Data is collected by our team of research fellows who perform a comprehensive audit of institutions’ policy manuals (including student-athlete handbooks) and their official athletics websites to identify publicly evidenced policies and practices on LGBTQ inclusion at every NCAA D-I institution, and a growing number of D-II and D-III institutions.

The eight policies and practices measured here have been empirically proven to impact the experiences of the LGBTQ community. Every athletic department in the sample has been contacted regularly with the opportunity to offer publicly available evidence of accessible policies, resources, and trainings to staff, fans, and student-athletes.

Our research fellows continue to reach out to campus leaders at every institution to confirm the accuracy of their scores. At a minimum, four individuals from each institution (the Athletic Director, Senior Woman Administrator, most senior athletic staff member for compliance, and most senior institutional staff member for LGBTQ inclusion) have been contacted and asked to make the research team aware of any policies or practices that were not previously identified.

Official scores on the AEI website are updated every 2 weeks. Every institution’s AEI score is audited by the research fellows at least every 12 months. Scores are audited more frequently for athletic departments in contact with research fellows about updated evidence, or for athletic departments that schedule consulting conversations with the research team.


Has the athletic department publicly endorsed a nondiscrimination policy that protects the sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression of their athletes?

Read more about Metric 1: Nondiscrimination Policies here.


Has the department publicly endorsed a policy protecting transgender varsity athletes?

Read more about Metric 2: Transgender Inclusion Policies here.


Has the department endorsed a sexual misconduct policy protecting LGBTQ athletes?

Read more about Metric 3: Sexual Misconduct Policies here.


Has the department endorsed a fan code of conduct that prohibits anti-LGBTQ language?

Read more about Metric 4: Fan Codes of Conduct here.


Does the department publicly partner with the campus LGBTQ center?

Read more about Metric 5: Collaborations here.

Does the department offer LGBTQ educational resources to student-athletes and staff?

Read more about Metric 6: LGBTQ Resources here.


Are department staff given an opportunity to participate in LGBTQ inclusion training?

Read more about Metric 7: Staff Trainings here.


Are student-athletes given an opportunity to participate in LGBTQ inclusion training?

Read more about Metric 8: Student-Athlete Trainings here.