At Montana State University (MSU), there are numerous organizations, programs, and offices that provide support for LGBTQ+ students which include the Queer Straight Alliance (QSA), Out in STEM (oSTEM), and the Diversity and Inclusion Student Commons (DISC). In addition to offering resources and advocacy, the DISC employs a Graduate Assistant for LGBTQ+ Student Support who works to coordinate a variety of programs and events. The Montana State University community has committed to strategic planning and goal setting around diversity and inclusion. A Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council was created to address the priorities outlined in the Diversity and Inclusion Framework Report, which was created with input from hundreds of students, faculty, and staff. MSU also conducted an extensive campus climate survey to better understand and address the needs of students, faculty, and staff from underrepresented backgrounds. MSU has also seen support from organizations such as Residence Life, which created a gender-neutral housing option, and the Office of the Registrar, which coordinates a Chosen Name Pilot Project, among many other strong partners.
LGBTQ Student Opportunities
Colleges and universities want LGBTQ students, faculty and staff to be out and proud as part of the diversity of the campus community. The Campus Pride Index provides campuses the opportunity to come out as LGBTQ-friendly and take responsibility for continually improving their LGBTQ campus climate.
The Campus Pride Index features LGBTQ student opportunities by highlighting the positive work within higher education across the country. Prospective students and families may choose the best LGBTQ campuses searching the tool based on area of study, cost, location, type of campus and LGBTQ-inclusive policy, programs and practice for their college search.
Reminder: Learn more by signing-up for FREE to participate in Campus Pride's LGBTQ-friendly National College Fair Program in eight different cities and the Campus Pride National Online College Fair.
Commitment to LGBTQ Issues
MSU offers many supports and resources for LGBTQ students, many of which are hosted by the Diversity and Inclusion Student Commons (DISC), an office that provides a welcoming space for students of all underrepresented identities. QSA holds annual events like the “Rainbow Ball” dance, the Trans Clothes Drive, and two drag shows. MSU has a very active “Out in STEM” chapter which promotes LGBTQ+ representation and sends students to the national oSTEM conference. Other opportunities for involvement include the LGBTQ+ Mentors Program and Queer Frontier, an LGBTQ+ outdoor recreation program. The Chosen Name project allows students to use a chosen name in university documents and systems. MSU’s Safe Zone program educates faculty, staff, and students about gender, sex, sexuality, allyship, and undoing internal biases and heterosexism. Counseling and Psychological Services has counselors who specialize in LGBTQ+ counseling so that students feel comfortable navigating their identities. Medical Services offers individualized primary care, sexual health care for LGBTQ+ individuals, and hormone therapy. Residence Life offers a gender-neutral, suite-style living option inclusive of all gender identities. MSU has 30 gender-neutral restrooms on campus. In 2018 and 2019, Campus Pride named MSU the most LGBTQ+ Friendly University in Montana. Bozeman has been voted one of the four best cities in Montana for LGBTQ+ individuals, and it has a citywide non-discrimination ordinance.
Why you'll love Montana State University-Bozeman
MSU connected me to a supportive and flourishing LGBTQ+ community in Bozeman. Between the offered mentorship programs, the Diversity and Inclusion Student Commons, clubs like QSA and oSTEM, MSU has provided me every system of support I could ask for.
— 22 year old, non-binary senior
Over the last 8 years at MSU, I have never felt more comfortable to be out and open with my full personality than I do now. I have seen queer representation and activism grow immensely, and I am proud to be graduating this semester as a queer Bobcat.
— 26 year old, gay senior
I’ve been out for a long time, so I didn’t think I had that much more to learn. QSA and the friends I have made at MSU have taught me so much about the queer community that I never knew.
— 19 year old, queer freshman
During my time at MSU, I have felt supported in my academics and in my identity. I have gotten very involved in oSTEM and QSA and have found my chosen family through QSA, which has given me the support I needed in my academic career.
— 22 year old, queer female
I never expected to find such a vibrant and supportive queer community in Montana. MSU has provided resources like Safe Zone that have made me feel so much more at home than I thought I would be. QSA drag shows rule!
— 25 year old, graduate student, bisexual female
Highlights & Organizations
Groups & activities
Overall Campus Pride Index Score
The Campus Pride Index has a strong theoretical research foundation in LGBTQ current programs, practices and policies for safer, more inclusive campus learning environments. The index tool has been tested extensively since 2001 and recently updated with new, higher LGBTQ national benchmarks in 2015.
