Simplifying the Passport Process

UM becomes an official passport acceptance facility

Brad Noel, UM assistant director of study abroad, helps student Kayla VonBurg work through the passport application process at the Study Abroad Office in Martindale Hall. Photo by Kendall Patterson

OXFORD, Miss. – Getting a passport can be a long process, but the University of Mississippi can help simplify it. As of Jan. 2, the Study Abroad Office is an official passport center, offering a one-stop shop for students, faculty and staff. 

Sophomore marketing major Robynn Patterson, who plans to study abroad in Sydney, Australia, later this year, was the first to take advantage of this new resource. The simplicity and convenience of being able to get a passport on campus helped her finish the process of getting a passport quicker.

“Trying to look up the process of where to go and what county to get my passport in – if I hadn’t got it on campus – was a little confusing,” Patterson said. “Getting it on campus made it a lot easier and helped me stop putting it off.”

The university’s Study Abroad Office began offering scholarships to help students pay for passport applications in spring 2018, but students had difficulty getting their passports, said Blair McElroy, UM senior international officer. The office provided transportation to and from the post office, where students could get their passports, but the office staff began to explore options.

That’s when they found out that the university could be a passport acceptance facility.

Brad Noel, UM assistant director of study abroad, takes a photo for student Kayla VonBurg to use with her passport application. Photo by Kendall Patterson

This resource is available to everyone in the LOU community. The office does regular processing, expedited processing and renewals for people who got their passport before they were 16. However, if a person plans to go abroad within three weeks, he or she will need to go to a national passport center.

Appointments are available at 30-minute intervals from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.

McElroy said she is excited about the service because it may encourage more Ole Miss students to study abroad.

“For the students who are applying, it brings them into our office,” she said. “If they are just getting it for a spring break trip, a mission trip or something else overseas, they are coming in and learning about our programs just from being in here, which is exciting.”

The UM passport acceptance facility website can be found on the side menu of the Study Abroad Office website.

To make an appointment, go to