When picking a place of higher education, talks about how pet-friendly your college is going to be are typically lower down the list of priorities. But for passionate pet owners who cannot be separated from their companions, this may become a crucial criteria for whether a specific college is a good choice or not.
Typically, colleges are not seen as being pet-friendly and we rarely find dogs and cats on college campuses. However, this is rapidly changing and more colleges are becoming open to students bringing in their pets with them on campus. Below, we've profiled a large number of USA colleges and picked out 25 most pet-friendly based on their pet policy.
We've compiled a huge list of all colleges in the United States and then reviewed their rules and regulations, and specifically their “Pet Policy” pages if they had one. For example, here's what Alfred State's pets page looks like. From there, a number of factors were considered and colleges who had the least number of restrictions on pets were ranked the highest (all pets of all sizes allowed, little to no breed restrictions, ease of registering a pet, least number of restrictions for owners and their pets, etc.)
Note that some rules are commonly applied throughout all colleges, such as your pets must have all appropriate vaccinations, be spayed/neutered, have preventatives for fleas, ticks and worms, be non-aggressive and so forth. All colleges also have their students apply for and register their pets as residents on the campus, and pay appropriate fees. Service dogs and assistance animals are excluded from most of these restrictions.
25 Most Pet-Friendly Colleges of 2019
1. Stephens College
Location: Columbia, Missouri
For over ten years, Stephens College has welcomed pets on their campus! While dogs are a student favorite, the campus also welcomes cats, bunnies, fish, and birds, as well as a few smaller animals. The college even holds pet costume parades for Halloween and have a partnership with a local shelter where students serve as foster parents! If that isn’t enough, the college has free doggy daycare, up to $3,000 in scholarships for dog parents, and 170 dorm rooms that are pet-friendly!
2. Stetson University
Location: DeLand, Florida
Stetson University is another university that allows a whole range of pets on campus and they have two dorms on campus that are set aside for pet parents! Of course, the dog parents are the majority, but that could have something to do with the availability of a doggy daycare, a dog park, the opportunity to foster and train service dogs through the school, and the fact that the school has absolutely no weight or breed restrictions on the dogs they allow on campus!
3. Duke University
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Students at Duke University are allowed to bring their harmless animals of any type on campus so long as they can be restrained in public! Yes, even wild animals are allowed. Sadly, though, Duke does not allow any animal other than fish (with a maximum tank capacity of 25 gallons) to reside in their dorms alongside students.
4. Johnson and Wales University
Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Students at Johnson and Wales University are allowed to bring their dogs, cats, rabbits, and aquatic pets to live with them in three of the campus residence halls. The college, known for its willingness to embrace new and unique programs that encourage growth, is still experimenting with their pet ownership program on campus, but so far, it’s been a hit!
5. High Point University
Location: High Point, North Carolina
Students at High Point University are permitted to have fish, dogs, and cats on campus but there are restrictions on which dog breeds are permitted (“aggressive” breeds and breed mixes and not permitted). Pet parents must live in the North College Townhomes to own a pet and they can only have one pet per townhome with a weight limit of 30lbs.
6. Lees-McRae College
Location: Banner Elk, North Carolina
Students at Lees-McRae College as well as teachers are allowed to bring their pets on campus and into classrooms! There are designated pet-friendly dorms, dogs must weigh 40lbs or less, and it is encouraged that all dogs are spayed and neutered because the campus specifically prohibits breeding any animals.
7. Principia College
Location: Elsah, Illinois
Students at Principia College are permitted to bring a whole spectrum of animals on campus including dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and rodents! There are rules that apply, however, such as no pets are permitted on the athletic fields or in athletic buildings, all animals must be curbed, and every animal that is not contained must be wearing a valid identification tag.
8. Reed College
Location: Portland, Oregon
Students at Reed College are not only allowed to bring their harmless and “contained” animals on campus, but dogs are also given designated “off-leash” areas where they can roam. The campus is very centered on local wildlife, however, so it is important that your squirrel chasers keep their behavior in check! Dogs at Reed College must also be kept on-leash when in hallways, lobbies, and on paths through the campus facilities.
9. University of Northern Colorado
Location: Greeley, Colorado
Students at the University of Northern Colorado are permitted to have one cat or dog per dorm room, however, pet-friendly rooms are restricted to just three floors of one dorm. Students must also accept financial responsibility for any damage caused by their dog. Dogs must also be 40lbs. or less and certain “restricted breeds” are forbidden. Additionally, all dogs must be spayed or neutered.
10. University of Washington
Location: Seattle, Washington
Students at the University of Washington can live in any of four apartment buildings dedicated to family housing if they wish to have their pets live alongside them. The catch, however, is that three of those buildings only permit “aquatic” pets. That said, the campus itself is full of greenery and encourages students to interact with each other and their pets in their green space.
