Travel Expenses

In order to comply with university policy, please be mindful of the following information. If you have any questions regarding policy matters, please do not hesitate to contact Nathalie Rodriguez at (212) 854-3143 or

The University will reimburse travelers for most travel expenses and any applicable taxes and fees when traveling on approved University business. The traveler must provide original receipts. An original receipt may take many forms (i.e. cash register receipt, copy of an order form, web receipt or confirmation).  A receipt must identify:

      ·         the date of purchase

      ·         the vendor name

      ·         itemized list and unit price of the purchased items

      ·         the total amount

      ·         for airfare expenses, include boarding passes or itinerary

If the traveler is unable to obtain an original receipt that contains all the required information, a copy of the traveler’s credit or debit card statement identifying the date, location and amount of the expense, or a rental agreement, may be submitted along with a description of the purchase.


For lodging, the University will reimburse travelers for the cost of their rooms and any applicable taxes and fees when traveling on approved University business. The cost of a hotel stay in the US should not exceed $350 per night (excluding taxes). International travelers should obtain room rates that do not exceed $400 per night (US dollars, excluding taxes). The University will typically not reimburse the cost of lodging, local transportation, meals or other costs in excess of the minimum days necessary for travel.

Documentation Required

The traveler must submit an original itemized hotel bill that must include:

  ·         the dates of departure and arrival

  ·         the detailed charges

  ·         the total amount of the lodging

  ·         proof of payment

In order to be reimbursed for your travel expenses, you will need to complete a W-9 form (or W-8 for international individuals or entities), which will allow you to become a Columbia University payee. Upon completing it, please fax it to (212) 854-6267, and you will be sent a confirmation email regarding the receipt of the form.

Extending Travel beyond the Minimum Days Required (air or rail fare)

The costs related to an earlier departure and/or later return for airfare or rail fare may be reimbursed when the total cost of the airfare or rail fare is clearly documented and demonstrated to be equal to or lower than it would have been for the dates required for business travel.

Documentation Required

If air or rail expenses related to an earlier departure and/or later return are being reimbursed, the total cost of airfare or rail fare should be compared to the costs for traveling on the dates required for business travel. Documentation should include a price quote from either the air carrier and/ or rail carrier for the dates that would have been used if the travel was not extended. All documentation requirements for the specific expenditure type apply

Receipts should be either emailed to or mailed to the department at the address indicated below: 

Columbia University
Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Attn: Nathalie Rodriguez
500 West 120th Street
610 S.W. Mudd
New York, NY 10027


500 W. 120th St., 610 Mudd, New York, NY 10027    212-854-3143               
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