Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), animals whose sole function is to provide emotional support, comfort, therapy, companionship, therapeutic benefits or to promote emotional well-being are not service animals**.  However, George Mason University recognizes that Emotional Supports Animals (ESAs) may be used as part of a treatment plan for individuals with disabilities.  Follow these steps for submitting an ESA request to Disability Services:

  • Complete an Intake Form
  • Have your healthcare provider complete the Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Request Form
  • Complete part 1 of the Special Housing Accommodation Request Form and have your healthcare provider complete part 2
  • Submit all completed forms to Disability Services for review
  • Disability Services will contact you to schedule an intake appointment
  • Following the intake meeting, your request will be reviewed by the special housing committee that consists of Disability Services, Housing, and Student Health Services.
  • You will be notified by email of the special housing committee’s decision


**According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ‘Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.’  Visit these links for additional information: ADA 2010 Revised Requirements for Service Animals, Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA