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Policy Notes: Student Travel

The University pays reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for degree or program-related student travel, such as attending a conference or visiting a field site or laboratory facility. Such travel must be certified as degree-related by a faculty member.

For more information, read the Business and Travel Expense Reimbursement policy.

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Stanford Travel is the University's preferred travel management service for travelers and arrangers. Special Stanford-negotiated rates for air travel, car rental, and lodging can all be found on Stanford's online booking tool.

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Stanford Travel Card is the University's preferred method of payment for student travel that is certified as degree or program related by a faculty member.

Student travel that cannot be certified as a University business expense cannot be paid as University Business expenses.

  • For undergraduate and graduate students, un-certifiable travel expenses should be added to the student's University account and paid through the normal student refund process.
  • For post-doctoral students, un-certifiable travel expenses may be tax reportable and should be paid through Graduate Financial Services (GFS) as a fellowship payment.
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Undergraduate, Graduate and Post-Doctoral Student Travel

The preparer of the reimbursement request must certify within the Expense Requests System that the expenses meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Directly support faculty member's project or research program
  • Are related to presenting at a conference (attach program)
  • Are an integral part of this student's degree work (does not apply to post docs)
  • Are directly related to the student's employment at the University

A paper form is available for schools and units to facilitate this certification, but it is not required as an attachment to the reimbursement request. See Student Certificate for Authorized Expenses.

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Non-Business Days

Weekends, holidays, and other necessary standby days may only be counted as business days if they fall between business travel days. If a traveler chooses to arrive early or to stay longer for non-business reasons, the University does not pay for expenses during additional personal days. The only exceptions are when travel is at a lower total cost if the traveler stays over a weekend or holiday, with department approval and/or when traveling more than 8 time zones, travelers may arrive one day ahead of the event (for example, the conference starts on Monday, it is ok to arrive on Sunday). The traveler must document the reason for this extra expense in order to support the non-business-day payment.

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Documentation of Expenses

Expense reports with relevant supporting documents attached must be completed for all travel expenses paid by the University.

The University does not require receipts for expenditures under $75; however, schools and departments may require receipts for expenditures.

Specific to student travel, the expense report must also include a copy of the conference agenda if travel involved a conference.

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