of this kind, primarily for its renowned UPenn LGBT Center, which offers mentorships, support groups and more than 25 student organizations for undergraduate and graduate intersectional interests. The center provides weekly programming, advisors, travel funds and faculty affiliate information to students. It's the oldest resource center of its kind in the country, having been around for more than 30 years.


University of Texas — Austin


UT Austin has more than 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university’s Gender and Sexuality Center is celebrated for its highly organized system of LGBTQ health care advisors, job and internship opportunities, monthly speaker series, student discussion groups and vast queer media library. Campus security, LGBT awareness and solidarity amongst students also are top-notch, building a successful program of support both institutionally and in the student body.


Pomona College


Pomona belongs to the network of Claremont Colleges, meaning it has access to the expansive Queer Resource Center, which provides students with resources and advice in the areas of education, advocacy and support. The library has more than 1,200 LGBTQ books and movies available and students can study or meet in the rainbow ski lodge, which has a rainbow flag painted on the wall. The director of the QRC also is available for drop-in office hours, where students can ask for help with academics, student organizations and their personal lives.  


University of Maryland — College Park


UMCP, which offers mixed-gender housing starting in freshman year, recently added Prince Frederick Hall to its residences. The hall was constructed as gender-neutral housing, where students can apply to live without specifying their gender. The LGBT Equity Center and Rainbow Terrapin Network provide training to all students on campus about how to ally with and support their fellow LGBTQ students and companions. The Center’s library is extensive, with an online catalog for students to use when searching its more than 3,000 books and media resources.


University of Michigan


Located in Ann Arbor, Mich., this large public school is one of the best in the nation both academically and for its support of its LGBTQ students and faculty. Aside from its leading Women and Gender Studies Program, the university also offers guidance and mentorship to the LGBTQ community with its on-campus Spectrum Center. The center is a hub for many active student organizations, as well as a spring of information for students seeking LGBTQ health care or medical attention, personal counseling and assistance with campus safety.

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