How to validate a foreign education diploma

Updated July 20, 2017

A foreign education diploma is a degree completed in a school outside the United States. Schools around the world have different grading and requirement systems. As a result, a diploma you complete in France does not necessarily have the same equivalence as one from the United States. You may seek to validate your diploma if you are pursuing further education in a U.S. university, for employment, immigration or for other professional reasons. Validation must be done by a reputable organisation.

Select the right organisation to validate your diploma. Visit the websites of the Association of International Credential Evaluators or the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services and search for an organisation that meets your criteria. These are the two main validation agencies in the United States, and members of these associations have to adhere to a strict code of conduct.

Review the website of your chosen agency for services, price and application process. Some companies offer translation and consultation services and foreign credential evaluation, in addition to diploma authentication. Those companies include the Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, the American Education Research Corporation and the Globe Language Services.

Fill out the application form and provide your original foreign diploma and transcripts. It is important to include a paid certified return envelope to ensure that your originals will safely be sent back to you, as most companies use regular mail to return originals. Submit an English translation of your documents if they are in a foreign language. The translation must be certified. You may also ask the agency to translate your documents for an additional fee if they offer translation services.

Pay any fees indicated by the agency. Mail the application, the original documents, and the fees to the agency's address.

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About the Author

Based in Miami, Charline Kong has been a freelance writer since 2010. She has written for various online publications with a focus on family life, travel and green living. She earned a Master of Arts in public communication from American University in Washington, D.C.