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14 Colleges That Allow Dogs or Cats — Everything You Need to Know!

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

By Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Young happy students e-learning over laptop while sitting in a hallway with their dog

Heading off to college is an exciting time, but it can also be a bit lonely because you’re leaving all your friends and family behind. It can make things even tougher if you must say goodbye to a beloved cat or dog. But there are several colleges out there that allow cats or dogs to live on campus with their owners. Here’s a list of 14 of the most notable colleges that will allow you to bring your dog or cat along when moving into a dorm or hall.

The 14 Colleges That Allow Dogs or Cats

1. University of Northern Colorado

This college is perfect for those who want to live with their dog or cat on campus. The University of Northern Colorado allows cats and dogs that are older than 6 months old and that weigh less than 40 pounds to join students during the school year. Some restrictions do apply, such as the fact that multiple breeds are banned due to their protective personalities. Cats must live indoors, and both cats and dogs are limited to two halls: Lawrenson Hall and Belford Hall.

2. Stetson University

All cats and dogs living at Stetson University must be approved through an application process, must be administered flea-and-tick medication regularly, and may only frequent authorized pet-friendly areas on campus. Faculty and staff may bring their well-behaved dogs to work with them. The university also manages a service-dog program that enables students to train future service dogs.

3. Lyon College

Cats and dogs that weigh under 50 pounds when fully grown are allowed to live with students on the Lyon College campus. Dogs have to be older than 1 year old and cats must be more than 6 months old. Pets can spend time in designated campus areas only, but there are plenty of outdoor spaces for walks and playtime. One stipulation to keep in mind is that students cannot adopt a pet while already in school, as a pet must have lived with the student for at least 10 months at home before coming to campus.

4. SUNY College of Technology at Alfred

Dogs, cats, and rabbits are invited to live on campus with Alfred State College of Technology students. All animals are scrutinized for behavioral issues before they are allowed to live on campus, and random behavioral observations may be requested at any time during a pet’s stay. Pet owners must have a veterinarian fill out an evaluation form and submit it to the college before a pet will be officially accepted as a resident.

5. Eckard College

This college has allowed pets to live on campus since 1973. It has similar policies as many other colleges that allow pets, so no dogs over 40 pounds are allowed, and all pets must be registered with the school before they can come to campus. New students must live on campus for at least one semester before they will be allowed to bring their dog or cat to school with them.

6. Johnson and Wales University — Providence

Johnson and Wales University – Providence allow dogs, cats, and small caged animals to live with students in their dorms. Each student is allowed one pet, so if roommates are involved, chances are that there will be more than one animal living in the shared room. Owners must pay a $250 non-refundable deposit for cleaning when applying to have a pet live with them.

7. Lees-McRae College

Dogs, cats, and fish are allowed to reside with their owners at Lees-McRae College with proper approval from the administration. All other types of animals are banned from residing in student housing, including lizards and hamsters. Owners are subject to a registration fee of $250 per semester to keep their pets with them on campus.

8. Pfeiffer University

Pfeiffer University does allow dogs and cats on campus, but there is limited space available. Only one hall allows pets, and only 30 pets in total can reside in that hall at any one time. This college only started allowing pets in 2017, so the program is fairly new and may be expanded as more demand for pet housing is established.

9. PenWest Clarion University

Upperclassmen living in Brook Trout Hall or Reinhard Villages are allowed to bring small pets to live with them on the PenWest Clarian University campus. Any pets living on campus must be cleared by a veterinarian, and pet owners must sign a consent form promising to follow all pet policies while on campus.

10. SUNY Canton

Service animals and small pets can live with students at SUNY Canton in select halls. Each hall maintains strict rules of conduct and holds pet owners accountable for anything that their pets do, no matter the situation. Pets are not allowed on athletic fields and must be picked up after whenever they are outside.

11. MIT

While MIT does not allow dogs and most other types of pets on campus, fish that can live in 20-gallon tanks or smaller are allowed. Two halls also allow a very limited number of cats to reside with students. Space is available on a first come, first serve basis. Service and assistance animals may be approved on a case-by-case basis.

12. University of Illinois

Residents of Ashton Woods at the University of Illinois can apply to have up to two pets with them onsite. Pet owners must pay a monthly $30 fee for each pet that is living with them. Dogs must always be leashed when outside of the student’s apartment. Pets cannot be let outside, even on apartment balconies, without supervision.

13. Stephens College

Stephens College is unique because it allows most types of pets, and there are no weight restrictions for dogs. However, there are a few breed restrictions, and dogs and cats must be at least 6 months of age to reside on the campus. The college has partnered with an animal shelter to offer a fostering program on campus that enables students to foster pets and get them ready for their forever homes.

14. Washington and Jefferson College

Not only does Washington and Jefferson College offer housing for students’ pets, but it also provides many cool features and amenities for pet parents to take advantage of. For example, students can keep their pooches clean at the dog-washing station. Pet-friendly walking paths and parks are also available. There is even a “pet hall” that is exclusively for students who want to live with and care for animals.


While not all colleges will allow you to bring a cat or dog to live with you on campus, this list is full of the ones that will. So, if you can’t imagine life at college without your furry friend, you may not have to leave them behind. That said, it’s always a good idea to request a complete list of pet policies from any college that you are considering attending, to ensure that you understand whether your pet will qualify and what will be expected of you as a pet owner on campus.

Featured Image Credit: Drazen Zigic, Shutterstock

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