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Making Purchases

There are two ways to purchase goods or services for business use. Approved faculty and professional staff can make purchases with departmental funds using the Smart Source online marketplace or the Purchasing Card (P-Card).


Smart Source
An online marketplace for faculty and professional staff to make purchases and track payments. Users of Smart Source are required to adhere to the Purchasing Policy and Smart Source Terms and Conditions. Smart Source is accessed through DrexelOne under the Employee Tab, in the Purchasing and Travel section.

Purchasing Card (P-Card)
A credit card method of payment for members of the Drexel community. The P-Card is used for purchases that cannot be made via Smart Source. Users must demonstrate need and must apply for a P-Card. Cardholders are responsible for adhering to the P-Card Policy and P-Card Guidelines.


What Purchasing Method Do I Use?

Is what you need available in a Smart Source supplier punchout catalog?
IF YES: Make your purchase through that catalog in Smart Source.
IF NO: If what you need is not available through punchout supplier catalogs, then complete a Non-Catalog Item Form in Smart Source or if appropriate, a sole source justification form or multi-year form.
IF NO: If what you need is an allowable P-Card purchase as set forth in the P-Card Guidelines, then you may purchase with a P-Card. Purchases must be made in compliance with the P-Card Policy.
If you intend to make a purchase that would exceed the P-Card single transaction limit but is an allowable purchase under the P-Card Policy and Guidelines, contact pcard@drexel.edu. If a purchase is not allowable under the P-Card Policy and Guidelines, please purchase through Smart Source or contact sourcing@drexel.edu for guidance.

All goods and services purchased by the University must abide by the Purchasing Policy, P-Card Policy and Guidelines, and Smart Source Terms and Conditions.


Spending Guidelines

The table below provides a high-level overview of what is required when making a purchase of a specific dollar amount. For details, please review the Purchasing Policy. You may also contact a Procurement Services sourcing specialist at sourcing@drexel.edu with questions.

Dollar Amount Requirements and Approvals Reference Source
UNDER $5,000 Purchases may be made without solicitation of proposals. Smart Source preferred. P-Card use acceptable, but must comply with P-Card policy. Purchasing Policy, B.1; P-Card Policy
$5,001 – $24,999 Competitive bidding required unless purchase is justified as a sole source. Competitive bids may be secured informally (e.g., by email) and the formal RFP process generally is not required. Procurement Services will assist with competitive bidding process. Purchasing Policy, B.2
OVER $25,000 Formal Request for Proposal or Request for Bid process required unless purchase is justified as a sole source. This process is directed by Procurement Services. Larger purchases/contracts will require additional approvals. Purchasing Policy, 5; Contract Protocol Policy

Sales Tax

Drexel University is a non-profit educational institution exempt from sales tax on select property or services. The tax-exempt number and certificates may not be used for personal purchase at any time, even if the purchase may be reimbursable by the University. Please visit the Office of Tax Compliance website for details. Tax exemption forms can be accessed in DrexelOne.