If you’re applying to a master’s program abroad including an MBA, you’d be required to have your transcripts ready for submission as a part of the application process.
There’s confusion among applicants regarding what an academic transcript means and what the transcript format for Indian applicants should be. In this post, we’ve tried to address some of the common questions among applicants.
An academic transcript is an official document which contains the summary of your academic record.
It would include the name of the degree obtained along with the dates of attendance, the date the degree was conferred as well as the names of the subjects/courses you had taken in each year along with the marks or grades obtained in each of them.
It would need to be on the college/university letter-head stamped and signed by the registrar or the concerned authority.
International universities & Masters (MS, MBA) colleges get applications from around the world. There is very little consistency in the content and scope of what’s covered across the regional educational institutions. The subjects, the grading standards, the specialisation, the number of courses, the duration can all vary significantly.
Academic transcripts can act as a single window through which admissions teams of Masters and PhD programs can evaluate what the applicant has studied and how she has performed.
Having said that, there are still many challenges. For instance, comparing transcripts from the universities and colleges based in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad, Bangalore and other cities isn’t easy though they are all from the same country.
Imagine the complexity that admission officers handle when they are looking for transcripts from other countries.
Marksheets are what you get from your college at the end of each semester or year. They contain details of the list of subjects, total marks for each subject and how much you scored.
For an engineering program that has 8 semesters (spread across 4 years, if you are capable and/or lucky!), you will end up with 8 marksheets.
In contrast, the transcript puts all of this in a single document. You’ll have only one transcript for one course.
You may be applying to multiple colleges at the same time. So, initially at the time of application, you may be able to manage the process with scans of the official transcript of records, depending on the requirement of the institution where you apply.
The scan of the transcript can be uploaded and submitted along with your application form. However, be sure that the scanned version that you upload is clear and legible.
However, once you’ve received an admission offer and accepted it, you’d be required to submit an official transcript.
If you have a bachelor’s degree from a college, you’d need a transcript from that college with the summary of the subjects taken in each year and the marks/grades obtained.
Also, if you’ve done your master’s elsewhere, you’d need another transcript in support of the same. If you’ve attended a non-degree program at some other institution, you’d need another transcript with the details of the courses taken and the grades obtained.
In short, you’d need to submit one official transcript from each college or university you’ve attended. Each of these transcripts would contain various details related to the program taken.
If the transcript is issued in any language other than English, then you’re required to submit the certified copy of the original transcript along with a certified English translation. Translations must be literal and complete versions of the original records.
The process for getting your college transcripts would vary depending upon the college or university you’ve attended.
Usually, the first step is to get photocopies of all the mark sheets/degree certificate. You may need to address a letter to the registrar of your university or the concerned authority of your college requesting him/her for the transcript.
You’d also have to mention the number of sets of transcripts you’d need. You’d be required to pay the applicable fees for the required number of transcripts mostly in the form of a demand draft.
Several colleges have an official transcript application form. If that’s true with your alma mater, the college transcript request form may be obtained in the soft copy which you need to fill in after which you can take a printout on the college letter-head.
You may check with your college/university if any other documents are needed. It would be a good idea calling up and talking to the concerned person in your college and checking with them the exact procedure for procuring your transcripts as the same standard procedure may not be applicable to all universities and colleges in India.
Once you submit all the required set of documents, you’d perhaps be told the processing time required after which you may go and collect the certified transcripts in sealed envelopes with stamp and signature in the sealed portion. You may not seal one of the envelopes as you would need one set of transcripts for scanning so that the scanned copy can be submitted with the application.
Many colleges in USA also accept electronic transcripts from colleges and universities in India sent through a secure network recommended by your college.
Nowadays, there are various companies with an online presence that have made it easier to get your transcripts online. They have tie-ups with various popular educational institutions across the country. But it may not be a comprehensive list, so you’ll first have to check if the college that you graduated from is included in their list.
For the service they provide, they charge a fee – generally between 5,000 to 10,000 Rupees depending on the number of copies you request for. This option is preferred by those staying abroad or in a different city and those wishing to avoid the unnecessary legwork.
Curious to know what a sample transcript from India looks like? Check out these sample transcript templates for Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) from VIT, Pune University:
You’ll find many more on the net in PDF format, or as images (GIF, JPG) for other colleges in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkata or whichever region you graduated from. Download them or view them online to get a better idea of the content and sections.
Read this related post:
– Managing low academic grades (GPA) in applications
– Problems an average student can face in an elite MBA classroom