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The computer science field has received excellent job growth projections and offers high salaries, making now a smart time to earn a computer science degree. In response to the underrepresentation of some groups in the computer science field, many schools increasingly recognize the importance of encouraging and supporting racial, gender, ability, and LGBTQ+ diversity in computer science programs.
The best computer science colleges for LGBTQ+ students offer excellent computer science programs and inclusive policies, practices, and organizations. LGBTQ+ students identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and many other identities, often referenced using a plus sign.
This list of schools of the best computer science colleges for LGBTQ+ offers a great starting place in your search for computer science programs.
What to Look for in a Top Computer Science School for LGBTQ+ Students
The best computer science schools for LGBTQ+ students share many qualities. Below, we explain what to look for to find the top colleges for LGBTQ+ computer science majors.
Robust Computer Science Department: No matter your sexual orientation or gender identity, look for a strong computer science department. Indicators of a good department include prestigious awards, strong student employment and graduation data, and indications of qualified faculty. LGBTQ+ Organizations, Clubs, and Activities: The best computer science colleges for LGBTQ+ students usually offer inclusive clubs, organizations, and activities. These resources let students know that their prospective college likely has a visible, welcome LGBTQ+ community for making friends and finding support. LGBTQ+ Representation in Faculty, Staff, and Guests: Look for colleges with visible LGBTQ+ representation in faculty, staff, and guests. Staff representation indicates a welcoming and inclusive environment that values and respects LGBTQ+ people. LGBTQ+ Health, Safety, and Housing Support: LGBTQ+ students may experience prejudice, discrimination, and harassment due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. They may seek extra support and resources for basic necessities related to health, safety, and housing.
Common Questions About LGBTQ+ Computer Science Schools
How do you know if a college is LGBTQ+-friendly?
The best computer science colleges for LGBTQ+ students offer inclusive and welcoming programs, policies, and practices. They ensure LGBTQ+ safety, support, and access to resources. Check the Campus Pride Index to find hundreds of the most LGBTQ+-friendly campuses.
What percentage of college students are LGBTQ+?
In 2018, the Association of American Universities found that 17% of 180,000 undergraduate and graduate students surveyed identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, queer, or questioning. The survey also found that 1.7% of respondents identified as trans, nonbinary, or questioning.
How many LGBTQ+ professionals work in computer science?
Reliable data is limited, so the exact numbers of LGBTQ+ computer science professionals can be difficult to calculate. Some research shows that LGBTQ+ workers in STEM think they get access to fewer career opportunities.
What challenges do LGBTQ+ students face in college?
LGBTQ+ college students may face prejudice, discrimination, and even harassment or violence. If they do not attend supportive and LGBTQ+-friendly schools, they may not feel like they can comfortably be public about their LGBTQ+ identity on campus.
Top 5 Schools for LGBTQ+ Computer Science Students
To determine the top computer science schools for LGBTQ+ students, we began with our proprietary ranking methodology. This reliable, data-driven methodology considers academic quality, program availability, affordability, and reputation.
To qualify for this ranking, schools could not be on Campus Pride's index of the worst colleges for LGBTQ+ students. The top results from our initial evaluation were then ranked by examining their LGBTQ+ student, faculty, and staff resources.
Amherst College, a private school in Amherst, Massachusetts, ranks among the best computer science colleges for LGBTQ+ students. Amherst offers a computer science bachelor's program and courses for non-major students.
Its computer science department hosts events and talks, offers summer undergraduate research opportunities, and is home to a permanently endowed fund that supports Amherst's computer science fellowship program.
Computer science-related student groups include chapters of Women in Computer Science and Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM). Amherst's oSTEM provides a safe space for talking about LGBTQ+ experiences in STEM.
Amherst's institutional support of the LGBTQ+ community includes numerous LGBTQ+ student spaces and organizations. LGBTQ+ student groups include Amherst Athletes & Allies, a safe place for queer and trans athletes, and Pride Alliance, a campus-wide organization advocating for the LGBTQ+ community on and off campus.
