This ranking of the 2021 Best Business Schools for LGBTQ examined the top business schools from around the country to identify those that provided the most friendly and inclusive spaces for students identifying as LGBTQ. According to a study by Campus Pride, nearly 25% of LGBTQ+ students and faculty members reported being significantly more likely to experience harassment than their heterosexual counterparts. Also, LGBTQ students and staff members were significantly less likely to feel comfortable within the on-campus environment. These findings reveal the need for universities, colleges, and business schools to take active measures against LGBTQ discrimination and harassment ― measures that, in part, will ensure that LGBTQ students feel safe and welcome to attend and excel in their business classes.
Best Business Schools for LGBTQ
LGBTQ students have historically been underserved and misrepresented by a heteronormative culture. Thankfully today, many academic institutions are taking steps to create policies and environments that meet students’ current needs with a broad spectrum of gender and sexual identities. Additionally, business schools around the nation are intentionally providing space for LGBTQ business students with business school specific policies, clubs, resources, and gender inclusive spaces. Here is a ranking of the nation’s best business schools for the LGBTQ community.
Our 2021 ranking of the Best Business Schools for LGBTQ ranks the top business schools in the country that are intentionally focused on providing an inclusive environment for LGBTQ business students. We collected a list of business schools based on their Campus Pride Index, the Princeton Review LGBTQ Friendly Ranking, and the College Consensus LGBTQ Friendly College Ranking. This data was scored, averaged, and placed on a 100-point scale for their LGBTQ Friendly Score. This score informed the ranking order. In the event of ties, business schools were then ranked upon their College Consensus Score. This score combines ranking information from five top ranking systems: Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, The Financial Times, The Economist, and Bloomberg Businessweek.
The University of Pennsylvania delivers the country’s best business education experiences for members of the LGBTQ community at the Wharton School. Wharton has committed to changing the way business is done in America and across the globe. Its students, alumni, and instructors generate ideas, reinforce them with analysis, and transform them into ingenious business solutions. The Wharton School’s purpose is to educate, inspire, and inform leaders who meet the world’s complex and complicated issues, advance business theory and practices, and drive economic development at the global level. Known by many business leaders as the “World’s First Business School,” Pennsylvania’s Wharton has been the place where visionaries, trailblazers, and innovators have gotten their start for nearly 140 years. Entrepreneur and American industrialist Joseph Wharton established the world’s first business school at the University of Pennsylvania. Since then, Wharton leaders continue to innovate to meet the never-ending demand for fresh ideas, deep insights, and transformative leadership practices. Its undergraduate and graduate programs are designed to equip business students with the in-depth foundations they will need to succeed.
The University of Washington delivers one of the nation’s best business educations for the LGBTQ community members at the Michael G. Foster School of Business. UW Foster operates as a world-class business school within a pioneering city situated on the Pacific Rim. The best and brightest leaders on the planet are there, applying ingenuity to serve humanity. Community is the heart of who Foster is, and it is why it starts its purpose statement with “together.” The business school’s approach relies on nurturing innovation, imagination, and curiosity to solve unstructured, real-world issues. It gathers insights by listening and hearing each other. It finds strength in originality and diversity. Foster is also a community that champions inclusion, diversity, and equity perspectives. Out in Business sets up all Foster MBA students to be leaders in LGBTQ+ inclusion in business, both through offering a welcoming community for all LGBTQ+ students and demonstrating the need for equality in industry. OiB aims to accomplish all of this through activities created to build community. LGBTQ students will love all that Foster has to offer.
The Max M. Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University is one of America’s top business schools for members of the LGBTQ community. Business school leaders understand that there will always be a need for the intent and accurate study of accounting, logistics, finance, management, marketing, and management sciences. They exist as the building blocks of a successful career. But an effective modern business education is one that prepares business students for immediate relevance and lasting impact. Fisher College of Business believes business leadership depends on a distinct and nuanced set of skills for a world that’s changing at an unprecedented pace. Entrepreneurial leadership and innovation create new markets and disruption overnight. A robust global presence challenges familiar traditions and creates untold partnerships. The central themes of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit are essential to what distinguishes Fisher students when entering the workforce. All students, including those who identify as LGBTQ+, are encouraged to take advantage of all Fisher offers. Out in Business is one of the available resources. It exists to unify and advocate for all Fisher College of Business students and is one reason potential business students should consider Ohio State.
One of the nation’s best business schools for LGBTQ students is Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. The business school features a top-tier business education centered on guiding all students toward their own real success. Leaders at the Kelley School of Business are in the business of creating career momentum. Its students come in with the talent to succeed, hone the humility to grow, and develop the tenacity to persevere. That spirit—combined with a business education that only Kelley School instructors can deliver—results in business graduates with the skills and knowledge needed to meet modern challenges, make positive change possible, and instantly contribute to their organizations. Kelly has its roots in the first business course available at Indiana College in Bloomington in 1830. The college grew to be Indiana University, and the School of Commerce and Finance was then established in 1920 before becoming the Kelley School of Business. Kelly has offered business courses at its Indianapolis campus since 1916. Its timeline showcases more than a century of business excellence. The LGBTQ+ Culture Center is a proud asset of Kelly’s and welcomes students from all walks of life.
The UC Boulder’s Leeds School of Business provides one of the nation’s best educations for LGBTQ students. Leeds is actively transforming the future of business worldwide by educating and inspiring tomorrow’s business leaders. Boulder, Colorado, exists as one of the most innovative startup and tech hubs in the nation. Because of this, Leeds’ students are surrounded by and vitally connected to a dynamic, enterprising, and collaborative business community. Its faculty of top international academic trailblazers provide all business students with educational expertise in accounting, real estate, finance, marketing, management, and entrepreneurship. Leeds School of Business leadership believes in making positive impacts. By transforming business education, influencing innovation, and advancing entrepreneurial mindsets, it works daily to improve the future of global business. One way it does this is through Leeds PRIDE. It is an organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students and their allies at CU Boulder. Its goal is to provide a place for safety and healing as students are encouraged to become leaders within business and the community.
