Faculty Travel Process

This page focuses on individual faculty or staff travel only. Information and links to forms for Studio Field Trips can be found on the Studio Field Trip Process page. Please contact the Architecture Department at 805-756-2930 with any questions.

A great resource is a PDF found at this link: AFD 2015 Travel Fundamentals.

Domestic Travel

For Domestic travel, the following items must be completed and submitted a minimum of seven (7) days prior to your departure date.

  1. Brief email communication with the Department Head that describes your funding request, including justification for the travel related to your professional development plan.
  2. Completed and signed Travel Pre-authorization Form.
    • The Travel Pre-authorization Form is a legal document authorizes you to travel on University business. State, Corporation and Foundation all use the same Travel Pre-authorization form.
    • All fields in the Travel Information are required.
    • If your lodging expenses are greater than $275/night, please provide justification in the Purpose of Trip field.
    • If you are driving a private vehicle, complete the Vehicle License # field.
    • Do not complete the Financial Information sections. Please speak with the Department staff if you are requesting a Travel Advance. You must have professional development funds available or other departmentally approved funds for your trip.
  3. Waiver of Transient Occupancy Tax, found on the back of the Travel Pre-authorization form. This form should be printed out separately from the Travel Pre-Authorization form and taken with the traveler. All Cal Poly employees traveling on official University business and staying in a hotel/motel in California are required to complete this form and present it to the hotel/motel operator. Participation by the operator is strictly volunteer. One will be needed for each different hotel/motel.
  4. Travel Expense Worksheet (download pdf before completing) This is a departmental form to help estimate your expenses prior to your trip. It is not a request for funds, but an aid in determining how much funding to request. The worksheet should be submitted with your Travel Pre-authorization form.
  5. If your trip includes personal travel, and you are traveling by air, a “real time” quote document is required at the time travel arrangements are being made that indicates what the airfare would be without the personal travel.

International Travel

All international travel must be approved by the Architecture Department Head before the application process begins. See the Cal Poly International Travel webpage for application time lines, step-by-step instructions, and links to the online application process.

During Travel

  • Meal receipts (reimbursements for alcoholic beverages is not permitted).
  • Lodging receipts (must include a final folio with a day-by-day cost breakdown and proof of payment).
  • Airfare receipts (if you purchased the airfare online, include original tickets or e-receipt and proof of payment).
  • Transportation receipts (if you are taking a cab ask for a receipt from the driver).
  • Rental car receipts (include final credit card receipt, not just the initial estimate).
  • Gas receipts (for rental vehicles only).
  • Conference registration receipts and materials to prove that you attended the conference/event (such as brochures, event programs, etc.).

Special documentation is required for the following types of receipts:

  • Emailed invoices/receipts must include an message from vendor stating the invoice/receipt attached or some sort of documentation from vendor that no other invoice will be mailed.
  • Printed out invoice/receipt must include any original packing slip(s) or other proof that you received the item/attended the event.
  • If a faxed invoice/receipt is the only copy a vender will supply, then a notation to that copy must be included on the invoice/receipt submitted for payment, signed and dated by the submitting party. The original packing slip(s) or other proof that you received the item/attended the event must also be attached.
  • Online purchases must include the item description and prices, confirmation showing method of payment, and the original packing slip(s). If proof of payment is not listed you are required to include additional proof of payment, such as a credit card or bank statement highlighting the item purchased. 

After Returning from Travel

If you are submitting receipts for reimbursement, please submit your original, itemized receipts to the Department within ten (10) business days of your return. The Department will assist prepare your travel claim and will contact you when it is ready for your signature. All professional development claims must be pre-approved by the Department Head. 

Please note:

  • Travel reimbursements are made for conference registration, lodging, transportation, meals, and incidentals according to university policy. For information on current per diem rates, hotel tax waiver forms, car rental agreements, etc., visit the Cal Poly State Travel web page.
  • You cannot claim more than the maximum meal allowance unless you hosted a meal and the department head approved this expense before you left. If you host a meal, you must provide justification for that meal on a separate page and list all attendees.
  • For International Travel meal expenses, see the Federal Per Diem Rates for the applicable location and dates. Per diem rates should be used as a cap, not as the expected amount of reimbursement.
  • Fuel expenses cannot be claimed unless for rental cars. Private car use expenses are covered by mileage only.
  • If a receipt has been lost, a Lost Receipt form must be submitted.
  • If proof of payment is not listed on an itemized receipt, you are required to include additional proof of payment, such as a credit card or bank statement highlighting the item purchased. 
  • It can take up to a month to process your claim from the time the Department receives it. Your reimbursement will arrive in the form of a check in your faculty mail box unless you have requested direct deposit for reimbursements.

Forms and Links

Domestic Travel


Updated 08.02.18

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