In a job application, I received electronic version of diploma and transcript (not scanned copy, but the official electronic file that the university prepared to be printed on official diploma and transcript papers).

Is it common in the US universities to give the electronic version of diploma and transcript to graduates?

I thought that the only version which will be released is that printed on the university official papers.

Is an electronic version of diploma and transcript as valid as a scanned copy?

  • I'm sorry, but what is an "official electronic file"? A transcript is only official if it is sent directly by the university to the employer.
    – JeffE
    Apr 19, 2014 at 15:30
  • @JeffE by official I meant what sent by the university. In this case, is it possible for a university to email the electronic version to the employer? Of course, my general question is that Do the US universities release electronic versions of diploma and transcript?
    – user13854
    Apr 19, 2014 at 15:44
  • There are now official electronic transcripts (and therefore I guess certifications of having received a degree). Parchment offers them, among others probably, parchment.com. They claim thousands of clients, from Texas A&M to Columbia to community colleges.
    – chmullig
    Apr 19, 2014 at 23:21
  • In theory it is possible to have an official electronic diploma and transcript if the university publishes its public key, and then digitally signs the documents with an appropriate algorithm (RSA, DSA, etc.).
    – Nayuki
    Jul 11, 2016 at 5:36

1 Answer 1


Some U.S. universities do release electronic copies of transcripts. They treat these as completely official document, and the documents are supposed to contain additional security features, which the recipient can verify.

For example, there is an information page about electronic transcripts from the University of Michigan.

However, if you are concerned about the electronic copy, you could just ask for a paper copy. It is not in any way unusual in the U.S. to ask applicants to have their university send official paper transcripts by mail directly to the potential employer. The applicant will pay the university a small fee to do this, of course, so many employers only request the official transcripts at later stages of the hiring process, and accept informal copies for the initial stages.

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