Service and Assistance Animals

You must first register with Disability Services (DS) in order for DS to determine your eligibility for this accommodation.  Refer to the Registration Page for further information.   

Columbia University recognizes the importance of Service and Assistance Animals to some individuals with disabilities, and has established guidelines regarding these animals (including service animals in training) on campus. For the full text of these guidelines, including regulations on care of, treatment of, and personal responsibilities related to a Service or Assistance Animal on campus, please refer to the Service and Assistance Animal Guidelines.

Service Animal:

A Service Animal is a dog (or in some circumstances a miniature horse) that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Columbia University generally allows service animals in its buildings, classrooms, residence halls, meeting spaces, dining areas, recreation facilities, activities and events when the animal is accompanied by the individual approved for this accommodation through DS.

The work or task a Service Animal has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.

Assistance Animals:

An Assistance Animal is a dog, or other common domestic animal, that provides therapeutic support and/or benefits. Assistance Animals are also commonly referred to as therapy, comfort, or emotional support animals. Due to the fact that an Assistance Animal does not assist a person with a disability with activities of daily living, nor does it accompany a person with a disability at all times, Columbia University generally allows Assistance Animals only in a student’s apartment or room, but not in other areas of the university where Service Animals are generally permitted.



I notice that pets are not permitted in Columbia University housing. Is a Service or Assistance Animal a pet?

No. Service and Assistance Animals are not considered “pets” under the Service and Assistance Animal Policy.

I have a service animal, what do I need to know about bringing it to campus?
Last updated September 06, 2017