One of the nation’s top educational opportunities for members of the LGBTQ community is available at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. At the Smith School of Business, inspired business training is its business. Its faculty is world-class, and its research is cutting edge. Smith’s learning is experiential and based in the real world. Its students learn to think and act like entrepreneurs. The business school’s community of scholars and practitioners supports expert learning while equipping all types of students to succeed in a contentious marketplace. Its broad range of degrees, programs, and certificates are designed to equip working professionals to start their careers at full speed in a world economy that is always evolving, with global competition and technology accelerating the pace of change. The Smith Pride Alliance is a support group for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer+ MBA at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. This group will serve as a real asset for all LGBTQ students enrolled at Smith.
One of the nation’s best educational opportunities for the LGBTQ community members is offered at the Rutgers Business School. With competitive, top-ranked programs serving undergraduates and graduate students, Rutgers Business School features a high-value education designed to prepare all business students to conquer significant challenges and seize opportunities in today’s professional landscape. Students choose Rutgers Business School because of its close proximity to the global business epicenter of New York City. Going there means they will be immersed in a supportive and highly collaborative academic environment that combines intimate class sizes with a highly relevant curriculum taught through innovative learning methods. Rutgers’ first LGBTQ student group emerged in 1969. The LGBTQ center was founded in the early ’90s. Rutgers has continued to foster support through policies and programs like trans-inclusive student health insurance, a preferred identity system, expanded housing availability, and self-serving LGBTQ identification on enrollment forms for incoming students. This business school has it all.
One of the nation’s best business schools for LGBTQ community members is the Columbia Business School at Columbia University. The business school is based in New York City, the worldwide hub of business. Columbia Business School gives its entrepreneurial and diverse students regular access to influential industry leaders. Its renowned faculty members operate at the forefront of their fields, leading groundbreaking research across multiple disciplines. Business school leadership is equally committed to developing scholars and teachers while creating and disseminating groundbreaking knowledge, tools, and concepts that advance management’s comprehension and practice. This is accomplished through faculty research and Ph.D. programs. Besides stellar academic programs, Columbia Business School offers Cluster Q. It exists as the business school’s LGBTQ Business Association and stands as a welcoming community for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer students, faculty, staff, and administrators. Cluster Q’s membership is one of the premier LGBT groups among the world’s best business schools and boasts the largest representation of allies among all business schools.
The University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business offers one of the country’s top educational experiences for members of the LGBTQ community. Michigan Ross is comprised of researchers, leaders, and lifelong learners who create innovative solutions to the world’s most vital and complex business issues. It is a highly ranked business school that offers action-based business education that prepares its graduates for the ever-evolving world. Its impact travels well beyond the classroom as it aims to set a new standard in business and business learning. Academic excellence for the public good can never exist mutually exclusive from a commitment to inclusion, diversity, and equity. Ross creates a culture in which its students and staff are challenged and inspired through diverse perspectives. At Ross, the differences are what help make it great. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is also available to provide students with the access, resources, tools, and information to ensure inclusive programs and spaces for all individuals. It is easy to see why the Stephen M. Ross School of Business is an excellent LGBTQ student option.
Stanford University provides one of the best business educations in the nation for members of the LGBTQ community at the Graduate School of Business. It is where the boundaries of business knowledge are pushed beyond the status quo; where diverse perspectives and ideas aren’t just accepted, they’re embraced and encouraged. Principled leaders emerge in this unique environment of collaboration and innovation. Students, staff, faculty, and alumni develop the courage to take calculated risks, the passion for leading, and the motivation to positively impact themselves and the world. GSB’s mission is to create ideas that deepen and advance the understanding of management and apply those ideas to develop insightful, innovative, and moral leaders who change the world. The Stanford Graduate School of Business believes in the spirit of endless possibilities. So, it takes chances, challenges conventional thinking, invites and embraces diverse ideas, and prioritizes inclusion and acceptance of the LGBTQ community.
The Krannert School of Management at Purdue University provides one of the nation’s best business school educations for the LGBTQ community members. Students envisioning themselves as business leaders will appreciate the Krannert School of Management. It focuses ambitions by equipping business students with the leadership experiences, research capabilities, critical thinking skills, and professional networks they will need to excel. As a top-ranked business school within a university at the forefront of STEM education, Krannert offers its students a unique competitive edge that few schools can match. Krannert specializes in an analytical, problem-solving brand of business training and a pragmatic, get-the-job-done approach that’s ultimately about learning how to operate in new ways. At the same time, students are immersed in a collaborative, work-ethic culture that centers on soft leadership skills. The business school is committed to helping students develop and communicate a vision while successfully engaging with others to move that vision forward. Krannert OutSource strives to create a supportive environment for prospective and current students, increase awareness of LGBTQ issues, and operate as a resource for networking, educational, and professional opportunities at Krannert and the surrounding community.
The Raymond A. Mason School of Business at William & Mary is one of the country’s top business schools for LGBTQ graduate students. Almost from its outset in exploration, commerce, risk, and reward, William & Mary has catalyzed the ideas and the people who would go on to change the world. William & Mary is known by many as the Alma Mater of the Nation because the leaders who have had such a lasting impact on the shaping of our democracy — John Marshall, Washington, Jefferson, Patrick Henry, James Monroe — either studied there or walked its pathways and cobblestones debating the merits of a people rooted in “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The voices of our nation’s builders still echo through the halls at William & Mary. The Mason School of Business still embraces the spirit of revolution by educating leaders who will imagine tomorrow’s great business opportunities and seize them. The Mason Alliance provides support for LGBTQ students and their allies who possess an interest in business. Students looking for an LGBTQ-friendly business school will want to take a look at Mason.
The Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University is one of the nation’s LGBTQ-friendly business schools. NYU Stern provides an ear and a voice for all students, faculty, and staff concerning Inclusion, Diversity, Belonging, and Equity (IDBE). The business school works with all of these communities to pursue a culture that lives up to these terms’ true meaning. NYU Stern IDBE focuses on developing the skills to confront bias, collaborate and support those who are different from others, and celebrate success in doing so. OutClass exists as NYU Stern’s official LGBTQ+ organization. Powered by its stellar members and faculty, it advocates and creates safe spaces for LGBTQ+ identifying individuals and allies on the NYU campus. The business school is also an active participant in Reaching Out MBA. This organization educates, inspires, and connects gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer MBA students. The NYU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Student Center strives to create a welcoming environment for all students and faculty interested in LGBTQ issues. There is much support for the LGBTQ community at Stern.
MIT’s Sloan School of Management exists as one of the nation’s best business schools for the LGBTQ community. MIT Sloan exists as a different kind of management school. It does not exist to iterate on a better widget, cash in on the latest business trend, or even talk about management in the abstract. As a valuable part of the world’s top research institution, it brings together today’s sharpest minds to address global issues. Sloan is exploring the future of work at the intersection of technology and business. The business school is in the business of launching companies that benefit local economies in the developing world. MIT’s business school is also retooling systems to make health care more efficient and engage people worldwide to address climate change. Students at Sloan have access to many kinds of opportunities, practical learning, and global experience. Sloan Pride at MIT is a student organization that fosters and promotes an open and honest environment for all gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer students, partners, allies, and staff in the Sloan community.
Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business is one of America’s best business schools for LGBTQ graduate students. Tuck currently offers a top MBA, executive education programs, and maintains six centers that exist to forge pathways of theory and praxis for MBA students. The business school provides a diverse set of experiences, engagement, opportunities, and experiential learning both on and off-campus through a concert of courses, programs, and offerings with instructors, faculty, practitioners, alumni, and community members. While Tuck hosts many centers focused on specific industries, students are encouraged to engage and collaborate with all centers. By taking advantage of the business school’s cross-center opportunities, business students can aptly customize their Tuck MBA experience. The centers include the Revers Center for Energy, the Center for Digital Strategies, the Center for Health Care, the Center for Private Equity and Venture Capital, the Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Center for Business, Government & Society. LGBTQ students will enjoy access to Tuck Pride. This resource and support group provides a social and support network for LGBTQ students within the business school, fosters connections with LGBTQ alumni, and serves as a resource for prospective Tuck students.
One of the nation’s LGBTQ-friendly business schools is the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. UVA Darden School of Business understands the nation’s expectations of responsible leadership in business. With a balanced group of degree and non-degree programs bolstered by leadership research and ideas, Darden takes a unique approach, forged from a place of intent and purpose. The Darden School influences the world by inspiring responsible leaders through unique transformational learning experiences. Degree programs include a full-time MBA with eleven dual-degree programs. Executive MBA formats are matched with a Master of Science in Business Analytics, delivered in partnership with the UVA McIntire School of Commerce. The school also features a Ph.D. Pride at Darden is a student-led organization that nurtures a supportive environment for the LGBTQ+ community. The business school also hosts an annual “Love is Love” event. Members of the LGBTQ community looking for a high-quality business school will want to give Darden a second look.
The SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University is one of the country’s best business schools for LGBTQ graduate students. SC Johnson College is known for its spirit of collaboration and vision. The business school is led by practical problem solvers who embrace data and technology as powerful business tools. Most importantly, they develop people-centered leaders who are encouraged to create sustainable, shared prosperity. The Cornell SC Johnson College’s collective research pedigree and its small size complement each school’s specialized industry focus, expertise, and network. The Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, School of Hotel Administration, and Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management are all housed within the business school. The Johnson LGBTQ and ally organizations exist as significant assets to the DNA of Cornell’s student body. Out for Business is the LGBTQ student organization at Johnson. It exists as a highly active student community designed to foster a healthy environment by building a professional network for all its members and allies.
UCLA’s Anderson School of Management exists as one of the nation’s LGBTQ-friendly business schools. UCLA Anderson is not content with how things are but instead looks to the future to discover and forecast what will be in business. Anderson exists as a community defined by the three core qualities of sharing success, thinking fearlessly, and driving change. Program leaders describe themselves as impatient unless they can measure their efforts against measurable impact. UCLA Anderson features both degree and non-degree programs to meet all students’ unique educational needs and professional goals. [email protected] serves UCLA Anderson’s exciting business leaders who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+). It builds community by providing leadership development opportunities to members while advocating and educating on their behalf throughout the broader business landscape. [email protected] works to accomplish this in conjunction with Anderson allies, alumni, the Los Angeles and UCLA communities, and the greater business community.
The University of Minnesota features one of the country’s best business schools for LGBTQ students in the Carlson School of Management. Business school leaders are committed to fostering an inclusive, diverse community that encourages all to strive for their full potential through learning, service, and working. By sustaining and enhancing an ethical, culturally grounded, and anti-discriminatory institution, the business school equips tomorrow’s business leaders to live the “business as a force for good” values. The LGBTQ Community at Carlson and Compass at the Carlson School are two organizations that LGBTQ business students can become a part of while pursuing a degree at the business school. In addition to those organizations offered at the University, Carlson is home to many different resources and staff members focused on inclusion and diversity, LGBTQ community building, and events and activities that encourage positive, open conversations. Compass is the first queer-inclusive student group centered on professional development, mentorship, and career exploration.
