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Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Procedure and Policy

Intent: To outline the process of determining if a student is eligible to have an emotional support animal (ESA) in on University housing. Also notifying housing if a student is eligible.

Accountability: The Director of DDS and all DDS professional staff, the ADA/504 Coordinator and students with disabilities requesting DDS accommodations and support services.

Applicability: Students enrolled at Monmouth University who live in University housing.


  1. Emotional Support Animals (ESA)
    • Any animal that is able to provide emotional support which provides ameliorative effects to one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability. (per Monmouth University’s Policy and Procedure on Service and Emotional Support Animals)

ESA’s provide companionship, relieve loneliness, and sometimes help with depression, anxiety, and certain phobias, but do not have special training to perform tasks that assist people with disabilities. Therefore, these animals are not considered service animals under the ADA.


Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) cannot be brought to campus without approval. Students requesting an emotional support animal in residential housing must complete the following steps:

  1. Complete the Confidential Registration form.
    • ** If you are currently registered with Disability Services, submit a Supplemental Request in your Accommodate file. **
  2. Read the Service and Emotional Support Animals Policy. Once you understand the section about emotional support animals, complete and return the Signature Form for Request Process & Procedure.
  3. Complete the student part of the DDS Request for Student Housing Accommodations Sections A&B.
  4. Provide appropriate documentation by submitting a completed Disability Provider Information Form- ESA documentation. This form must be completed by a licensed professional.
    • **In Section 6 on page 2 of the form, your clinician should note that you are requesting an ESA as a housing accommodation based on a disability related need/diagnosis and the type of animal you are requesting.  Since there is limited room in this section, they also need to submit a detailed rationale on their letterhead that includes information about the established relationship you have with the animal, length of time you’ve owned the animal, its therapeutic value in the treatment of your diagnosis, and any other information that supports your request for this accommodation.**

In lieu of the Disability Provider Information Form- ESA documentation form, students can submit a letter written by their treating licensed professional on letterhead stationary. Letter must include:

  • Nature of disability with formal diagnosis.
  • A description including the type, severity, and frequency of symptoms currently experienced by the student and how the condition substantially limits with one or more major life activity.
  • State the rationale for the student need for an ESA on campus.
  • Note whether or not practitioner is aware of an existing therapeutic relationship between the student and a specific animal.
  • The animal’s therapeutic value in treatment of your diagnosis.
  • Suggestions of reasonable housing accommodations. Each recommendation must be supported by the diagnosis. Please discuss the rationale for each suggested accommodation relating it to a specific functional limitation.
  • Alternatives to meet the documented need if the first request cannot be met.
  • An explanation of how the student will manage symptoms in other campus settings where ESA is not allowed (i.e., classrooms, dining halls, libraries, etc.)?
  1. Meet with the DDS Disability Specialist either virtually or in person to discuss the request.
  2. If approved, student must acknowledge either in writing or email the Monmouth University Policy and Procedure on Service and Emotional Support Animals.
  3. Once written acknowledgement of the policy is received, DDS will work with Residential Life to ensure all roommates and suite-mates are aware that an animal has been approved for the living space and all parties are in agreement with the arrangement. Additional arrangements may be required to address disability related concerns that arise.
  4. ESAs cannot be brought to university housing until DDS and Residential Life complete their processes.

Signature Form for Request Process & Procedure, DDS Request for Student Housing Sections A&B, Monmouth University Provider Form-ESA and your clinician’s detailed rationale can be scanned and emailed to  In addition to the Department of Disability Services, your request may also be reviewed by the Office of Residential Life and the Office of the General Counsel.  You will be contacted should it be determined that additional information/documentation needs to be submitted. 

If the student does not agree with the determination made by DDS, the student has the option to file an appeal with the ADA/504 Coordinator.

Student Center

Disability Services for Students