2019 Best LGBTQ-Friendly Online Schools

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 6/8/2020
2019 Five-Star LGBTQ-Friendly Online Schools Badge

This list of LGBTQ-friendly online schools includes 65 accredited institutions that have adopted policies and/or practices that demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity for LGBTQ students. Each school on this list offers at least 15 online degree programs and has earned a score of four or more stars on the Campus Pride Index, a national non-profit that worked with a team of researchers to generate national standards and assessment tools for LGBTQ-friendly institutions of higher education. In addition to this list, we highlight the programs available at the five-star LGBTQ-friendly online schools.

You can read our full methodology here or learn more about OnlineU.

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Comprehensive List of LGBTQ-Friendly Accredited Online Colleges (65)

REFINE YOUR SEARCH
Level
School Annual Tuition Campus Pride Index Score
$25,555 4.5
$21,151 4.0
$8,334 4.0
$26,160 4.5
$21,009 4.5
$11,100 4.0
$16,231 4.5
$20,097 4.0
$53,520 4.0
$9,460 5.0
$28,727 4.5
$13,131 4.0
$13,092 5.0
$6,960 4.5
$24,186 4.5
$8,475 5.0
$20,164 4.0
$37,710 4.5
$9,466 4.0
$13,110 4.5
$36,080 4.0
$24,464 5.0
$13,365 4.0
$16,650 4.5
$23,580 5.0
$14,100 4.5
$20,000 5.0
$16,498 4.0
$11,815 4.5
$9,123 4.0
$20,250 4.0
$42,093 4.0
$11,400 4.5
$15,000 4.5
$15,451 4.5
$9,000 4.5
$9,682 4.5
$26,336 5.0
$17,074 4.5
$25,620 4.5
$7,770 4.0
$12,070 5.0
$14,910 5.0
$14,250 4.5
$9,225 5.0
$11,700 5.0
$11,091 4.5
$11,700 4.0
$10,471 4.0
$9,262 4.5
$8,550 4.0
$10,800 4.5
$11,940 4.0
$10,170 4.0
$30,992 5.0
$10,395 5.0
$12,000 4.0
$10,597 5.0
$11,760 5.0
$16,304 4.0
$24,949 4.5
$11,329 5.0
$10,203 4.0
$18,725 4.5
$18,398 4.0

Five-Star LGBTQ-Friendly Online Colleges

To support students in the LGBTQ community, we have created a list of the 16 schools which meet our minimum of 15 online degrees offered and have earned five out of five stars on the Campus Pride Index.

While some of the Campus Pride Index criteria refer to on-campus communities and resources, many other criteria, including non-discrimination statements and scholarships for LGBTQ students, are relevant to the experiences of online students. Campus Pride also gives schools a sexual orientation score and a gender identity/expression score. These scores are based on a variety of factors in categories including the following:

  • LGBTQ Support & Institutional Commitment: this category encompasses criteria such as the existence of resource centers for LGBTQ students, active efforts to hire LGTBQ faculty and staff, and LGBTQ alumni groups.
  • LGBTQ Policy Inclusion: criteria in this category include non-discrimination statements, the option for students to self-identify gender identity/expression and sexual orientation on school documents, and health insurance coverage for employees' same sex partners.
  • LGBTQ Academic Life: this category includes the existence of LGBTQ studies programs or course offerings and training opportunities for faculty and staff that relate specifically to sexual orientation and gender identity issues.

Using schools' websites and online resources, we conducted extensive manual research to compile information about each of the top-ranked schools. Below we highlight specific LGBTQ-friendly undertakings at these 16 schools. Schools are listed in alphabetical order.

