2018 Best LGBTQ-Friendly Online Schools

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This list of LGBTQ-friendly online schools includes 60 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 three stars or above 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 unique programs available to LGBTQ students at the five-star LGBTQ-friendly online schools.

You can read our full methodology here or learn more about SR Education Group.

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Comprehensive List of LGBTQ-Friendly Accredited Online Schools (60)

School Annual Tuition Campus Pride Index Score
American University Annual Tuition $24,630 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
California State University-Northridge Annual Tuition $17,850 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
Central Washington University Annual Tuition $13,829 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
Clarion University Annual Tuition $8,092 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
Colorado State University-Global Campus Annual Tuition $10,500 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
Columbia University in the City of New York Annual Tuition $25,152 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
East Carolina University Annual Tuition $21,009 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
Eastern Michigan University Annual Tuition $9,840 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
Florida State University Annual Tuition $20,581 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
Georgetown University Annual Tuition $29,520 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
Indiana University - Bloomington Annual Tuition $9,460 Campus Pride Index Score 5.0
IUPUI Annual Tuition $15,263 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
Johns Hopkins University Annual Tuition $13,800 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
Kansas State University Annual Tuition $12,990 Campus Pride Index Score 5.0
Kennesaw State University Annual Tuition $5,970 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
Lehigh University Annual Tuition $16,125 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
Michigan State University Annual Tuition $19,417 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
New York University Annual Tuition $39,524 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
Northern Illinois University Annual Tuition $9,466 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
Northern Kentucky University Annual Tuition $10,380 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
Northwestern University Annual Tuition $19,806 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
Ohio State University-Main Campus Annual Tuition $15,194 Campus Pride Index Score 5.0
Ohio University-Main Campus Annual Tuition $7,290 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
Oregon State University Annual Tuition $12,960 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
Pace University-New York Annual Tuition $16,650 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
Pellissippi State Community College Annual Tuition $21,690 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
Pennsylvania State University-World Campus Annual Tuition $14,594 Campus Pride Index Score 5.0
Portland State University Annual Tuition $11,787 Campus Pride Index Score 5.0
Rowan University Annual Tuition $13,800 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville Annual Tuition $10,500 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
Southern Methodist University Annual Tuition $20,250 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
Texas Tech University Annual Tuition $8,700 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
University of Arizona Annual Tuition $15,000 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
University of California - Los Angeles Annual Tuition $15,451 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
University of Central Florida Annual Tuition $10,866 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
University of Colorado Boulder Annual Tuition $24,000 Campus Pride Index Score 5.0
University of Colorado Colorado Springs Annual Tuition $23,550 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
University of Delaware Annual Tuition $17,550 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
University of Houston Annual Tuition $10,170 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
University of Iowa Annual Tuition $7,486 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
University of Kentucky Annual Tuition $12,412 Campus Pride Index Score 5.0
University of Louisville Annual Tuition $14,910 Campus Pride Index Score 5.0
University of Maine at Machias Annual Tuition $14,680 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
University of Maryland - College Park Annual Tuition $17,295 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
University of Massachusetts - Amherst Annual Tuition $11,700 Campus Pride Index Score 5.0
University of Missouri Annual Tuition $12,063 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
University of Nebraska at Omaha Annual Tuition $11,850 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
University of New Mexico Annual Tuition $10,215 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
University of North Carolina at Greensboro Annual Tuition $20,315 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
University of North Florida Annual Tuition $8,550 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
University of Northern Colorado Annual Tuition $10,800 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
University of Phoenix Annual Tuition $11,940 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
University of Southern Maine Annual Tuition $10,640 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
University of Washington - Seattle Annual Tuition $10,395 Campus Pride Index Score 5.0
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Annual Tuition $11,760 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Annual Tuition $11,670 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
Virginia Commonwealth University Annual Tuition $23,611 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
Washington State University Annual Tuition $11,335 Campus Pride Index Score 5.0
West Virginia University Annual Tuition $11,970 Campus Pride Index Score 4.5
Wright State University-Main Campus Annual Tuition $18,664 Campus Pride Index Score 4.0
Campus Pride Index Scores provided by Campus-Pride-Index-Logo

