Choosing a college is an overwhelming process in and of itself. But for LGBTQ identified folks, the task is all the more intimidating. To succeed academically it’s important to succeed socially; it’s important to think holistically about your well being while in school. We at College Choice have assuaged some of the difficulty in the search by researching the country’s fifty best colleges and universities for LGBTQ.
What does “best” mean exactly? Well, there are several key things LGBTQ folks should consider. Foremost, the university’s non-discrimination policy should include gender expression and sexual orientation. This information is available on all school websites, and if they don’t explicitly promise to protect you, move on. Other things to look for range from comprehensive health care (trans students should have hormone therapy included) to campus safety hate prevention, a faculty board who is queer and trans-inclusive, a curriculum that is representative of LGBTQ voices and histories, and a vibrant Resource Center that facilitates a diversity of events, education, outreach, and programming.
A quick note about the acronym: We realized that acronym “LGBTQ” may not explicitly include your identifier. We don’t mean to be exclusive, but used “LGBTQ” for the sake of consistency. Please know when we say “LGBTQ” we mean those who identify anywhere along the queer spectrum.
Here's what they had to say about the University of Minnesota:
Though many of these best colleges and schools for LGBTQ students are allocated to the West and East Coasts, not all are, such as the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities. (The UM Morris campus also deserves a shout out for being a very welcoming and inclusive campus; see below). Though UM Twin Cities doesn’t match some of the other schools’ retention efforts or campus safety procedures, they excel in healthcare provision, diverse housing options, academic inclusion of queer and trans perspectives, and in their institutional support of LGBTQ students, staff, faculty, and administration.
UM Twin Cities’ demonstrates its inclusive and progressive understanding of LGBTQ through the name of its designated resource center alone: The Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life, which is part of the Office for Equity and Diversity. It is here that many students have gotten involved in the LGBTQ alumni network, the mentorship program, and the international student group. The Center also offers awards, scholarships, and endowments for students who need financial assistance, and they schedule a bunch of LGBTQ specific events each year.
The University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. It is the flagship institution in the greater University of Minnesota System, and it enrolls approximately 50k students, about half of whom are undergraduates.