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Domestic Travel

Dean’s approval is no longer needed for domestic travel. Employees are still asked to limit travel where possible and to consider virtual options that might replace or reduce the need to travel. The University strongly encourages employees to be fully vaccinated prior to engaging in University-affiliated domestic travel and all employees engaging in University-affiliated domestic travel should:

  • Carefully review the CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidance for domestic travel.
  • Research the restrictions imposed in the area(s) to which they are traveling and ensure that they can comply with the restrictions.
  • Follow all COVID recommendations and requirements of the destination.
  • Arrange any necessary air travel through Anthony Travel, Penn State’s preferred travel agency, when possible.
  • Finally, upon returning home, the CDC recommends that unvaccinated travelers get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days after travel.

International Travel

Currently, no special college or University permission will be needed for University-affiliated international travel. Individuals on University-affiliated international travel funded by University resources are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to departure. Review international travel policy details. In addition, Penn State’s standard international travel policy still needs to be followed.

Student Domestic Travel

Although advance permission from college or University administration is not needed for University-affiliated domestic travel by employees, University-affiliated domestic travel by students still must be approved. Student domestic travel generally falls into three general categories: course related group travel; co-curricular group travel; and travel for individual students. Guidance for each is listed below. For travel not falling into these categories, or if you are unsure which category planned student domestic travel falls in, please contact Barbara King at

Course-related student group travel

Instructors submit approval requests to the academic unit (department or school) head/director, with the exception being travel arranged through HHD Outreach/Conferences and Institutes (such travel is considered to have already met the requirements and does not need to need further approval through the academic unit). Academic units are to retain this information for the duration of the travel and do not need to submit to the college. Information submitted to the academic unit will include dates and locations of travel, rationale for the travel, students traveling, process for following University travel guidance on academic field trips, and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines. Overnight travel is discouraged but if the proposed travel involves an overnight stay, instructors must also submit to their academic unit a contingency in the event that a traveler becomes ill with COVID-19 or any other illness.

Co-curricular student group travel

There are two types of co-curricular student group travel.

Type 1: Student group travel that is organized or financially supported by an HHD academic or central unit, or individual HHD faculty or staff member, and not associated with (and restricted to) students enrolled in specific academic course(s) is considered co-curricular travel and goes through the same approval process described above for course-related travel.

Type 2: Student group travel solely sponsored by a registered student organization (RSO) without financial or organizational support from an HHD academic unit. Requests for this type of travel goes through the RSO travel permission process outlined on the Student Affairs website and does not have to go through any department or college approval process.

Travel for individual students

Faculty supervising individual students seeking university sponsorship through funding or other support for domestic travel for the purposes of research, conferences, and/or other professional development activities, internships, or engaged learning activities should have a supervising faculty member (e.g., research mentor, internship instructor, department head) submit approval requests to the Dean using this form.  Faculty will be asked to provide dates and locations of travel, rationale for the travel, indication that students are willing to follow Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines as well as follow any restrictions imposed in the area(s) to which they are traveling, indication of student willingness to follow the CDC order requiring face masks on public transportation and at transportation hubs (as long as it is in effect), and an indication of student willingness, if unvaccinated, to get tested 3-5 days after travel AND to stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days after travel. Faculty should not ask directly about student vaccination status. Ask only for students to attest to willingness to comply, if unvaccinated. If a student volunteers that they are vaccinated, that can be shared.

Acknowledgement of risk

Signed acknowledgements of risk are not required for students engaging in University-related domestic travel. However, students must be aware their participation is voluntary and be informed that there is risk that they may become exposed to and/or infected by COVID-19 or any of its variants while traveling. HHD recommends that faculty convey this statement provided by the University to students as part of the preparation for course or co-curricular travel and at the time travel approval is conveyed for research or conference travel.