Estimated Tuition and Fees, 2021-22: $57,640
Acceptance Rate: 11%
Graduation Rate: 95%
Pomona College is a founding member of the Claremont Colleges, a consortium of seven colleges and graduate schools located within one square mile of each other in Claremont, California. Students can attend one of the best computer science schools for LGBTQ+ students while accessing resources from other institutions.
Pomona's Computer Science Department offers an undergraduate major and minor in computer science. Enrollees can work on research projects with faculty members, complete independent senior projects, and attend bi-weekly meetings focused on current issues in the field.
Pomona LGBTQ+ students and allies can access the Queer Resource Center (QRC) of the Claremont Colleges. The QRC houses more than 2,000 LGBTQ+-related books and movies and hosts numerous events each semester. Students can use the center's lounge and lobby for organizational meetings, meeting friends, and doing homework in a welcoming space.
Estimated Tuition and Fees, 2021-22: $54,380
Acceptance Rate: 7%
Graduation Rate: 93%
A private liberal arts school in Middlebury, Vermont, Middlebury College offers a computer science bachelor's degree that ranks among the best computer science colleges for LGBTQ+ students. Computer science majors can join a chapter of Women in Computer Science and the Middle Endian Club, which fosters a computer science community.
Middlebury's Anderson Freeman Resource Center offers a safe and welcoming space for the LGBTQ+ campus community. The center hosts events like Pride Week, Coming Out Campfire Stories, and Lavender Graduation. IT also organizes a peer mentorship program, queer sex education workshops, and the annual Northeast Queer and Trans People of Color Conference.
Other resources that support LGBTQ+ students at Middlebury include access to all-gender housing and restrooms.
Estimated Tuition and Fees, 2021-22: $55,790
Acceptance Rate: 15%
Graduation Rate: 93%
University of Minnesota Morris
The University of Minnesota Morris offers an undergraduate major in computer science as one of the top computer science schools for LGBTQ+ students. This public university in Morris, Minnesota, opened in 1960.
Students can join the Computer Science Club to meet other computer science majors and learn about career and graduate school information. Undergraduate students can participate in computer science research through its Undergraduate Research Opportunities and Morris Academic Partnership programs. The computer science program also offers internship opportunities.
Morris offers various resources and support to LGBTQ+ students, including its Resource Center for Gender, Women, and Sexuality safe space on campus.
The school maintains policies that stipulate non-discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. University faculty, staff, and students meet bi-weekly to serve on a Queer Issues Committee that promotes understanding and awareness of LGBTQ+ issues.
Estimated Tuition and Fees, 2021-22: $12,324
Acceptance Rate: 57%
Graduation Rate: 58%
University of California, Berkeley
Students looking for the best computer science colleges for LGBTQ+ should consider the University of California, Berkeley, a public land-grant institution founded in 1868. The Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in computer science.
Berkeley's Gender Equity Resource Center and Queer Alliance Resource Center offer an affirming safe space, LGBTQ+ resources, advocacy, support, and education. Annual LGBTQ+ events include a Lavender Graduation, National Coming Out Week, QT Pie: A Queer, Trans, LGBTQ+ Welcome Event, and the LGBTQ+ Career Conference.
University Housing at Berkeley accommodates gender-inclusive and LGBTQ+-affirming housing requests. The school's Division of Equity & Inclusion works to integrate diversity and equity into all aspects of campus life, including a gender recognition and lived name policy that ensures the university recognizes each student by their preferred gender identity and name.
Estimated Tuition and Fees, 2021-22: $11,442
Acceptance Rate: 16%
Graduation Rate: 93%
Reviewed by: Angelique Geehan
Angelique Geehan works to support and repair people's connections with themselves and their families, communities, and cultural practices. A queer, Asian, gender binary-nonconforming parent, Geehan founded Interchange, a consulting group that offers anti-oppression support.
She organizes as part of several groups, including the National Perinatal Association's Health Equity Workgroup, the Health and Healing Justice Committee of the National Queer and Trans Asian and Pacific Islander Alliance, QTPOC+ Family Circle, and Batalá Houston.
Angelique Geehan is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education Integrity Network and has reviewed the introductory matter only, not the ranked programs.
Angelique Geehan is not affiliated with the schools in the ranking.
Page last reviewed Jul 9, 2022
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