Purchasing Guidelines

Please contact your Fund Manager for any purchasing questions not answered below:

General Office Supplies

The department stocks commonly used office supplies in the Purchasing Office.  The supplies are available to all departmental personnel.  Please see your fund manager to order supplies that aren't regularly stocked.

UCSD Bookstoreext

Bookstore purchases should be charged directly to an index number.  See your fund manager for information about how to allow others (lab staff, graduate students) to charge purchases to your index at the Bookstore.

Express Cardext

The Express Card can be used like a credit card for purchases at both online and brick-and-mortar vendors. The Express Card has a limit of $4,999 and charges post directly to your index.

The Express Card website contains information about how to obtain an Express Card (brief online training is required), Express Card restrictions, and cardholder responsibilities. As with all purchases that are made with university funds, receipts and packing slips must be turned in to your Fund Manager as soon as possible.

Marketplace Ordersext

The University has agreements with a selection of non-UCSD vendors  (e.g. Fisher Scientific, Sigma-Aldrich Chemicals). Please see your Fund Manager to obtain Marketplace access.

Purchase Order

Contact your fund manager for information about placing a Purchase Order with a specific vendor for products not available via campus recharge. Common examples are furniture, high-value equipment, consultant costs, and Human Subject Payments (below).  

Human Subject Payments

Cash for Human Subject Payments is obtained via Purchase Order (above). Please allow two weeks from date of placement of Purchase Order to receipt of Cash.

Animal Purchases

Animal procurement is overseen by UCSD's Animal Acquisition Program. Please see your fund manager for these purchases.

Telephone/Calling Charges


You can rent a university phone or supply your own. Contact your fund manager for information about renting a university phone.

Telecom Charges

Domestic long-distance calls are covered by the university's data and voice network, NGN (Next Generation Network). Please see your fund manager for an authorization code to charge international calls to your index.

Computer Purchases

It is against campus policy to purchase a computer with a personal credit card and then seek reimbursement.  All computer hardware must be purchased in one of the following ways:

  • By Recharge at the Bookstore - provide index
  • By Express Card - The cost is less than $4,9999, including tax, shipping and handling.  You provide the index.
  • Departmental purchase order - The cost is more than $4,9999.  Your fund manager will facilitate this purchase.  You will need to provide a written quote for the system you want to buy.


The preferred method of purchasing is through one of the methods cited above. In the event you purchase something with personal funds, please complete the Reimbursement Request Form and turn it in to your fund manager.

Other Purchasing Resources:

Campus Recharge Optionsext

Purchasing (Procurement and Contracts)