Virginia Commonwealth 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: South
City/State: Richmond, VA
Locale: Medium City (100,000 to 500,000)
Student Population (FTE): 31,500
In-State Tuition: $14,710.00
Out-of-State Tuition: $36,048.00
Institution Website:
Institution Type:
Doctoral/Research University
Master's College/University
Baccalaureate College/University
Public/State University
Residential Campus

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

VCU’s mission is “Make it Real.” We make LGBTQIA+ inclusion real through a vibrant LGBTQIA+ community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni. We’ve made intentional hires of faculty who identify on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum and can offer LGBTQIA+ specific courses. Students were thrilled when we developed Lavender Housing, a residential experience offering LGBTQIA+ students a chance to live and learn in an inclusive community with their peers. VCU celebrates the achievements of graduating LGBTQIA+ students and their allies with an annual Lavender Graduation ceremony. We make our commitment real by monitoring and improving inclusive policies and practices. We have an active Equality VCU committee, a well-regarded Safe Zone program, and an increasing number of designated gender neutral bathrooms. VCU’s Division for Inclusive Excellence, a unit that reports directly to the President, works to identify and deconstruct any barriers to inclusion on our campus. Situated in thriving and diverse Richmond, Virginia, a city known for its creative energy, VCU views itself as part of the wider Richmond queer community.

Our Synopsis

The VCU Multicultural Center (Office of Multicultural Affairs, OMSA) works to provide a safe and affirming space for LGBTQIA+ students and serves as a hub for resources, services, and programs. Programs include celebration of LGBTQIA+ History Month, Transgender Day of Remembrance, Lavender Empowerment Summit LGBTQIA+ Leadership summit, LGBTQIA+ living learning program: Lavender House, discussion groups, the QTPOC (Queer, & Trans People of Color) Collective, Ace Space, Trans Social Club, and weekly Queer Coffee Hour.

Featured Quotes

Why you'll love Virginia Commonwealth University

“Lavender house has meant the world to me, it means a place where I'm accepted and with people who understand the issues I'm going through. This place is important because I'm not coming to college from a safe and supportive home. The first week I came here I cried because I had never felt safe where I lived. I've found a family here.”

— Lavender House resident

"Having an environment in which I could begin my transition without having fear about being found out by peers was very reassuring and made the process a lot easier."

— VCU student

“I was so afraid to go to college because of the separated dorms. Having these gender neutral dorms had made me feel comfortable and safe giving me more confidence”

— VCU student

“Living in Lavender has meant family. I lost my family when I came out to them, but being in this community has helped me rebuild what I've lost. Navigating college and making friends is scary and difficult, but knowing I had this community to fall back on was the safety net I needed to succeed here.”

— Lavender House resident

Highlights & Organizations


Admissions Office

Virginia Commonwealth University Admissions Office

VCU Office of Admissions
Virginia Commonwealth University
821 West Franklin Street

Richmond, VA 23284-2526

Phone: (800) 841-3638

Admission Application Deadline:

Email Campus Admissions

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.

Note: Prospective students and families are strongly encouraged to research current state laws for any college/university you are considering. The Campus Pride Index is updated annually and only measures current campus policies, programs and practices. Find information about state laws targeting the LGBTQ+ population on the Movement Advancement Project’s Equality Maps at

Virginia Commonwealth University
LGBTQ-friendly break-down by inclusion factors

Sexual Orientation Score
4.5 of 5
Gender Identity/Expression Score
5 of 5
LGBTQ Policy Inclusion
4 of 5
LGBTQ Support & Institutional Commitment
5 of 5
LGBTQ Academic Life
5 of 5
LGBTQ Student Life
4.5 of 5
LGBTQ Housing & Residence Life
5 of 5
LGBTQ Campus Safety
4.5 of 5
LGBTQ Counseling & Health
4 of 5
LGBTQ Recruitment & Retention Efforts
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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