Credentialing of Foreign Degrees for a United States Government Application

For certain federal positions you may need to submit transcripts as a part of the application. These need to be legible copies of U.S. college/university transcript(s) that include degree(s) (if any) awarded and course work completed (Note: these do not have to be official transcripts; unofficial copies of school records, are acceptable, as long as they meet the above requirements.)

Foreign education transcripts will not be accepted. Foreign education (that is education acquired outside of any State of the U.S., the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, or any territory or possession of the U.S.) must be evaluated by a credential evaluation service recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order to be credited towards qualification. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) provides guidelines on how the U.S. Government evaluates an applicant’s foreign education. Family members can link to this information here.

Applicants can request an evaluation from a member organization of one of the two national associations of credential evaluation services:

  1. National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) is an association of 19 credential evaluation services with admission standards and an enforced code of good practice.
  2. Association of International Credentials Evaluators (AICE) is an association of 10 credential evaluation services with a board of advisors and an enforced code of ethics.

Credential evaluations are not free and applicants are responsible for the cost of the selected service. The cost will vary according to the complexity of the case and the amount of documentation you can provide. Prior to submitting any documents to a credential evaluation service, you will also need to obtain English translations of any non-English documents, preferably notarized. The entire credentialing process may take weeks or months.

Applicants to federal positions then submit copies of their foreign education credential evaluations in lieu of transcripts in their applications.