Difference between a Transcript and a Degree Certificate

Key Difference: A Transcript is a document that lists all the classes a student takes, all the exams the student has attempted and also the grades the student acquired in that particular class and exam. A degree certificate is a document that signifies which specialized degree program that the student has graduated from.

For students who are just entering the education system, you may not be well versed with the fancy terms that are used by colleges to confuse students. This is true for a lot of students who are entering English speaking countries, such as the US and the UK, for further studies.

The terms transcript and degree certificate are two of the many terms that can end up confusing students. This is especially common for students who don’t speak English as their primary language.

The two terms both signify a piece of paper that displays a student’s academic progress. However, they are very different from each other.

A Transcript is a document that lists all the classes a student takes, all the exams the student has attempted and also the grades the student has acquired in that particular class and exam. A student can acquire their transcript at any time, including on a yearly or semester basis. The transcript is important when it comes to applying for college, as a majority of colleges use this to deem if the student should be accepted into the college.

On the other hand, a degree certificate is a document that signifies which specialized degree program that the student has graduated from. In order to acquire a degree certificate, the student must complete all years of that degree program and graduate from that program to find themselves as a degree holder. So, if a student is in the Electrical Engineering program, he must pass all required classes for the program, after which they would be presented with the degree of completion from the said program on graduation.

In short, a transcript only lists all the classes and exams the student takes, as well as the grades or marks the student received. While, a degree certificate signifies that the student graduated from the program successfully.

Both the documents play an important role in the student’s life as the transcript lets the institution know if the student should be receiving a degree certificate at the completion of the program.

Comparison between a Transcript and a Degree Certificate:

 

Transcript

Degree Certificate

Definition

A document that lists all the classes a student takes, all the exams the student has attempted and also the grades the student acquired in that particular class and exam.

A degree certificate is a document that signifies which specialized degree program that the student has graduated from.

Entails

A list of all the student’s classes, tests and the grades or marks received

The completion of the student from a program such as bachelor’s program

Received

Quarterly, per semester, or yearly

After completion of a program, such as 2 years if associate’s degree, 4 years if bachelor’s, etc.

Prominence

Holds a great importance to determine if the student has passed all their tests and classes

Holds a great importance for acquiring a job after graduation

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