#1 Indiana University - Bloomington

  • Annual Tuition: $9,460
  • Locations: Bloomington (IN)
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0

At Indiana University Bloomington, students have access to the LGBTQ+ Culture Center, which strives to meet the needs of LGBTQ+ individuals via community building, support services and advocacy work. Developed collaboratively with other academic departments, the Center provides inspiring experiences and events that help students learn about the diversity on campus. It offers student-led mentoring, counseling services and access to supportive social groups as well as support for students who are transitioning. It also makes multiple scholarship opportunities available to LGBTQ+ students. In addition, the LGBTQ+ Culture Center publishes maps for gender-inclusive on-campus restrooms, provides access to the LGBTQ+ Library’s resources and offers free HIV testing. IU offers online undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates. Online courses are taught by the same professors that teach on campus.

#2 Kansas State University

  • Annual Tuition: $13,092
  • Locations: Manhattan (KS)
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0

Kansas State University’s LGBT Resource Center is available to students, faculty, staff and community members. Through curricular and co-curricular activities on campus, this initiative is devoted to providing programs, outreach and education for the LGBT community and allies. It sponsors the Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA), the Gender Collective, oSTEM programming and advocacy, LGBTQ-friendly scholarships and more. The Safe Zone program on campus assists students who have been victimized or affected by sexual violence or harassment. K-State offers a variety of affordable online bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, certificate, endorsement, minor, and professional development programs. Distance students have access to many resources including academic advising, IT support, and the chance to participate in on-campus commencement ceremonies.

#3 Lehigh University

  • Annual Tuition: $8,475
  • Locations: Bethlehem (PA)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0

The mission of the Pride Center for Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity at Lehigh University is to build a just, equitable world for everyone through community building. At the Pride Center, students, faculty, staff, alumni and parents and guardians have access to the Pride Center Library and a multitude of resources, from mentoring services, counseling and psychological services to information for LGBTQIA+ individuals interested in studying abroad. LGBTQ students can easily execute name and gender identity changes online. Lehigh University’s LUally training is available online for individuals interested in being an ally to the LGBTQ community. Lehigh offers graduate level online degrees and certificates, and courses are delivered both synchronously and asynchronously.

#4 Portland State University

  • Annual Tuition: $23,580
  • Locations: Portland (OR)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0

The Queer Resource Center at Portland State University offers an inclusive environment for students across the gender and sexuality spectrum. Initiatives include educational panels, training and a wealth of online information and scholarly research for gender and sexuality studies. In addition, the Queer Resource Center hosts LGBTQ-friendly events and connects students to programs and resources in the local community. Portland State hosts a Queer Students of Color program, the Interpersonal Violence Support program and the Trans program, all with ample resources. Support services and resources are available to LGBTQ students around coming out, faith and spirituality, crisis and their academic careers. PSU offers a wide variety of certificate, undergraduate and graduate degrees online that offer students academic rigor, esteemed faculty and interaction with peers.

#5 Rutgers University

  • Annual Tuition: $20,000
  • Locations: New Brunswick (NJ)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0

The Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities at Rutgers University endorses a supportive environment for students of all backgrounds, with a focus on gender and sexuality. The Center sponsors both social and educational opportunities for leadership, identity and social justice advocacy development. LGBTQ students and allies have access to the Cultural Center Collaborative and an array of diverse and inclusive LGBTQIA student clubs and organizations. Students can attend multiple LGBTQ-friendly events and programs including safe space workshops and training. The Rutgers Q-nnected is a weekly Listserv guide featuring LGBTQ-friendly information and issues. Rutgers offers many online degree and certificate programs in a variety of fields.

#6 Ohio State University-Main Campus

  • Annual Tuition: $24,464
  • Locations: Columbus (OH)
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0

Through the Multi-Cultural Center at Ohio State University, LGBTQ students and allies have access to a variety of services such as signature events, LGBTQ student support, leadership development and educational programs. The Center hosts monthly LGBTQ-friendly events and Q*mmunity dialogues. Students also receive support for coming out. LGBTQ-friendly housing, restrooms, crisis support, health and wellness services, mental health services, career resources and financial aid opportunities are also available. In addition, students can attend LGBTQ-friendly consortiums, retreats, conferences and other leadership events. Individuals can access the Safe Zone Project and 101 Series to learn more about LGBTQ people and communities in local and national contexts. OSU offers online certificate, associate, undergraduate and graduate degrees. All online programs are taught by the same faculty that teach on campus.

