Ohio State nav bar


The objective of the Travel Policy is to ensure efficiency and fiscal accountability for university business travel. The University will pay for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for authorized business travel. All travel expenses paid with university funds must comply with the University’s ExpendituresPCardInternal ControlsPurchasing, and Human Resources policies.  Additional sponsor requirements and/or federal regulations may apply to expenditures charged to sponsored projects. Contact the Office of Sponsored Programs for clarifications. Travelers need to familiarize themselves with the travel policy prior to making travel arrangements.

Travel Policies

General Travel Information:

  • Please visit the Ohio State Travel webpage for resources like current travel guidelines, travel agency contact information, the university travel policy and other resources.


Rental Cars: 

  • Please see Rental Car Information
  • You are required to purchase LDW, CDW, DW and Liability insurance.
  • Rental car expenses that do not include the required insurance cannot be paid with university funds.

Faculty and Staff Travel

Spend Authorizations/Travel Request

What's a Spend Authorization? A "Travel Request" in Workday is called "Spend Authorization".

A travel request should be submitted as soon as you intend to take an OSU-funded trip.  

  • Domestic travel: 2 weeks
  • International travel: 4 weeks

Please submit your travel request using Workday.  Please see the "Create a Spend Authorization" job aid for step-by-step directions on submitting a travel request.

Travel requests will be processed within a couple business days of submission.  Upon approval, you will receive an email notification including your travel number so that you may proceed with making your travel arrangements.

All travel requests require supporting documentation upload documentation (PDF/Screenshot) at the time of submission:

  • Email approval from your advisor approving the trip and the funding source information for your trip i.e., worktags, grant number, etc.
  • Conference or meeting invitation.
  • Agenda and itinerary details that justify meals calculation (if not available, note it on the request).
  • Expense line estimate documentation to demonstrate expected cost.
  • Travel Comparison Form and quotes to demonstrate cost comparison when personal travel is added to business (see more details “Prepayments and Reimbursement/Expense Reports” section below). 

Additional Details: 

  • Justification (aka Business Purpose of trip) A concise and detailed justification is needed, this should include the reason of the trip, why and how this is necessary to fulfill the goals of the university or the research (who, what, when, where, and why), dates and research titles. 
    • Examples satisfactory JUSTIFICATION: Attend the March American Physical Society Meeting, March 14-18, 2022 in Chicago Illinois to learn about advances in the field and meet potential collaborators.
  • Including your advisor's name on the SA is helpful. 
  • No acronyms allowed, please spell out all abbreviations.

Ohio State requires you to use university travel partners to reserve flights and car rentals. We also have options to prepay other travel expenses; however, you no longer need to wait until you return from a trip to submit a reimbursement request ("Expense Report" in Workday). Please see the following instructions on how these expenses can be prepaid.



To book a flight with our designated travel agency, Corporate Travel Planners (CTP), go to the OSU Travel Website, and from the "Book Online" dropdown menu, click on "Login to Concur". If you have found a lower fare outside of the Concur Booking Tool, please complete CTP's Airfare Price Matching Request and will review your request and respond within one business day. CTP also has the ability to split your transaction if you have business travel included with personal travel.

Please see the Concur Online Booking Tool: Tips and Tricks resource guide for a walkthrough of the Concur booking tool.


Car Rental

Corporate Travel Planners Concur Booking Tool can be used to reserve a car, also, this will not be prepaid through Concur, but it will secure the reservation with OSU regulations. You may also call the numbers listed on the university's Rental Car Discounts page. The CTP Travel Agent can add a rental car reservation to your airfare quote as needed. This is not prepaid like the flight but can be reserved. 

  • National, Enterprise and Hertz are the preferred vendors.
  • If a third party is reimbursing the car rental, we recommend using the university vendors, which will include required insurances, LDW and CDW, and any other protection for other unexpected incidents.
  • Economy size must be chosen unless a reason for larger size is provided.

If would like a larger car without just because personal preference, a cost comparison can be done to reimburse the cheaper option, economy vs larger size.



This could be prepaid but you must request it from your admin person well in advance of the registration deadline. If you decide to pay with your personal funds, save the receipt and submit an expense report for reimbursement within 60 days of payment on receipt.

