Policy on Faculty-Led Off-Campus Domestic Academic Travel

University Policy


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Policy on Faculty-Led Off-Campus Domestic Academic Travel



This Policy establishes standards, requirements, and exceptions for undergraduate students and faculty who participate in off-campus field trips (“Academic Travel”) for courses at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (“UNC-Chapel Hill” or “University”).This Policy prioritizes the safety of all who participate in Academic Travel.


This Policy applies to all University faculty, staff, contractors, and students participating in Academic Travel.


Policy Statement

Faculty can develop course curricula to best meet their students' academic needs. Curricula may include Academic Travel designed to enhance a student’s learning.

Faculty members who want to have Academic Travel as part of their class must inform prospective students about the mandatory Academic Travel before course enrollment. For mandatory or optional travel, faculty must also give students an instructional agenda and itinerary two weeks (14 calendar days) before the Academic Travel including:

  • Time and location of the Academic Travel,
  • A detailed description of the activity, and
  • Any cost that is the student's responsibility.

Faculty are encouraged to provide enough detail in the description to help participants understand potential risks.

Faculty must work with the Study Abroad Office to ensure the collection of required emergency contact information and liability releases from all participants.

All Academic Travel must comply with the University Policy on Business Travel.

A faculty member, staff employee, or authorized UNC-Chapel Hill contractor must accompany students on all University-organized Academic Travel.

Equity Considerations

If Academic Travel is mandatory or graded, faculty must:

  • Inform prospective students about the mandatory Academic Travel before course enrollment.
  • Provide an alternative assignment to students who are unable to attend.

It is recommended that faculty secure funding for all components of the Academic Travel.

Permission to go on Academic Travel

Faculty or staff who want to arrange Academic Travel must follow the University's Procedure for Faculty-Led Off-Campus Domestic Academic Travel.


While on the Academic Travel trip, faculty, staff, and contractors must:

While on the Academic Travel trip, students must:

Additional Requirements for International Academic Travel

Faculty must comply with all UNC Global policies for any Academic Travel that involves travel outside the United States. Faculty should consult with the University’s Study Abroad Office for international travel policies and procedures.


This policy does NOT apply to:

  • Field-based or field intensive courses,
  • Distance education,
  • Study abroad programs,
  • Intercollegiate sports,
  • Service-learning placements,
  • Student organization-coordinated off-campus activities,
  • Internship placements, or
  • Independent student research not directly supervised by UNC-Chapel Hill faculty or staff members.


  • Academic Travel: A UNC-Chapel Hill course-related, off-campus travel led by a UNC-Chapel Hill faculty or staff member designed to serve educational purposes. The scope of these trips may include gathering data for research (such as at a geological or archaeological site), museum visits, participation in a conference or competition, or visits to an event or place of interest. The duration of Academic Travel may be independent of a class period or may be a class period or longer and could extend over multiple days.
  • Site evaluation: A written assessment by a UNC-Chapel Hill staff or faculty member, which is based on that staff or faculty member’s current knowledge of the site intended for Academic Travel. Knowledge of the site may be based on online reviews, other published materials, and/or direct contact with the site.

Related Requirements

External Regulations

University Policies, Standards, and Procedures

Contact Information

Primary Contact

Name: Meredith Petschauer
Title: Associate Dean of Undergraduate Curricula
Unit: Undergraduate Education
Email: mbusby@email.unc.edu

Print Article


Article ID: 150069
Tue 3/12/24 11:27 AM
Wed 3/27/24 9:14 AM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Undergraduate Education
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Curricula
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
03/26/2025 12:00 AM
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
03/26/2024 12:00 AM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
03/26/2024 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
03/26/2024 12:00 AM