#7 University of Colorado Boulder

  • Annual Tuition: $26,336
  • Locations: Boulder (CO)
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0

The Center for Inclusion and Social Change at the University of Colorado Boulder offers students access to monthly and annual LGBTQ-friendly events and recurring programs such as the bi-weekly Bring Your Own Gender (BYOG) meeting and the Queer Women in Community (QWIC) bi-weekly get-togethers. Students can also participate in workshops relevant to LGBTQ issues, such as LGBTQ Inclusion Safe Zone training and Intersectionality training. Students have access to student support groups and transitioning LGBTQ students are provided with additional resources. Transgender students can rely on TransLifeline, a 24/7 hotline that offers support to the trans community. The school provides online courses, certificates, and graduate degrees that are identical to the programs delivered on campus.

#8 University of Kentucky

  • Annual Tuition: $12,070
  • Locations: Lexington (KY)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0

LGBTQ students at the University of Kentucky receive a multitude of resource and support services through the Office of LGBTQ Resources. Through the Audre Lorde Social Justice Living Learning Community, LGBTQ students can explore and participate in social justice advocacy for intersecting identities such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity. LGTBQ students have access to healthcare and counseling services that suit their needs. A liaison program between the university police department and the Office of LGBTQ Resources ensures the safety of students and supports ongoing dialogues between diverse groups on campus. LGBTQ internships, scholarships and awards are also available. UK Online offers certificate, undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of fields. Distance students are provided with resources including academic advising, library access and financial aid.

#9 University of Louisville

  • Annual Tuition: $14,910
  • Locations: Louisville (KY)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0

The LGBT Center at the University of Louisville works to inspire and sustain an inclusive campus community. Through a partnership between the LGBT Center and the university’s Health Services Center, students can participate in the eQuality program and Safe Zone training. They can receive support for transitioning and other LGBTQ-specific health related issues and concerns. The LGBT Center also provides resources for studying abroad as well as information about scholarships. The university is home to LGBTQ-friendly groups and organizations; all UL students are encouraged to attend or organize speak-out panels to advocate for LGBTQ issues. UofL offers online certificates, teaching endorsements and undergraduate and graduate degrees. Online classes are taught by the same faculty that teach on campus and are delivered through the Blackboard system.

#10 University of Maryland - College Park

  • Annual Tuition: $9,225
  • Locations: College Park (MD)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0

At the LGBT Equity Center at the University of Maryland - College Park, students have access to the Rainbow Terrapin Network for training and webinars. Many LGBTQ-friendly organizations and weekly discussion groups are presented on campus by the Pride Alliance. Other LGBTQ resources include campus-wide liaisons and the LGBT Studies Library. Students are encouraged to become part of the Speakers Bureau to promote awareness and advocacy for the LGBTQ community across campus and to facilitate ongoing inclusive discussions. The school offers a number of online graduate programs that are delivered through the Enterprise Learning Management System, which provides access to course content and interactive tools including discussion groups and live chats. Distance students have access to a variety of online resources through the library website.

#11 University of Massachusetts - Amherst

  • Annual Tuition: $11,700
  • Locations: Amherst (MA)
  • Accreditation: NECHE
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0

LGBTQ students can attend workshops and support groups through the Stonewall Center at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. The Center also offers HIV and STI testing twice a month. There are LGBTQ-supportive groups at UMass for religious students, oSTEM students and members of the Pride Alliance. The university can provide LGBTQ students with guides and information regarding gender-inclusive restrooms and information on campus, as well as gender-inclusive places and activities in the local community. Other LGBTQ-friendly initiatives include the weekly Queer-e-newsletter, hotlines, emergency support and bias reporting. The school offers online classes, certificates, undergraduate and graduate degrees that offer the same academic rigor as their on-campus programs. Distance students have access to academic advising as well as the school’s expansive electronic research database.

