Handbook of Operating Procedures

Student Travel

Policy Number: 61


Travel by students


Students. Student appointees traveling in their capacity as employees should refer to HOOP Policy 13 Travel.

Date Reviewed:
February 2008
Responsible Office:
Expense Reimbursement and Academic and Research Affairs
Responsible Executive:
Vice President, Finance and Business Services; Executive Vice President for Academic and Research Affairs


The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ("university") supports the educational, research and service activities of its students by sponsoring and reimbursing certain travel activities and expenditures. The university, however, has special concerns as to how students are asked or permitted to travel on official university business. This policy includes information on seeking approval for travel, reimbursement for travel expenditures, and safety rules that apply to student travel.

This policy is applicable to student travel undertaken by one or more currently enrolled students to reach an activity or event. Travel is defined as participation in a university program or activity more than 25 miles away from the university campus that is organized and sponsored by the university or participation in a university sanctioned event such as meetings of professional organizations with which the university is affiliated. An activity or event is considered to be organized and sponsored by the university if it has been planned and funded by the university and approved by a designated faculty member, school or university administrator.

Travel by students is most commonly associated with the work of sponsoring faculty members such as participating in assigned practica or rotation experiences, conducting field studies, and attendance and/or presentations at professional organizations. In these situations, it is the responsibility of the sponsoring faculty member and his or her department or other university sponsor to assure that students traveling on their behalf are aware of travel rules and regulations.

If a student is a member of a registered student organization and travel is required as a function of his or her role in that organization, the student must obtain prior written approval for the proposed travel by the appropriate associate dean for student affairs, before the travel is undertaken.

Detailed information regarding reimbursement policies and procedures are found in the Travel Guide.

Travel processes are performed by the sponsoring department or school at the request of the sponsoring faculty or administrator on behalf of the student. These processes are described in the Travel Guide.


Motor Vehicle Travel

A. Seat Belts

Occupants of motor vehicles must use seat belts or other approved safety restraint devices as required by law at all times while traveling in a motor vehicle on university business.

B. Alcohol and Illegal Substances Prohibited

Occupants who travel on university business in motor vehicles cannot consume, possess or transport any alcoholic beverages or illegal substances at any time while the vehicle is in operation.

C. Passenger Capacity

The driver of any vehicle being used in pursuit of university business must assure that the total number of passengers in any vehicle at any time it is in operation does not exceed the manufacturer's recommended capacity.

D. License and Training

The driver of any vehicle being used in pursuit of university business must have a valid operator's license issued by the state in which he/she permanently resides, proof of liability insurance, and be adequately trained to drive the vehicle that will be used.

E. Proof of Insurance, Inspection and Safety Devices

The driver of any vehicle being used in pursuit of university business must assure that each motor vehicle used for student travel has valid state inspection certification and all safety devices or equipment required by law or regulation, and comply with applicable requirements of state or federal law or regulation. Any vehicle being used must also have a current proof of liability insurance card for that vehicle.

F. Legal Operation of Vehicle and Driving Schedule

The driver of any vehicle being used in pursuit of university business must comply with all laws, regulations, and posted signs regarding speed and traffic control. The university prohibits any one driver from operating the vehicle for a continuous period that is longer than six hours without scheduled rest stops or overnight stops as appropriate.

G. Travel Using Institution Owned or Leased Vehicles

All operators of institution owned, leased or rented vehicles used to transport students must be university employees (faculty or staff).

H. Travel Using Rented Vehicles

Students are prohibited from renting vehicles in the name of the university. If a student who is traveling on university business chooses to rent a vehicle in his or her name, the university is not liable for any damage claim and the student may not be reimbursed for such expenses.


ContactTelephoneEmail/Web Address
Expense Reimbursement Team (questions regarding reimbursement) 713-500-4958


Office of Academic and Research Affairs (questions concerning safety and approval) 713-500-3082