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Transcript - Official Transcript FAQ


This document provides answers to common questions regarding official transcripts.

For a step-by-step guide to ordering your official transcript, see Student Center - Ordering Your Official Transcript.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to order an official transcript?

UW–Madison transcripts are free of charge.

What is the difference between an unofficial and an official transcript? Which one should I get?

The unofficial transcript does not contain official university signatures or seals and includes some details that will not appear on an official transcript. Some examples include: grade changes and breadth information. These and more will only appear on an unofficial transcript and are intended to provide advisory information for you, your advisors, and your academic dean's office.

An official transcript is a legal document verified by the university. Official transcripts are printed on security paper with the UW–Madison seal. A PDF version will be encrypted and have special access codes to protect your privacy.

Our suggestion:

  • Are you looking to apply to graduate school? Order an official transcript.
  • Are you looking for quick access to enrollment information such as your GPA? View an unofficial transcript.

Can I send the official transcript to a third party?

Yes. Select your transcript to be delivered and enter the recipient's information/choose the relevant one from an existing list.

If I request an official transcript to be sent to a third party, will it be sent directly from UW–Madison?

Yes. Official transcript orders placed through the MyUW Student Center are considered sent directly from UW–Madison, either by mail or electronically. Mailed transcripts will arrive in sealed envelopes.

Can I order an electronic version of my official transcript?

Yes. The first step in the order process is to choose between a PDF and a hard copy. Select PDF to order an electronic version of your official transcript.

Is the PDF secured?

Yes. The PDF is encrypted and only the recipients will receive instructions for downloading and opening the file.

Can I print the PDF myself?

You can, but you shouldn't. The printed document will display watermarks and will be considered unofficial. You are welcome to order another copy to be mailed to you or pick up a printed copy from the Office of the Registrar.

What is the expected processing time for my order?

Hard Copy: Most online transcript orders take one to three days to process, not including postal/express delivery time. Please expect a longer process time if you have sent the Office of the Registrar a paper/PDF order form or if you attended UW–Madison prior to 1979.

PDF Copy: Most PDF copies are delivered via email within an hour (often sooner) of placing the online order. Your recipient will receive two emails; one with a link for downloading the transcript and the other with an access code.

Pick-up Copy: The Office of the Registrar will email you when your pick-up order is ready. We typically send out notices each morning, but if you need to pick up your transcript the same day you placed the order, please give us a call and we'll confirm if it's ready. 

Can I add an attachment to be sent along with my transcript?

Yes. After choosing a recipient, select the "Yes" radio button under the "Attachment Options for this Recipient" section at the bottom of the page. You will be asked to upload the attachment after the order has been submitted.

How can my transcript be sent to an application service (such as AMCAS, LSAC)? I have an applicant number.

In the recipient(s) tab, choose the "Select an Application Service" radio button. Find the right application service and click "next." Review the recipient's information and any special instructions. You might be asked to provide further information specific to your application.

Attachments: Some application services will automatically generate an attachment containing your Application Service ID. Otherwise, you will be given the option to add an attachment.

Important Note: Official transcript orders placed through the MyUW Student Center are considered sent directly from UW–Madison even though our transcript vendor finalizes the processing. If your application service is asking for an attachment to be sent directly from UW–Madison, placing the order as instructed above will meet that requirement.

How can my electronic transcript be sent to an application server that does not accept encrypted files?

We advise you to either upload an unofficial transcript or take screenshots of the official transcript and upload the images to the application system instead.

Can a friend pick up my transcript for me?

Yes. After choosing the in-person pickup service, you will be asked to provide the name of the person picking up the order. Only that person will be able to pick up your transcript.

How many copies of my transcript can I order?

You can order as many transcripts as you like, but they must be ordered one at a time. 

Can I send my transcript to more than one recipient?

Yes. After you have successfully added a recipient, select the "Add Recipient" button. Please note you cannot add additional recipients to orders that will contain an attachment.

Can I order both a paper and PDF copy at the same time?

Yes. After you have successfully added a recipient, select the "Add Recipient" button. You can choose a different delivery method for each recipient.

Can I order a transcript if I'm not able to log in?

Yes. Please see more information here: Transcript - Requesting Transcripts Without a NetID

Can I order a transcript if I have a hold on my account?

It depends. Not all holds will prevent you from ordering transcripts. If the hold you have is preventing you from ordering your transcript, the transcript ordering system will not allow you to start the order.

What happens if I didn't authorize/open the PDF/pick up my ordered transcript?

The order will be canceled if you don't authorize it or if your recipient doesn't open the PDF file within 30 days of placing the order. Pick-up orders will be canceled after 14 days. If you still want an official transcript, you would need to place another order.

Can someone else request my transcript?

Yes, but the transcript will only be released after the request is authorized by you. In case a third party has requested your transcript, you will be notified by email and asked to authorize the order. Transcripts will never be sent to anyone without you authorizing the request.

Can I track my order?

Yes. Sign in with your order number and student ID:

For more information, see Transcript - Tracking Your Official Transcript Order.

What records aren’t maintained by the UW–Madison Office of the Registrar?

Student records and transcripts for the following units/institutions aren’t maintained by the UW–Madison Office of the Registrar. Please see the additional resources below:

  1. Non-credit courses
    These records include non-credit courses such as:
    • Non-credit continuing education classes through UW–Madison Continuing Studies
    • Engineering Professional Development
    • iSchool Continuing Education
    • Small Business Development
    • Pharmacy Professional Development
    • UW-Madison Division of Extension (formerly known as UW–Extension)
  2. UW Extended Campus
  3. UW Colleges
  4. Other UW Schools

Keywordsadd, change, course (courses, class), course search and enroll, dars (DARS), degree (degrees, degree planner), drop, gpa (GPA), hold, honors, indicators, name, permission, plan (plans, planner), record (records), requisite (prerequisite), schedule (scheduler), sis (SIS), swap, textbook (textbooks), transcript, transfer, wait (waitlist, wait list), withdraw (withdrawal)   Doc ID95220
OwnerDanielle C.GroupOffice of the Registrar
Created2019-10-23 16:01:52Updated2024-06-24 08:56:22
SitesDoIT Help Desk, Office of the Registrar
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