#12 The University of Texas at Dallas

  • Annual Tuition: $30,992
  • Locations: Richardson (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0

At the University of Texas at Dallas, LGBTQ students have access to robust LGBT+ services through the UT Dallas Student Counseling Center. The Center offers a gender and sexuality consultation team, gender confirmation procedures and other LGBTQ-friendly resources. The university's Galerstein Gender Center also hosts the LEAP Initiative, which promotes LGBTQ advocacy, education, empowerment and connections. LGBTQ students and their allies are encouraged to participate in National Coming Out Day, the Dallas Pride Parade, the Transgender Day of Remembrance and other LGBTQ-friendly programs and events. UT Dallas offers several online courses, certificates and master’s degree programs. Each course is unique because it is designed by the professor who teaches it, but common elements of web-based courses include streamed audio lectures, online exams and quizzes, and email exchanges.

#13 University of Washington - Seattle

  • Annual Tuition: $10,395
  • Locations: Seattle (WA)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0

Primarily run by students, the Q Center at the University of Washington - Seattle hosts groups and events that promote LGBTQ awareness and community throughout the year. The Q Center offers weekly gender discussion groups and a Queer Mentoring program. All students at the university have access to the Center's Marsha P. Johnson Memorial Library, which holds some 1,500 books, zines and films on LGBTQ issues. In addition, students can subscribe to the CampusQ newsletter to stay up to date on LGBTQ issues and promote campus-wide activism. The school offers multiple online resources to help students navigate daily LGBTQ life on and off campus. Distance students can take online classes or earn a certificate, undergraduate or graduate degree through UW Online.

#14 University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

  • Annual Tuition: $10,597
  • Locations: Green Bay (WI)
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0

At the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay, LGBTQ students can turn to the services and resources on offer through the Pride Center. The Center hosts LGBTQ-friendly affinity groups such as the Asexuality Social Group and the Bisexual and Pansexual Social Group. It also provides resources for transgender individuals undergoing a name change. UW students can learn about LGBTQ-friendly events and LGBTQ resources in their local communities. They also have access to works published by the Pride Press. SAFE Ally training is available to LGBTQ-friendly students who want to learn more about LGBTQ issues and advocacy. The school has online undergraduate and graduate programs that offer convenience and flexibility to distance students. As of Fall 2019, all courses will be delivered through the Canvas learning management system.

#15 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

  • Annual Tuition: $11,760
  • Locations: Milwaukee (WI)
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0

The LGBT Resource Center at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee strives to offer a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ students and their allies across campus. The LGBT Resource Center hosts programs such as the UWM Pride Discovery Camp and the annual Drag Show. LGTBQ students have access to support and resources for coming out and transitioning. The university sponsors workshops related to LGBTQ issues and trans issues. UWM also offers crisis support, inclusive housing and LGBTQ-friendly health and wellness resources. UWM offers online courses and degree programs that are taught by the same faculty that teach on campus. Distance students have access to many online resources including tech support, writing support, online tutoring and an online library.

#16 Washington State University

  • Annual Tuition: $11,329
  • Locations: Pullman (WA)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0

At Washington State University, LGBTQ students can find resources and support through the Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center (GIESORC). The Center provides a safe space with study tables, computers and games where LGBTQ students can study and relax. Training and education related to LGBTQ issues are also available and anyone can sign up for the GIESORC newsletter. Additionally, GIESORC is a co-host of the annual UndocuQueer Conference. Students may obtain information on multiple national hotlines, trans-friendly healthcare providers and LGBTQ-friendly scholarships. WSU offers a variety of online programs including undergraduate and graduate degrees, certificates, and teaching endorsements. Distance students receive many support services including academic advising, 24/7 tech support, and free online tutoring.

References

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