11. Eckerd College
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
Students at Eckerd College can choose from eight residential halls that allow them to bring pets which include dogs (under 40lbs), cats, birds, chinchillas, rabbits, ducks, and ferrets. Known as one of the most pet-friendly colleges in the country, Eckerd College even holds a pet graduation ceremony for pets whose owners are also graduating! The college also holds a blessing in honor of St Francis of Assisi and a local vet conducts bi-annual health checks on campus pets! This is the perfect pet-friendly destination for any student dog lover!
12. Lehigh University
Location: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Students at Lehigh University are only allowed to have their dogs live with them if they live in a sorority or Fraternity house and only if the other housemates agree to have the pet live there. If you do live in a house with your pet, campus policy dictates that you must provide them with up to date veterinary care and anytime that your dog is in a common area, they must be accompanied by a human. Students should also know that the university will conduct a thorough investigation before they permit a dog to live in their sorority or fraternity houses.
13. Johnson and Wales University Providence Campus
Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Students at Johnson and Wales University Providence Campus may apply to live in pet-friendly housing where they are permitted to bring their dog so long as they are under 40lbs. The campus does have restrictions on which breeds are permitted with “aggressive breeds” being prohibited and dogs must be at least one year old. Students with dogs have access to over 350 miles of coastline nearby where they can go walking making this the ideal campus for those exercise-hungry pups!
14. Arizona State University
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Students at Arizona State University are permitted to have dogs in their dorm if approved as a trainer for a service animal for that animal, or if the dog is confirmed as an emotional service animal. Dogs must be approved by the Disability Resource Center in order to live in the residence halls.
Unlike other college campuses on the list, Arizona State does not permit animals except for fish to live in dorms unless the animal is a service animal, emotional support animal, or a service animal in training.
15. The University of Illinois at Urbana
Location: Champaign, Illinois
Students at the University of Illinois at Urbana are permitted to keep no more than two pets in the single Ashton Woods Housing unit. Dogs must be under 50lbs and no “vicious” or “Aggressive” breeds of dog are allowed to live on campus. Students must pay a $30 monthly pet fee for their dog which is not refundable and sign a pet agreement. All dogs must be kept up to date on vaccinations and have a valid rabies tag which is also recorded on file with the Family and Graduate Housing office.
16. Alfred State College of Technology
Location: Alfred, New York
Students at Alfred State College of Technology are permitted to have family pets living with them on campus in select housing areas. Dogs must weight under 40lbs., be of certain breeds, and must be registered with Residential Life. Students are allowed just one pet and their dog must be one year old and have been part of their family for at least 10 months so that they may be properly acclimated. Pets must also be kept in good health and undergo annual registration.
While these semi-animal-friendly colleges do not permit dogs on campus, they do allow their students to have other pets in their dorms or around campus.
17. Case Western Reserve University
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Pets Permitted: Students at Case Western Reserve University are allowed to have small caged animals including rabbits and rodents.
18. University of Idaho
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Pets Permitted: Students at the University of Idaho are allowed to have birds, aquatic pets, and cats on campus.
19. MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Pets Permitted: Students at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) are only permitted to have cats on campus in designated dormitories.
20. Middlebury College
Location: Middlebury, Vermont
Pets Permitted: Students at Middlebury College are only permitted to have small rodents and fish on campus in their dormitories and they must be kept in cages or tanks. Other animals are allowed on campus in pet-friendly areas, but they are not allowed to stay overnight on campus.
21. Delaware Valley University
Location: Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Pets Permitted: Students at Delaware Valley University are allowed to keep up to two animals of the same species. So far all of those animals have been rodents, amphibians, snakes, and cats. All environments where pets are kept may be checked and must be approved if checked by the college.
22. University of Florida
Location: Gainsville, Florida
Pets Permitted: Students at the University of Florida are allowed to keep fish, chinchillas, geckos, hamsters, gerbils, non-poisonous frogs, salamanders, and lizards except iguanas and with a length limit of 6” from snout to vent. Cages for pets must be 3’x2’x2’ maximum.
23. Sweet Briar College
Location: Sweet Briar, Virginia
Pets Permitted: Students at Sweet Briar College are all female and are limited to having horses. The college holds an equestrian competition and participation in the competition is the only way to get your horse boarded on campus. The campus itself has 3,250 acres dedicated to equestrian activities and horses.
24. Earlham College
Location: Richmond, Indiana
Pets Permitted: Students at Earlham College are allowed to keep water dependent and nonpoisonous amphibians if their tank is 20 gallons or less. Fish are also allowed to live in dorms if they live in a tank that is also 20 gallons or less. Earlham also allows students to bring dogs on campus, but they are not permitted in any academic buildings, dining areas, or in the dorms. Dogs on campus must also be supervised at all times.
25. Harvey Mudd College
Location: Claremont, California
Pets Permitted: Students at Harvey Mudd College may not be allowed to bring their dogs to live with them on campus, but they are allowed to bring gerbils, turtles, and hamsters so long as their roommate is in agreement. In addition, students must register their pet within seven days of bringing them on campus.