CSE Travel Policies and Procedures

Guidelines for Travel Arrangement and Reinbursement

Please follow the guidelines outlined in this document to ensure that you receive full reimbursement for your expenses.

Pre-authorize Travel and Obtain an Event Number

It is necessary to establish a travel event number prior to traveling to ensure that the trip is authorized by the university. Without the preauthorization, you are traveling at your own risk in case of an accident. A CSE financial assistant can create an event number for you. Please provide them with the following information:

  • An Academic Leave of Absence Form is required for faculty traveling for 7 or more days. See Katheryn Ritten for additional details.
  • Travel dates and destination of your trip
  • Purpose of your trip
  • Funding source -- you can obtain this from your PI or supervisor
  • If you are a first-time UC business traveler, please provide your mailing address and social security number to set up a traveler ID in the TravelLink system.
  • Estimated budget

Travel Arrangements

Air Travel

Travelers may arrange for their own flights and get reimbursed after the event, or request prepayment(s) in advance by booking through a UCSD alliance agencies (Balboa Travel or Business As Usual).

For foreign travel: The "Fly America Act" is a federal regulation that requires the use of U.S. carriers for travel that will be reimbursed from federal grants and contracts. Please click on the link below and read about the Act before making arrangements for UC related air travel, find out about the funding type and, if applicable, ensure the booking is in accordance with the Act. Fly America Act

Car Rental

Rentals should be arranged through a company with whom UC has an agreement. For rental car agencies with UC agreements and step-by-step car rental instructions, click here.

UCSD maintains University agreements with these companies that includes a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI) at no additional cost. As such, when booking a reservation, please decline any CDW or SLI coverage offered by the agency.

Personal Car

If you use your private automobile for official university business, you will be reimbursed at the current rate for the date of Travel. Please keep track of your mileage.


There is no maximum for lodging when the travel is 29 days or fewer within the continental U.S. However, reimbursement is limited to the single room rate that is reasonable for the location and nature of the travel event. We will reimburse the single room rate, energy surcharges and applicable taxes for each night of lodging.


Please turn in all of your itemized receipts at the end of your trip. Travel requires itemized receipts. To calculate the actual amount to claim for reimbursement. If actual meal expenses exceed the maximum, you can claim only the allowable amount, which is $64 per full day for travel lasting 1 - 29 days.

Please Note:

  • Do not pay for another person's meal. Each traveler may only be reimbursed for their own meals.
  • If food is provided at the conference, you will not be eligible for the full day's reimbursement.
  • Alcohol is never allowed on State and Federal funds.

Per Diem or Foreign Travel

The CSE Department requires documented proof of expenses for meals and lodging via receipts and other documentation (this could be satisfied with a written itemization for meals) to ensure that the perdiem paid equitably reflects the amount that the traveler actually expended. Ground transportation is reimbursable and is not included in per diem.

Please contact a CSE financial assistant for the per diem rate. Or, click here.


After your travel is completed, please submit the following documents to a CSE financial assistant:

  • Please submit the original receipts within 10 days of the trip's return date.
  • Airfare -- itinerary is required with receipts
  • Rental car
  • Ground Transportation
  • Hotel
  • Registration fees
  • Meals -- temized receipts
  • Other -- such as parking, internet, phone, fax, ATM fee, books purchased at a conference, etc.

If any receipt does not state the form of payment, please provide a credit card statement as a back up document. Please show the actual foreign currency conversion for that day. The CSE department will use the foreign currency conversion rate of the first day of your trip unless you notify us otherwise. (Calculator: http://www.x-rates.com/calculator.html)

Any expenses deemed "excessive" by the Travel Office may be rejected.

Need Help? Please see a CSE financial or faculty assistant.