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Credential Evaluation for International Students

Posted on January 21st, 2011 by Jennifer Frankel

Why should I get a credential evaluation if I want to study abroad?

If you are planning to study in the U.S. or Canada, you probably have a good idea of what goes into the application process: the standardized tests, the application forms, the essays and statements of purpose, and the (yikes!) financial documents. However, even all of that information may not be enough.

Colleges and universities receive applications from students all over the world, and their offices may not be equipped to thoroughly evaluate your academic documents and coursework from your country of education. So how do you make it easy for admissions officers to understand your academic qualifications and determine where you might fit into their program? This is where a credential evaluation report can come in handy.

There is no official U.S. or Canadian government office that evaluates academic credentials. Some colleges and universities evaluate international academic credentials in-house, while others will utilize a private organization. If your school’s admissions office does not already recommend a credential evaluation service, the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services ( is a good place to research an established agency that will best suit your needs.

For higher education, most academic institutions recommend a “course-by-course” evaluation. When selecting a credential evaluation service, it is best to seek out an organization that includes in its report details about the length of your program of education, course descriptions, whether or not your institution is accredited, and verifies the authenticity of your documents. An added benefit is to receive a grade point average (GPA) that provides the U.S. or Canadian equivalency of your coursework, since many international universities do not provide this. Finally, a course-by-course analysis provides your education’s equivalency (bachelor’s, master’s, PhD, etc.). The evaluation report is then sent directly to the academic institution(s) where you would like to further your education.

In addition to helping admissions officers better understand your qualifications, a credentials evaluation is equally important to you as a student. The report shows what courses and electives may be transferable, saving you time and money. Knowing your GPA and how your education fits into a program’s requirements will help you identify the best schools to apply to. Students from countries that offer a three-year bachelor’s degree (such as India) may be able to immediately qualify for a graduate program in the U.S.

(World Education Services (WES) also offers the option of storing your verified documents and evaluation report indefinitely, making it easier for you to pursue a master’s degree, a doctorate program, or even employment in the future. If you think you need to store your documents for ready access, you may want to explore the WES International Credential Advantage Package (ICAP).)

As a prospective international student, going the extra mile to present your academic credentials, along with the other important preparations, puts you in a better position to determine where and how you want to further your education and to pursue these educational opportunities with confidence.

This guest blog post was written by Alli Rodenhauser and Jyothi R. from WES. You can visit their website for more information about the credential evaluation services they offer.

36 Responses to “Credential Evaluation for International Students”

  1. Jessica Guiver Says:

    I work in international student recruitment and admissions in the UK. Here we used NARIC for credential evaluation, and the universities pay for the service, not the students. Is a similar thing available in the USA so that students don’t have to pay out of pocket for it?

  2. Simon Gatluak Yat Says:

    Am looking for Schoolarship abroad.
    Am a Sudanese by nationality

  3. marocup Says:

    merci bouceaup

  4. discount countertops Says:

    My girlfriend is Thai and wants to study in the US, so this article will be very helpful for her. I’ll pass it on.

  5. InternationalStudentGuru Says:

    @ Jessica We are not sure if there is a free service – most of the credential evaluation services are paid for in the USA

  6. kaysar Says:

    I am a Bangladeshi by birth.
    I am looking for a scholership abroad.

  7. Diablo III beta keys Says:

    I’m from Egypt, and we’re currently having a crisis. Am I still eligible for this opportunity, even though I’m in a bad predicament?

  8. promise ahamefula.c Says:

    Am an international student applying for a degree study in fashion and designing, i have my school certificate(GCE) I need a qualified, school in usa for study.

  9. bzuh Says:

    Thanks for this valuable information.

  10. Progress Says:

    I’m a 23 year Zimbabwean old young man. I’m latter day saint, just returned from serving a mission. I’ve been applying to the Brigham Young university, Utah, USA. I have a sponsor, but he doesn’t have enough to get me into school, please help me find another sponsor to help.

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    How can i fill the scholarship form?.

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  24. James Halsworthy Says:

    My wife sent WES files for course-by-course evaluation in February. The first completed file by WES was far from a Professional document. It listed incorrect information, randomly excluded semester credits and clinical hours. After calling many times she managed to speak with someone, and was given runaround responses and absurd reasons for the wait, including that the woman handling her case went on Maternity leave and that her file was too difficult. The case has been unsatisfactorily “resolved”. The worker refused to explain the final outcome or how the decision was reached to equate her advanced education in Psychology and Licensure in Germany to a second US Master’s Degree even though all courses and clinical hours are listed in the report and never obtained at a Masters level. This however discredits any possible US licensure as a Psychologist even though her education and work experience meets State Board standards for review. The worker also said that WES has never given credit for PsyD equivalency.

    I highly recommend calling other companies and asking about their knowledge of your educational Degrees and field of study.

  25. Alberto Mexicano Says:

    I sent my official academic transcript from a canadian educational government institution at Academic level to WES, but WES said: We received your Academic Transcript from your canadian institution but this is NOT SUBJECT TO WES because these are vocational or technological courses, and NOT Academic courses. That SUCKS!!!!! then they cancelled my application and sent my money back. WES Evaluators are SUCK!!!! If you want to go for a Foreign Evaluation Service DO NOT APPLY through WES. WES do not give their names because they are NOT professionals in the field. They want to destroy the education in the United States with their own ideas that the right academic courses are only in the US and NOT in other countries. GO TO HELL WES.

  26. Jon Linf Says:

    Looking for a site that evaluates credentials from the US to Sweden. Any services that may help me for that.

  27. Kitchen Sinks Direct Says:

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    Hi, am from Kenya and would want my academic qualifications evaluated so as to study at colorado technical university.

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  30. amy khoo Says:

    my son studied highschool in costa rica and now we need evaluation to go to college in USA.
    i am looking for a foreign credential service that has experience specifically with costa rica institutions..
    how do i find that?

  31. Bryanna Lindblom Says:

    Hi Amy,

    If your school’s admissions office does not already recommend a credential evaluation service, the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services ( is a good place to research an established agency that will best suit your needs.

    Best of luck to your son!

  32. Steve Says:

    NACES is mostly made up of companies that are for-profit. Some are okay. But it’s nothing more than a good ol boys club. Some of the companies on their roster do not have offices; or only transact via mail. Personally, I used one company from NACES and was not entirely satisfied. I have since used two that are not in NACES and the one that I have been most happy with is Trustforte Corporation. They are legit, have an office, a full staff and response is immediate. Just my 2 cents.

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  34. Kevin Says:

    How long does the process of evaluating highschool transcripts from Zimbabwe take ? Im tired of being patient

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  36. Connor Blay Says:

    Thank you so much for your kind words and thank you for reading!

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