The Simon Business School at the University of Rochester is one of the nation’s best business schools for LGBTQ business students. The business school’s programs have one goal in mind: student success. In business, the challenges are complex, the competition is intense, and the solutions aren’t always obvious. To succeed in such a strained environment takes more than perseverance and hard work. Business leaders need to be analytical. They need to gain the skills necessary to analyze issues and create innovative business strategies. Simon Business School graduates effectively communicate their work and influence the most crucial business decisions, thanks to the support of world-class instructors and a diverse community. With various perspectives and backgrounds to share, Simon students get firsthand experience on how to turn their unique qualities into a competitive edge. Rochester’s business school stands firmly against bigotry, hatred, and discrimination of any kind. It is committed to battling ongoing injustice against people of color and sexual orientation through education and empowerment.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison provides one of the nation’s best business educations for the LGBTQ community at the Wisconsin School of Business. Established over a century ago, the Wisconsin School of Business was one of the nation’s first five business schools. That entrepreneurial fire remains lit today. Found within one of the world’s leading public research universities, the Wisconsin School is a vibrant training community that honors its university’s dedication to research and public service. They want to address the world’s most complex issues. The Wisconsin School of Business is uniquely positioned to redefine the partnership between the business community and higher education. Working together, they foster a passionate and diverse community of leaders, scholars, and learners to address business opportunities, inspire leadership, and improve lives worldwide. All inclusion and diversity programming at the Wisconsin School of Business is influenced by academic research. All LGBTQ students will feel welcome at the Wisconsin School.
The Goizueta Business School at Emory University is one of the country’s LGBTQ-friendly business schools. As many already know, business is a vehicle competent at delivering meaningful, lasting impact to society-at-large, and embracing this view results in unlocking our collective ability to innovate and influence in the most fundamental ways on the most pressing topics. For over a century, Goizueta Business School has been a breeding ground for principled leaders and a practical laboratory for powerful insights. Its history includes an ethos of ethical business that empowers all to strive for lifelong progress. It seeks to convene the brightest minds to solve the most significant challenges with integrity, grit, and ingenuity by navigating the complex interdependency of society and business. At Goizueta, diversity is a dedication to question, challenge, and shape the unique perspectives that will influence an industry’s future. It exists as a commitment to transform traditional fields of business. Goizueta Business School endeavors to engage the best talent and equip community members to become principled leaders in a diverse society.
One of the nation’s best business schools for LGBTQ students is Washington University in St. Louis’ Olin Business School. The Olin Business School challenges graduate students to look beyond the bottom line and make thoughtful decisions that benefit society and business. Its global mindset, coupled with experiential learning and analytical rigor, prepares business students to power through modern times’ most significant challenges and opportunities. Enrolled students of all kinds embrace an entrepreneurial spirit that is encouraged to question current models and open doors for positive progress and inclusive business paradigms. Today’s most successful organizations support a triple bottom line focused on financial, social, and environmental goals – or profit, people, and the planet. These objectives are of equal importance to the acceptance of LGBTQ students at Olin. There are currently just over 2,200 students enrolled at the business school with eleven degree programs to choose from. All students will enjoy access to the 140 staff members who work at Olin.
The Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis, is one of America’s best business schools for LGBTQ-friendly education. The business school’s nationally and internationally recognized business programs are centered on preparing the next generation of innovative, inspired, and collaborative leaders dedicated to making a positive impact. The university’s four campuses encompass Northern California’s economic megaregion and distance learning with the inaugural University of California Online MBA. Incoming students are encouraged to immerse themselves in a close-knit community that challenges others to achieve, helps them to succeed, and builds trust as collaborative leaders. Graduate School of Management students and alumni make a positive impact every day, leading global teams, consulting for clients, and launching new ventures. Business school leaders encourage potential students to learn more about its degree programs, international recognition, and trailblazing faculty research by contacting a school advisor. UC Davis’ GSM Pride Network exists to connect gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer-identified students and allies to the broader queer community at UC Davis. It is one reason why this business school should be at the top of any LGBTQ graduate student.
One of the nation’s best business educations for LGBTQ students is currently available at the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. The Eccles School is dedicated to giving its students a premier educational experience. Business school leaders understand that higher education is a crucial investment. They are committed to providing the services that help business students navigate their paths by providing the professional and student opportunities they need to become successful. The David Eccles School of Business fosters an inclusive culture by embracing equity and diversity in all of its many forms. It is essential that its students, instructors, faculty, and guests feel represented and included at the Eccles School. Eccles insists on a climate of equity, diversity, and inclusion, not only because it creates a safe place for everyone but because all are better and more empathetic when we learn what it is like to see someone else’s perspective. The University of Utah and the David Eccles School of Business offer initiatives, clubs, events, and many other resources to nurture an inclusive environment.
Babson College delivers one of the nation’s best graduate business educations for LGBTQ students at the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business. Business school leaders are continually working to improve inclusion and equity. It stands enriched by a diversity of races, perspectives, cultures, and backgrounds—united by a shared vision of creating positive change in the world. Babson defines diversity as the sum of ways we are different within the context of underrepresentation/underserved identities, social identities, and historical issues of disparity, bias, access, and equity. Inclusion is the understanding and practice that all types of people belong as full members of a community. The Olin climate is where all people, regardless of identity, feel welcomed, rewarded, included, and acknowledged. Just over a decade ago, the Diversity and Inclusion Council started with the notion that instead of having a small task force, single individual, or department tasked with recognizing diversity, it should engage the entire community in the pursuit of diversity and inclusion. Babson is an excellent choice for members of the LGBTQ community.
The University of California San Diego’s Rady School of Management is one of America’s top business schools for LGBTQ graduate students. Rady develops entrepreneurial and ethical business leaders who strive to positively impact the world through knowledge, innovation, and collaboration. For years, UC San Diego has been recognized as one of the world’s top universities for its high-quality programs. It is aptly able to attract, train, and yield a culturally diverse, international student body. Rady School leaders embrace cultural inclusion as essential to the DNA of the school. Diversity is foundational to creativity, innovation, insight, and especially to understanding. All of these priorities contribute to the mosaic that makes the Rady School so extraordinary. The San Diego community is known the world over for its keen social commitment, intellectual stimulation, cultural enrichment, and global understanding of diverse populations. All LGBTQ students enrolled at Rady will feel welcomed and engaged within this excellent business school.
The Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati operates as one of the country’s LGBTQ-friendly business schools. Business school leaders empower business decision-makers to tackle the world’s issues and challenges. They fuel professional growth through their distinctive combination of academic and hands-on experiences: their problem-solving mindset, inclusive community, cooperative education, flexible pathways, and Cincinnati setting. By leveraging the power of inclusive and academic excellence, the Carl H. Lindner College of Business enables transformation marked by a student focus. A high priority at Lindner is student success. Graduates can expect to enter the marketplace having developed problem-solving capabilities that enhance the world. Curricula within the business school nurture impactful thought leadership, create knowledge that drives academic fields forward, and inspire learning while informing practice. Pride at Lindner exists to promote an empowering and inclusive environment for all LGBTQ students, staff, and community allies within the Lindner College of Business.
One of the country’s best business schools for LGBTQ graduate students is American University’s Kogod School of Business. Business school leaders believe in learning by doing. Kogod’s programs are firmly planted in experiential learning, giving all students the real-world skills they need to develop or advance their business expertise. American University features a full-time master’s in business administration (FTMBA), as well as seven concentrated Master of Science (MS) programs in accounting, taxation, analytics, finance, real estate, marketing, and sustainability management. Learn about all of our graduate degrees. Kogod Pride is the business school’s LGBTQ support organization. The Kogod School of Business welcomes and celebrates individuals from all backgrounds. With the help of student input, it strives to create an inclusive environment that supports, encourages, and celebrates a myriad of diverse voices. Business school students enrolled at Kogod are sure to appreciate how the differences in cultures, beliefs, and ideas deepen their understanding of each other. This makes them stronger global citizens and business professionals.
The Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire stands as one of the nation’s best business schools for LGBTQ students. Business school leaders hope to excite all students about their learning, empower them to make the most of their academic and community life, engage them in powerful educational experiences, and prepare them to excel in their careers as they build meaningful lives. Paul College prepares students for fulfilling careers and lives that make an impact. Driven by an unwavering dedication to excellence in research, teaching, and business engagement, it empowers students with the academic foundation, specialized skills, knowledge, and hands-on learning experiences they need to develop as principled, well-rounded, and hard-working leaders. All students are encouraged to get involved in all that Paul has to offer in business education. Relationships with students do not end on graduation day or when they move on to successful careers. The Paul Diversity and Inclusion Working Group welcomes new members and outlines unique diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goals annually. It is one reason LGBTQ students should find a business degree at the University of New Hampshire.
One of the nation’s LGBTQ-friendly business schools is the W. A. Franke College of Business at the Northern Arizona University. The W. A. Franke College of Business joins the best minds in business. It is how it delivers solutions to today’s global market demands. Franke offers experiences its students can’t find anywhere else as it prepares the most promising talent to become leaders in a quickly changing, continually evolving global business arena. The business school is home to big-picture thinkers who understand the need for connections. Connections accelerate progress, drive careers, and help move the world. The Queer and Allied Professional Leadership Council is a club aimed at including students from all backgrounds in a service-oriented and discussion-based community within the business college. W. A. Franke College of Business leaders maintain diverse, close-knit classes consisting of students from all walks of life—first generation, out of state, urban, veteran, and rural. LGBTQ students will thrive at this top-shelf business school.
Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business is one of the nation’s best business schools for LGBTQ graduate students. McDonough School of Business’ mission is to build global business knowledge while inspiring ethical leaders who serve the common good. Its challenging curriculum is overseen by a diverse group of instructors that includes world-class professors engaged in pioneering research, instructors who have nonprofit, corporate, and government leadership experience, and business leaders who mentor students interested in starting businesses. McDonough offers a wide variety of programs that accommodate all types of students, from college graduates just entering business careers to seasoned professionals looking to rework their careers. Building on its Jesuit heritage, the business school emphasizes collaboration over competition. This priority results in a supportive environment that encourages business students to forge close relationships and extends their learning beyond the classroom. Georgetown’s vibrant LGBTQ+ and ally communities are a vital part of the MBA student body. [email protected] student club and LGBTQ Resource Center are just two resources available to LGBTQ students at McDonough.
One of the nation’s most LGBTQ-friendly business schools is the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Kellogg stands as a business school fostering a vibrant community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni who all work together to shape the practice of business organizations around the world. The business school brings a blend of practice and theory to its rigorous academic experience, creating a dynamic learning and research environment. The Kellogg Purpose is to educate, inspire, and equip brave leaders who design healthy organizations and leverage the power of markets to create sustained value. Kellogg leadership shares an unshakable commitment to creating and overseeing an inclusive and diverse environment. This ecosystem fosters and upholds distinct voices and different perspectives from every society and background. It also equips business students with the skills they need to lead global companies and influence how complex issues are solved. To ensure its goals are met, it consistently invests in programs, partnerships, and events that challenge conventional thinking and highlight the power of diversity and inclusion.
The Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University is one of America’s most LGBTQ-friendly business schools. The business school maintains a program called CARE (Communicate, Acknowledge, Respect, Educate). Owen is committed to fostering a healthy, safe, and well-informed community. It is a priority for the Owen community and beyond to understand how all people can respect each other’s well-being and safety at school, stay current on efforts to combat intolerance, and pursue inclusion, equity, and diversity at Owen. CARE stands as a reminder of the necessary work vital now and in the coming years to make meaningful progress toward a just and equitable community. The business school’s top-ranked management programs are varied, but they are all designed to provide the support, knowledge, skills, and connections to help business students achieve their career goals. Owen’s size and focus allow it to interact with students and alumni as individuals to understand better and help them achieve their business aspirations.
