The Pennsylvania State University

Campus Facts & Figures

out of 5

The Campus Pride Index is an overall indicator of institutional commitment to LGBTQ-inclusive policy, program and practice. How is this calculated?

Region: Mid-Atlantic
City/State: University Park, PA
Locale: Small Town (10,000 to 25,000)
Student Population (FTE): 46,184
In-State Tuition: $16,572.00
Out-of-State Tuition: $29,522.00
Institution Website:
Institution Type:
Doctoral/Research University

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

The Pennsylvania State University is one of the top choices in the country for LGBTQA students. We have policies and procedures in place to offer protections and services to support our students. Our LGBTQA Student Resource Center (SRC) offers a variety of education, advocacy, and outreach on campus and in the classroom. We have a sexuality and gender studies minor, well trained campus staff and faculty on LGBTQ+ topics and a welcoming and friendly staff at the LGBTQA SRC to assist students once they arrive at Penn State. Our collection of books and DVDs are one of the largest in the country and are available to all of our Penn State students. We are extremely proud of the work that Penn State has done and the strides that have been made with regards to the LGBTQ+ climate at University Park and all of our commonwealth campuses.

Our Synopsis

Student Groups Discussion Groups BBH251-Straight Talks class Internships Lavender Graduation-available to students from all campuses National Coming Out Week celebration Pride Week Celebration LGBTQ+ Leadership Retreat-available to students from all campuses Gender Studies Minor Ally House-alternative housing Straight Talks panels-campus wide Mentorship Program LGBTQ+ Scholarships available Involved Alumni Group

Featured Quotes

Why you'll love The Pennsylvania State University

"I love this campus and have found the LGBTQA SRC to be an affirming and safe place for me to come in during the day. I am extremely glad that I chose Penn State to continue my education!"

— 1st year gay male student

"I have been a member of the staff here at Penn State for nearly two years. I have watched the LGBTQA SRC expand programming and outreach across campus. As a member of the Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Equity I have watched policies and procedures be put into place that benefit all of the LGBTQ+ students, faculty and staff on campus."

— LGBTQA SRC Assistant Director

"I feel like I found a place in the center where I can be myself and feel like I am at home. There is a community here for me."

— Chinese International gay graduate student

"As a transitioning student, I have found support in the Beyond The Binary discussion group. The student health care for trans students is great. I am able to use student insurance to receive hormones and healthcare on campus. With special living options such as Ally House, I am free to live on campus and feel surrounded by other LGBTQ+ students."

— 2nd year transgender male

Highlights & Organizations

Upcoming events


Welcome Reception-LGBTQA+


Lavender Graduation


Pride Week


National Coming Out Week


Leadership Retreat

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.

The Pennsylvania State University
LGBTQ-friendly break-down by inclusion factors

Sexual Orientation Score
5 of 5
Gender Identity/Expression Score
5 of 5
LGBTQ Policy Inclusion
4.5 of 5
LGBTQ Support & Institutional Commitment
5 of 5
LGBTQ Academic Life
4.5 of 5
LGBTQ Student Life
5 of 5
LGBTQ Housing & Residence Life
4.5 of 5
LGBTQ Campus Safety
5 of 5
LGBTQ Counseling & Health
5 of 5
LGBTQ Recruitment & Retention Efforts
4.5 of 5
Sections greyed out mean the campus does not offer those services

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

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