Animals on Campus

Animals are permitted on Boston University outdoor property, only if they are on a leash or otherwise under physical restraint so that the rights and safety of pedestrians are safeguarded.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, service dogs are permitted in University facilities for persons with documented disabilities. In University residences, we adhere to a strict no pet policy.  Emotional Support Animals (ESA), if formally approved through the Office of Disability and Access Services, are permitted in specified student dorm rooms, but not allowed in common spaces.     

Students who bring pets or animals into the residences are subject to disciplinary action.

Learn more about the accommodation process via the Disability and Access Services website under: Forms and Policies > Housing and Dining Accommodations. You can also access the informational PDF here: “Service and Emotional Support Animals DAS Policies & Procedures”


  1. There are two dogs that are consistently inside the science building, unleashed and barking.

  2. Dear Boston University,
    Please consider updating your service animal policy at because there are many disabilities other than deafness and blindness which benefit from the assistance of a service or support animal. Moreover the ADA’s protection for service animals is expansive and but your current policy suggests that psychiatric service animals do not have the right to accompany their owners as a public accomodation.
    Happy invisible disability week!

  3. I have a documented long standing diagnosis of severe social anxiety disorder. Would I be allowed to have my service dog with me in class? Not a pet. A trained service dog for my condition

  4. Hi Ariel –

    This part of the policy is one currently being examined very closely. Thank you for your note. We have sent it along to those working on the matter.


  5. Incredible insensitivity that the school thinks only deafness and blindness are legitimate disabilities! There are service dogs for all kinds of disabilities and impairments. Limiting the type of tasking the dog is blatant discrimination. Shame on you.

  6. Laura – Thank you for your input. The University recognizes a wide range of disabilities, and has allowed service animals in cases of disabilities outside of deafness and blindness. The wording of this particular policy is currently being examined, but we encourage anyone who needs a service animal to contact our Disability Services office and make the request. If you have any further concerns regarding this, I encourage you to email our office or Disability Services.

  7. Hello! I have these fish that I plan on using for research for biology and medical sciences. They are endangered as well. Are these not allowed in the dorms?

  8. What is the verdict on Emotional Support Animals? By the fair housing act, any animal that provides emotional comfort prescribed by a doctor/has a recommendation from a professional qualifies as an ESA. Are they allowed in residence halls? anywhere else on campus?

  9. Hi Nicole: Emotional Support Animal requests for both residence halls and academic buildings are handled by our Office of Disability Services. If a student wishes to bring one to campus, they are to put in a request to Disability Services in advance. Their contact information can be found at

  10. Hi. How does the emotional support animal policy relate to living in an apartment on campus? Would I be required to get my own apartment or could I just have my own room in the apartment shared with friends?

  11. Each support animal request is handled individually through the Office of Disability Services. You may contact that office via the following means:

    Phone: 617-353-3658 (V/TTY)
    Fax: 617-353-9646

  12. Am I allowed to bring my ESA dog or not? This is not very helpful for what I am looking for… Thanks for your time!

  13. Hello! I’m a high school student, graduating class of 2021, and am considering BU for college. I have been diagnosed with moderate depression, and was wondering if that would qualify me to keep an emotional support animal with me in the dorm rooms. If so, what kind of animal would I be able to have? Please let me know when you can, thanks!

  14. I’m assuming then that I would not be allowed to bring my hermit crabs with me to my dorms. My parents won’t take care of them well, so what do you suggest I do with them? They’re fairly important to me.

  15. I am sorry that we do not allow hermit crabs in the residence halls. Students who have found themselves in similar circumstances often find friends either off-campus here in Boston or back at home to temporarily adopt their animal.

    If the hermit crabs can be considered an emotional support animal (ESA) for a significant psychiatric disability, there is a procedure for asking for an exception:

  16. Just wondering, can we keep small pets like hamsters or chinchillas in our dorms? Pets like those generally spend their times in their cages and don’t interact with people too often(which limits the risks of contact). I’m just wondering.

  17. Hello John,

    No animals are allowed in the dorms unless they are service or emotional support animals.

    Thank you!
    Danielle Staub, DOS Assistant Director, Operations & Strategic Initiatives

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