Salem supports its international students throughout their enrollment process and beyond. We are dedicated to our students through graduation, and Optional Practical Training (OPT). Salem has a team of Principal Designated School Officials (P/DSO) to ensure your international student experience and documentation is top-notch.

The P/DSO team hosts an International Student Orientation monthly to obtain travel documentation and enrollment check-ins. During this time, we will also review U.S. Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) requirements, including options for CPT and OPT documentation processing.

The P/DSO team is your point of contact to Salem and USCIS, please feel free to contact us at

Meet your P/DSO team!

PDSO & Regulatory Chair: Rebecca Carr
Primarily located in the Indianapolis office

PDSO: Kathryn Elgin
Athletic Admin Office – T. Edward Davis Building (TED)

DSO: Andrew Friend
1st floor Randolph Campus Center (RCC)

Important Information for International Students:

Attendance Certification/ University Check-in
International students are required to check in with a P/DSO within the first week (7 calendar days) of their semester to get their I-20 signed, and prior to the P/DSO certifying attendance on SEVIS. Though regulations state we have 30 days, we at Salem will connect within 7 calendar days to determine our risk of non-attendance as early as possible and allow us time to process properly through SEVIS.

Class Check-in
International students are required to have a physical presence requirement for each class. For on-ground classes, the specific requirements will be listed in the class syllabi. Low-residency classes will have a monthly educational summit at our main campus in West Virginia. Low-residency students are required to attend a Salem Educational Summits each month to maintain their I-20 active status. Students are required for their cost associated with travel and lodging to and from the summit.

CPT and OPT Request
Students must submit a letter from the employer requesting the CPT, and a request for OPT. It may take up to 5 business days for Salem’s PDSO/DSO to complete this process after all required documentation has been submitted. CPT is approved directly by Salem, however, OPT must be approved by USCIS and may take up to 4 months once submitted. Students are unable to work (CPT or OPT) until the application is approved.

Transfer Out Process
If a student is not graduating, they should apply for a transfer of their F-1 SEVIS record no later than the end of the semester they wish to transfer. Salem requires proper processing time and strongly requests all transfer – out requests (including forms) be submitted no more than 40 days into the 60-day period.

Salem obeys all USCIS regulations and processes. No information shall be willingly falsified or filed without appropriate supporting documentation.