Field Trips


Field trips are both mandatory and voluntary activities occurring outside of regularly scheduled classroom time and arranged by University faculty and/or staff. Field trip activities may include single or mutiple day events within an academic course. 

Participants of University sponsored activities and trips are required to sign a University Release of Liability form. CSU audit requirements mandate that the sponsoring departments keep copies of signed liability release forms for a period of no less than 3 years.

Academic Field Trip Guidelines

These best practices guidelines are offered to supplement any existing College or Department procedures related to field trips:

  • All field trips should be designated as a mandatory course requirement. (Exceptions to and/or make-up participation are decided by the college or department.)
  • Field trip participants should be advised of any hazardous, extraordinary, or strenuous activity anticipated during the field trip and those activies should be listed on the Release of Liability form.
  • All field trip participants must complete and submit a University Release of Liability form
  • A list should be retained in the academic department containing: contact information for the designated faculty/staff, all participants of the field trip and emergency contact information.
  • Authorized drivers must obtain University approval to drive and meet all requirements of the University's Driver Safety Program (DSP) prior to field trip departure.
  • No alcoholic beverages or controlled substances shall be transported in a State or private vehicle at ANY TIME.
  • Guests are not allowed on academic field trips. Field trip participation should be limited to faculty, staff, enrolled students, and/or approved University volunteers.
  • Student field trip participants are required to arrange their own transportation to and from the field trip site(s). 


Authorized Participants

Authorized Participants of SFSU field trips include SFSU:

  • Faculty
  • Staff (academic)
  • Approved Volunteer employees (must submit a Request to Appoint Volunteer form with Human Resources)
  • Enrolled students
  • Enrolled College of Extended Learning students


Authorized Vehicle Drivers for Field Trips

Only the following SF State employees are allowed to drive on University sponsored trips and activities:

  • Faculty
  • Staff (academic)
  • Employed student, graduate, or teaching assistants (whose duties are directly related to the class and/or field trip)

Students and volunteers are not allowed to drive on any University sponsored trips and activities at any time.


CSU Employee Vehicle Driver Requirements

**Note: Students who make their own transportation arrangements to a field trip meeting site are not subject to the University vehicle driver requirements listed below.

All authorized University vehicle drivers driving on a field trip or carrying out any State business must possess:

  • A valid California drivers license
  • A current SF State Defensive Driver Training certificate
  • A clean driving record (Enrollment in the DMV Pull Notice Program is required.)
  • When driving a private vehicle**, authorized University drivers must complete and submit the STD 261 form (Authorization to Use Privately Owned Vehicles on State Business) to their employing department.

**Please note that personal liability insurance is "primary" coverage when driving a privately owned vehicle. The University's self-insured automobile liability coverage may provide excess coverage after the personal auto liability limits are exhausted. For further information on State vehicle use, authorized drivers, and related information, please refer to Vehicle Damage Repair and Travel for University Business


What to Do in Case of a Vehicle Accident

Please refer to How to Report My Auto Accident


Accident Medical Expense Coverage

Student Participants - In the event of an injury caused by an accident (i.e. slip and fall) during a field trip, the student’s personal health insurance plan provides for primary medical coverage payment. If the student’s health insurance benefits are exhausted, the CSU Student Travel Accident Insurance may help pay for additional injury-related expenses. Enrolled students without a private health plan may seek medical attention from the campus Student Health Services (SHS) at (415) 338-1251 during normal business hours.

Please note that the CSU Student Travel Insurance policy covers injury caused by accidents only. The policy DOES NOT provide coverage for any illness or disease. 

Workers’ Compensation Benefits - If you are an employee with San Francisco State University and participating in a field trip (i.e. staff, faculty, student working on a field trip as an student assistant, college work study student, or approved student volunteer*, etc.) you may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits to help pay for medical expenses related to your field trip accident.  Contact the Workers' Compensation Manager to obtain a claim form or to obtain further information at (415) 338-2565.