What Is An Academic Transcript?

An academic transcript is a complete record of a student’s academic performance, from the beginning of their academic career through to the present. It includes information such as the courses taken, grades received, honors and awards received, and any other relevant information. It is used for a variety of purposes, such as college applications, job applications, and to track academic progress. It is important for students to understand their transcripts and how to read them in order to make the most of their academic experience.

An academic transcript is a vital document, especially when you plan to study abroad or apply for higher education in India or when applying for a job/internship. Every University asks for school and college transcripts to ascertain students’ caliber and academic performance at their previous institution. It is a detailed breakdown of your academic performance undertaken throughout your bachelor or masters. It contains all the relevant information about the courses you took, marks obtained in various subjects and the total aggregate of all semesters. Here, in this blog, we discuss all details related to academic transcripts. 


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What Does An Academic Transcript Contain?

Academic Transcripts can be issued by your current/previous academic institution to verify and acknowledge the courses you undertook and the marks you obtained in them. All Institutions generally follow a standard format for the transcript:

  • Name of the Issuing Academic Institution
  • Accreditation of the Academic Institution
  • Name of the Student
  • Roll Number/Identity of the Student
  • Name of the Degree obtained
  • List of Courses undertaken
  • Marks/grade obtained in all the courses
  • Total Aggregate of the Marks/Grade obtained

The document must be stamped and certified by the issuing authority. Depending upon the institution/university protocol, students have to make a formal request with the college administration for their academic transcriptions. To get the official transcript, you have to pay the set fees and produce the required documents to attain your official transcript. Colleges, generally, take up to 7 to 14 days or more to issue the document so make sure you apply for it on time. Some colleges may also need you to physically collect your transcripts from the administrative office. 

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Documents Required for Academic Transcripts

To obtain academic transcripts, you need to produce certain documents and fill out a form or write an application to the college. The process may differ according to the college you belong to, but there are some common documents you should have:

  • A copy of your latest Mark Sheet
  • Student Identity Proof
  • Identity Proof

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Importance of Academic Transcripts

There can be several reasons behind wanting an academic transcript; it could be for professional reasons, educational or personal. Most people acquire their academic transcripts when they want to apply abroad for higher studies or job applications. This is because a degree or diploma certificate doesn’t suffice. After all, the two are merely proof of graduation without providing any details about the courses you took during your graduation or the kind of marks you attained. An academic transcript provides any University/Employer with a holistic idea of the student’s academic performance and achievements.  

Here, are some reasons why you may require your original transcript:

  • Higher Studies
  • Visa Applications 
  • Employment
  • Transferring Colleges
  • Credit Transfer
  • Personal Reasons

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Which Kind of Academic Transcript is Needed for which Course?

As per the requirements, you need the transcripts of the most recent course that you have studied.

  • Students applying for a graduate degree need their undergraduate education transcript.
  • Students applying for an undergraduate degree need their Secondary School Education transcripts

Academic Transcript vs Academic Degree

There are certain differences between academic transcripts and academic degrees. An academic transcript is not the same as an academic degree. A degree proclaims the successful completion of your programme while an academic transcript provides detailed information concerning the courses you took during your programme. Many foreign universities expect their students to produce these original documents for admission; so make sure you have your documents in place.  

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Unofficial vs Official Academic Transcripts

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Any student can easily get their unofficial academic transcript. They can simply download it by signing into their official student account on their college website. However, most universities only accept an official academic transcript which is acquired after a formal request to the prior college/university.

Can A College Withhold Your Transcripts?

An academic transcript is one of the most important documents when applying to overseas colleges; without this official document, it is impossible for students to get admission. A college can withhold your transcript if you have any financial dues pending with them; it could be unpaid tuition fees, a default on your student loan or library dues. This financial oversight provides every college with the right to deny you a copy of your official transcript if your dues or debts are not cleared. 

Can You Apply For Higher Studies Without Your Academic Transcript?

Official academic transcripts are issued after completing your programme, which means that if you are applying for higher studies in your final year of graduation, you can submit a copy of your latest mark sheet. Most colleges will accept a mark sheet instead of an official transcript to acquire the original copy. 

However, if you fail to submit your transcript with the college within the designated period, they have their right to cancel your admission and withdraw your application. 

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Sample Transcript

Here’s A List of Documents Required for Studying Abroad

Applying to foreign colleges can be daunting. From writing LORs to collecting basic documents; the list of official documents required can be endless. Yet, there are certain documents without which it is impossible to get admission and an academic transcript is one of them. Confused about choosing the right career path? Connect with our experts at Leverage Edu and take their step-by-step guide to success! Sign up for a free session today.