University Travel

Student Group Travel Guidelines

Student group travel should be restricted to University course-related, off-campus activities lead by a faculty or staff member and designed to serve educational purposes. Such travel could include the gathering of data for research, participation in a conference or competition, or visit to an event or place of interest.

All travel must be verified as academically related by the traveler’s department/college.



  • Must be one faculty or staff member traveling with the group.
  • Will be financially responsible for the reimbursable expenses of the entire group. If the group leader fails to substantiate expenses and return unused cash advance amounts within 120 days of the end of a trip, the University is obligated under IRS rules to consider such amounts as income to the employee. No refund of such taxes or adjustment to gross income shall be made with respect to any substantiation or reimbursement received from the employee after the 120-day period.
  •  Must complete and obtain approval utilizing the Approval of Travel Request form.    
  • Must complete the Travel Advance Request form for any trip expenses to be paid in advance by Accounts Payable/Travel or to the Group Leader.
  • Must complete and maintain all Risk Management travel documents.
  • Must prepare and submit the Travel Expense Claim form after the trip is completed, accompanied by supporting documents, i.e. receipts. (See Meal Allowances below) Detailed information from the conference/workshop showing any meals or other services provided by the conference/workshop is required with the Travel Expense Claim. This information can be from the conference website detailing the schedule of meals provided, if any.



Group air transportation arrangements MUST be made through Plaza Travel.
Contact phone: 818-990-4053 or 800-347-4447, or email Patt Coletto


Car rental arrangements may be made through Plaza Travel. If booking directly, the Group Leader should take advantage of State Car Rental rates and insurance through Enterprise by using the appropriate CSU Corporate Code. The code may be obtained by contacting CSUN Travel at 818-677-2945. Rental car fees will be paid by Accounts Payable/Travel if booked through Plaza Travel. Otherwise, the Group Leader must pay for the car rental and will be reimbursed after submitting a Travel Expense Claim. Rental or private vehicle passenger vans accommodating 15 or more are prohibited


If a private vehicle will be used while on official CSUN business, an Authorization to Use Privately Owned Vehicles for State Business Form (STD261) must be completed and retained on file in the department initiating the travel. Completion of the CSU’s Defensive Driving course is also required. Contact EH&S at x2401 for assistance.


Volunteers cannot be designated as a group leader. If the driver is not a University employee, a Volunteer Form must be on file with Human Resources.
Proof of completing a Defensive Driving course will be required


Conference registration fees will be prepaid by CSUN Travel if the Group Leader completes a Travel Advance Request form and attaches documentation of registration for all students participating.


CSU policy allows reimbursement of meals subject to the per meal limits below. If an advance is requested for meals, the Group Leader must complete a Meals Allowance Distribution form showing the amount advanced to each traveler and obtain the signature of traveler acknowledging receipt of the advance.

  • The meals reimbursement cap should not be treated as a per diem.
  • Reimbursement of daily meals for travel within the continental United States will be based on actual amounts incurred, subject to the daily maximum reimbursement cap of $55/day allowance.


Travel Advance requests must be submitted to Accounts Payable at least 15 business days prior to the trip.

  • Travel advances include both amounts paid by Accounts Payable/Travel on behalf of travelers and amounts paid to the Group Leader for use by travelers.
  • Travel Advances will be issued to the Group Leader only.
  • The minimum advance is $100.00.
  • Advances for student meals will be paid at 100% of the allowance, but advances for staff and faculty will be made at 75% of the allowance.
  • Meal advances will not be issued earlier than 10 days prior to departure.
  • An advance will NOT be issued if there is an advance for a prior trip for which the Travel Expense Claim has not been submitted.


Please review the California State University Travel Policy and Procedures prior to traveling on official University business.

Please be sure to use the current forms on the CSUN Travel web site.

Consult Risk Management Travel requirements via their web site.