Five-Star LGBTQ-Friendly Online Schools

To support students in the LGBTQ community, we have created a list of the 11 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. In addition to the overall Campus Pride Index score, schools receive 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 11 schools. Schools are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Online Degrees: 107
  • Annual Tuition: $9,460
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0
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Indiana University has several programs available for LGBTQ students including the well-known LGBTQ alumni program which hosts an annual celebration to honor students of the past and present. There are also several LGBTQ scholarships available to help students without financial support from their family. Indiana University has a standing advisory committee who represents the needs of the LGBTQ student to campus administration. For students seeking academic resources, IU provides access to an LGBTQ library with materials for research and entertainment.

Online Associate Degrees (1)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (16)

Online Master's Degrees (30)

Online Doctoral Degrees (5)

Online Certificate Programs (55)

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  • Online Degrees: 84
  • Annual Tuition: $12,990
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0
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LGBTQ distance students will find that Kansas State University serves them directly in many ways. Its LGBT Resource Center provides students, faculty and staff with information on financial aid, community organizations, events, non-discrimination, and counseling. In addition, it administers four scholarships, including the Rourk LGBT Scholarship and the Mary Kay Siefers Leadership Scholarship, and two ambassadorships, which range in size from $250 to $1,000. The Kansas State University Lavender Alumni (LavAlum) is also an important resource. LavAlum seeks to support and mentor current students, and produces print and electronic newsletters and occasional email event bulletins.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (13)

Online Master's Degrees (40)

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Online Doctoral Degrees (1)

Online Certificate Programs (30)

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  • Online Degrees: 46
  • Annual Tuition: $15,194
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0
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The Office of Student Life at Ohio State University has LGBTQ initiatives and events designed to discredit stereotypes and provide support for all students. This university also has a 101 series of training videos to help educate all students about the LGBTQ+ community. While there are several other on-campus programs, online students can get involved and stay connected through social media. Online courses provide opportunities for students to get to know their fellow classmates, and the official Ohio State Facebook group allows students from all backgrounds and programs to connect and share their experiences.

Online Associate Degrees (1)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (3)

Online Master's Degrees (37)

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Online Doctoral Degrees (3)

Online Certificate Programs (2)

  • Online Degrees: 210
  • Annual Tuition: $14,594
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0
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Pennsylvania State University offers a wide variety of resources to their LGBTQ students, including the LGBTQA Student Resource Center, a department that is accessible to on-campus and online students alike. The department’s online directory provides links to educational resources regarding LGBTQ communities such as the Off Campus and National LGBTQ+ page which contains website links and hotline listings for local, national, and international resources. Penn State University has also developed an informational portal/virtual LGBTQ community. Under the motto “WE ARE One Community,” this online hub provides students with information on LGBTQ organizations such as the Coalition on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (CSOGI). An online discussion board is also available for online students to discuss LGBTQ topics and issues.

Online Associate Degrees (11)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (48)

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Online Master's Degrees (78)

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Online Doctoral Degrees (1)

Online Certificate Programs (72)

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  • Online Degrees: 44
  • Annual Tuition: $11,787
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0
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Portland State University's Queer Resource Center provides online students academic support that includes scholarships and web-related scholarly resources, as well as special crisis support such as the The Trevor Project. This project provides LGBTQ people ages 13-24 with knowledgeable information about queer or trans people via the chat, text, or phone. Trans resources include the Trans Lifeline, the Name/Pronoun Advocacy program, a trans health advocate, and access to national community resources. Additionally, Martha Dyson, an Academic Advisor for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, happily offers personal support to students regarding the intersection of queer experience and spirituality. 

