CHECK YOUR GAY-DAR | America’s 50 Best LGBT-Friendly Colleges and Universities

Are you college-bound and gay? Want to openly matriculate as a lesbian? Maybe you are bisexual or a transgender spirit. According to College Choice, the University of Pennsylvania might be your best and gayest diploma-mill pitstop.

50-best-lgbt-friendly-colleges-and-universities-300x270Or you can hit up Williams College and Amherst College, which came in second and third respectively in College Choice‘s 2016 ranking of the 50 Best LGBT Friendly College and Universities.

It is not uncommon for public and private universities alike to offer gender-neutral restrooms in many of their buildings and gender-inclusive housing where students may room with whoever they choose. Some schools now offer LGBTQ majors and minors in a range of departments and study abroad programs that focus on gender and sexuality.

The University of Pennsylvania, commonly known as Penn, was founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1740 and is one of the country’s Colonial Colleges, established before American Revolution. It is an Ivy League research university located in Philadelphia, regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

By Bryan Y.W. Shin — One lazy spring day, College Green, at U of Penn

Founded over 30 years ago, Penn’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center is one of the oldest LGBTQ centers in the country. The Center offers mentorships, study space, events, as well as outreach and education for the wider university. Staff at the Center also advocate on “behalf of Penn’s LGBT community for sensitive and inclusive University policies and practices.” In addition to the Center, the university also has the Lambda Alliance, an umbrella advocacy group for queer students on campus. The Lambda Alliance’s purpose is to advance the “causes of legal and social LGBT equality on campus.”

The University of Pennsylvania leads the ranking, which evaluated and ranked schools based on publicly available information on accreditation, Campus Pride rating, academic reputation, student satisfaction, affordability, average financial aid awarded, and return on investment.

In addition to U of Penn, Amherst and Williams College, other universities making The 50 Best LGBT Friendly College and Universities include (alphabetically ordered):

  1. American University, Washington, DC
  2. Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN
  3. Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME
  4. Carleton College, Northfield, MN
  5. Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

  6. Columbia University, New York, NY
  7. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  8. Davidson College, Davidson, NC
  9. Duke University, Durham, NC
  10. Elon University, Elon, NC

  11. Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI
  12. Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA
  13. Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IL
  14. Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
  15. Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY

  16. Lawrence University, Appleton, WI
  17. Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN
  18. Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ
  19. New York University, New York, NY
  20. Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

  21. Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
  22. Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
  23. Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  24. Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
  25. San Diego State University, San Diego, CA

  26. Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY
  27. Tufts University, Medford, MA
  28. University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
  29. University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
  30. University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA

  31. University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO
  32. University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
  33. University of Maryland, College Park, MD
  34. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Amherst, MA
  35. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

  36. University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN
  37. University of Minnesota, Morris, Morris, MN
  38. University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL
  39. University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
  40. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

  41. University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
  42. University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  43. University of Wisconsin — Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI
  44. University of Wisconsin — Green Bay, Green Bay, WI
  45. University of Wisconsin — Madison, Madison, WI

  46. Washington State University, Pullman, WA
  47. Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis, MO

According to Christian Amondson, Managing Editor of College Choice, what started over 20 years ago as small student-led movements to address and support the needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) students, staff, and faculty, has since developed into large public policy level changes on many campuses across the country.

This ranking highlights the best universities in the country at committing time and resources to equipping their students, staff, and faculty with tools that encourage education, support, safety, and inclusion campus-wide for the LGBTQ community and its allies. — In the Culture of One World


About Randy Gener | is a NYC-based production, event and media project devoted to U.S. news, foreign diplomacy, cultural issues, innovative art projects and journalism in the public interest. Learn more about the proprietor at

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