Required Academic Documents

Class in session

What documents are required?

San Francisco State University requires all applicants to submit official academic documents from all higher education institutions ever attended. An official academic document is a verification of your academic record issued directly from the university. Your academic record (transcript) and degree certificate must arrive in our office in a sealed/unopened envelope with a university stamp or signature on the envelope flap. Please note: we do not consider transcripts that have been notarized to be official. To be considered official, the transcripts must be university issued.

Can I send my original documents?

"Original" and "official" documents are not the same. An "official" document is a document that has been issued by, authenticated by or attested to be a true copy of the original by the awarding university (sealed in unopened university envelope). If your school issued only one original transcript, graduation certificate and bachelor's degree certificate, you should send photocopies of your original academic documents to your university and ask that they attest or verify the copies to be true copies of the original. Ask your university to place these attested copies in a sealed envelope with a school stamp across the envelope flap. We will only consider academic documents to be official that have been attested by the University that awarded your degree.

Can I bring my original documents to the Graduate Studies office to be verified?

No. You should not submit or bring your original documents to our office. We cannot verify a document neither we offer notary services. All documents submitted to SFSU become property of the university and will not be returned to students.

Do I need to disclose all universities I have attended, even if not relevant to the degree I am pursuing?

Yes, graduate and post-baccalaureate applicants must furnish the Division of Graduate Studies with one official transcript from each college or university attended, including community college and study abroad coursework. Separate transcripts from each college or university are required even though one transcript may show work taken at another institution. Transcripts are not required for coursework completed at SF State. Students must check the academic department/program information to determine if official transcripts must also be sent directly to the department. Official transcripts must be submitted in envelopes sealed by the issuing college or university. Full academic disclosure is part of your application.

What is an Accurate and Authentic Application Documents?


Applicants must supply complete and accurate information on all application materials for admission, residence questionnaire, and financial aid forms. Failure to file complete, accurate, and authentic application documents may result in denial of admission, cancellation of academic credit, suspension, or expulsion (Section 41301, Article 1.1, Title 5, California Code of Regulations). Admissions personnel have the right to verify all documents and statements made in documents submitted by students as part of the application process.

Do I need to provide English Translations if my academic records are not issued in English?

If your former institution does not issue transcripts in English, we will require an English translation to be submitted along with your official academic record. You may need to plan ahead and request duplicate sealed documents from your university, one official academic record for the translator and one official academic record for the Division of Graduate Studies. We accept English translations from the issuing university, an Embassy or Consulate or a certified translator. English translations should be literal word for word translations and mirror the original document.

We will accept unofficial academic records uploaded to Cal State Apply in order to make an admission decision. All admitted applicants must submit a final official academic record to the Division of Graduate Studies upon matriculation.

Transcripts which have been submitted for admission or evaluation become the property of the University and are not returned or copied for distribution.