Duke University features one of the nation’s best business schools for the LGBTQ community, the Fuqua School of Business. As one of the most elite business schools on the planet, Fuqua draws on top-notch senior advisors’ strength and experience from leading organizations globally who serve on Duke’s Board of Visitors and Regional Advisory Boards. Representing a vast range of industries, organizations, and regions, these business leaders provide strategic support and counsel for the business school’s mission. Fuqua is a member of ROMBA. FuquaPride exists as a student organization that offers a social and support network for all of Fuqua’s LGBTQ+ community members and their allies. The organization promotes and encourages educational dialogue about issues important to the LGBTQ+ community. FuquaPride also serves as a resource for prospective students and actively engages business leaders, recruiters, and employers in the job-search process. Fuqua maintains a list of events, partnerships, and additional resources for LGBTQ+ candidates.
UT Austin’s McCombs School of Business is one of the friendliest business schools to the LGBTQ community. Texas McCombs is one of the nation’s top business schools within a world-class public research university. The business school advertises itself as a community of teachers that fosters lifelong engagement with students and business school alumni. It cultivates principled leaders who develop ideas that will advance the economy, improve lives, strengthen communities, and create innovation for future generations. Through a high-quality curriculum, experiential teaching, and the pursuit of relevant, groundbreaking research, McCombs shapes those who will inform tomorrow’s business and solve the most challenging issues. No matter the department, program, or situation business students find themselves in, they are never far from a McCombs Diversity Committee member. Texas McCombs also cultivates an inclusive campus culture that intentionally and actively engages diverse people, perspectives, and ideas to create a vibrant working and learning environment.
USC’s Marshall School of Business currently operates as one of the nation’s best LGBTQ-friendly business schools. USC’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Marshall School of Business guide the strategic efforts to ensure an engaging and welcoming educational environment in a community of diverse students, faculty, and staff. Marshall’s strategic efforts include leadership and engagement workshops, training, panels, and discussions. Their speaker series is designed to create a sense of belonging, community, engagement, and collaboration. Marshall is also committed to foster an inclusive community, adding to the success of all its students. Business school leaders partner with statewide and national organizations like the Ph.D. Project, which since the mid-’90s has more than tripled the number of African-American/Black, Native American, and openly gay business school professors. USC Marshall currently has several Ph.D. Project instructors and actively recruits at the Ph.D. Project conference each year. SpectrumSC and Marshall Pride are also active on the school’s campus.
Michigan State’s Eli Broad College of Business is one of America’s best business schools for LGBTQ graduate students. All Broad business students are encouraged to get involved in student organizations, whether it is a Broad organization or any one of MSU’s many student clubs and organizations. Involvement in a student organization and the potential leadership experience business students gain from that involvement are vital parts of the overall college experience. Students can take an active role in shaping school issues and are given a chance to speak into significant changes. Broad student organizations also provide additional opportunities to learn, network, socialize and enhance skills. Spartan Pride is the school’s LGBTQ support organization. The group aims to build relationships between the College of Business undergraduate and graduate student populations, alumni, faculty, staff, and corporations, with a focus on LGBTQ+ awareness. This organization is just one reason why this business school is an excellent option for LGBTQ community members.
One of the country’s most friendly LGBTQ business schools is Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business. Cox describes itself as a diverse community of world-changers that thrives in the global city that primes it to compete. School leadership has worked hard to create an intimate, private school setting that features renowned professors with open doors. The business school is situated on a tree-lined campus just minutes from the heart of Dallas. SMU Cox is a powerful ally for the future of business. All students will kindle relationships through many student clubs, mentoring programs, and speaker series — all designed to connect learners with the best business minds worldwide. Based on a close-knit campus, Cox opens the door to boundless possibilities. The most profitable and vibrant businesses are those with the most diverse teams. The same goes for SMU Cox, where it knows that a diverse community drives the best education. The business school nurtures relationships with groups like National Black MBA Association and Reaching Out in pursuit of excellence.
The University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business operates as one of the nation’s LGBTQ-friendly business schools. Tippie is comprised of over 4,000 students enrolled in programs spanning BBAs to PhDs. There are six academic departments—management, accounting, business analytics, entrepreneurship, economics, finance, and marketing. Business school leadership is pioneering, forward-thinking, and embraces a responsibility to pursue excellence through diversity. Tippie’s advisory boards serve as eyes and ears to international business. Tippie is always included in conversations about the nation’s top business schools. The Tippie College of Business disavows inequality, racism, cruelty, ignorance towards the LGBTQ community, and violence in any form. It is committed to operating as a place where members of its community feel valued—where we lift up one another rather than tear each other down. The business school is unwavering in its commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion through its people, practices, and programs.
The Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University is one of America’s best business schools for the LGBTQ community. Business school leaders advertise themselves as being grounded in tradition and yet building for the future. However, grounded in the Johns Hopkins’ legacy of research and excellence, they are not trapped by tradition but instead inspired by it. Johns Hopkins Carey Business School culture shapes business leaders who then seize the opportunity, create change, and encourage lasting value. The full-time, part-time, and online MS and MBA programs in Baltimore and Washington, DC are data-driven and designed to compete in the global marketplace. Its faculty are thought leaders, influencing what’s next in the classroom and the business world. Carey Business School stands firmly alongside all who stand for racial and social justice and equality. Diversity, inclusion, and belonging are an integral part of the school. The school has introduced several initiatives centered on diversifying faculty, staff, and the student body making it an excellent choice for LGBTQ students.
UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business operates as one of the country’s friendliest business schools to the LGBTQ community. Business leaders know that managing in a digitally-driven world takes savvy and agility. Merage’s holistic approach prepares students to adapt to the ever-changing business environment while facing head-on the challenges created by disruption. The business school’s guiding belief is that leadership in a digital world is nothing like the past as it demands a reinvention of business education. Today’s leaders must understand the need for connected technologies like blockchain, AI, IoT, and 5G, and how they transform organizations. They must also understand how competencies, strategy, investments, and organizational culture evolve and align to reflect new competition demands. To this end, the business school has transformed itself – its curricula, course content, co-curricular programs, and delivery modes – to create unparalleled training experiences to prepare students to propel their careers and lead organizations to success. Students from all walks of life and backgrounds are welcome and accepted at the Paul Merage School of Business.
