An ESA is an animal that provides comfort or emotional support to its owner who has a documented medical, physical or mental health-related disability that substantially limits the person's ability to participate in one or more major life function. An ESA is not required to have any specific training. ESAs are different than Service Dogs (SD). If you are pursing a SD on campus, please visit here.

Questions? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions here

IMPORTANT! Students MAY NOT have an animal on campus, in campus housing, or in campus-affilaited housing until ESA approval is received. Please do not adopt an animal or bring an animal to campus until you receive formal, written approval from Student Accessibility Services. 

PLEASE NOTE: ESA APPROVAL MEETINGS TAKE PLACE THE FIRST WEEK OF EACH MONTH (EXCLUDING JUNE & JULY). THERE ARE NO ESA APPROVALS IN JUNE & JULY. ESA APPROVALS WILL RESUME THE FIRST AND SECOND WEEKS OF AUGUST 2022 AND THE FIRST WEEK OF EACH ACADEMIC YEAR MONTH THEREAFTER (SEPTEMBER 2022 - MAY 2023).
You are welcome to submit your documentation in June and July, but you will not be contacted until August. 

Are you ready for an ESA? We want you and your ESA to have the happiest relationship possible. Consider these things before taking on the responsibility of animal ownership.

  • How often are you home to spend time with and care for your animal? How do you see this care fitting in with your time management and daily routine?
  • Do you often spend the night in a residence other than your own? ESAs are not permitted in any other campus or campus affiliated residence.  As an ESA owner your are committing to spending every night in your own residence with your ESA. 
  • Do you travel? ESAs cannot be left alone overnight. Roommates and friends cannot care for your ESA in your residence or in theirs. ESAs need to travel with you, move to an off-campus location, or be boarded when you are away overnight. 
  • What kind of space do you have? ESAs are required to be caged or crated when you are not home. Do you have space for a cage or crate that can house your animal and the things they need while you are not home?
  • Can you afford an animal? Check out these sites about the cost of cat ownership and dog ownership. Here's another informative read.

Feeling good about all this? Follow the steps below to start the ESA approval process. 

Feeling like you might not be ready? Take a look at this planning for an ESA guide


If you are already registered with SAS, please follow these steps:

  1. Download and complete the Information From a Healthcare Provider Form (pdf form below)
    1. Note: According to F&M's Student Wellness Center stated policy, counselors and medical professionals from the SWC do not provide ESA documentation. Please speak with your SWC counselor about other options. 
  2. Contact all of your roommates and ask them to complete a roommate agreement.
    1. Roommate agreements MUST be signed in-person, with a valid F&M ID.
    2. Roommates should go to Student Accessibility Services (SAS), 2nd floor of College Square (above the Student Wellness Center) to sign agreements Monday-Friday, 10:00am-3:00pm. Be sure to bring valid F&M ID. 
  3. Go to Accommodate and submit a supplemental request
    1. ​Attach your completed Information from Healthcare Professional form to your supplemental request form
  4. Please do not:
    1. ​Submit a supplemental request form without the Healthcare Provider Form attached
    2. Email documentation to SAS or any other email. 
  5. Once your Healthcare Provider Form and supplemental request have been received, you will get information about setting up your final approval meeting with a representative from SAS. 
    1. final approval meetings occur the first week of each month. 
  6. All roommate agreements MUST be signed prior to your approval meeting. You will not be approved without roommate agreements. 

If you are not already registered with SAS, please follow these steps:

  1. Download and complete the Information From a Healthcare Provider Form (pdf form below)
    1. Note: According to F&M's Student Wellness Center stated policy, counselors and medical professionals from the SWC do not provide ESA documentation. Please speak with your SWC counselor about other options. 
  2. Contact all of your roommates and ask them to complete a roommate agreement.
    1. Roommate agreements MUST be signed in-person, with a valid F&M ID.
    2. Roommates should go to Student Accessibility Services (SAS), 2nd floor of College Square (above the Student Wellness Center) to sign agreements Monday-Friday, 10:00am-3:00pm. Be sure to bring valid F&M ID. 
  3. Go to Accommodate and submit a Notice of Disability Intake Form (link below)
    1. ​Attach your completed Information from Healthcare Professional form to your supplemental request for
    2. Please do not:
      1. ​Submit an intake form without the Healthcare Provider Form attached
      2. Email documentation to SAS or any other email.
  4. Once your Healthcare Provider Form and intake form have been received, you will get information about setting up your final approval meeting with a representative from SAS. 
    1. final approval meetings occur the first week of each month. 
  5. All roommate agreements MUST be signed prior to your approval meeting. You will not be approved without roommate agreements. 

For more information about having an ESA, please read the documents below.