Graduate Program

College Student Affairs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Dianne Timm


This study sought to understand the best practices and protocols of Emotional Support Animal policies in residential life. A qualitative case study was conducted to provide insight on the best practices of residential life Emotional Support Animal Policies. Four participants from institutions with established policies were interviewed to gain understanding of these protocols and policies, what is involved in the approval and accommodations process, and what challenges the participants face. The results showed a need to evaluate and change the current process that most institutions utilize for Emotional Support Animal approval. The approval process and accommodations process are two separate processes, which means that Disability Resources and Residential Life should have a strong collaboration. Results of this study may not applicable to every institution because every institution faces different challenges unique to their campus.