Travel Information


OSU Travel Policy (PDF) 
Please refer to this policy when arranging your trip for OSU Business and seeking reimbursement of your travel expenses.

You MUST enter your travel (called a Spend Authorization, or "SA") into the Workday system and have it approved PRIOR to your leaving for your trip.
Please consult with your group’s admin when planning your trip. Give them your spend authorization number.


Pre-approval is required for all OSU Business related trips.

To Gain Pre-trip Approval:

1. Get an email from your advisor approving the trip.

Ask them to include the funding source for the trip, it will either be a grant number (GR# ) or UNIV worktags.

2. Get travel quotes for airfare, and or car rental, and or mileage (driving your own car). 

You can get a travel quote by calling or emailing a CTP agent. Or by going online using the concur system. Airfare requests should be requested as far in advance as possible to keep the ticket cost low.

3.  Go into Workday and fill out a Spend Authorization (SA) following the job aid instructions: How to Create a Spend Authorization

Attach quotes for airfare, car rental, comparison forms if applicable, and approval email from faculty advisor before submitting.

After the spend authorization is approved you can finalize the quote/purchase the airfare.  You must state if the travel will be sponsored (on an OSP grant with a GR#) or non-sponsored (UNIV only worktags). If you do not know please ask your admin or advisor.  If it gets charged to the wrong category it takes many steps to correct this.  Also, if you are using a CTP agent, make sure he or she knows which category to charge.

As always, at anytime you have questions, ask your group admin for support!


Your Expense Report (Reimbursement) must be submitted within 60 days of return date.

How to submit an Expense Report in Workday

Note: Worktags from the Spend Authorization do not carry over to the expense report automatically and you will need to update them according to your SA approval before submitting. 

Additional Details for completing your travel in Workday

Business purpose

A concise and detailed business purpose is needed. Include answers to where you're going (i.e. city/institution), to what (i.e. name of conference), why (i.e. to present a poster), to see whom, dates and research titles.

Including your advisor's name on the SA is helpful.
No acronyms allowed, please spell out all abbreviations.
If there is a website for the event, please list the URL in the business purpose or in the comments.

Examples of a good business purpose: 

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.

Present a talk at the March American Physical Society Meeting, March 14-18, 2022 in Chicago Illinois.

Present a poster at  the March American Physical Society Meeting, March 14-18, 2022 in Chicago Illinois.

Personal Travel

Personal travel is allowed as long as it's specified before you leave.

Fill out comparison forms if you are planning to combine personal and business travel. You will only be reimbursed for the cost of the business portions of the trip.


It is required to purchase all flights with OSU's travel agent Corporate Travel Planners (CTP) either by working with an agent directly or searching flights online in Concur

If your airfare is prepaid with CTP, the traveler will need to submit an expense report for the airfare expense (Scroll down to section on Airfare.) to allocate the expense to your spend authorization within 7 days of purchasing the airfare. 

Rental Car

Rental Car Discount Information

For best results making rental car reservations, use Concur. You will not be able to prepay through Concur but it will secure the reservation per OSU rules.  
 - National, Enterprise and Hertz are the preferred vendors.
 - When using a company other than these three: Purchasing of insurances LDW and CDW is required!
 - Economy size must be chosen unless a reason for larger size is provided.
 - If wanting a larger car without just cause, a cost comparison can be done to reimburse the cheaper option, economy vs larger size.

Fill out comparison forms if you are planning to drive versus fly (either personal vehicle or rental car). You will be reimbursed the cheaper of the two costs, driving or flying.

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.
- Partial Per Diem: specify what flat rate you'd like to receive each day in place of full per diem.
- Decline all per diem for entire trip.
- Reimbursement of actual meal expense by submitting Itemized receipts, we do not recommend this option.

Note: It is University Policy to not give a per diem allowance for meals that are provided as part of the workshop, seminar, or served on your flight. Meals would be noted in your conference agendas and flight itineraries and where appropriate, advanced permission for an exception for dietary restrictions could be accommodated.


- Receipt must be for one person unless otherwise noted.
It is strongly recommended that all travelers have separate room accommodations.  

Registration Fee

- This may be able to be prepaid if you'd like but you must request it well in advance of the registration deadline. If you decide to pay with your personal funds, save the receipt and include it in your expense report for reimbursement.

Other Miscellaneous Estimated Expenses

- This includes expenses for taxi, ground transportation, internet charges, etc.  Note that a business purpose will be required for all internet or wireless access charges.
- Enter $100 if expenses are expected to be none or unknown. This will provide a cushion for flexibility when it is time for reimbursement.

Trip Max / Cash Advance

- No, unless otherwise discussed.

3rd Party Reimbursement

- If any expenses are expected to be reimbursed by another institution, please specify what you expect to receive here.
A Spend Authorization is required even if all expenses will be covered by the 3rd party institution.