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Travel Guide

This page provides Columbia GSAPP Faculty and Students with policies and resources relating to Studio, Workshop, and other University-affiliated travel.

GSAPP is currently revising this webpage. Please check back soon for updated travel guidelines

Travel and Business Expense Reimbursement Guidelines

Columbia University reimburses faculty and assistants for necessary and reasonable business expenses incurred while traveling on behalf of the University or in support of approved and sponsored research activities. Expenses submitted for reimbursement must conform to University and GSAPP policies, federal and state law, as well as restrictions placed on sponsored projects.

It is the responsibility of the traveler requesting reimbursement to familiarize themselves with University and GSAPP travel policies, federal and state law, and regulations on sponsored projects (if applicable), to ensure compliance and prudent spending of University funds.

Refer to the Columbia Travel & Expense website for more information regarding these policies and guidelines.

Reimbursement Time Submission Limit

Travel expense reimbursements must be reported within a reasonable period of time. The University policy generally sets the submission deadline to be within 10 business days after returning from the trip and NO LATER than 120 days after the date of the expense.

In addition, travelers should be cognizant of the University’s June 30th fiscal year-end. All expenses incurred for that fiscal year should be reported to the Finance Office prior to year-end (June 30th) to ensure that the expense is appropriately captured for accounting and reporting purposes.

If the Expense Report is submitted more than 120 days after the trip end date, the employee must provide justification for the late submission and this will require Financial Approver acknowledgement. Acceptable justification reasons in order to avoid imputed income include, but are not restricted to, the inability to submit a report due to medical reasons or being out of the country for an extended period of time with no internet access. The Executive Director of AP will review and determine if imputed income applies.

Expense Reports must be submitted within one year (365 days) of the trip end date for travel expenses. Failure to submit within 365 days will result in non-reimbursement of expenses.

GSAPP Meal Policy

It is GSAPP policy to not reimburse for individual meal expenses. Business meals among University personnel or administrative meetings are not to exceed $25 for breakfast, $35 for lunch, and $75 for dinner, per person.

Documentation Required

The restaurant or cash register receipts for business meals must be obtained and uploaded images of them submitted with the Payee’s Expense Report. The receipt must include:

-the date and location
-the meal items purchased (identify alcohol)
-the total amount of the meal
-proof of payment

The cost of alcoholic beverages may not be charged to a sponsored research account and must be appropriately segregated.

A list of attendees (or a number, if there are more than 10 names), the relationship to the University for each, and the business purpose of the meal must also be clearly documented.

GSAPP does not issue per diems.