6 Pet-Friendly Colleges for Animal-Lovers

Students who attend these colleges can bring along their furry friends. Explore schools worthy of your pets.

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If you’re thinking about bringing your pet to college, make sure to read the details of each pet policy before you apply.

Dogs are known as man’s best friend; for others, so are cats, birds, fish or any other creature that they’ve taken in as part of the family. Though many students have close attachments to their pets, most colleges don’t allow animals in their dorms. However, there are a handful of colleges that welcome dogs, cats and other pets with open arms. If you need your furry (or feathery or scaly) friends with you when you go off to college, make sure to consider these schools with pet-friendly campuses.

1. Eckerd College: Featured by Animal Planet

This school located in St. Petersburg, Florida offers more than just sandy beaches along the gulf coast. Eckerd College also happens to be one of the most pet-friendly colleges in the U.S. Students are practically encouraged to bring their pets to school as long as they live in one of the six pet-friendly housing facilities on campus. They welcome most types of pets, including cats, dogs under 40 pounds, rabbits, large birds, ferrets, chinchillas and even ducks. Eckerd has a pet graduation each year and has even been featured on the Animal Planet show “Must Love Cats.”

2. Stetson University: Home to a Dog Park

At Stetson University, students with pets have three on-campus housing facilities to choose from and they all allow numerous types of pets, including dogs, cats, rabbits, fish, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, mice, rats and chinchillas. Dogs must be under 50 pounds and no breeds considered to be “aggressive” (pit bulls, Rottweilers, chows, Akitas and wolf breeds) are permitted. Their pet-friendly housing is complemented by an on-campus dog park, which is a great place for students and their pets to socialize.

3. Stephens College: Doggy Daycare & Pet Fostering

Want to bring your dog to college, but you’re worried about caring for him when you’re away from your dorm for long hours or all-nighters in the library? Check out Searcy Hall at Stephens College, which offers free Doggy Daycare for students and has no weight limit for these furry friends. In addition to dogs, this women’s college in Columbia, Missouri also accepts cats, rabbits, fish and birds. Students who don’t have their own pet can even apply to foster a pet while living in this dorm. While Searcy is known as “Pet Central” on campus, a few other dorms also offer pet-friendly floors.

4. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Big Campus, Big Love for Pets

It seems like most of the colleges welcoming all types of pets are smaller undergraduate schools. However, the University of Illinois breaks the mold with the Ashton Woods housing facility for graduate students and upper-division undergrads. This apartment-style housing complex welcomes a wide variety of pets, including dogs, cats, rabbits and fish. It’s also conveniently located near the College of Veterinary Medicine.

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Cat-Friendly Housing

Though MIT is known as a school for brainy students, it’s also become popular in recent years for its policy on cats. If felines are your pet of choice, then this school is a great option for you. MIT has four housing facilities on campus which allow cats. All cats and their owners must stay in specified cat-friendly areas and your cat has to be approved by the dorm’s “Pet Chair” before moving in.

6. Sweet Briar College: A Stable for Horses

Though we’ve found quite a few schools allowing pets, Sweet Briar College offers something that these other schools don’t: the opportunity to bring your horse to school with you. This women’s college has an elite riding program that includes the option to board your horse at their stables. Students must be accepted into the riding program and submit a boarding application in order to have their horse housed at school.

Thanks to these pet-friendly colleges, you can enjoy the company of your furry friends at school. If you’re thinking about bringing your pet to college, make sure to read the details of each pet policy before you apply. Many schools have limits for pets based on weight, age, breed and how long you’ve owned the pet.

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