What Does An Official College Transcript Look Like?

Everything you need to know about college transcripts

Transcripts from college are the most important document a student has in terms of their permanent record. It includes your academic history including your grades and the courses you have completed. They may also include additional information, such as a history of academic probation, and awards for your school performance.  Here we will see about What Does An Official College Transcript Look Like?

Having an idea of what college transcripts look like might help you check any errors, or whether you have official transcripts or unofficial transcripts.

What Does An Official College Transcript Look Like?

What is a college transcript?

A college transcript usually resembles your high school transcript. A college transcript is a comprehensive record of your coursework and grades, as well as your GPA. 

The college transcript also shows the dates you have attended. College transcripts also show your major, minors, and all the awards you have received.

What does an official college transcript look like?

Depending on the school you went to, official college transcript may look different, but they all look about the same.

College transcript will list your major, coursework, grades and overall GPA, as well as your name, the name of your college or university, date of birth and date of enrollment.

What makes a college transcript official?

If you plan to transfer to another college or apply for a job then you will need to provide a college transcript. Then the question arises of what makes the college transcript official. Here is the difference between an official transcript and an unofficial transcript-

If your transcript is official, it will have your university’s seal and the signature of the registrar’s office. When it is official, it will be sent to you in a secure envelope that you will not be able to open without tampering with it. Usually, you need to pay for the official transcript to be processed.

A transcript is “unofficial” if it is not sent in a secure envelope, and has no seal and signature. Most unofficial transcripts don’t contain as much information about your degree or major as an official transcript does since their primary purpose is not for admissions but for you to track your academic progress.

Most important elements of a college transcript

Personal Information

College transcripts are personal and contain your name, date of birth, address, school attended and address, and therefore, these documents are entirely yours and cannot be transferred to another person.

Name of Courses Taken 

Transcripts show a list of courses from high school or college, as well as a list of courses you may have dropped.

These courses will help a new school determine if you are qualified to attend their program. 

Grades and GPA Obtained

Your high school or college transcripts will show the letter grade (A, B, C) you received in each course and your GPA for the courses you took. These individual evaluations help schools to determine whether you have understood the material you have been taught in each class.

Your GPA can help colleges compare your performance against other applicants, and help them decide if you are a better candidate than others.

If you have ever wondered what transcripts are used for, this is an important application.

Class Rank

Your class rank reflects how well you performed relative to other students in your graduating class. 

This can help to compare your knowledge with that of other students who also received their education from the same teachers.

When Classes Were Taken

The transcript contains classes grouped into semesters, trimesters or quarters. These classes are listed in chronological order, and they play an important role.

In this case, it shows a university or an employer, if you study easier subjects in the year of graduation, or if you go to more difficult subjects each year.

It also shows if you’ve been able to improve your grades, although you may have struggled with them earlier in the year.

Additional Information

The college transcript also contains other information, including the honors obtained, standardized test scores and the volunteer work you performed. 

When do you need college transcripts?

There are some cases where you need a college transcript-

  • First of all, once you graduate with a bachelor’s degree, you will need your transcript if you want to apply to a graduate school. These transcripts can help admissions officials understand if you would be a good fit for their school and/or program.
  • If you want to switch schools, you will need your college transcripts. You may not be satisfied with the school you chose, or if you want to move from a two-year school to a four-year school you will need to bring your college transcripts with you.
  • To apply for a job after graduation, you will need your college transcripts. A diploma is a common requirement for many jobs, but some employers may want to see how well you have done in your college courses. If you want to work in another country, you’ll need to submit your college transcripts to get a visa.

What should I do if college transcripts have errors?

Sometimes, you’ll see mistakes in your transcripts. Or your transcript has been received with errors on it.

If your transcript does not accurately reflect your education, degree, credits earned, and major, it can be worrisome.

If you think there might have been an error on your transcript, you can contact the registrar’s office at your college to have the transcript corrected as soon as possible.


Now that you understand what a transcript looks like, you can achieve any level of education you desire.

Remember, the transcript is important because it can be used to help you apply for a new school or move to a new school. Some require it to determine what courses you excel in and where you need improvement.


What is an official transcript from college?

A transcript is proof of your education.

What is the difference between a transcript and a degree certificate?

The difference between the transcript and the degree is that the degree proves the completion of the academic program, and the transcript is an educational proof that provides complete information about the degree and includes the subject matter, the exam, the degree, the institution, etc.