Travel Guidelines

The New Mexico State University system serves a diverse set of stakeholders across the state and around the world. In order to fulfill our mission, university employees must sometimes travel outside of their communities. The following guidelines are provided to balance the need for some travel during COVID-19 and the obligation to mitigate the risks of this travel.

Decisions regarding travel must be made in the interest of the health and safety of our university community and in accordance with current public health guidance. NMSU will continue to reassess this guidance and update these temporary restrictions as appropriate.

Out-of-state commuters (including El Paso)

For purposes of this guidance, “travel” does not include commuting to and from work or school. Faculty, staff and students who currently commute from outside New Mexico (such as El Paso) for work or school may continue to do so. Unless otherwise noted, changes to stay-at-home restrictions for New Mexico or El Paso do not preclude students from continuing to attend in-person classes, considered an essential activity. However, faculty should remain flexible in allowing reasonable accommodations for students who are unable to attend classes in person due to quarantine restrictions. Similarly, supervisors should accommodate changes to in-person work when necessary, and should continue to utilize telework when possible.

Travel resources

Essential travel may be permitted at the discretion of the applicable community college president, dean, vice president, or equivalent authority. Essential travel is considered university-related travel necessary to preserve a university program or interest that cannot be postponed.   

When requesting authorization for essential travel, travelers and their supervisors or sponsors should consider the potential risks. Depending on risk, travel could be denied, delayed, amended, or authorized.

  • Travel to high-risk locations is discouraged.
  • Travel risk to consider include the importance of travel to the program, location, number of participants, activities, type of travel, and the risk of COVID-19 exposure at the destination.
  • Employees or students who travel must comply with NMDOH travel restrictions and quarantine guidelines upon return.
  • Information on in-bound travel for visiting faculty or other visitors to campus may be found under Guidelines for Campus Visitors.

Essential travel approvals should consider impact on university mission, department or program requirements and whether other options are available. Approved travel authorization must be included with all requests for travel reimbursement or payment. Essential in-state travel is exempt from this requirement.

Travel within the state by automobile is permitted, when pre-approved, if limited to a single passenger or two passengers with appropriate face covering. 

Non-essential personal travel is discouraged. Anyone who travels out-of-state for personal reasons must follow current travel and quarantine guidelines from the state. Approved leave must be taken for this period unless arrangements to telework have been made.


Sponsored award travel

Travel on a sponsored award is permitted if:

  • It is required by grant or contract language,
  • There is no option for delay,
  • It is approved by the department head and dean, and
  • The traveler follows prevention and protection measures outlined by the NMDOH when traveling out-of-state and upon return to New Mexico.


Student travel

Students are encouraged to remain on campus or the local community and not travel during the semester.

Students who do must comply with the latest travel recommendations and guidelines outlined by the New Mexico Department of Health.

Approved student fieldwork is allowed. All other university-sponsored student travel (i.e. academic or leadership conferences, service events) are suspended until further notice. ASNMSU is not reimbursing student organizations or individuals for travel.

Education abroad programs are suspended until further notice. Questions related to education abroad, including faculty led international programs (FLIPs), should be directed to Education Abroad at 575-646-5107 or to

Questions related to National Student Exchange should be directed to the Office of Experiential Learning at 575-646-5107 or to Kari Cena, National Student Exchange Coordinator at


Athletic travel
Updated: 1/21/2021

Athletic team travel will be permitted using the guidelines provided by the state of New Mexico, NCAA and Western Athletic Conference. All team travel must be approved by the Director of Athletics or Deputy Athletic Director and university leadership.

Athletic teams will be required to follow all current travel-related quarantine recommendations from the New Mexico Department of Health.