Your Essential Academic Guide: What Is on a Transcript?

Transcripts are transcendent. 86% of high school seniors in the 2018-2019 school year graduated from school. This means that schools issued hundreds of thousands of transcripts. 

Many people throw away their transcripts, thinking they don't matter. But they can help get you into a great school and secure a good job. You should get a duplicate of a lost transcript, but you should answer some questions first. 

What is on a transcript? What details does a transcript provide of a student's academic performance? How can you make your duplicate transcript as legitimate as an original one? 

Answer these questions and you can transcend into new opportunities with your academic transcript. Here is your quick guide. 

Course Listing

The biggest part of your academic transcript is the course listing. All of your courses will go on your transcript, usually in chronological order. 

Most schools call a transcript a "course certificate" because most of the document is a course list. Yet the list is not just the names of the courses. 

Some transcripts will give the course unit code for each course. Codes usually contain an abbreviation of the department the course was in and three numbers. "ENG 101" and "PHY 303" are two examples. 

For your replacement transcript of records to seem legitimate, you must have the codes listed. You should do your research and look at courses at your college to find the codes. You can also call the office of the registrar and get the code numbers from them. 

Some transcripts may contain dropped, failed, and incomplete courses. You may be inclined to remove those courses from your diploma displays. But you should include them because they will make you seem more trustworthy. 

Online courses also go on your transcript. Many employers and graduate schools do regard online courses as legitimate, especially ones taken during the pandemic. Feel free to include them as you would with live courses.


The dates for each course go with the code. Most transcripts have a date listing like "Aug - Dec 2020," while others list the date by season, such as "Fall 2020." 

If you took winter or summer term courses, your transcript should reflect that. Listing winter term courses makes you seem committed to your work. You may also get in trouble if you say you took a course during a different time than you actually did. 

Your transfer credits should also be on your transcript. There should be a note that says which university you got those credits at. 


Nearly every transcript has a heading at the top with the overall grade point average (GPA). Some schools have an unweighted GPA, measured on a scale from 0.0 to 4.0. Other schools list an unweighted GPA alongside a weighted one, taking into account the difficulty of the courses. 

Some schools do list the GPA a student received every semester. When in doubt, find a transcript that gives the most complete information. You can tell an interviewer why you underperformed or overperformed during a particular semester. 

In addition to an overall average, the grade for each course is included on the transcript. The typical A to F system is used. 

It is very important that the grades on your transcript are your actual grades. You should not edit or insert fake grades for your course. You will get fired from a job if they discover you have falsified your information.

Personal Details 

As you might imagine, a transcript has the student's name on it. The name is always the full legal name, including the middle name. 

Some transcripts have the student's address and date of birth on them. This adds additional layers of verification. It also clarifies who the transcript is for, as a school may have multiple students with the same name. 

Your transcript may have your student ID number on it. Every school has its own system, and you should find your student ID and check that it is legitimate. But most people looking at your transcript will not care about your number. 

Your major and minor will also go on your college transcript. This is not essential information, but it can clarify why you took the courses you took. 

Official Documentation 

All American college transcripts will have items on them that signify their legitimacy. A transcript may have a seal or stamp from the office of the registrar. It may have signatures on it, including one from the president of your college. 

If you are getting a replacement transcript, it is essential that you have documentation on it. Someone may regard your transcript as fraudulent if you don't.

You can ask your school for help. You can leave the signature space on your duplicate blank and then send it to your school. They may be willing to fill in the signature for you.

Do not fake someone's signature and put it on your transcript. You may be charged with fraud if they find out about it. 

A transcript may have a watermark or another detail to indicate its legitimacy. You should look at examples of transcripts from your school to see what those details might be. Your duplicate should have those details on it. 

So What Is on a Transcript? 

Many people have questions about their academic transcripts. What is on a transcript? It contains a lot of information, namely about the courses you took. 

Yet it also gives some personal details about you. It shows what grades you received, when you took your classes, and what your legal name is. Most transcripts have markers that indicate their legitimacy, such as signatures. 

Get a duplicate transcript that contains complete details. Do not fabricate grades, signatures, or your completion of courses. 

Don't go through life without documenting your accomplishments. Same Day Diplomas offers great duplicate transcripts. Request your quote today.

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