What Top 10 Colleges Allow Pets in Dorms?

college pets

There are many things a student thinks about in college: budgeting daily finances, student loans, courses to take, exams, and projects.

College students, if they’re part of a club or sorority, have a lot on their plate. It can be a stressful life or maybe they can get a little homesick too.

It can sometimes be necessary for students to find a way to release their stress.

That’s why some students look for beautiful college housing units and dorms to live in – ones with amazing free amenities, awe-inspiring views, and a vibrant night life so they can make the best of their time in college.

Others, though, are more interested in de-stressing by spending time with their pets.

Unless the students live with their parents and go to a nearby community college, they’re not going to have a chance to do that.

Fortunately, there are colleges and universities out there that allow their students to bring their pets on to campus and to live in their dorms with them.

Obviously there are some guidelines, policies, and or approvals regarding having pets stay with you though.

However, sometimes it’s worth it to jump through the hoops to get your pet to stay with you.

Especially after going through a long day at school with lots of classes and homework if you know you’ll be greeted by your pet in your dorm at the end of a really long day.


Stephens College

Located in: Columbia, Missouri

Type of college: private, women’s college


Stephens College pet friendly college- image source: pinterest

Stephens College is a women’s college and is the second oldest female college that hasn’t become co-educational.

Its pet program has been around for over a decade, and the college has been considered as the most pet-friendly post-secondary academic institution in the country. There are 170 dorms on the campus that allow pets.

The entire campus welcomes pets of different kinds. Students can drop by the President’s office to get a treat for their canine pets, and the campus bookstore sells pet toys.


Searcy Hall is known as the Pet Central. Students are allowed to bring any of their pets, although the most popular pets are dogs.

There are many communities and events at the college that support students with pets.

One of the most anticipated and biggest events of the year is the Halloween Pet Costume Parade, where students can interact with fellow student pet owners.

Also, Stephens College has a program that allows students to become “foster parents” to pets from the college’s local shelter partners.

Foster parents to these shelter pets can also get scholarships amounting to $3,000.

Stetson University

Located in: DeLand, Florida

Type of college: private university


pet dorms at Stetson University- photo source: stetson.edu

While many different types of pets are allowed, dogs are the most common in Stetson University.

To make sure that campus life isn’t disturbed, the university only allows well-behaved, trained, and non-aggressive pets, according to their Pet Guidelines.

The university offers two dorms for students who want to live with their pets: University Village Apartments and Stetson Cove.

There are also some rooms in Nemec Hall that are open to students with pets.

Students with dogs can use the park and a day care for their canine friend. Also, students can join a program that will allow them to foster and train a future service dog.

Even the faculty and staff encourage students to bring their pets.

Eckerd College

Located in: St. Petersburg, Florida

Type of college: private liberal arts college


Pet graduation at Eckerd College- image source: cbsnews

The college has once been featured on Animal Planet. While some colleges favor dogs, Eckerd students bring a lot of cats and other smaller pets or dog types (under 40 pounds).

Students can apply to have their pets live with them after one semester. This program has been going on since 1973.

There are 8 pet-friendly dorms on campus. Also, there is always a separate graduation ceremony for pets (with diplomas, too).

In October, the college holds a Pet Blessing in Honor of St. Francis of Assisi. Also, students can have their pets checked by a local veterinarian during the bi-annual check-up.

Students must register their pets with the Pet Life Staff, and while some colleges encourage foster parents for animals, Eckerd College does not allow students to gain, adopt, or buy an animal while in college (that was not theirs prior to living on campus).

Lees-McRae College

Located in: Banner Elk, North Carolina

Type of college: private college


Lees Mcrae College pets on campus-photo courtesy lmc.edu

Students, faculty, and staff are all permitted to bring their pets to college. Students can register their family pet at the Student Development Office after they have spent two semesters on campus.

Students with pets can live in many residence halls and housing buildings like Baldwin Hall, McMillan Hall, other Apartments, and Houses.

The college has a Lees-McRae College Pet Council (LMCPC), which helps students living with their pets.

