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Transcripts: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Electronic Transcripts

Paper Transcripts

General Questions


What is an electronic transcript or eTranscript and how does it work?

An electronic transcript or eTranscript is a certified PDF of your official transcript. Recipients of the official eTranscript receive an email with instructions on how to retrieve the document from a secure web site. Official eTranscripts can be sent to any valid email address.

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How do I request an electronic transcript?

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How do I download an electronic transcript?

When you receive an eTranscript from MIT, follow these steps to download the document:

Note to Mac and Linux users: To view an electronic transcript, you must use Adobe Reader. The electronic transcript cannot be viewed with other PDF viewers.

 

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Are electronic transcripts real? How do I validate this transcript?

Yes, it’s real! eTranscripts are official documents that contain MIT’s digital signature and can be instantly validated.

MIT’s official eTranscript is a certified PDF that displays a blue ribbon on the notification bar across the top of Adobe Reader, ensuring the recipient that the digital signature is authentic and the contents of the eTranscript have not been altered. On older versions of Adobe Reader, the blue ribbon will be displayed on a pop-up screen and in the lower left corner of the application’s frame.

Valid Signature

When the blue ribbon indicates that the document is valid, MIT’s digital signature is true and authentic and the document’s contents have not been changed or altered in any way.

Invalid Signature

If the blue ribbon indicates that the document is invalid, then the document should be rejected. The invalid status could be due to several reasons, such as an inauthentic digital signature or an alteration to the document. In all cases, reject a document that is invalid.

Author Unknown

If the blue ribbon indicates that the validity of the document is unknown, make sure the computer has an active internet connection. If there is a properly working internet connection and the digital signature cannot be validated, reject the document.

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How long does it take to get an electronic transcript? Can I request expedited or express service?

All transcript requests are handled in an expedited fashion. Electronic transcripts for students who attended MIT after 1994 will be processed and delivered within 30 minutes. Processing time for students who participated in the Cambridge-MIT Exchange may be slightly longer as we add additional documentation to the order. These and all other eTranscripts will be processed within one business day.

Note: we do not send transcripts by fax. The quickest method to deliver a transcript is by choosing the electronic transcript option.

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Can I list multiple recipients for my electronic transcripts? If I want to download a copy for myself and send an additional copy to a third party, how do I do that?

Each electronic transcript request can be sent to one email address. However, multiple transcript requests can be included in one order. The ordering process presents a shopping cart experience. Before paying for your order, you can return to the beginning of the process and add additional requests as necessary. When all requests have been added to the shopping cart, you can proceed to payment.

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What is the “Transcript Tracker” tool?

This tool is offered as an optional feature of the eTranscript; it allows you to track where and when it is opened. An additional charge of $1.99 is assessed if this feature is chosen. If you are not interested in this option, select the Disabled option on the ordering page.

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What happens after I submit my etranscript order?

You will receive status updates via email as your order is processed. You may return to the transcript ordering system to see further information about tracking your shipment by clicking the My Account link.

The recipient of your eTranscript will receive several notifications. First, they will be notified that an eTranscript has been released to them and that the document is now available for download. This message will include instructions on how to generate a passcode for the download. The passcode will be sent in a separate email which the recipient will then use to download the transcript. Reminder emails are sent to the recipient if the transcript is not downloaded. You will receive notification when the document is downloaded.

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I am applying to a graduate school/fellowship/etc. that requires me to upload an electronic transcript to an online application site.  I ordered an eTranscript and downloaded it, but when I try uploading it to the application site, I receive this error message: “Unable to upload because the file is encrypted”

Some application sites, for example NSF-GRF, do not allow secure PDFs to be uploaded.  There is no way to remove the security features of your eTranscript.  However, you can print the eTranscript, scan it, and save it as a regular, unsecured PDF that you should be able to upload.  Please contact the recipient to verify that they will accept the transcript this way.  They may require you to follow up by sending an eTranscript or paper transcript to them directly. 

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I was able to download the eTranscript, but now when I try to open it I am asked to enter a passcode again.

If you attempt to open the eTranscript with any PDF reader other than Adobe Reader or Acrobat, you may receive an error message that looks like a password request.    You must use Adobe Reader or Acrobat v 6.04 or greater to open a certified PDF.  Answers to questions about installing Adobe Reader and opening your eTranscript with Adobe Reader if it is not set as the default PDF viewer can be found on the Parchment's Support Page.   

