I am applying to graduate school using an online application service. There is a field to upload an electronic transcript, so I ordered transcripts from my university and saved it as a PDF. Unfortunately, the application service will not accept this PDF because it has certain restrictions (it cannot be opened after 30 days). I want to know how I should approach getting my transcript to the universities I am applying to. If I change the security measures on the PDF, will it no longer be an official transcript? If I have an electronic transcript directly sent to the university, will they be able to view it after 30 days?

  • 3
    Only the university can answer this question. Ask them. Your undergrad institution may be able to provide a different format or a way to send it directly. Ask them also.
    – Buffy
    Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 22:35

1 Answer 1


Usually, universities have explicit and hard rules about transcripts. Here's an example. See what you can find out from the institution you're applying to. If they accept official transcripts electronically, they probably only do so through some third-party service, and not by you uploading a PDF to their system.

Such a PDF will likely be considered an unofficial copy. It's still useful for considering applicants, but they'll likely need another version to verify its authenticity. Typically, for US grad schools, this can be an official version submitted by your previous institution through a third-party web service, or a signed printed version sent in a sealed envelope.

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