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Field trip policy


General Guidance

Pratt Institute recognizes the value of off-campus activities as part of course-based learning and pedagogy. At the same time, off-campus activities that are required as part of a course may introduce new considerations of risk, safety, and contracts with external parties. This policy is designed to provide guidance to faculty and chairs planning academic activities off-campus. 

All Pratt students, faculty, and staff members are expected to value and uphold the community standards essential to the pursuit of academic excellence and social responsibility. These include expectations for social conduct, academic integrity, non-discrimination, and other policies described at the link above, and apply to all Pratt-sponsored activities, on or off campus.

Any off-campus activities that are required as part of a course should be listed in the syllabus, or on Canvas if the syllabus has already been published. This guidance does not apply to voluntary activities that are not required as part of a course.

Accessibility should be considered when planning all required activities, and reasonable accommodations should be considered for students with disabilities. Please contact the Learning/Access Center at with questions. Faculty may also wish to provide alternative assignments for students who have a compelling reason not to participate in a field trip (e.g., if the field trip takes place when they are observing days of cultural significance, including religious holidays). 

If a required field trip does not take place during class time (this includes travel), faculty should advise students as soon as possible at the beginning of the semester. If a student cannot participate in the trip because of classes, work, child or parental care, or other conflicts, faculty should consider alternatives, such as an individual visit to the site or an alternative assignment, that will satisfy the pedagogical goals.

Approval for field trips

Field trips that use public transportation and do not require agreements with external vendors generally do not need approval. Faculty should provide notice about these trips via the course syllabus, Canvas, or another procedure specific to the department.

Field trips that involve higher risk must be approved by the department chairperson and, as appropriate, may require further review by Legal Counsel, Risk Management, and Purchasing (for external vendors). Examples of these trips include but are not limited to:

  • Trips requiring transportation by car, van, bus, plane, or privately-owned boat or ferry
  • Outdoor activities (e.g., kayaking, hiking, camping, swimming)
  • Overnight trips
  • Trips where alcohol is present
  • Venues requiring a signed waiver or release of liability

International travel

All academic activities taking place outside of the United States must be planned in coordination with the Office of Education Abroad.


Travel arrangements should be booked through World Travel (877.260.9295),,, and buses may be booked through Campus Coach (212.682.1050,, Purchasing ( is able to answer questions regarding reservations through World Travel and other vendors.


When contracts or other agreements must be signed, faculty should begin the process at least six weeks prior to the planned date of the trip. Following approval by the department chairperson, proposed contracts and related documents should be forwarded to Please allow at least two weeks for review of contracts, plus additional time to resolve questions and issues, and have an alternative arrangement in mind, should the first option not meet Pratt’s standards.

Non-Academic Trips

All off-campus activities outside of classes (e.g., athletics, student life) should be planned in consultation with Student Affairs.

Approved May 8, 2023