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How do I open the eTranscript at an Athena workstation?

eTranscripts can only be opened with Adobe Reader or Acrobat.  Most of the Athena workstations on campus do not have Adobe Reader set as the default PDF viewer, however Adobe Reader can still be accessed at any Athena workstation.  If you are at a Windows or Mac workstation and your eTranscript does not automatically open with Adobe Reader, please see the instructions on Parchment's Support Page for opening the eTranscript when Adobe Reader is not set as the default PDF viewer.  If you are at one of the many Ubuntu Linux workstations, you will need to do the following:

  1. Save a copy of the eTranscript file to your Athena account.
  2. Launch Adobe Reader by typing “acroread” in the terminal window.
  3. Go to Adobe Reader’s “File” menu and click “Open”.
  4. Locate the eTranscipt file in your athena account, and click "Open".

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How long does it take to get a paper transcript? Can I request expedited or express service?

Delivery time depends on the options you choose when ordering. All transcript requests are handled in an expedited fashion. Paper copies are usually sent out within one to two business days. Once mailed through USPS or standard international air mail, it is not possible for us to determine how long it will take to reach the recipient(s).

Express shipping is available at an additional cost to you. This option can be selected from the "Mailing Method" drop-down menu on the transcript ordering page. Be advised that the express shipping service will not deliver to a post office box. This service is next business day to most US destinations, while deliveries to international locations may take several days.

Transcripts held for pick up are typically available within one to two business days at the Student Services Center, 11-120 (current students) or the Office of the Registrar, 5-119 (former students).

We do not send transcripts by fax.

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I ordered express shipping. How can I access the tracking number?

When a transcript is packaged and express shipping was ordered, the express shipping vendor and tracking number will be posted on our online ordering service. To access tracking information, log into the online ordering service, click My Account, and select the order. The tracking number will be posted in the order summary.

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I just want to pick up a copy and use it myself. How do I pick up a copy?

You will first need to place an online order and indicate in your order that it is for pick up (order a paper transcript and in "Delivery Option", select "pick-up"). After an online order is placed, you will be notified via email when the transcript is ready for pick-up:

  • Currently registered students
Student Service Center, 11-120
  • Students who participated in the Cambridge-MIT Exchange Program
Registrar's Office, 5-119
  • All Others
Registrar's Office, 5-119

Most transcripts can be held for pick-up within one to two business days. You may also have us hold the transcript for pick-up after the degree award is noted or the latest grades become official. See information about end-of-term transcripts for these dates.

You may also follow the alternate instructions if you would prefer not to use the online ordering system.

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Why do I need to provide address information for transcripts I am picking up and using myself?

Recipients have specific instructions for how they wish to have the transcript addressed, even if you are providing it to them in person or along with other material. Transcripts listed as Issued to Student are not generally accepted. Note that the information you enter for the address will be printed on the transcript. It is not recommended that you list yourself, or (for example) “To whom it may concern.” If you do not know the complete address information for the intended recipient we recommend the following:

Mailing Name: [Individual, Office, or Program Name]
Mailing Address 1: [Organization, Title, School, Agency, or Government]
City: [If unknown, input "Pick Up In Person"]
State: [If unknown, input "Massachusetts"]
Zip code: [If unknown, input "02139"]
Country: [If unknown, input "United States"]


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What happens after I submit my paper transcript order?

Paper transcripts will be processed within one to two business days. You will receive status updates via email as your order is processed. If your order was placed through our transcript ordering system, you may track your order by logging into the system and clicking the My Account link.

If you have asked to pick up your transcript in person, you will receive email notification when the transcript is ready for pick-up at:

  • Currently registered students
Student Service Center, 11-120
  • Students who participated in the Cambridge-MIT Exchange Program
Registrar's Office, 5-119
  • All Others
Registrar's Office, 5-119

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I want my paper transcript to show a third-party as the recipient, but I want it mailed to me.  How do I do that?

Many recipients have strict rules regarding how the transcript is addressed. If you are in need of a paper transcript addressed one way but mailed to you, please note this in the "special instructions" section of the ordering page by noting "Please mail to my home address". Your home address information can be maintained in your profile information on the ordering service. We will mail the transcripts to the address detailed in your profile. In addition, please email us at regdocs@mit.edu to notify us of your special instructions. We will be able to verify the address you provide against the address detailed in your profile information and send the transcripts accordingly.

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When are grades available after the term is finished? How can I make sure my transcript includes the latest grades? Will my degree be listed on the transcript?

