How to get a passport to meet the Chatham Plan graduation requirement

The Chatham Plan requires all undergraduate students to have a passport by graduation.  Many students wonder how to apply for and get a passport.

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Your first step is to visit https://travel.state.gov/ – as the requirements state, you will need to present an original document, usually your birth certificate, as evidence of U.S. citizenship (which will be returned to you after your application is processed), photo identification, and a photocopy of that identification.

You will also need to have a passport photo taken. Many pharmacies and grocery stores provide this service. You must ask specifically for a “passport photo” because it needs to meet U.S. State Department requirements.

Next you will need to fill out an application. If you have never had a passport, you will complete form DS-11, gather your identification documents, passport photo and payment and apply in person.  In Pittsburgh, a convenient location is the Allegheny County Department of Court Records at the City County Building, located at 414 Grant Street.  You don’t need an appointment and the office is open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm daily, with the exception of Wednesdays, when the office stays open until 7:30 pm. It is easy to get there from Chatham with the 71B or 71D public bus.

At your appointment you will submit your application, required documents and payment to the clerk.  It will take several weeks for your application to be processed and for your passport to arrive; there is an expedited option if you’re in a hurry.

For a video tutorial on the passport process, please see https://youtu.be/SDeJqRyL3JY

Once you receive your passport, sign it and you are ready to travel! Study abroad or intern abroad and use your $1200 study abroad voucher toward your program.  Students completing an International Studies Certificate may be eligible for an additional $1800 toward study abroad.  Email internationalaffairs@chatham.edu to learn more.

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