Friday, December 16, 2011

FAQ Friday: What’s the deal with international transcripts?

That’s an excellent question! The answer varies, depending on your personal situation. Read on to see which answer applies to you.
I received my bachelor’s degree from a U.S. institution and I completed a semester abroad.
The first thing you need to do is check your undergrad transcript and see how the courses are recorded. We need to see the courses and the grades. If the transcript lists both, then you’re covered and you won’t need to do anything else. But if your school only lists the courses as transfer credits, you’ll need to provide an official copy of your study abroad transcript.
This is easier than you might think. Any U.S. school that accepted strudy abroad credits will have an official copy of your study abroad transcript in your student file; all you have to do is ask them to send a copy of it to the SAIS Admissions Office and you’re ready to go.
I received my bachelor’s degree from a non-U.S. institution.
First, you’ll need to determine if your school will issue a transcript in English. Many international institutions are prepared to do so; if your school is one of these, you’ll need to acquire an English-language copy in a sealed envelope (don’t open it!) and forward it to our office.
If your school doesn’t issue transcripts in English, you’ll need to acquire two official copies in seprate sealed envelopes (don’t open either one!). Send the first directly to our office, and using the second, you will need to obtain a translation through a certified translation service. (Not sure where to find a translation service? The National Association of Credential Evaluation Services is a good place to start.) Send the translation - in the translator’s sealed envelope - to the SAIS Admissions Office.
I’ve heard that some international institutions only issue one transcript when a student graduates, and that they won’t issue transcripts copies. In this situation, many such schools will certify photocopies of the originals provided by the student. As always, once you get the certified copies, don’t open the envelope - send it directly to the SAIS Admissions Office.
I took non-credit language courses abroad.SAIS doesn’t require official transcripts for non-credit language courses, so you don’t need to submit these transcripts - you can indicate this language experience on your application and your resume. If you want to send us photocopies/scan as proof of these courses, you’re certainly welcome to do so, but we don’t need them.
Do you have other questions about submitting transcripts? You can email the admissions office at and we’ll be happy to help you!
Thanks for reading!
— Erin Cameron, Associate Director of Admissions
Think you’ve got a question that would be good for FAQ Friday? Submit it here!