ASC Travel Comparison Form

Processing of travel reimbursements can be complicated when extending travel time for personal reasons or when choosing to drive (rental or mileage) instead of flying. The College of Arts and Sciences Business Services Center has developed the ASC Travel Comparison Form (linked below) that will help to compare the different modes of travel and situations based on the Ohio State travel policy. All travel reimbursements submitted that include personal time in conjunction with business travel and/or mileage in place of flying require the ASC Travel Comparison Form and all supporting documentation (flight comparisons, mileage maps, etc.)


ASC Travel Comparison Form     

Travel Comparison Job Aid


Accommodation Requests

If you need a travel accommodation, requests should be made through Ohio State's ADA Coordinator's Office.

Reimbursements/Expense Reports

According to the latest travel policy update, you no longer need to wait to request reimbursement; however, "The traveler must submit an expense report with itemized receipts and other applicable supporting documentation within 60 days of the expense being paid or incurred." Please see the "Create an Expense Report" job aid in the Administrative Resource Center for step-by-step directions to request a reimbursement.


Meals/Per Diem

  • Full Per Diem: look up the federal rate for the city/cities you will be traveling to on the GSA for Domestic locations and Federal site for International locations. For this option the amount is set amount and cannot be modified.
  • Reduced/Partial Per Diem: specify the flat rate amount you'd like to receive each day in place of full per diem. (This is submitted in the Workday Spend Authorization under "actual meal” expense item and with the memo indicating “reduced/partial per diem will be claimed” as there is not a selection for "partial per diem", and then use the spreadsheet template for calculating meal costs for reimbursement.)
  • Decline all per diem for entire trip (add note on the spend authorization).
  • Reimbursement of actual meal expense by submitting itemized receipts, we do not recommend this option.


Car Rental

Include this this expense on the expense report for reimbursement along with the details receipt form the car rental agency.



  • Receipt must be for one person unless otherwise noted.
  • The university will permit payment of lodging expenses at reasonable single (room rate and taxes only) or conference rate.
  • It is strongly recommended that all travelers have separate room accommodations.


Ground Transportation

  • This includes expenses for taxis, Uber, Lyft, etc. Receipts are required for Uber/Lyft.


3rd Party Reimbursement

  • If any expenses are expected to be reimbursed by another institution, please specify in the justification what expenses or amounts that you expect to receive, you will need to pay out of pocket and request reimbursement form the third party
  • If third party is paying for the full trip and no OSU reimbursement is expected, a spend authorization is still required to be submitted and approved pre-trip.


Cash Advance

Cash Advances may be the last option, unless they discussed with your group admin.



Note: Worktags from the Spend Authorization may not carry over to the expense report automatically, please check the SA and manually enter the same ones before submitting expense report.

Spend Authorization Training and Videos:

The university's Administrative Resource Center has some training and videos about Travel Authorization and Expensing Overview.


*(This includes Grad and Post-Doc students employed by Physics Department)

Guest Travel

All guest travel should be submitted to your admin person as soon as the guest has accepted our invitation to visit campus. Please email the following details to process the Spend Authorization for Non-Worker and secure the completed supplier form guest’s travel request. A fillable form is also linked below, with fields for all of the guest travel information listed here.

  • Guest’s Name (as it appears on the government issued form of identification that will be shown at the airport).
  • Guest’s email address.
  • Guest's cell phone number.
  • Guest's date of birth.
  • Funding Source.
  • Business Purpose: (Name of guest) will be traveling to The Ohio State University to (description of activity).
  • Departure Date.
  • Return Date.

Important: University policy allows for travel to begin and end one day before and after the business purpose.  If it is necessary to travel beyond these dates, please explain why.  If personal travel is involved, please provide with the dates related to business purpose + personal dates, since admin person will need to complete an ASC Travel Comparison Form and applicable quotes are required, details above on section “Prepayments and Reimbursement/Expense Reports”.

  • Departure City: (If not departing/returning from Columbus please explain why not)
  • Return City.
  • Total Estimated Cost: $
    • Airfare/Personal Auto Mileage/Rental: $
    • Does airfare need prepay?
    • Does lodging need prepay?
    • Hotel: $

(Please give a preferred hotel and a second choice so that a reservation can be made)

  • Mileage = total miles * $.67: $
  • Rental Car: $              Gas: $
  • Shuttle, Taxi, etc.: $
  • Parking: $
  • Business Meal(s): $
  • Honorarium: $
  • Other: $


NOTE: If driving (rental car or mileage) admin person will need ASC Travel Comparison Form and applicable quotes are required, details above on section “Prepayments and Reimbursement/Expense Reports”.