Skip to content

Student Travel

The opportunity for enrolled students to travel as a part of their academic and extracurricular pursuits is appreciated. As UC Merced is becoming a more global institution in teaching, research and service, travel is oftentimes international as well as domestic.  

Student travel is generally considered UC Merced business-related travel (nontaxable, nonreportable) if:

  • The primary purpose and original intent is for UC Merced to obtain useful results from the project/research.
  • Results or research will be used by UC Merced.
  • Research is performed to fulfill UC Merced's obligations to an outside funding agency.
  • Activity is required of all students in a degree or course; that is, activity impacts the student's grade in a required course for the student’s degree or is a requirement for graduation. The requirement to travel simply based on the dissertation topic does not qualify the travel as business travel. Rather, the degree program must state that all students are required to travel to conduct their dissertation research.
  • The student is presenting in a conference or competition on behalf of UC Merced.

Note: When student travel is for UC Merced business, it is generally expected that all or most of the travel will be paid by UC Merced as opposed to the student absorbing a majority of the expense.

Examples of UC Merced business-related travel include:

  • Student travels to Hawaii to represent UC Merced in a scholastic or athletic competition.
  • Student travels to Chicago to present at a conference, where the student's name (and that of UC Merced) is published (poster, website, brochure, program) as a presenter at the conference.
  • Student travels to Istanbul to perform research for their dissertation.  This would qualify if UC Merced would otherwise perform research on this topic, regardless of the student's research – as such, UC Merced is considered the primary beneficiary.
  • Student travels to conduct dissertation research and has obtained their own external funding (including external fellowships) to support their research, with the funding provided to the University to administer either under a faculty PI or with the student serving as PI.