International Student & Scholar Services

With degree and non-degree international students from some 25 countries, as well as faculty and staff from around the world, we know you will find Chatham University to be a diverse and stimulating community.

We look forward to meeting you and helping you on your journey at Chatham! While you will be required to attend the mandatory international student orientation, the Office of International Affairs (OIA) is here to:

  • Clarify university and immigration policies and procedures
  • Provide services and activities to help you adjust to the U.S.
  • Help you maintain legal status in the U.S.
  • Assist with residence life and dining concerns, etc.

Office Hours & Contact Information

International Student and Scholar Services
Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Falk Hall, Lower Level
Phone: 412-365-1388
Email International Affairs

To book a meeting with Kate Emory, Coordinator of International Student and Scholar Services, PDSO/RO, visit All meetings must be booked one day in advance. If cancelation is necessary, students must contact the ISSS Coordinator at least 10 minutes before the time of meeting.

International Student and Scholar services provides immigration advising to students on the F and J visa, and for others on a case-by-case basis. Students with a student visa admitted to the United States must comply with guidelines set by the Department of Homeland Security. Such compliance is referred to as “maintaining status.”

Consequences for an F-1 student who fails to maintain legal status can be serious. It is the students’ responsibility to remain in status and communicate regularly with the Office of International Affairs for guidance on immigration issues.

Process of Obtaining a Student Visa

Students who require a student visa (F/J) to study in the United States will need to be eligible for, and apply for a student visa to study in the United States.

In order to receive your F1 or J1 student visa, you will apply to the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. Information on the process and location of the nearest US Embassy or Consulate can be found here.


  1. Apply to Chatham
  2. Receive a Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmirgrant Student StatusA student’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record is created and the student is then issued a Form I-20 by the school.

After you receive your form I-20 or DS-2019, you should apply for your visa interview as soon as possible. Students can apply up to 120 days before their Program starts. Wait times for visa interview appointments vary by location, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early.

  1. Pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee
  2. Apply for Student Visa. Student brings their Form I-20 and other required documents to apply for a student visa at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. You will need to pay the visa application fee and for most students conduct a visa interview with a consular official.
  3. Arrive in the United States. If successful in receiving a student visa, the student can arrive in the United States no more than 30 days before their program start date. They will present their Form I-20 and valid student visa to U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the port of entry.

Studying in the United States offers many benefits, but it can also lead to some confusion regarding employment. In order to maintain valid F-1/J-1 status, a student must not work in the United States, unless the employment is specifically authorized under the regulations. Depending on your visa status, and program of study, you may be eligible for on-campus employment or off-campus authorization.

ISSS offers workshops and information session on International Student employment each term. Please contact ISSS for more information.

Types of employment benefits for F and J visa holders:

  • F1 on-campus employment
  • F1 off-campus employment
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT)
  • Severe Economic Hardships
  • J1 Academic training
  • J1 Scholars, Professors, Research Scholars

Health Records

Students at Chatham University are required to submit immunization and meningitis, and health forms. The health forms include immunization information, health background and meningitis information. The University has required immunizations. It can be expensive to get these immunizations in the U.S. We recommend that you receive all your immunizations before coming to the U.S. If you have questions about these forms and the required immunizations, please email Chatham Student Health Services or call 412-365-1714.

IMPORTANT: Students should receive the required immunizations before beginning their studies at Chatham. Health documents documentation are due a month before the start of the semester (August 1st for Fall admission, December 1st for Spring Admission). Students will receive an email from Med+Proctor to their Chatham email address. A doctor will need to complete your forms.

Health Insurance

All full time students at Chatham University are required to have health insurance. Visiting J-1 students will automatically be enrolled in J-1 insurance by OIA, and billed to their student account. Please note J-1 students must have insurance that meets the U.S. State Department insurance requirement.

The University insurance policy is through UPMC Health Plan. OIA recommends all F students to register with this plan. Students are covered in the fall from August 1 through December 31 and then in spring/summer from January 1 through July 31. Please see Student Accounts for more information.

All international students are required to have health insurance, whether it is from Chatham University or another entity.

OIA is able to provide you with general guidance. However, any advice provided to you by our office, as well as the information on this website, should not be construed as legal advice. Additionally, due to the fluid nature of governmental interpretation, USCIS may change its interpretation of immigration laws/regulations and eligibility requirements for benefits, at any time. We will do our best to provide you with the most current guidance. Each case is fact-specific and it is advised that you contact an experienced immigration attorney if you have questions regarding your situation.

The information on this website is of a general nature and not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual.

Website content is written with care, but may not be up-to-date. Chatham OIA is not responsible for content found through external links.

It is the student's responsibility to maintain legal status in the US at all times and to comply fully with University policies and procedures.