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How to translate a diploma or transcript for a university: step-by-step instruction

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How to translate a diploma or transcript for a university: step-by-step instruction

Upon admission to any foreign university, the applicant provides a package of documents. Applying for a place in a magistracy, doctoral program, business schools and a number of undergraduate programs, students provide a diploma and a transcript: foreign universities accept them together with translated and notarized copies.

What is the difference between a diploma and a transcript?

  1. A diploma is issued to a graduate of a higher educational institution: it officially confirms the receipt of a degree, specialty, indicates a higher educational institution, city, country, years of study. Each diploma has a series and a number confirming its authenticity.
  2. The transcript is attached to the diploma: this is a detailed extract with a list of subjects studied on the course, with the number of hours for each discipline, grades for exams and a list of passed tests. The main task of the paper is to provide details about the academic successes of a university graduate. Abroad, this document is called the Cumulative Record File (CRF), Academic.

Separately, these documents do not have legal force - it is impossible to submit an application for admission to the magistracy of any higher educational institution in the world without a diploma or extract.

How to translate a diploma? Is it possible to do it yourself or is it better to turn to professionals?

Translation of a diploma: 3 stages

Proper preparation of documents before applying to a foreign university is a guarantee that you will not have to redo everything several times or receive an insulting refusal at the very beginning of the journey. Translation of a diploma consists of 3 stages:

  • Getting a certified copy at the university. As a rule, the student brings a copy of the diploma to the office of the university, puts the seal and signature of the head. Admission commissions and notarial offices accept copies for certification only with official marks of the university, but not all universities require notarized copies.
  • The literal translation of the diploma involves a complete, accurate, verbatim transposition of everything written in the document into the language specified in the requirements of the institution. The translation of the diploma submitted to the selection committee must be signed by a certified translator - it marks the authorized translator. The applicant himself chooses an interpreter, but it is important to choose a professional with extensive experience and knowledge. The minimum discrepancy between the translation and the original may be the basis for refusing to accept documents from the University.
  • Notarization of a translation is not necessary in all cases: certified institutions will require educational institutions in Europe, rarely - American and English universities. The certification procedure requires an original and a copy of the diploma with notes from the university office. If the diploma is translated at a university, the presence of a translator will not be necessary, but an independent translator must be present at the notary's office during the procedure.

How to translate a transcript: 4 steps

The applicant can order the translation of the transcript from a professional or perform it himself. The whole process includes 4 stages:

  • Drawing up a table that includes information from the diploma supplement, the examination sheet (if the diploma has not been issued yet). If the graduate himself draws up a table with the names of academic disciplines and grades, then he certifies each page with the signature of a professional translator and an employee of the department.
  • Full thorough translation of the table. This translation can also be done only by a certified philologist, a specialist in a foreign language. Each page is certified by a notary in the presence of an independent translator. If the translation is done at the department, then the presence of the translator is not necessary, just the press of the university in addition to the signature of the translator is enough.
  • The stage of notarization of a translated diploma supplement is not always necessary, only if such is the requirement of the educational institution. A translator must be present during the certification (unless the translation was carried out at the university that issued the diploma, transcript and certified the translation with a seal).
  • The translated extract is accompanied by an explanatory note in the target language. The note contains information about the grading system adopted by the educational institution (5-point, 10-point, etc.), indicates the GPA of the diploma. The note must also have supporting stamps and signatures. This document is not always required - information about the accepted grading system and GPA can be indicated in the transcript.

Sending documents to a foreign university 

Many foreign universities today accept documents in electronic form - it is faster, easier and more environmentally friendly. Applicants scan the original and translated diploma, transcript and other papers requested by the university, download them with the application and send them by e-mail or directly from the university website.

Some foreign educational institutions ask to send documents by mail - then certified translated copies of the diploma, transcript are sent in an envelope to another country. Some German universities require the seal and signature of an authorized person on the line for gluing the envelope, indicating the university address in two languages - the language of the country of the future student and the country of the university where the letter is sent.

Some universities impose additional requirements for confirming the authenticity of a diploma, transcript, affixing an apostille - this information is usually on the website of the institution or specified by the representative of the university.

Help in translating a diploma

The above describes the general points when preparing documents for sending to a foreign educational institution. But each selection Committee puts forward its own requirements, which can be difficult to take into account. SMAPSE experts on foreign education have extensive experience in successfully supporting applicants for admission to prestigious foreign universities and they are ready to support you at any stage of admission. Smapse specialists will help with translation, notarization, affixing of an apostille, preparation of supporting documents and negotiations with a university.

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