Great Colleges in the East That Value Diversity

Start searching for great colleges right here with this list of schools in the Eastern US that value diversity and support students from all backgrounds.

Diversity should be an important part of any college search—after all, if a college doesn’t appreciate different cultures, perspectives, and worldviews, what does that say about the founding values of that institution? Luckily, there are tons of amazing colleges and universities in the US that value diversity and support and uplift students of all backgrounds. And you can start looking for them right here!

All the colleges and universities on this list are schools in the Eastern US that are highly supportive of their students and make conscious efforts toward diversity and inclusion on their campuses. And the best part? If you click the green “Connect me” button, your CollegeXpress profile information will be sent directly to the school—then they’ll reach out to you. Start learning about these campus communities now! 

Barry University

Barry UniversityBarry University is Roman Catholic–affiliated liberal arts university in Miami Shores, Florida. With nearly 7,500 students from the US and 80 other countries, Barry offers more than 100 majors and specializations and a 13:1 student-faculty ratio. Over 60 clubs and organizations are available for students of all different backgrounds, including College for Christ, Black Student Union, Vibe Kreyol Haitian Student Organization, Minority Association of Pre-health Students, P.R.I.D.E, and more.

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Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon UniversityCarnegie Mellon University is a private coeducational university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With over 6,500 undergraduates and more than 7,7000 graduate students, Carnegie Mellon offers 80 majors and a 13:1 student-faculty ratio. In fall 2020, the University had a student body made up of 15% Black, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American students as well as 17% international, 50% female, and 1% non-binary students.

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Cedar Crest College

Cedar Crest CollegeCedar Crest College is a women’s liberal arts college on a campus designated as an arboretum in Allentown, Pennsylvania­—only an hour from Philadelphia, two hours from New York City, and three hours from Washington, DC. Founded as one of the first women’s colleges in the nation, Cedar Crest offers over 40 majors and a 9:1 student-faculty ratio. Students can also choose from over 30 clubs on campus, including the Asian Student Association, Black Student Union, Latin-X Club, OutThere, and more.

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Geneva College

Geneva CollegeGeneva College is a Presbyterian-affiliated liberal arts college in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania—45 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. As one of the first colleges in the country to admit Black and female students, Geneva offers more than 145 majors and academic programs and a 12:1 student-faculty ratio, with students coming from 63 different religious denominations and 10% of whom are racially or ethnically diverse. Students can join numerous clubs that support diversity, such as the Diversity & Inclusion Club or the Black Student Union.

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Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins UniversityJohns Hopkins University is a private university in a residential area of Baltimore, Maryland. With 5,292 undergraduates on campus, Johns Hopkins offers 50+ majors, 40+ minors, and a 7:1 student-faculty ratio. The University backs over two dozen multicultural organizations through the Office of Multicultural Affairs—including the African Students Association, Arab Student Union, Hong Kong Student Association, and more—and brings together religious and spiritual life, multicultural affairs, LGBTQ+ life, and women and gender resources through its Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. 

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University of Maryland, Eastern Shore

The University of Maryland, Eastern ShoreUniversity of Maryland Eastern Shore is a public university in Princess Anne, Maryland—only 15 miles from Salisbury. With an enrollment of 2,888 students, UMES offers 38 undergraduate disciplines and 16 graduate programs. Ranked 18th among Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the University supports diversity through organizations like the African Student Association, Caribbean International Club, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Society of Black Engineers, and more. 

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New College of Florida

New College of FloridaNew College of Florida is a public honors college on Sarasota Bay in Sarasota, Florida. With only 726 students on campus, New College offers over 40 programs in the sciences, humanities, and social sciences with a 7:1 student-faculty ratio. Through the Office of Diversity & Inclusion and the Campus Climate and Culture Committee, students can participate in events like the Asian Film Series and Sarasota Native American Film Festival, join clubs like the Black Student Union and Queery, and take advantage of local resources like ALSO Youth and the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe.

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Samford University

Samford UniversitySamford University is a private Baptist university in suburban Birmingham, Alabama. With over 5,600 students, Samford offers 180 majors, minors, and concentrations with a 13:1 student-faculty ratio. Through the Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives, students can join clubs and organizations like the African Students’ Association, Black Law Student Association, Latino Student Organization, and more. Additionally, students can become Diversity Ambassadors to help prospective students learn more about the University. 

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Swarthmore College

Swarthmore CollegeSwarthmore College is a private liberal arts college that also offers programs in STEM located in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With a student body of 1,647—40% being domestic students of color—Swarthmore offers nearly 50 majors, an 8:1 student-faculty ratio, and more than 100 student-run clubs, including ABLLE for Black and Latino male students, Capoeira, the Chinese Music Ensemble, and COLORS for queer, trans, and questioning students of color. The College also offers events like Culture and Identity and Appreciation week, free for all students.

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University of Pittsburgh

The University of PittsburghUniversity of Pittsburgh is a public comprehensive university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With over 100 majors, Pitt offers 19,000+ students a 14:1 student-faculty ratio and five campuses to choose from. The University also has numerous clubs dedicated to diversity—including the Black Action Society, Black Loud and Queer, and Asian Student Alliance—as well as organizations like the Office of Cross Cultural and Leadership Development, which sponsors events to enhances leadership skills built around diversity, culture, and social justice. 

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Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt UniversityVanderbilt University is a private university only 1.5 miles from downtown Nashville, Tennessee. With four undergraduate schools offering 50 majors, Vanderbilt’s 7,057 undergraduate students—nearly 44% of whom identify as racially or ethnically diverse—benefit from a 7:1 student-faculty ratio and over 475 student organizations. The University also offers numerous on-campus identity centers, including the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center, Student Center for Social Justice & Identity, Vanderbilt Hillel, LGBTQI Life, and the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center. 

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Villanova University

Villanova UniversityVillanova University is a private coeducational university in Villanova, Pennsylvania. With an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, the University offers academic programs to 11,000 undergraduate, graduate, and law students across six colleges, including 47 undergraduate majors, 24 master’s programs, and 42 certificate programs. Students can join diversity initiatives through the Intergroup Relations program and more than 250 student clubs, including African & Caribbean Villanovans, American Sign Language Club, Hellenic Association, Hispanic society, and more. 

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Want to learn about even more colleges and universities that value diversity? Check out our featured Diversity Profiles to discover other great schools across the country.

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