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US Universities Welcome LGBT Students

campus life
advice for students
By Shorelight Team
Published on June 24, 2021

International LGBT students are welcome at US universities and encouraged to be their whole selves. Shorelight universities have many resources, organizations, and support services for LGBTQIA students.

A female international student seen from behind holds her hands in a heart shape in front of a rainbow Pride LGBT flag

Many US universities are committed to campus communities that celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially LGBTQIA students and staff. In the United States, international LGBTQIA students can feel comfortable and supported on campus – because when you are able to be your whole self, you thrive.  

In honor of Pride month, we’ve gathered LGBTQIA resources and organizations at every Shorelight university. Our campuses are leading the way in creating supportive and nurturing spaces for international LGBTQIA students – in fact, the experts at BestColleges named four Shorelight universities the “Best College for LGBTQ+ Students” in their state!

LGBTQ+ Adelphi at Adelphi University

Adelphi, with two campuses in Garden City and New York, New York, celebrates LGBTQ+ students with its Gender and Sexuality Alliance organization and inclusive events such as Coming Out Day, Pride Week, and Transgender Awareness Week, among others. Campuses have all-gender bathrooms, gender-inclusive housing, and a Safe Zone Training program to ensure everyone feels welcome.  

Learn more about LGBTQ+ Adelphi >>

LGBTQA Outreach at American University

American University’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion is committed to inclusive practices across campus curriculum, policies, activities, and more. LGBTQA students can request a LGBTQ peer educator; access guides for Trans Resources, pronoun use, and more; and opt for LGBTQA-supportive housing and/or health services. 

Learn more about LGBTQA Outreach at American >>

LGBTQ+ Resources at Auburn University

Auburn’s Office of Inclusion, Equity and Diversity (OIED), within the College of Science and Mathematics, aims “to inspire everyone to take courageous steps towards all aspects of equity and inclusive excellence. We strive to make those on Auburn University’s campus feel comfortable and safe, so they can prosper and excel.” OIED offers extensive materials for LGBTQ+ students studying science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as partnership initiatives with Spectrum, Auburn’s Gay-Straight Alliance student organization.   

Learn more about LGBTQ+ Resources at Auburn >> 

LGBTQ+ Student Services at Cleveland State University

CSU supports LGBTQ+ students with dedicated services, events, and even funding: Resources include the $500 Annual LGBTQ+ Student Services Scholarship, Lavender Graduation honoring new LGBTQ+ grads, preferred name policies, and more.  

Learn more about LGBTQ+ Student Services at Cleveland State >>

LGBTQ Resources at Florida International University

FIU has a dedicated Pride Center that sponsors ongoing education, advocacy, and celebratory events to “create an environment of empowerment, affirmation, and inclusion for all Panthers representing diverse genders and orientations.” Extensive student resources and organizations include the LGBTQA Ambassador program, Stonewall Pride Alliance, Safe Zone training and spaces, and LGBTQIA mentors. 

Learn more about LGBTQ Resources at FIU >> 

Lincoln LGBTQ+ Resource Center at Gonzaga University

On Gonzaga’s campus, the Lincoln LGBTQ+ Resource Center serves as a dedicated safe and inclusive space for students to “relax with people who will not only accept you, but also … to develop holistically.” Designed as an alternative to a traditional library, the center invites “any students with a desire to self-educate on queer culture and identity … to come by to engage and collaborate with us.” Within Gonzaga’s College of Law, the Lincoln LGBTQ+ Rights Clinic provides education, programming, advocacy, research, and legal representation to protect and advance the equal rights of LGBTQ+ people. 

Learn more about the Lincoln LGBTQ+ Resource Center at Gonzaga >> 

The LGBTQ+ Project at Louisiana State University

Named the Best College in Louisiana for LGBTQ Students, LSU’s LGBTQ+ Project and Safe Space campaign aims to create a welcoming and supportive campus community through training, programming, and events, with both university departments and student organizations taking active roles. Additional accolades include honors from Out for Work for the LSU Olinde Career Center for “providing superior workplace and career readiness resources” to LGBTQIA students.   

Learn more about The LGBTQ+ Project at Louisiana State University >> 

LGBTQ+ Services at the University of Central Florida

As the Best College in Florida for LGBTQ Students, UCF’s LGBTQ+ Services aims to connect communities across campus and create safe and friendly policies so everyone feels supported. As just one example, the Lavender Council, a student advisory board, works with students, faculty, staff, and the LGBTQ+ Services office to develop programs, advise groups on best practices, and raise awareness how to build and foster a more inclusive campus. 

