If you do not have a passport at the time of your study abroad application, APPLY NOW! (current processing time is 3 - 6 weeks) You can obtain an application form online at Travel.State.Gov. You can process the application at the downtown Topeka post office by appointment only; call (785) 295-9160 for more information.
Once you receive your passport, sign it and upload a copy to your online application (post decision phase) or submit a hard copy to the Office of International Programs. Passports should be valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated return date.
Semester and year-long programs will most likely require a student visa for your country of study. This normally requires additional paperwork, fees, passport photos and in some cases travel to the nearest Consulate. Visit the US State Department website for information regarding foreign entry requirements.