See information about end-of-term dates. Transcripts list all degrees awarded from MIT.

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I participated in the CME Program. How do I make sure the Cambridge information gets included with my MIT transcript?

An insert is included with transcripts for CME participants. eTranscript orders may be held temporarily so that we can upload the necessary CME program information we have on file specifically for you. Paper orders will be processed within the standard one business day timeframe. Please note that these instructions are intended only for MIT students who attended Cambridge University. If you were a Cambridge student and attended MIT, please order your transcript without checking the box for CME students.

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I need to send other documents [such as proof of a degree award] in addition to a transcript. How do I add those to my order?

In the online ordering process, you will have the opportunity to attach any digital attachments that you would like included with the transcript. In addition, there is space provided for you to pass any special instructions to us. If you are sending an eTranscript, you will need to have electronic versions of the files so that you can attach them to the order. Please note that this includes letters certifying any MIT degree awards. We cannot provide electronic copies of documents for you, so you may need to order these in advance, receive them, and scan them so you can include files with your order. If you are sending paper copies of transcripts we are happy to print any additional documents that you may need included with your paper transcript, provided they were attached in the ordering process.

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My transcript needs to include a page from a professional program [AMCAS/LSAC]. How do I attach that to my order?

You do have the option of attaching files to the transcript order. You will need to save an electronic copy of the document(s) that need to be included. When you complete the ordering process, the attachments will be listed in your order summary. If we are printing paper copies for you, we will in turn see the attachments on your order and include them as per your instructions. There is space provided for you to pass on any special instructions if you have concerns.

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How do I order a transcript if I cannot use the online ordering system?

Please follow these instructions for ordering a paper transcript by mail. We are unable to accept orders sent to us via fax or email. If you are having other issues with transcript ordering please contact our office (617) 253-2658 or regdocs@mit.edu.

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How do I pay for my transcripts? Can I charge my student account?

The online transcript service will accept payment through any major credit card. Many students who are currently registered will have the option of charging their student account. The payment options will be presented at checkout. We can only accept check or money order payments from former students who are unable to use the online ordering service.

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How do I change the billing address that is on file with the transcript ordering service?

The first time you use this system, there will be an initial screen in which you will enter some contact and billing information. If you choose to pay with a credit card, the system will remind you of the address on file and provide the opportunity to edit it if necessary. You can also update this information by clicking My Account after logging into the transcript ordering service.

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When I try to place an order, I see the following message: "Due to a restriction or hold placed by your school, you are unable to order any documents at this time. Please contact your school to resolve this issue or with any questions."

The most common reason you would see this message is that you have logged in for the first time by creating an account with the transcript ordering service and you did not provide your MIT ID number. The online ordering service will allow you to log in and enter an order without providing an MIT ID only once.   After the first login, an MIT ID is required to place an order.  If you log in for the first time, and then log out or become timed out before submitting your transcript order, you will see this message when you log in and try to place your order. Whether this applies to your situation or not, if you have seen this message you will need to contact the Registrar’s Office at regdocs@mit.edu or (617) 253-2658 to resolve the issue. 

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After I placed my order, I saw the following message: “Your order has been placed ON HOLD with a hold type of: Records Research”

This message appears when you create an account with transcript ordering service and submit a transcript order without entering your MIT ID.  This may cause a slight delay in processing your order, but it will most likely still be processed in 1 to 2 business days.

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Why does my browser give me a security warning when I try to log in to order a transcript with my Infinite Connection credentials?

Browsers have built in lists of “trusted” SSL certificates.  The certificate on the Infinite Connection log-in portal to the transcript ordering service was coded by MIT rather than by a common commercial certificate provider.  Therefore, it would not appear on any built-in “trusted” list.  However, the certificate is secure and we encourage you to advance through the log-in page and proceed with your order.  Once you enter the ordering service, the certificates are provided by GeoTrust, the security details are clearly displayed, and your browser isn’t likely to give you any further warnings. Please feel confident that MIT's certificate authority is to be trusted as you log-in and continue into the ordering service.

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I have entered my Kerberos or Infinite Connection username and password, but the system doesn’t allow me to log on.

You may have entered an incorrect username or password and been temporarily locked out of the system.  Please close your browser, wait a few minutes, and try again.

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For More Information

If you have any questions regarding the authenticity of a document, please contact the Registrar’s Office at (617) 235-2658 or regdocs@mit.edu.