With over a million members spread across 700 universities, National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) is the nation’s largest and most prestigious student honor society.
The organization set out to determine which of the country’s top alma maters are contributing the most dedicated resources to their LGBTQ+ student body; from gay Greek life to on campus counseling and support, below is their list of the 10 most LGBTQ+ Friendly Colleges and Universities in the U.S.
1) Rutgers: Boasting the first openly gay Dean who lives his truth, Perry Halkitis, classes in gender, sexuality, and identity, a mentorship program for queer students, and a Center for Social Justice Education & LGBT Communities, NSLS says the NJ school creates the ultimate inclusive setting for diverse students.
Halkitis says, “Many of the units of Rutgers have actively sought to be safe environments where SGM student, faculty and staff feel safe and heard and that the intersectional identities of SGM individual are understood and elevated. Second, SGM-specific educational programming has proliferated, For example, Rutgers SPH has developed the world’s first MPH concentration in LGBTQ+ public health. Clinical care services for SGM individuals have also proliferated include the PROUD Center at RWJ Hospital. Finally, many Rutgers leaders who are SGM are open about their identities and are nationally recognized figures.”
2) University of Washington: Putting LGBTQ students front & center, U. of Washington offers a Major in Gender & Sexuality Studies, and the O Center promises ‘community, education, advocacy, love and celebration’ for the LGBTQ community.
3) Ohio State: The home of the Buckeyes provides LGBTQ students many resources and services designed specifically for them, including metal health, tutoring, and networking organizations such as Out in Business. The campus has an LGBTQ fraternity called Phi Alpha Kappa.
4) University of Massachusetts: In addition to robust educational programs and advocacy workshops, the schools Amherst Stonewall Center, was established in 1985 to provide physical & mental health services, making it the oldest college LGBTQ organization in the U.S.
5) Texas A&M: In addition to a wealth of social opportunities, the San Antonio campus’ ‘Pride Center’ is designed to empower LGBTQ students to make the most of their education, pairing them with mentors based on their interests,
6) San Diego State: Offering a full social & academic calendar designed for LGBTQ students, with groups such as the Queer Student Union, and Womyn’s Outreach Association, as well as a number of ‘Greek’ events. SDSU’s Pride Center is dedicated to providing Queer, Trans, and gender non-conforming students with the support they need to make the most of their college years.
7) University of Maryland: The College Park campus’ LGBTQ Equity Center is dedicated to providing ‘inclusive programming’ to the school’s diverse community. In addition to ‘student life programming,’ the Center offers leadership training to the next generation of social justice advocates.
8) Montclair State: With one of the most inclusive campus environments in the nation, with a number of programs plus the Stonewall Suites, an on-campus LGBTQ residential community, Montclair is an ideal school for queer students who want to build strong community.
9) Metropolitan State University of Denver: The school’s LGBTQ Resource Center is West Colorado’s first LGBTQ+ campus support organization. Founded in 1992, it’s become a safe space, and resource center designed to give LGBTQ+ students a place to gather.
10) University of Oregon: Named the most inclusive college in the state, the University’s LGBT Education & Support Services department offers social & academic organizations for students to engage and network within their community.
“We reviewed over 700 schools across the U.S. looking at a number of factors that set our top picks apart. The universities at the top of our list have:
- One on one mentorship opportunities for LGBTQ students seeking additional support.
• Substantial social groups, including LGBTQ Greek Life, to help students build a community on campus, and maintain a historic level of visibility.
• A dedicated center specifically for LGBTQ students
• Healthcare, mental health, and other social services specific to LGBTQ needs
• Top scores on Campus Pride Index.
“We were so humbled by how much work these colleges and universities have done to support LGBTQ students, and how truly challenging it was to narrow down this list to a top ten,” said Tierney Wade, NSLS’ Vice President.