How to articulate an "Official Transcript"?

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If you are an MS aspirant, it is difficult for you to get some information about how to articulate an Official Transcript which is one of the most important documents you need to submit while applying for your MS. Now, every university has their own rules and regulations. And most often they differ a lot.

Thus, the first piece of advice we would like to give you is while applying, go to the website and read all the information given in the website with utter concentration. Do not miss any tiny detail which may ultimately work against your application.

Now, within the purview of this article, we will give you a generic view of how you should approach the articulation of transcripts that you need to present to your chosen university. We will offer you a step-by-step guidance, so that even if you act on just this guide, you will be able to successfully be able to present the official transcripts. Pay heed, take notes if you have to and follow the advices that are given below.
Let’s begin.

What is Official Transcript?

First of all, it is important for you to know what official transcripts are all about. In this section, we will try to answer that.
Generally, official transcript means when you are sending your transcripts to your chosen universities via issuing office. You need to make arrangements in your college so that your transcripts are being sent directly from the registrar office.

Now, many universities have different rules and need varied attestations from other officials for transcripts to be accepted. You need to read the website very carefully for more information.

Step-by-step guide for articulating an Official Transcript and make arrangements to be sent to the university

You need to know that you have little or almost nothing to do in articulating an official transcript. But you have to give all the effort to help the officials articulate it. Your work here is more of a facilitator than a creator. So remind yourself that you need to be very clear about how you would like your official transcripts to be articulated.

First steps

The most important thing before applying to the universities is to make a list of universities where you will apply. Before sending your official transcripts, you should have a shortlisted university list which will help you decide which are preferred most and which are preferred less.

First choose the most preferred ones and then mark the websites of the universities. In each university website, you will get the “How to Apply” section. In that section, clear instructions will be given about how to send the transcripts to the respective universities. Read each piece of information well and then go on to act accordingly.

Don’t send them original copies

While making the official transcript, usually, universities prefer one transcript depicting all the marks instead of having mark-sheets for each semester. You need to take responsibility for making a single copy of the semester-wise transcripts you have. A lot of universities offer single copy of all the marks at the end of your course, but not all.

After making several single copies, keep one for yourself and send others to the universities by adhering to the norms and rules they have prescribed. Generally, universities keep your official transcripts, thus don’t make the mistake of sending the original ones to the universities.

Envelope it and take the seal of the registrar: Enveloping it properly with the seal of the registrar is essential to be called an official transcript. If you would like to send an official transcript, take proper approval from your registrar and then send it across to the respective universities.

Credential evaluation

If you are applying in any US universities, most universities evaluate your credentials by taking the help of many dedicated institutions because in recent times there are lot of fake transcripts being submitted to the universities. The evaluating committees include AACRAO (American Association of Collegiate Registrars), ECE (Educational Credentials Evaluators), WES (World Educational Services) etc. which are being used by the universities to evaluate the merit and authenticity of transcripts for international students.

So, read the instructions carefully and talk to your college and universities for further actions. If you are an Indian student, usually, you need to submit official/ attested mark-sheets and a copy of your degree/diploma. If you are a Chinese student only a copy of the transcript of degree/diploma will do.


There are some exceptions where you are not able to generate any official transcript. In these cases, universities lay out few specific rules which you need to follow in order to make yourself eligible for “final processing” of applications.

  • If your university (the present one) will not issue any certificate due to financial, academic or any disciplinary reason, foreign universities have nothing to do with it. You need to deal with the issue and convince the authority to provide you with the official transcript; otherwise your application will not be accepted.
  • If your college has not been able to find out your transcript, that’s of course not your fault. But for that, you need to request the registrar of the institution to write a letter to the respective university for considering your application while letting them issue a fresh transcript in the meanwhile. The letter should concentrate on why the transcript is unobtainable. As the reasons may vary, the consideration is also dependent on the respective universities.
  • If your credit score is affected by the based on any service like military or others, you need to have a letter sent by the registrar of the institution or any person who has the sufficient authority to write the letter. The letter will state the issue and confirm the same. In this case also, the consideration is dependent on the respective universities and their rules and regulations.
  • If you don’t have the complete academic record, then your application may not be considered. Because it will not go to the “final processing” department, instead it will go for review and will be intimated upon the completion of reviewing process.
  • Last, but not least, what if you would like to apply while you have not been graduated yet! For this, you need to send the universities, the degree certificates you have till now to be considered for further evaluation. For international students, universities need the official transcripts, not only the mark-sheets till now.

The above is the step-by-step guidance for submitting your official transcript. You need to take the guidance of an experienced professor to help you in this regard. The idea is not to miss any detail. Usually, as it is recommended that you apply for MS before graduation, you need to be very thorough in your approach and will be persuasive enough for arranging all the sufficient documents within the stipulated time.

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