Field Trips

Field trips and off campus activities are defined as group learning activities outside the regularly scheduled classroom or laboratory environment arranged and led by university faculty or staff.  The duration of the field trip may be a class period or longer and could extend over multiple days.

Service learning, internships, or field experience and activities which include international travel are governed under separate policies.  See Service Learning and Internships or Foreign Travel for additional information.


Field trip participants may only include enrolled students, employees, and university volunteers.

Field Trip Guidelines — Minimum Requirements

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Faculty and staff leading off campus activities are the point of contact between the university and the student in an environment different from the on campus classroom. The following guidelines have been developed and are intended to focus attention on managing common and uncommon risks related to field trip and off campus activities.

  • Visit the field trip site prior to the trip or have sufficient knowledge of the site.
  • Incorporate the field trip information within the course syllabus.
  • Provide students with an instructional agenda, health and safety information, and student code of conduct prior to the field trip.
    • Health and safety information might include safety equipment requirements and training, environmental conditions such as weather, or anticipated physical hazards or strenuous outdoor activity.
    • Student Code of Conduct should include the CSU policy prohibiting use or transportation of alcohol and chemical substances during university sponsored activities, with the exception or personal prescription medication.
  • Become familiar with Student Injury Reporting guidelines.  
  • Ensure that all participants sign the required Release of Liability (Waiver) prior to the field trip.
  • Provide for an alternate assignment for students unwilling to accept the risk of participation.
  • Include a plan to accommodate students with special needs.
  • Ensure a roster of participants and emergency contact information is obtained prior to the field trip and a copy is maintained in the campus department.
  • Ensure students are provided an emergency contact number.
  • Ensure records from each field trip are maintained for one year beyond the year in which the field trip occurs.


Students should provide their own transportation to and from field trip sites whenever possible. If carpools are organized, all drivers must be university employees or appointed university volunteers through the Center for Human Resources and must be authorized to drive a vehicle on university business.  Personal vehicle liability insurance is primary in the event of a vehicle accident.