There are some guidelines that pet owners should remember:

  • An aquarium shouldn’t be larger than 20 gallons
  • Fully grown dogs can’t be more than 40 pounds

There are also some dog breeds that are not allowed on campus according to the Pet Policy. These are usually aggressive and large breeds.

Delaware Valley University

Located in: Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Type of college: private university


Pet friendly resident hall Delaware Valley University-photo source: delval.edu

Delaware Valley University’s pet program was launched first in 2014.

Although relatively new, the program became popular among its students, who were allowed to have small pets on the second floor of Samuel Hall.

Since it’s still new, there aren’t many animals yet, but it’s gaining traction; however, first year students aren’t allowed to apply to the Pet Hall Council yet.

For the moment, only small pets like rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, chinchillas, some amphibians, and snakes are allowed. There are also a few cats, just to test the waters.

In 2015, the university was among the 25 Great Small Colleges for Animal Lovers.

Principia College

Located in: Elsah, Illinois

Type of college: private liberal arts college


Principia College no dogs or cats allowed-photo source: principiacollege.edu

Students at Principia College can bring different kinds of pets: fish, birds, rabbits, and rodents – in short, caged or aquatic animals.

Students are not permitted to have cats and dogs, according to their Animal Relations Policy.

Those animals that will roam outside their cages need to have a collar or tag.

Animals are not allowed in some of the buildings or fields, though (those for athletic purposes). Principia used to allow bigger pets before, though.

Washington & Jefferson College

Located in: Washington, Pennsylvania

Type of college: private liberal arts


Washington Jefferson College pet friendly-image source: pghcitypaper.com

While adopting stray pets inside the Washington & Jefferson College is not allowed, students can certainly bring their family pets to stay with them on campus.

The college will allow birds, cats, dogs (under 40 lbs.), hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, turtles, and fish. Visiting pets can stay at the Pet House, but will have to leave at night.

Those with pets must reside in Monroe Hall (or Pet House). Fish tanks are allowed in the residence halls, though.

Those who wish to bring their pets have to pay a registration fee of $25 – $50.

One privilege that pet owners have in this college, is that those who have lived in the Pet House for at least a year can have the chance to stay in a larger room alone with their pet (although the room rate can increase).

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Located in: Champaign, Illinois

Type of college: public research university


University of Illinois allows pets- photo source: housing.illinois.edu

UIUC allows two pets in each room in Ashton Woods. Pet owners must sign an agreement and pay some fees ($30 per month) to be allowed to live with their pets.

Only some pets are allowed; others that are exotic or farm animals are not allowed.

Some dog breeds aren’t allowed on campus either: Doberman Pinscher, Pit Bull, or Rottweiler.

Also, dogs and cats above six months old must be neutered. And of course, pets outside the apartment should be accompanied by the owner.

California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech)

Located in: Pasadena, California

Type of college: private university


Pets allowed caltech campus dorms- photo source: caltech.edu

Although Cal Tech is open to pets, it only basically allows cats. The college has a soft spot for felines. They even have a CalTech Animal Team (CAT) that helps homeless and stray cats.

Only two cats are allowed for each of the following campus houses:

  • Ruddock
  • Fleming
  • Blacker
  • Ricketts
  • Page
  • Dabney
  • Lloyd

Graduate students living in 250/252 Catalina are allowed a maximum of two cats each.

The university has guidelines for where the cats can stay in their designated areas. They are not allowed elsewhere though.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Located in: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Type of college: private research university


MIT College pets-photo source: wideopenpets.com

Like Cal Tech, research giant MIT is more of a cat-lover. Upperclassmen can live with their pets in the following housing buildings: East Campus, Random Hall, Bexley Hall, and Senior House.

All floor mates must be in favor of letting the cat stay. If one floor mate is allergic to the cat, or has valid reasons, the cat won’t be allowed to stay, and the pet owner will have to transfer to another area or floor.

MIT has been allowing cats on to the campus since 2000.

The pets are not restricted to their owners’ rooms, though. They can walk through the halls and go for accompanied walks on the campus grounds.

Rob Clark

SchoolCampus.org admin staff managing editor

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