Committee for Sexual-Orientation & Gender Minorities in Astronomy (SGMA)

Resources for Students

While the following resources were gathering with prospective graduate students in mind, many of these resources also apply to prospective undergraduate students and astronomers on the job market.

College/University LGBTQ+-Friendliness Information

Resources for tracking state legislative environments and LGBTQ+-friendliness

Proposed bills and legislation in individual state governments that restrict LGBTQIA+ rights (including access to gender affirming medical care, bathroom use, and drag bans) have been on the rise. The following links provide more information from national organizations that track anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

International Considerations

Are you considering graduate school outside of the United States? These resources may help you choose an LGBTQ+-friendly location. Please remember that, just like the US, every country varies by region, with large cities generally more accepting than rural areas.

Financial Aid: LGBTQIA+ Scholarships and Grants

  • Flagship Scholarship: A 4 year scholarship from The Point Foundation for LGBTQ+ undergraduate and graduate students
  • Out to Innovate's Scholarship: A financial award for LGBTQ+ undergraduate and graduate students.
  • AAS's FAMOUS Grants: A financial award for astronomers from underrepresented minorities wishing to attend a AAS conference. The award aims to cover travel and lodging.
  • AAS's International Travel Grant: While not aimed specifically at underrepresented minorities, the AAS International Travel Grant reimburses international travel fees for students at US colleges or universities attending an international science conference.

General Graduate School Application Information

While not aimed specifically at the LGBTQIA+ community, the following resources are generally useful for those considering a graduate education in astronomy.

Graduate School Application Fee Waivers

Most graduate school applications require a fee, between $50-150 USD per application, which can be a barrier for many applying to graduate school. Almost all graduate schools offer financial aid for application fees, called fee waivers. Each school has its own policy, so please review their websites carefully and contact the department administrator if you cannot find the information you need. It is important to note, requesting an application fee waiver should not be considered as part of your application and should not disadvantage your application in any way. In most cases, application committees are not permitted to know whether an applicant has requested a fee waiver or not. Some schools are unable to offer fee waivers to non-US applicants.

Graduate School Application Resources
For International Applicants


Transgender: An umbrella term for people whose gender identity, expression, or behavior is different from those typically associated with their assigned sex at birth (National Center for Transgender Equality).

Intersex: A term used for people who are born with external genitalia, chromosomes, or internal reproductive systems that are not traditionally associated with either a “standard” male or female (National Center for Transgender Equality).

Questioning: The questioning of one's gender, sexual identity, sexual orientation, or all three is a process of exploration by people who may be unsure, still exploring, or concerned about applying a social label to themselves for various reasons (Wikipedia).

Straight ally: a heterosexual person who supports equal civil rights, gender equality, LGBTIQA social movements, and challenges homophobia (Wikipedia).


The current SGMA logo was designed by Adam Leah Harvey.

The old SGMA (formerly WGLE) logo was designed by Melody Weist.