20 Pet Friendly Colleges

Cat sleeping on top of a college student's notes and textbooks.

michael via Flickr

Many colleges allow students to keep fish in small tanks in their dorm rooms. It’s a lot more uncommon to find a college that allows more interactive pets to live with student owners. For students who feel they need a four-legged companion while they’re away at school, these colleges are worth a look.


1. Eckerd College

Two college students holding a duck at a campus event.

Eckerd College via Facebook

At Eckerd, students are allowed to apply to have an animal live with them after their first semester. There are eight 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.

2. Lees-McRae College

Students walking in front of a brick building on the Lees McRae college campus.

Lees-McRae College via Facebook

Students at Lees-McRae are allowed to bring a family pet to live with them on-campus after two semesters in college housing. 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

A black horse eating grass inside Stephens College Campus.

Stephens College via Facebook

Stephens has welcomed many types of pets on campus for more than ten years. 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.

4. Stetson University

Fountain on the Stetson University campus.

Stetson45 via Wikimedia Commons

Stetson allows a variety of animals in two of its residence halls, and hosts a service dog program which gives students the opportunity to train and foster future service dogs. The university also allows faculty and staff members to bring well-behaved pets to work as company in the office.

5. Principia College

Students walking inside Principia College campus.

Principia College via Facebook

Several of Principia’s on-campus residence facilities are pet-friendly, allowing small caged animals like hamsters, rabbits, amphibians, and such live with their student owners. Some faculty and staff housing even allow dogs and cats!

6. Washington and Jefferson College

A college student holding a pet turtle.

Washington and Jefferson College via Facebook

W&J’s pet-friendly dorm is aptly called the Pet House, and houses up to 32 students and their family pets. Dogs, cats, and many others are all welcome in the Pet House, and fish are welcome in all other residence halls.

7. University of Northern Colorado

Students walking inside University of Northern Colorado college campus.

UNC via Facebook

UNCO welcomes pets of (nearly) all types in Lawrenson Hall, a suite-style, on-campus residence hall. The pet-friendly housing program began testing the idea of pet-friendly housing in 2014 after requests from students who wished for an animal companion other than a fish.

8. University of Idaho

University of Idaho college campus yard.

University of Idaho via Facebook

The University of Idaho allows students to keep birds or cats (in addition to fish) in some of its on-campus apartments. While many housing departments place age restrictions on animals that may be kept in on-campus housing, Idaho students may own kittens.

9. Johnson and Wales University–Providence

Students sit outside Snowden Hall at the Johnson and Wales University Providence campus.

Stephen Spencer via Facebook

Starting next year, JWU will be piloting on-campus, pet-friendly communities in three residence halls. Bunnies, cats, and most dogs (among others) will be welcome in designated areas starting in August.

10. University of Washington

Many students on the University of Washington campus quad in spring.

Sea Turtle via Flickr

The University of Washington designates one of its on-campus apartment buildings as pet-friendly, where students can choose to live with their dog or cat for an additional deposit.

11. University of Illinois

Smiling bernese mountain dog outside at the University of Illinois campus.

Flickr user Matty Sides

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–not including exotics. In addition, students may have a fish tank up to 50 gallons!

12. MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology college campus.

MIT via Facebook

Cats have been allowed in four of MIT’s twelve dorm buildings 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. Moreover, cats are not restricted to an owner’s room, and are allowed in the hallway and neighbors’ rooms.

13. Caltech

White chapel building on the CalTech campus with a backdrop of mountains.

Caltech via Flickr

Two cats each are allowed in seven of Caltech’s undergraduate houses. In addition to cats, Caltech students may own other types of pets which can be humanely enclosed in a 20 gallon aquarium or terrarium. However, dogs and birds aren’t allowed.

Additional colleges which allow some small animals:

14. Case Western Reserve University
15. Middlebury College
16. University of Florida
17. SUNY Canton
18. Harvey-Mudd College
19. Ohio Wesleyan University
20. Reed College

Didn’t see your pet-friendly college on this list? Comment below and let us know what your school does to create a welcoming environment for furry friends.

Interested in any of these schools? Use College Raptor’s free match tool to see if they’re a good fit for you!

26 thoughts on “20 Pet Friendly Colleges”

  1. Laura Dubbs says:

    Unity College in Unity, ME allows Emotional Support Animals.

    1. Audrey Disigney says:

      In the U.S. every college/university that operates housing must allow Emotional Support Animals. This is under the Fair Housing Act.

      1. J Bielecki says:

        Then is it legal to segregate you if you have an emotional support dog?

        1. sydney says:

          Emotional support dogs are separate from service dogs, so it is legal not to allow them. A service dog, the college would have to allow into the dorms.

  2. Sierra says:

    Vermont technical college?

  3. Gordana says:

    Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences in Skopje has a dog.

  4. Jessica says:

    Do any colleges in Texas allow pets?

  5. Hannah says:

    Are there any colleges that will let you have a large reptile like an iguana?

    1. Cynthis A Gillaspy says:

      Stephens will.

  6. Are there any in North Carolina or Rhode Island that allow pets?

    1. Carol says:

      High point university does

    2. Lynn says:

      Lees-McRae in NC, and Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI will

  7. Tex Lang says:

    Is there any in California or Florida?

    1. Tex Lang says:

      that allow cats?

  8. Barbara J Heusman says:

    does Peru State College in Peru, Nebraska allow dogs at a football game?

  9. Jess says:

    Delaware Valley University allows Emotional Support Animals and also has pet friendly dorms after the students first year

  10. Gillian says:

    Alfred State College in NYS

  11. Sara Bonniger says:

    Are there any colleges in Oklahoma that allow household pets on live on campus

  12. OIivia Hunt says:

    Are there any colleges in New York that allow you to have pets in campus with you in dorms?

    1. morgan says:

      cornell !

  13. Elizabeth says:

    As of fall 2019 Elizabethtown (Pennsylvania) College allows pets in two of its residence halls (in addition to emotional support and service pets).

  14. Autumn Skye Burton says:

    Any in tennessee?

  15. Haylee says:

    Is there any SUNY schools in nys that allow cats ?

  16. Hannah Miller says:

    East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma allows dogs up to 40 lbs and also cats, fish, and small caged animals in select housing.

  17. Cadyn says:

    What colleges and universities near VA allow snakes or 1 snake?

  18. Joshua P says:

    Are there any D1 baskeball schools that allow pets.

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