Learn more about LGBTQ+ Services at UCF >> 

LGBTQ+ Student Services at the University of Dayton

The Student Government Association at the University of Dayton passed a resolution in 2014  requesting additional resources and services for the LGBTQ+ community. Today, there are dedicated staff to ensure LGBTQ+ students are being welcomed and heard on campus, an LGBTQ+ and Allyship Ministry, ally training, a Google Group, and more.  

Learn more about LGBTQ+ Student Services at the University of Dayton >>

Gender and Sexuality Center at the University of Illinois Chicago

BestColleges designated UIC the Best College in Illinois for LGBTQ Students, in part for UIC’s Gender and Sexuality Center; Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People; and multiple programs and organizations that create an inclusive campus. Initiatives include a Trans Resource Guide (including medical and housing info), a Flex Space gallery for exhibits and gatherings, and (during COVID) robust virtual programs.  

“UIC demonstrates a strong commitment to all its community members (faculty, staff, and students) as not just a 'safe space' for LGBTQ students, but an open and welcoming space,” says Marshall Houserman, director of admissions. “With recent perfect scores in the Campus Pride rankings related to housing and student life, all LGBTQ international students will feel UIC's commitment to openness and inclusion. LGBTQ international students doubly feel the weight of welcomeness, acceptance, and inclusion – not just as a student from a different background but as a student whose sexuality may be different from their peers as well. At UIC, both those identities are welcomed and celebrated.”

Learn more about the Gender and Sexuality Center at UIC >> 

Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity at the University of Kansas

KU’s Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity provides social justice-based education, resources, and advocacy efforts that “support, uplift, and celebrate the success of queer and trans students, faculty, staff, and community members at the intersections of identity.” In addition to administering ongoing events and programs, the Center sponsors an annual awards ceremony honoring outstanding LGBTQIA students, faculty, alumni, campus programs, and research, as well as scholarships.    

Learn more about the Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity at KU >>

Queer Student Center at UMass Boston

The Queer Student Center at UMass Boston serves as a campus hub to support the development of LGBTQ+ and ally student leaders. Past events at the center have included queer open mic nights, self-advocacy workshops, drag bingo, and interactive body positivity gatherings, among other activities.  

Learn more about the Queer Student Center at UMass Boston >> 

LGBTQ+ Programming & Initiatives at the University of Mississippi

At Ole Miss, the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies and the Center for Inclusion & Cross Cultural Engagement cover programming, policy, and advocacy for the LGBTQIA community. Campus activities include the community-building Pride Camp, LGBTQ+ History Month celebrations (October), Lavender Graduation, and the Oxford Pride Parade. Additionally, Ole Miss’s online Pink Listings showcase welcoming faith communities, merchants and venues, and legal and mental health services in Oxford and beyond. 

Learn more about LGBTQ+ Programming at Ole Miss >> 

Pride Resource Center at the University of the Pacific

Pacific’s Pride Center manages educational programming, social gatherings, and events that champion dignity, respect, and inclusion for the LGBTQIA community. Typical activities include Intercultural Student Success Conversations, virtual community discussions, and peer support groups, with both in-person and virtual options to meet student needs during the pandemic. 

Learn more about the Pride Resource Center at Pacific >> 

LGBTQ+ @UofSC

More than 14% of first-year students identify as LGBTQ+ at the University of South Carolina. As part of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, LGBTQ+ @UofSC provides resources and support, on campus and beyond, for LGBTQ+ students and allies. Standout initiatives include the Queer Connections First Year Experience, where incoming first-year students can take part in an orientation program during their first six weeks in fall to acclimate to campus life, build supportive relationships, and get familiar with UofSC’s resources and opportunities for the community. 

“The University of South Carolina is an inclusive environment for all,” says Lauren Stone, managing director of the International Accelerator program at UofSC. “Students, faculty, and staff are all able to list their pronouns and gender identity in university medical and education records. We also have many campus and community groups and support resources to ensure that our LGBTQ+ students feel like the valued members of the Carolina Community that we know them to be. Pride Month has brought a wealth of related activities, not just here on campus, but throughout the community.”

Learn more about LGBTQ+ @UofSC >>

LGBT Resource Center at the University of Utah

As the Best College in Utah for LGBTQ Students, the University of Utah’s LGBT Resource Center empowers students to explore their identities, find community, and become social justice leaders. During the pandemic, activities and resources went online, with a virtual student lounge and virtual office hours as just two examples among the center’s many digital offerings. In addition to a mentor/mentee program, Queer Conversations summer book club, and fun events like Fabulous Fridays, the LGBT Resource Center also assists students with scholarships and even emergency funding.  

Learn more about the LGBT Resource Center at Utah >> 

LGBTQ+ international students are welcome and supported at US universities. When you come here to study, you can explore your identity and study with confidence. Shorelight universities want you to know: You are welcome here. You are supported here. We look forward to having you as part of our campus communities!

Shorelight can help you find your best-fit US university >>