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Transcript vs. Degree Certificate: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on January 26, 2024
A transcript is a detailed record of a student's academic performance, while a degree certificate is a formal document confirming the completion of a degree program.

Key Differences

A transcript is an official document provided by educational institutions that details a student's academic performance, including courses taken, grades received, and credits earned. A degree certificate, also known as a diploma, is a formal document issued by a college or university that certifies the holder has successfully completed a specific degree program. While a transcript provides a comprehensive academic history, a degree certificate serves as a formal recognition of educational achievement.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 26, 2024
Transcripts are often used for applications to further education or employment to assess a candidate's academic qualifications and strengths. In contrast, a degree certificate is used to prove that an individual has attained a particular educational level, which can be a prerequisite for certain jobs or further studies. Transcripts offer detailed insight into a student's academic journey, whereas degree certificates signify the culmination of that journey.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 26, 2024
The information on a transcript includes course names, grades, semester-wise performance, and sometimes instructors' names. A degree certificate generally includes the degree holder's name, the degree awarded, the date of award, and the issuing institution's name and seal. Transcripts provide a granular view of a student's academic record, while degree certificates are more about the overall educational accomplishment.
Huma Saeed
Jan 26, 2024
Transcripts are frequently requested and used throughout a person’s academic and professional life. Degree certificates, however, are typically presented once and often used for ceremonial or formal purposes, such as display in a home or office. Transcripts are dynamic documents, changing with each semester, whereas degree certificates are static, unchanging once issued.
Janet White
Jan 26, 2024
Updating a transcript occurs regularly as students complete courses, whereas a degree certificate is issued only once upon the completion of a degree program. In case of any errors, transcripts can be amended and reissued, but correcting a degree certificate involves a more formal process, given its status as an official testament to an academic achievement. Transcripts reflect ongoing academic progress, while degree certificates represent a final, official certification.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 26, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Record of academic performance, courses, and grades
Formal document certifying degree completion
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 26, 2024

Contents

Course names, grades, credits, academic standing
Holder’s name, degree title, date of issue, institution seal
Huma Saeed
Jan 26, 2024

Purpose

Used for academic/professional assessment
Serves as proof of degree attainment
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 26, 2024

Format

Detailed, list format
Formal, decorative
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 26, 2024

Frequency of Issuance

Updated and reissued as needed
Issued once upon degree completion
Janet White
Jan 26, 2024
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Transcript and Degree Certificate Definitions

Transcript

A transcript is often required for further education or job applications.
I submitted my transcript along with my job application.
Janet White
Dec 12, 2023

Degree Certificate

Degree certificates are issued by educational institutions as proof of academic achievement.
The degree certificate bears the official seal of the university.
Huma Saeed
Dec 12, 2023

Transcript

A transcript is a detailed record of a student's academic coursework and grades.
The university sent my transcript to the graduate school I applied to.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 12, 2023

Degree Certificate

Degree certificates are often displayed or used for official verification.
I framed my degree certificate to hang in my office.
Janet White
Dec 12, 2023

Transcript

A transcript provides a comprehensive view of a student’s academic history.
The admissions committee reviewed my transcript for prerequisite courses.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 12, 2023

Degree Certificate

The certificate signifies the successful completion of all degree requirements.
The degree certificate I received recognizes my four years of study.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 12, 2023

Transcript

Transcripts include semester-wise academic performance and credit hours.
My transcript shows all the courses I completed in my undergrad.
Janet White
Dec 12, 2023

Degree Certificate

A degree certificate includes the recipient’s name, degree awarded, and date of conferment.
My degree certificate shows the date I officially graduated.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 12, 2023

Transcript

Transcripts can be official or unofficial, depending on the purpose.
I downloaded an unofficial copy of my transcript from the university's portal.
Harlon Moss
Dec 12, 2023

Degree Certificate

A degree certificate is a formal document certifying the completion of a specific academic degree.
I received my degree certificate at the graduation ceremony.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 12, 2023

Transcript

Something transcribed, especially a written, typewritten, or printed copy
The transcript of court testimony.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 11, 2023

Transcript

A record of a student's academic performance issued by an institution of learning.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 11, 2023

FAQs

What does a degree certificate contain?

It contains the holder's name, degree title, date of issue, and institution's seal.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 26, 2024

What is a degree certificate?

A degree certificate is a formal document confirming the completion of a degree program.
Huma Saeed
Jan 26, 2024

Who issues transcripts?

Educational institutions issue transcripts.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 26, 2024

What is a transcript?

A transcript is a record of a student's academic performance, including courses and grades.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 26, 2024

Who issues degree certificates?

Degree certificates are issued by colleges or universities.
Janet White
Jan 26, 2024

Can degree certificates be reissued?

Reissuing a degree certificate involves a formal process due to its official status.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 26, 2024

Do degree certificates show grades?

No, degree certificates do not include grades.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 26, 2024

What details are included in a transcript?

Transcripts include course names, grades, credits, and academic standing.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 26, 2024

Can transcripts be reissued?

Yes, transcripts can be updated and reissued as needed.
Harlon Moss
Jan 26, 2024

Are transcripts needed for job applications?

Transcripts are often required for job applications to assess academic qualifications.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 26, 2024

Is there a fee for degree certificates?

Typically, the cost is included in graduation fees, but there may be additional fees for duplicates.
Harlon Moss
Jan 26, 2024

Can I access my transcript online?

Many institutions provide online access to unofficial transcripts.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 26, 2024

Are electronic transcripts valid?

Electronic transcripts are valid but must be official and from a recognized institution.
Harlon Moss
Jan 26, 2024

Is a degree certificate required for employment?

Some employers may require a degree certificate as proof of academic achievement.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 26, 2024

Do transcripts show failed courses?

Yes, transcripts typically show all courses, including any failures.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 26, 2024

How long does it take to get a transcript?

The time varies, but institutions usually process transcript requests within a few weeks.
Janet White
Jan 26, 2024

How long does it take to receive a degree certificate?

Degree certificates are generally issued at graduation or shortly after.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 26, 2024

Is a degree certificate the same as a diploma?

Yes, a degree certificate is often referred to as a diploma.
Janet White
Jan 26, 2024

Is there a fee for transcripts?

Some institutions charge a fee for official transcripts.
Janet White
Jan 26, 2024

Do I need to notarize my degree certificate?

Notarization is not usually required, but some international uses may require it.
Harlon Moss
Jan 26, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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