10 of the Most LGBTQ-Friendly US Universities 2015 | Top Universities

10 of the Most LGBTQ-Friendly US Universities 2015

By Sofia Konstantzou

Updated September 18, 2017 Updated September 18, 2017

Click here to view the most LGBTQ-friendly universities in the US in 2017.

Each year the Campus Pride Index releases a list of the most LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities in the US. Based on assessments of 8 factors, this index aims to help LGBTQ students have a positive college experience, while raising awareness about the importance of ensuring all campuses are safe, welcoming and respectful.

Below, we list 10 of the 25 most LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities identified by the Campus Pride Index this year (listed in no particular order).

1 . Cornell University 

Founded in 1865 and ranked 17th in the QS World University Rankings® 2015/16, Cornell University is situated in Ithaca, in the state of New York. It has a student population of 21,500, representing 50 US states and more than 120 countries. Fees for in-state students amount to US$30,910, and for out of state students $47,050. In the Campus Pride Index 2015, Cornell scored 4.5 out of 5 stars, achieving the top rank for LGBTQ Student Life, Campus Safety, and Counselling and Health.

Cornell University

2. Ohio State University   

Established in 1870 and currently ranked 99th in the world based on the latest QS World University Rankings, Ohio State University is located in Columbus, Ohio, a city of approximately 836,000 inhabitants. It boasts a student community of more than 63,000, with 500,000 living alumni and 12,000 courses available. In the latest Campus Pride Index, the university bears 4.5 out of 5 stars, achieving a 5/5 score for LGBTQ Student life, Counselling and Health, and Support and Institutional Commitment.

Ohio State University

3. Tufts University

Founded in 1852 and currently ranked 252nd in the world, Tufts University is another of the leading US universities. It has a total of four campuses (Medford/Somerville, Boston, Grafton and Talloires, France) and approximately 11,000 students. It scores 5/5 stars in the latest Campus Pride Index and operates a dedicated LGBT center with services to support its LGBT students, including advocacy, counselling, trainings and workshops.

Tufts University

4. University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Located in 1,450 acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (UMass Amherst) currently has 28,500 students and boasts $200 million in research awards. In terms of its LGBT inclusiveness, an 18-year-old first year transgender student at the college says: “As someone who identifies with the LGBT community, it was immediately a welcoming environment for a freshman like myself. Finding a way to feel like I’m in a small community within such a large campus is the greatest feeling in the world.” Needless to say, UMass Amherst scores 5/5 stars in 2015’s Campus Pride Index.

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

5. University of Washington

Ranked 65th in the latest QS World University Rankings and founded in 1861, the University of Washington is one of the oldest US universities on the Pacific coast. It is comprised of three campuses: Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma. With 5/5 stars in the Campus Pride Index, it is apparent that diversity is integral to the university’s culture, while the university’s Q Center embraces all students, regardless of gender and sexuality.

University of Washington

6. University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Located in Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota is one of the most prestigious and comprehensive public US universities. Recently ranked by Forbes as one of the US’s best educational employers, the university extends across four campuses: Twin Cities, Duluth, Morris, and Crookston. It is the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St Paul) campus, established in 1851, that gains 4.5/5 stars in the Campus Pride Index, excelling in the categories of LGBTQ Student Life, Academic Life, Housing, and Counselling and Health.

University of Minnesota Twin Cities

7. University of Vermont

The University of Vermont was founded in 1791 and is the fifth oldest university in New England (after Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth and Brown). It is located in Burlington, Vermont’s largest city (population of approx. 43,000) and has more than 200 student clubs and organizations. Given the fact that it was the first institution of higher education to declare public support for freedom of religion and the first university to admit women and African-Americans into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, it comes as no surprise that the University of Vermont achieves 4.5/5 in the Campus Pride Index.

University of Vermont

8. University of Pennsylvania

Situated in Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania – ranked 18th in the QS World University Rankings 2015/16 – has long been committed to excellence in scholarship, learning, access and affordability. Founded in 1740, Penn has a long history of diversity and inclusiveness, and its commitment to being one of the US’s most LGBTQ-friendly colleges is recognized in its 5/5 score in the Campus Pride Index. Penn President Amy Gutmann says, “What diversity means today is also meaningful for the whole history of racism, sexism and classism in this country: it’s working at breaking down the barriers to opportunity, to a really excellent education and to really open leadership in our society.”

University of Pennsylvania

9. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

Founded in 1965, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay initially had an environmental sustainability orientation – represented by its green and white branding colors – but now offers a diverse array of degrees. It has a thriving community of more than 6,500 students and the phoenix for its mascot. Its Pride Center’s mission is to identify and respond to the needs of LGBTQ students, as well as providing them with high-quality support services and a safe environment. With 4.5/5 in the Campus Pride Index, the university is well-established among the most LGBTQ-friendly colleges in the US.

University of Wisconsin Green Bay

10. Elon University

Founded as Elon College in 1889, Elon University is a private liberal arts university in Elon, North Carolina. The university has 150 campus organizations and programs and strongly encourages freedom of thought and liberty of conscience. Diversity is at the core of Elon’s mission, something which is evident in its Gender and LGBTQIA Center. Compared to the 2014 Campus Pride Index, Elon University this year climbed 250 places, achieving 4.5 out of 5 stars overall, making it another great choice for LGBT students.

Elon University

This article was originally published in September 2015 . It was last updated in September 2017

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Written by

Sofia formerly worked for QS's social media team. She holds a Master of Arts in Brands, Communication and Culture from Goldsmiths, University of London. She is originally from Athens, Greece.

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