Online Bachelor's Degrees (10)

Online Master's Degrees (14)

Online Certificate Programs (20)

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  • Online Degrees: 44
  • Annual Tuition: $24,000
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0
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The University of Colorado Boulder provides a first-rate online educational experience, featuring online availability to all the same programs and degrees offered to traditional students. This experience is coupled with an inclusive online environment that provides several accommodations and services to the LGBTQ student community. The Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC) is an online resource that offers support to students in the form of one-on-one interaction with staff, student groups, campus departments and community organizations. These services are part of the GSC’s mission to support the academic development of LGBTQ students by utilizing a framework based on "inclusive excellence and social justice." The GSC also offers a newsletter to keep students informed and up-to-date on LGBTQ news and events. All of these services are available on and off campus.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

Online Master's Degrees (24)

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Online Certificate Programs (19)

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  • Online Degrees: 28
  • Annual Tuition: $12,412
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0
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University of Kentucky provides many resources to its LGBTQ student population. The university's Office of LGBTQ Resources is the center for all things relating to sexual diversity and identity, and administers numerous undergraduate and graduate scholarships, research grants, and internships, and promotes student groups such as Queer Project, the Gay Straight Alliance and OUTLaw. It also provides online access to the Student Name Change Request form and the Preferred Name Change form. In addition, UK's Counseling Center, Violence Intervention, and Prevention Center, and Office for Institutional Diversity all create safe environments for the LGBTQ community.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (3)

Online Master's Degrees (13)

Online Doctoral Degrees (1)

Online Certificate Programs (11)

  • Online Degrees: 45
  • Annual Tuition: $14,910
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0
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University of Louisville provides a safe and secure environment for LGBTQ online students. It is home to many student and faculty groups, like Speed Spectrum, a support organization for LGBT and allied students at the J.B. Speed School of Engineering. There is also the LGBT Alumni Network, which was established in 2014, which supports the community through scholarships, educational events, and outreach programs. The Bias Incident Response Team is a group dedicated to proactively responding to incidents of hate and bias. The university offers several LGBTQ-themed scholarships, including the Ken Terrill Memorial Award, which is annually distributed by The College of Arts and Sciences to a student who exhibits exceptional leadership in the LGBTQ community.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (14)

Online Master's Degrees (22)

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Online Certificate Programs (9)

  • Online Degrees: 64
  • Annual Tuition: $11,700
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0
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The University of Massachusetts is home to the Stonewall Center, a historical student affairs center established after a series of anti-LGBTQ incidents in 1984. The Stonewall Center was the third LGBTQ-based student affairs center in the nation and has served as an example for LGBTQ resource centers across the nation. A multitude of resources are available to online students through the Stonewall Center’s web portal, giving online students access to local, state, and national support hotlines and web links alongside the Stonewall Center’s own services. A bias reporting and crisis support help page are among the resources available through the Stonewall Center. By providing these resources and services, Stonewall Center continues its mission to “examine, learn, and understand our collective responsibility to create more inclusive, affirming, and accommodating communities.”

Online Associate Degrees (1)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (22)

Online Master's Degrees (14)

Online Doctoral Degrees (6)

Online Certificate Programs (21)

  • Online Degrees: 39
  • Annual Tuition: $10,395
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0
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The University of Washington is committed to providing accommodations to their online LGBTQ students. The Q Center, a student run LGBTQ resource center, is the primary destination for distance learners and is host to a great number of resources and services. Developed in 2005, the Q center was developed to create an institutional support system that promoted advocacy. Today, the Q Center has grown to include support resources for the growing community of LGBTQ online learners. One of the primary resources the Q Center provides is access to the Q Center blogs: Dear Queer, the Q Blog, and the Qmmunity Quarterly Newsletter. Dear Queer is specifically geared towards online learners who are looking for advice on queer identity.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (2)

Online Master's Degrees (22)

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Online Certificate Programs (15)

  • Online Degrees: 84
  • Annual Tuition: $11,335
  • Campus Pride Index Score: 5.0
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Online students at Washington State University will find that many of the same benefits that on-campus students receive extend to them as well. The Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center (GIESORC) advocates education, empowerment, and engagement to all gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and ally students. The LGBT Cougs is an alumni organization dedicated to providing mentorship and professional networking to the community. The university also provides students with the option to change their name and gender identity on their university records and documents, and to self-identify sexual orientation on admission application or post enrollment forms.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (45)

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Online Master's Degrees (16)

Online Certificate Programs (23)

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References

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This indicates that a school has an annual tuition of $15,000 or less as reported to the National Center for Education Statistics or based on the school's website.