If you’re a pet owner gearing up for college and reluctant to part ways with your beloved animal companion, explore this list of colleges that are pet friendly. Each of them recognizes that the college experience can be greatly enhanced with the presence of your furry friend.

1. Eckerd College

At Eckerd, students can apply to have a small animal live with them during their first semester, but larger pets are not allowed until the second semester. There are several separate dedicated pet-friendly housing facilities at Eckerd, which house dogs, cats, and even ducks with their owners. Besides these facilities, small animals in cages or tanks are allowed in all halls. The best part? Eckerd hosts a graduation for pets!

2. Lees-McRae College

Students at Lees-McRae are allowed to bring a family pet to live with them on campus after two semesters in college housing, but there are restrictions on the age of the pet, size, and certain breeds. The college has several approved pet-friendly housing units and welcomes most conventional types of pets. Faculty and staff are also encouraged to bring their pets to campus.

3. Stephens College

For more than ten years, Stephens College has welcomed many types of pets on campus. Students who are unable to bring a pet to campus can still participate in the pet-friendly community by fostering a pet from a local shelter before the pet finds a long-term family. And even if you have a pet that is not listed on their “allowed pets” list, you can contact the Office of Student Development to inquire about your animal.

4. Stetson University

Stetson allows a variety of animals in two of its residence halls and hosts a service dog program which allows students to train and foster future service dogs. The university also allows faculty and staff members to bring well-behaved pets to work. If you have a fish, you do not need to apply for Animal Friendly Housing.

5. Washington and Jefferson College

W&J’s pet friendly dorm is aptly referred to as the Pet House (Monroe Hall) and houses up to 32 students and their family pets. Dogs, cats, and small animals are all welcome in the Pet House. Fish are welcome in all other residence halls. There are, of course, restrictions on how many you can have and specific breeds.

6. University of Northern Colorado

UNCO welcomes dogs and cats to two residence halls on campus: Belford Hall and Lawrenson Hall. Belford is entirely dedicated to pet-friendly single rooms and only specific pet wings allow for cats and dogs in Lawrenson. Only one is allowed per room, and the pets must be over 6 months old.

7. Johnson and Wales University–Providence

Johnson and Wales University has two pet-friendly dorms on each of its campuses. Pets must not be poisonous or endangered and must be a state-approved breed. Dogs, cats, bunnies, ferrets, hedgehogs, and other animals have all called the university home!

8. University of Illinois

UI allows up to two companion animals per room in one of its apartment-style residence halls. Companion animals are considered any animals typically thought of as household pets and do not include exotic pets. In addition, students may have a fish tank of up to 50 gallons!

9. MIT

MIT has been one of several cat-friendly colleges since 2000. Unlike some college pet policies, MIT doesn’t require that your cat is over a certain age or that it lived with your family before moving to school with you. Fish in tanks no larger than 20 gallons are also allowed, but no other pets are.

10. SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton has had a “Pet Wing” since 1997! Cats, fish, ferrets, and other small animals are allowed, but not dogs, birds, snakes, or spiders. It’s important to note that these dorm rooms are alcohol-free, and space is limited.

11Clarion University

Upperclassmen attending Clarion University are welcome to bring a wide variety of animals to school with them. Dogs, cats, fish, chinchillas, fish, birds, and other animals are welcome. There are some age and size restrictions on pets, however.

12. Lyon College 

Fish, cats, and dogs under 50 pounds when fully grown are welcome to live with their student owners while attending Lyon College! As with other schools, there are some restrictions. It’s also important to note that pets must arrive on campus within the first two weeks of a semester—after that window, pets cannot move in.

13. Pfeiffer University

One of the newer pet friendly colleges, Pfeiffer University started allowing your furry friends on campus in 2017. Only one residence hall, however, is available to pet owners, and only 30 pets out of the 50 dorm rooms in that hall. Reach out to Pfeiffer for more information about their pet policy.

14. SUNY College of Technology at Alfred

Dogs under 40 pounds, cats, and rabbits are all welcome to stay with their student owners at SUNY College of Technology at Alfred. However, certain breeds of dogs and Bengal cats are not allowed. Any pets should be at least a year old and have been with the owner or their family for at least 10 months.

15. University of Idaho

The University of Idaho permits service animals, dogs-in-training, and assistance animals on its campus. However, the guidelines at this college are quite detailed so make sure to review them thoroughly.

16. California Institute of Technology 

This is another college with strict guidelines regarding pets. While Caltech used to be one of the few cat friendly colleges, it no longer is. As described in their pet policy, all pets are prohibited unless they are registered service animals or emotional support animals.

17. University of Florida

The University of Florida allows residents to have both service animals and pets on its campus. This policy is up for renewal each year however, the current guidelines can be found on page 12 of their current Community Standards.

18. Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University permits only small, caged, non-poisonous animals, or fish in the residence halls. According to their guidelines, dogs, cats, and ferrets are strictly prohibited in any residence hall facility.

19. Kansas State University

K-State University could definitely be considered one of the few dog-friendly colleges. Not only that, this university allows a significant number of pets that most don’t. To check out their entire list of approved pets, you can view their detailed pet policy.

20. Harvey-Mudd College

Harvey Mudd College only allows small, caged pets such as fish or hamsters in the residence halls. Cats and dogs are not permitted. Residents must obtain approval from their roommates and/or suitemates and complete the pet registration form for such pets.

21. Ohio Wesleyan University

According to the Ohio Wesleyan University website, emotional support animals may be allowed on campus. To do so, you would have to submit an application.

22. Reed College

Reed College allows small caged pets and fish in the residence halls, while dogs and cats are not permitted. According to their guidelines, residents are responsible for the well-being of their pets, including maintaining clean cages and aquarium tanks, and all pets must be removed from the residence halls during break periods if break housing is not secured.

Common College Pet Policies

Even pet friendly colleges have some rules. Before making any decisions, be sure to click on the provided links to familiarize yourself with the specific pet policies of each institution. Common pet policies include regulations regarding:

  • Pet Types: Some colleges may have restrictions on the types of pets allowed, distinguishing between dogs, cats, small animals, and more.
  • Size and Breed Restrictions: Many dog-friendly colleges impose limitations on the size and breeds of dogs allowed on campus.
  • Housing Arrangements: Policies may outline whether pets are allowed in specific dormitories, pet-friendly housing units, or designated pet wings within residence halls.
  • Application Process: Some colleges may require students to apply or seek approval before bringing a pet to campus, outlining the necessary steps in the process.
  • Age Restrictions: Certain institutions may have age restrictions for pets, ensuring they are mature enough to adapt to a college environment.
  • Arrival Window: Colleges may specify a timeframe within which pets must arrive on campus.
  • Quantity Limits: Restrictions on the number of pets a student can bring may be in place to maintain a balanced and safe living environment.
  • Health and Vaccination Requirements: Institutions may require proof of vaccinations and general health status for pets to ensure the well-being of the entire campus community.
  • Behavioral Expectations: Pet policies often highlight expectations for the behavior of pets on campus.
  • Pet-Friendly Spaces: Details on designated pet-friendly areas, whether within housing facilities or on campus grounds, might be outlined in the policies.
  • Penalties for Violations: Consequences for violating pet policies, such as fines or removal of the pet from campus, may be specified to encourage responsible pet ownership.

Service Dogs and Emotional Support Animals

While there are only some colleges that allow pets on campus for enjoyment and companionship alone, all campuses are required to allow emotional support and service animals. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Housing Act (FHA) are both federal laws that require public and private campuses alike to allow service animals and/or emotional support animals in campus housing. Make sure you understand these federal laws if you think this applies to you.