The Campus Pride Index is a vital tool for assisting campuses in learning ways to improve their LGBTQ campus life and ultimately shape the educational experience to be more inclusive, welcoming and respectful of LGBTQ and ally people. The index is owned and operated by Campus Pride, the leading national nonprofit organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create safer, more LGBTQ-Friendly learning environments at colleges and universities. Campus Pride commends the campuses participating in the index and their willingness to come out, be visible and actively advocate for improving higher education for LGBTQ people.
Montana State University-Bozeman
LGBTQ-friendly break-down by inclusion factors
|Sexual Orientation Score||4 of 5|
|Gender Identity/Expression Score||4 of 5|
|LGBTQ Policy Inclusion||4 of 5|
|LGBTQ Support & Institutional Commitment||3.5 of 5|
|LGBTQ Academic Life||3.5 of 5|
|LGBTQ Student Life||3.5 of 5|
|LGBTQ Housing & Residence Life||4 of 5|
|LGBTQ Campus Safety||3 of 5|
|LGBTQ Counseling & Health||5 of 5|
|LGBTQ Recruitment & Retention Efforts||4 of 5|
LGBTQ-Friendly Report Card
LGBTQ Policy Inclusion
|Non-discrimination statement inclusive of sexual orientation|
|Non-discrimination statement inclusive of gender identity/expression|
|Health insurance coverage to employees’ same sex partner|
|Accessible, simple process for students to change their name on university records and documents|
|Accessible, simple process for students to change their gender identity on university records and documents|
|Students have option to self-identify sexual orientation on admission application or post enrollment forms|
|Students have option to self-identify gender identity/expression on admission application or post enrollment forms|
LGBTQ Support & Institutional Commitment
|Resource center/office with responsibilities for LGBTQ students|
|Paid staff with responsibilities for LGBTQ support services|
|Ally program or Safe Space/Safe Zone|
|Actively seek to employ diversity of faculty & staff including visible, out LGBTQ people|
|Standing advisory committee that deals with LGBTQ issues|
|LGBTQ alumni group|
LGBTQ Academic Life
|LGBTQ studies program|
|LGBTQ specific course offerings|
|Actively recruit faculty for LGBTQ-related academic scholarship|
|New faculty/staff training opportunities on sexual orientation issues|
|New faculty/staff training opportunities on gender identity issues|
|LGBTQ faculty/staff organization|
LGBTQ Student Life
|LGBTQ & Ally student organization|
|LGBTQ & Ally graduate student organization|
|LGBTQ social fraternity/sorority|
|Regularly plans LGBTQ social activities|
|Regularly plans educational events on transgender issues|
|Regularly offers educational events surrounding intersectionality of identities for LGBTQ people|
|LGBTQ-inclusive career services|
LGBTQ Housing & Residence Life
|LGBTQ living space, theme floors and/or living-learning community|
|Roommate matching for LGBTQ students to find LGBTQ-friendly roommate|
|Gender-inclusive housing for new students|
|Gender-inclusive housing for returning students|
|Gender-inclusive/single occupancy restroom facilities in campus housing|
|Gender-inclusive/single occupancy shower facilities in campus housing|
|Trains residence life and housing staff at all levels on LGBTQ issues and concerns|
LGBTQ Campus Safety
|Procedure for reporting LGBTQ related bias incidents and hate crimes|
|Active ongoing training for hate crime prevention|
|Active outreach to LGBTQ students and student organization|
|Trains campus police on sexual orientation issues|
|Trains campus police on gender identity/expression issues|
|Supports victims of LGBTQ sexual violence and partner violence|
LGBTQ Counseling & Health
|LGBTQ counseling/support groups|
|Trans-inclusive trained counseling staff|
|Free, anonymous and accessible HIV/STI testing|
|LGBTQ-inclusive health information and safer sex materials available|
|Trans-inclusive student health insurance policy which covers ongoing counseling services|
|Trans-inclusive student health insurance policy which covers hormone replacement therapy|
LGBTQ Recruitment & Retention
|Annually participates in LGBTQ admission fairs|
|LGBTQ student scholarships|
|LGBTQ mentoring program to welcome and assist LGBTQ students in transitioning to academic and college life|
|Special Lavender or Rainbow Graduation ceremony for LGBTQ students and allies|
|Admission counselors receive LGBTQ-inclusive training and resources|