University Policies


Columbia University has a growing repository of policies applicable to Faculty, Librarians, Researchers, Officers of Administration, Support Staff, Students, Visitors and Consultants. Visit the following web-based catalog for non-academic University-wide policies: Columbia-Wide Policies Catalog

Travel & Expense Policies

Business Expense Policy
Travel Expense Policy
International Travel Planning Policy
Cash Advance Policy
Procurement Records Retention Policy
Travel & Expense Corporate Card Policy


  • The types of payment Columbia can make to international guests depend on their immigration status and visa type. Before extending invitations to international Guests, please check their visa type: Payment Eligibility 
  • Expense Reports must be submitted within 1 year (365 days) of the transaction date for business expenses. Failure to submit within 365 days will result in non-reimbursement of expenses. Refer to the Business Expense Policy
  • Airfares should be booked in economy class. If you need accommodation due to a documented medical condition that has been approved by the University's Leave Management office, need to book a flight that has a scheduled in-air flight time in excess of five hours, or need to travel in first class due to extenuating circumstances, your trip must be pre-approved by our Senior Business Officer.
  • Only The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York or a person delegated by the Trustees have the authority to sign contracts on behalf of the University. If you have a contract or agreement that requires any form of signature, it must be addressed to “The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York” on behalf of your department and submitted for signature. Refer to Contracts & Agreements

Faculty-Student Events

$25 Faculty-Student Lunch
$35 Faculty-Student Dinner
$35 Faculty-Student Event
$14 TA Session per student per semester

Reimbursements for Business

$25 Breakfast
$35 Lunch
$75 Dinner
$150 Recruitment Dinner
$150 Development Dinner

Reimbursements for Travel

$25 Breakfast
$35 Lunch
$75 Dinner
$350 Hotel, US
$400 Hotel, International

The extra cost of expenses above the University's policy threshold must be properly segregated and a justification must be provided for exceeding the threshold. 

Travel and business expenses being charged to Sponsored Projects must conform to the regulations and restrictions placed on the use of funds by the sponsor:

Privacy policies for e-commerce to protect systems that process, transmit and/or store data supplied to the University or any service provider acting on behalf of the University: