JMU has created the Housing Accommodation Request Committee to respond to students’ requests for special housing modifications or accommodations. This committee is made up of JMU professionals representing the Office of Disability Services, the University Health Center, and the Office of Residence Life. To request a housing accommodation please download the Housing Accommodation Form, and return the completed form to:

The Housing Accommodation Request Committee
James Madison University
MSC 1009 / Student Success Center, Suite 1202
Harrisonburg, VA 22807

If you are requesting permission to have an emotional support animal reside with you in a JMU Residence Hall, please complete the Housing Accommodation Form and Emotional Support Animal Addendum. Without both documents, your housing accommodation request will be considered incomplete.

Questions about housing accommodations can be sent to SHRC@jmu.edu


Assistance Animals and Emotional Support Animals

To protect hall residents' general health and safety, pets are not allowed in any university-owned or university-operated buildings. The only exception to this policy is fish that are kept as pets. Students found with pets other than the exceptions in university-owned or university-operated housing will have 24 hours to remove the pets and may be subject to a fine of $50 per day if they do not remove the pets promptly. A follow-up inspection will occur to verify the removal.

Service animals are permitted in residence halls and other university buildings. Assistance animals approved by the Office of Disability Services are permitted in university-owned or university-operated housing only.

Under the federal Fair Housing rules, individuals have a right to have an Emotional Support Animal in their dwelling, even in buildings that prohibit pets. The US Department of Housing has determined that university housing is subject to the same regulations for Emotional Support Animals as other types of homes and apartments. Fair Housing rules and case law affirm that students living in university housing have rights as emotional support animal owners, just as they would if they were living in non-university housing. 

  • Students must be approved through the Housing Accommodation process to have an Emotional Support Animal.
  • Students approved for an Emotional Support Animal are only allowed to have the animal in their room and to take the animal outside to relieve themselves if appropriate. Students can only bring their ESA to another student’s room with the permission of all residents of that room. ESAs are not the same as service animals, which are permitted to go anywhere with their owner.
  • If a student becomes aware of an Emotional Support Animal in areas where one should not be, they should inform Hall Staff so they can follow up on the concern.
  • Universities are not permitted to restrict where individuals with ESAs can live. Therefore, it is not possible to have some buildings reserved for students with ESAs and others without ESAs.
  • If a student has a severe allergy to animals and cannot reside near a student with an ESA, they should go through the Housing Accommodation process so the Housing staff can work with them on their room assignment.
  • If a student witnesses aggressive or disturbing behavior by an ESA, they should inform Hall Staff so this behavior can be appropriately addressed.

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