DISCLAIMER: This blog post is only relevant to enrolled students. For applicants interested in learning more about the official/unofficial transcript policy, please see wait for a future blog post.


Happy summer, admitted students! You have a checklist of items you need to complete (see the Welcome Portal) prior to beginning this Fall so we’re dedicating this blog post to clarifying our official transcript policy.

The upcoming deadline to submit official transcripts is August 20, 2022 (for those beginning in Fall 2022). We need official transcripts sent directly by each* institution you attended or by an authorized third-party, depending on the institution. Policy on official transcripts is broken down by the type of institution you attended – please see below for details. We will not accept an emailed transcript. Even if the transcript comes directly from your institution, it must be through a secure, electronic portal–this means via an authorized third-party like Parchment, eScrip-Safe, Credential Solutions, or National Student Clearinghouse. Some institutions have developed their own secure transmission system, but for the most part, schools have contracted to the four largest service providers mentioned above.

For incoming GPPN students, all official transcripts are needed from colleges and universities prior to your enrollment of the partner dual degree institution. We also require official transcripts from the partner institution where you spent your first year of study with the exception of Sciences Po. 

Domestic Institutions

All matriculating students who attended a college/university in the U.S. must have their official transcripts sent to the SIPA Office of Admissions electronically (not by mail). The transcript must either come directly from the institution (via a secure, electronic portal) or from an authorized third party (National Student Clearinghouse, Parchment, or Credential Solutions):

  • National Student Clearinghouse: In the section where National Student Clearinghouse asks “Who are you sending the transcript to?’ select ‘College or University.’ If prompted to select a country and state, select ‘United States’ and ‘New York.’ At this point, there should be a field that says ‘Enter and select the school you are sending your transcript to.’ Enter and select ‘Columbia University.’ After selecting ‘Columbia University,’ you should be prompted to select a department. Select ‘Columbia School of International and Public Affairs.’
  • Parchment: In the section where Parchment asks “Where would you like your documents sent?” you should type in ‘Columbia SIPA’ in the search box and select ‘Columbia University – School of Int & Public Affairs.’
  • Credential Solutions: In the section where Credential Solutions asks you to “Please choose type of recipient,” select ‘Search our recipient table.’ If prompted to select recipient state, select ‘New York.’ Then, in the search box, type and select ‘Columbia University.’ You should now see ‘Available recipients for Columbia University.’ Select ‘SCH OF INT’L/PUBLIC AFFAIRS.’

International Institutions

International institutions outside of the People’s Republic of China: Admitted students who attended international institutions must submit an electronic transcript if their school offers secure online delivery and the transcript is in English. SCHOOLS MAY NOT EMAIL TRANSCRIPTS. If the school cannot send transcripts electronically through a secure online system, they must contact World Education Services (WES) and order a course-by-course evaluation and International Credential Advantage Package (ICAP) to be sent directly to the SIPA Office of Admissions. Generally, students who attended international institutions should expect to obtain a WES evaluation; if there are any questions, email Admissions well before the deadline so we can clarify in a timely manner.

  • Please account for the fee that WES charges; we understand that this is a large sum but you must expect to pay for this service upon accepting your SIPA admission offer. We will not make exceptions for WES evaluations when we decide it is required.
  • To see what documents are required for a WES evaluation, please fill out the appropriate sections here.
  • All documents not in English must be accompanied by certified English translations; you may submit your original transcript along with the translated version.

International institutions in the People’s Republic of China: Admitted students who attended institutions in the People’s Republic of China must work with CHESICC, the credentials verification service affiliated with the PRC’s Ministry of Education, to arrange for a submission of a “Verification Report of China Higher Education Student’s Academic Transcripts” AND “Verification Report of China Higher Education Qualification Certificate.” These should be delivered electronically to the SIPA Office of Admission at sipa_new@sipa.columbia.edu.

Please Note

  • Study Abroad Transcript*: If you completed a study abroad or exchange program that is credited on your “home” transcript (where your bachelor’s degree was conferred), the official transcript from the study abroad institution is not needed.
  • Degree Not Yet Conferred: Do not send us official transcripts until your degree has been conferred. If the transcript does not indicate degree conferral, you must submit additional documentation confirming that the degree has been conferred.

You can also find this information listed in the Welcome Portal, the Transcript Portal, communications with SIPA Admissions, and even instructions in the application when you first applied.

For any further clarification, do not hesitate to send us an email at sipa_admission@columbia.edu. Please reach out to us well before the deadline so we can ensure you have the correct information and appropriate amount of time to submit what’s required.