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Field Trips | Policies | CSUSM

Field Trips

Definition: A policy governing any university course-related, off-campus activity organized and led by a faculty or staff member and designed to serve educational purposes.
Authority: Executive Order 1062
Scope: This policy applies to all employees involved with field trips, as such term is defined herein.
Responsible Division: Academic Affairs
Approval Date: 05/14/2014
Originally Implemented: 05/14/2014
Signature Page/PDF: View Field Trips Policy



A field trip is a university course-related, off-campus activity organized and led by a faculty or staff member and designed to serve educational purposes. The travel must occur concurrently with enrollment in the course. A field trip would include the gathering of data for research (such as at a geological or archaeological site), museum visit, participation in a conference or competition, or visits to an event or place of interest. The duration of a field trip may be a class period or longer, and could extend over multiple days. This definition does not apply to activities or placements in the context of a teacher preparation program, intercollegiate sports, internships or service-learning placements, all of which are governed under separate policy.


The appropriate CSUSM administrator(s), faculty and/or staff shall:

  1. Identify all courses that involve off-campus field trips.
  2. Require the use of the approved liability waiver. See Executive Order 1051.
  3. Ensure student emergency contact information is obtained prior to the field trip. The campus must have emergency contact information readily available. Emergency contact information will be kept by the sponsoring faculty member and provided to a designated department contact and the University Police Department.
  4. Provide students with an instructional agenda, health and safety information, emergency procedures, and the student code of conduct prior to the field trip.
  5. Require a pre-trip evaluation that might include a site visit, review of online materials, and research on travel logistics to and from the site that demonstrate and document sufficient knowledge of the field trip site.
  6. Include a plan to accommodate students with special needs.
  7. Provide training for any equipment that may be used on the activity.
  8. If disabilities or other compelling reasons prevent a student from attending the field trip, that student may be given an alternative assignment that demonstrates equivalent knowledge. The specifics of the alternative assignment, and whether a student will be granted this option, is at the complete discretion of the faculty or staff organizing and leading the fieldtrip. ***Note: Students registered with DSS, and whose disability clearly compromises their ability to engage in the fieldtrip will always be provided an appropriate equivalent assignment at their request.
  9. Comply with the California State University Use of University and Private Vehicles Policy Guidelines and the California State University student travel policy, where applicable. See Executive Order 1041.
  10. Retain documents related to the field trip consistent with system-wide and campus document retention guidelines. See Executive Order 1031.
  11. Administer regular reviews to monitor and document compliance with the field trip policy and update requirements as necessary at regular intervals.