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Travel and Purchasing

The following section pertains to business-related travel for faculty and staff. If you are a graduate student traveling for research, please refer to the Graduate Student Travel section

Please contact fiscal associate Maureen Allison with any questions. 

Training Materials:

Before You Travel

A spend authorization must be submitted in Workday and approved before you travel and/or pre-pay any expenses. Travel expenses without prior authorization will not be eligible for reimbursement. In most cases, staff can assist with prepayment of your flight or you can work directly with the travel agent once a travel request is approved. 

For international travel, faculty and staff are eligible to receive a cash advance up to 80% of the travel estimate in certain situations. Cash advance reconciliations (use travel reimbursement form) are due 30 days upon return. All other receipts will be reimbursed after the trip has concluded. 

Faculty and staff must complete a spend authorization to approve travel arrangements or pre-payments in Workday prior to any travel. Alternatively, faculty and staff can complete the WGSS Travel Request Form to provide information for fiscal associate Maureen Allison to complete the spend authorization. 

Airfare – New Travel Mandate

Please note that all airfare must be directly booked using the Corporate Travel Planners Travel Agent. Reimbursements will not be processed for any other airfare booking. You'll need your Spend Authorization# from above to book a flight. 

Travel Planning Tools

Personal Travel – Cost Comparison Tool

When traveling in conjunction with personal time or when you've elected to drive instead of fly, cost comparisons are needed at the time of booking. Faculty and staff are responsible for completing cost comparisons.

  • OSU will only pay/reimburse expenses incurred at locations/times specific to the business purpose. 
  • OSU will not prepay any personal expenses unless documentation verifies there is no increase in cost. 
  • Cost variances in expenses such as airfare, car rental, and lodging must be clearly documented.

The College of Arts and Sciences Business Services Center has developed the ASC Travel Comparison Form that will help to compare the different modes of travel and situations in one place based on the Ohio State travel policy. All travel reimbursements submitted that incorporate personal time in conjunction with business travel or mileage in place of flying will require the attached form and all supporting documentation (flight comparisons, mileage maps etc.).

This form is required and should be attached to the travel request or the travel reimbursement for review.

Third-Party Payments (Covered by another institution)

Prepayments are not allowed if there will be payment of expenses or reimbursement to the traveler by a third party. You should work directly with the institution on requesting reimbursements. 

After Travel

When you return from your trip, you will "Create an Expense Report" in Workday and upload copies of your itemized receipts showing payment information as well as the program/itinerary. 

  • Expenses must be submitted within 30 days of your return date to be eligible for reimbursementAs you travel, please keep the following travel tips in mind so that we may process your reimbursement in a timely manner.
  • All receipts must be itemized showing the unit rate, total amount paid, and the proof of payment. If the receipt doesn’t have the payment information, you may provide a copy of your credit card/bank statement highlighting the charge. Please be sure to mark out any other personal information including unrelated charges on the statement prior to submitting this document.

Lodging Receipts

Lodging receipts must include the itemized charges for rooms and all meals and incidentals notated. Keep in mind that the University will reimburse for the conference rate if those are provided and a maximum of 2x the federal per diem rate for lodging. 

Per Diem or Meal Receipts

Per diem is preferred and the daily rate is determined by location. The daily breakdown is 25% breakfast, 25% lunch, and 50% dinner. If your conference registration or hotel covers any meals, you are not eligible for that meal. In addition, meals included on your flight or continental breakfasts offered as part of your lodging will not be reimbursed. Please indicate whether or not breakfast was included during your hotel stay, and please provide the conference program to show what meals were or were not provided.

If you're claiming actual meal expenses, you must submit all itemized meal receipts. The cost of the meal will be capped at the per diem rate if the actual meal expense is greater. (Per diem is not eligible on many grants. Coca-Cola CDW and Arts & Sciences permit only itemized meal receipts.)


Review the current federal mileage rate when using your personal vehicle. You must either use a Google Map showing locations and mileage, or start and finish odometer readings. OSU also has a mileage log that may be used for convenience. Please contact fiscal associate Maureen Allison with any questions. 

Rental Car

OSU currently has contracts with three national agencies, National, Enterprise and Hertz, with established rates that include the required coverage. These can be booked directly through CTP/Concur. If the Ohio State contract is not available, please see the vehicle rental FAQ for more information.  

International Travel 

For faculty and staff covered under OSU medical insurance and traveling on business, you are eligible to utilize RedPoint which provide services for locating providers in areas worldwide. If you are not an enrollee in one of the university's health plans, you can still enroll for this coverage. 

Graduate and undergraduate students, review the WGSS Travel Guidelines and Requirements


Please read the Arts and Sciences policies pertaining to purchasing. 

Faculty will be provided a periodic summary of funds available from the Department Manager. These funds include your WGSS annual allocation for travel and research expenses, college and divisional grants, start-up funds, and other special awards. Be sure to submit details and award notifications to the manager for keeping track of funds. 

Reimbursements and/or Pcards

Expense/Reimbursements: You can request reimbursement through the Create an Expense Report task (here is a video and job aid). The PCard manager can make the purchase for you and handle the expense report if you need to use the department card. 

Purchases (Catalog and Not-Catalog)


Ohio State has contracts with vendors who provide needed services and equipment. Approved vendors include Staples for office supplies, Complete Book and Media Supply for books, subscriptions and media, and UPS for shipping, among others. Ohio State only reimburses for Coca-Cola products.

Purchasing Card

The department has a purchasing card which can be used in lieu of issuing a purchasing order or request a check. Please submit a Spend Authorization or Expense Report in Workday. Once your request has been approved, stop by 100E Dulles Hall to check out the purchasing card. Please note, Ohio States does not pay sales tax in the state of Ohio. Please tell the attendant that we are tax exempt and provide sales tax exemption certificate if needed. If sales tax is charged on the card during your transaction, you’ll be required to contact the business to have the tax amount removed. Please document all efforts in your attempt to collect the return of sales tax. Once you’ve checked out the card, please reference the accompanying helpful reminders in the purchase card envelope. 


When a business policy is not followed, we must seek college approval for each transaction. An exception form is required to communicate circumstances surrounding why an exception is being requested and should be completed by the individual who made the error. The individual seeking approval must sign the form and return to the administrative manager for further processing. 

[pdf] - Some links on this page are to .pdf files. If you need these files in a more accessible format, please contact wgss@osu.edu PDF files require the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader software to open them. If you do not have Reader, you may use the following link to Adobe to download it for free at: Adobe Acrobat Reader.