One of the nation’s best educational opportunities for LGBTQ graduate students is currently available at the School of Business at George Washington University. The business school encourages students to earn a graduate certificate now and then return later to add it into a graduate degree. Business students also can combine certificates and courses to customize a program that is tailored to their professional vision. Whatever the path may be, when it comes to enhancing their skill set — or retain a competitive edge — the School of Business has programs designed to fit every stage of a professional’s career. Twelve specialized master’s degrees combine with six MBA formats and twenty-five graduate and professional certificates to give business students tons of options. Whether they pursue programs on campus or online, students will find the perfect educational fit. George Washington’s 4+1 Program allows students to complete both an undergraduate and a master’s degree in just five years. The business school is a member of ROMBA, which serves the LGBT+ community.
North Carolina State University offers one of the nation’s best business schools for the LGBTQ community with the Poole College of Management. For years all classes in business, economics, and accounting were delivered at NC State via the Department of Economics and Business. By the mid-80s, the lone department was graduating more NC State students than any other on campus. This highlighted an opportunity for a new business college to be created in its place. In 1990, a team was formed to explore that possibility. Two years later, “College of Management” was carved into the granite above the front doors of Nelson Hall. From the beginning, it was based on the university’s strengths in STEM and other practical fields. The Poole College of Management intentionally engages with academia and industry to create a collaborative and innovative intellectual environment that fosters learning, service, and scholarship. The business school focuses on supporting and developing leaders with an entrepreneurial mindset and analytical decision-making capabilities to positively impact today’s dynamic, data-rich, global economy. Poole College of Management’s Diversity and Inclusion Team introduced a Poole Pride Campaign in 2018. The Poole Pride Campaign is just one way the business school celebrates and supports the LGBTQ community.
The Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver provides one of the nation’s friendliest experiences for LGBTQ graduate students. Daniels offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs that suit various schedules, professional experience levels, aspirations, and work interests. All of Denver’s business programs combine the study of leadership fundamentals with practical experience through practicum projects, simulations, and interaction with regional, national, and global business leaders. Daniels is internationally recognized for integrating ethical, social, and environmental issues into its innovative curricula. This curricular framework gives students the resources and insight they need to hit the ground running and enter the global business world armed with knowledge. Program designers understand that everything we do in the real world has its base in ethics. Daniels’ challenge-driven learning gives students access to real-world business challenges through action-based education without sacrificing inclusion and acceptance. This is one reason why the Daniels College of Business is an excellent choice for LGBTQ students.
Brandeis University’s International School of Business operates one of the nation’s best business schools for the LGBTQ community. By teaching rigorous economics, business, and finance, connecting business students to best practices while immersing them in international experiences, Brandeis International Business School trains exceptional individuals worldwide to become principled professionals in organizations and public institutions all over. Brandeis International Business School has a coveted reputation for academic excellence, offering two accelerated graduate programs, five graduate programs, six dual-degree programs, and undergraduate minors and majors in business and economics. The MA in International Economics and Finance program is ranked 5th in the nation among pre-experience degrees by the Financial Times. Brandeis’ MBA program is on the Princeton Review’s list of best business schools globally and has been for over a decade. The MS in Finance program is ranked fifth in the United States by the TFE Times. The business school’s Reaching Out LGBT Fellowship exists to recognize outstanding MBA, MSBA, or MA students who have demonstrated both LGBT community leadership and academic success.
Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School is one of the country’s friendliest business schools to the LGBTQ community. At the Sawyer Business School, potential students are steps away from life-changing career connections, internships, and Fortune 500 companies. Classroom experiences are enhanced by the business school’s location—being in the center of downtown Boston means campus students are right in the middle of the city’s financial center and innovation. Sawyer Business School features both undergraduate business and graduate business programs. Students can choose from full-time, part-time, online, summer, and Saturday courses. All enrolled business students enjoy small classes taught by instructors who bring their experience and expertise to the classroom from Boston, across the country, and worldwide. Endless degree and program options are waiting for all types of students. LGBTQ+ identified students might have some additional questions. The business school hopes all LGBTQ students feel welcome. Suffolk University’s statement of nondiscrimination features language on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
One of the nation’s best business schools for the LGBTQ community is California Polytechnic State University’s Orfalea College of Business. The business school exists to prepare career-ready business leaders through application-based discovery and committed mentorship. The school’s curriculum is infused with cutting-edge technology trends and supported by social service and cultural experience. Majors currently available at the business school include Business Administration, Economics, and Industrial Technology and Packaging. Curriculums are built with industry in mind and put learning into action, giving business students a thorough knowledge of their fields. Concepts in class are instantaneously put to use tackling genuine business issues. MBA students acquire the in-demand skills needed for success in the ever-evolving business landscape. The Cal Poly Out Professional Engagement Network was established in 2020. It strives to empower the over 2,000 LGBTQ+ individuals at Cal Poly to become successful in the professional environment. It is just one reason why this business school is an excellent fit for LGBTQ students.
The College of Business Administration at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, is one of America’s best business schools for the LGBTQ community. This business school is the institution of choice for industry leaders searching for talented employees and high-achieving business students seeking a challenging polytechnic environment. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, is commended for its cutting-edge, application-based academic programs that result in career-focused, innovative decision-makers who possess practical communication skills. Undergraduate and graduate curricula address the global business community’s rapidly evolving needs while also fostering ethical approaches to business issues. Queers in Business operates as Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Business Administration’s LGBTQIA+ professional business association. Its goal is to cultivate a queer-positive business culture as it effectively bridges the gap between the queer business community and business members outside the LGBTQIA+ community. The group does this by providing members with tools that encourage inclusivity, diversity, and a strong sense of community in the business setting.
The Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University is one of the nation’s friendliest business schools to the LGBTQ community. Jones exists as a small and selective business school with a specific unique learning culture. Because it is small, all business students have the chance to be on a first-name basis with their classmates and professors. All Jones students are on the same campus attending classes within the same building. Classes have an energy that is fueled by a diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and views. Harassment and discrimination, including sexual harassment, are prohibited at Rice University and within the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business because they violate its community’s values and are unacceptable within the University community. Rice University exists as a diverse community guided by responsibility, excellence, integrity, and community. These values will only thrive in an environment that is discrimination and harassment-free.
Many colleges and universities across the country claim to have campus pride. When it comes to LGBTQ+ pride, some schools are more supportive than others. For LGBTQ-identifying business students, the task of finding a college or university with a supporting business school can be daunting. The typical college-aged questions of “Who can I hang out with outside of class?” and “Will I fit in?” are followed by “Will my instructors connect with me?” and “Will my identity and preferences be a detriment to my being successful in a business program?” These are fundamental questions queer and transgender business students must consider. Additionally, LGBTQ students face additional worries in the kind of healthcare access available to them, safety concerns while living in a dorm, and if school administrators will protect their gender expressions.
While LGBT students have been a growing force on many campuses across the country, some colleges and universities are just now catching up to the social, academic, and mental health needs of LGBTQ members. Thankfully, some of the nation’s best business schools for LGBTQ students are ahead of the curve in creating a campus atmosphere that not only protects LGBTQ students but allows them to thrive.
How do you find LGBTQ-Friendly Business Schools?
A growing number of young adults are starting to openly identify themselves as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) community. A recent Gallup poll found that nearly 5% of U.S. residents ― an estimated 10 million individuals ― identify as LGBTQ. This figure increased from 3.5% in 2012. The number was even higher in Millennials and adults born in 1982 or later, with over 8% of Millennial respondents identified as LGBTQ+, up from less than 6% in 2012.
Many colleges and universities in America have taken measures to ensure that LGBTQ students feel respected, welcomed, and safe. The Consortium of Higher Education Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Professionals reports that more than 150 postsecondary learning centers in the U.S. currently feature on-campus LGBTQ centers. Organizations like Campus Pride maintain up-to-date rankings of different schools based on their ‘LGBTQ-friendly’ levels. However, some widespread issues continue to persist. A survey published by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network found that over half of LGBTQ students felt unsafe at school based on their sexual orientation. Nearly a third skipped at least one day of school in the previous month, feeling unsafe. Over 10% missed at least four days of class over the same period for the same reason.
There are some essential considerations students deal with when choosing the best business school for them. Factors include the cost of tuition and housing, campus size, available financial aid, academic reputation, and the university’s regional location/culture. LGBTQ students should research different business schools based on the following criteria:
LGBTQ Business Students Should Look for LGBTQ-Friendly Policies.
According to Campus Pride, over 1,000 postsecondary institutions in the nation have nondiscrimination policies that extend to gender expression and sexual orientation. Additionally, the resource also maintains a list of universities that openly discriminate against LGBTQ youth and requested Title IX exemptions to continue bigotry’s harm.
LGBTQ Business Students Should Look for a School that Values Campus Safety.
You will be hard-pressed to find a campus in the country that lacks strict rules regarding other students’ abuse and harassment. These policies must clearly outline two factors: the specific results of acts of abuse and harassment against members of the LGBTQ community and a particular explanation of the procedure for LGBTQ students that have been harassed or abused.
LGBTQ Business Students Should Look for LGBTQ-specific Housing.
Gender identity is a substantial issue for many LGBTQ community members. To mitigate this, Campus Pride identifies over 270 colleges and universities that currently offer ‘gender-inclusive housing.’ This characteristic enables all students to have a roommate from either gender. Business students may also feel more comfortable at a school that openly recognizes and supports LGBTQ students throughout their housing information materials.
LGBTQ Business Students Should Look for Counseling and Mental Health Resources.
Student organizations and policies that work to create an inclusive atmosphere for LGBTQ students are best paired with counseling options and resources aimed at these learners. In some cases, social and mental health services are facilitated by staff and counselors who also identify as LGBTQ.
How are LGBTQ Students Protected in Business School?
Before day one of business school in the U.S., LGBTQ students need to be aware of their legal rights. The following three policies have been passed within the last ten years to provide more advocacy and protection for all LGBTQ individuals, including business students.
The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act became law in 2009. The act was named to honor two 1998 hate crime victims: Matthew Shepard, a gay student who was murdered, and James Byrd, Jr., an African-American man murdered by white supremacists. The law provides the needed room for federal law enforcement officers to investigate potential hate crimes that local authorities dismissed or closed. It also allocates funding to aid in prosecuting hate crime perpetrators and requires the FBI to maintain information regarding hate crime incidences for different susceptible groups.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
1972’s Title IX of the Education Amendments explicitly prohibits sex-based discrimination of all individuals attending a federally funded educational program. Programs include public colleges and universities, elementary and secondary institutions, and vocational training programs offered by organizations and individuals that receive federal financial assistance. This policy does not include private undergraduate colleges or private schools administered by religious organizations.
Besides federal measures like the ones listed above, many anti-discrimination policies exist at the state level. Lambda Legal is a nonprofit organization that advocates for LGBTQ civil rights. It reports that 19 U.S. states have passed laws guaranteeing that LGBTQ individuals have access to public accommodations like colleges and universities to the same degree as other citizens. States within this policy include California, Connecticut, Washington, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Vermont, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, and Oregon. Wisconsin and New Hampshire maintain laws protecting sexual orientation equal rights, but not gender expression.
Where can I Find More Resources for LGBTQ Business Students?
There are many online resources currently available to today’s potential LGBTQ business students. Some of the nation’s best business schools for LGBTQ students can be found by a simple online search. LGBTQ students interested in a particular school will want to contact the business school’s LGBTQ center for more information about its LGBTQ policies, programs, and initiatives.
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