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Admissions Is it common to submit original diploma?

  1. Mar 14, 2016 #1
    Is it common in your country for the applicants to submit their original diploma/transcript during the enrollment/application period to a graduate program?
    I am in the process of enrolling to my PhD and it seems like in the future steps of the enrollment, I will be required to submit my original diploma, and I don't know whether or not they will return it to me. The way people treated diploma in my home country is that it's a one-in-a-lifetime document, pretty much like the birth certificate. So, no one there would ask you to submit the original diploma during any kinds of application process.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 14, 2016 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    When I was applying to graduate schools in the US in the mid 1970s, i.e. long before the Internet, they wanted official copies of my transcript mailed to them directly by the registrar's office of my college. At that point I had not finished my undergraduate degree, so there was no diploma yet. Nowadays they do this by e-mail, using an official college e-mail address.

    In a previous thread you wrote that you were planning to do your PhD in Germany. If this is still the case, I'm sure there are people here who are familiar with the German system and can clarify the process for you.
  4. Mar 14, 2016 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Normally, one has to submit a certified copy of a diploma.
  5. Mar 14, 2016 #4


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    In my physics depeartment at the university (Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main) usually you contact a professor you are interested to work with towards your PhD. When you have found your thesis adviser there shouldn't be a problem to enroll officially, and that, of course, works with certified copies of your diploma. You don't need to send in originals. Here's the official statement of the university concerning the official application for graduate work ("Promotionsverfahren" in German).


    In the physics department, of course English is the usual language of the thesis nowadays (that was not the case, when I wrote my thesis in 2000 at the Technical University of Darmstadt; so this has been modernized now, and I guess you can or even should write your doctoral thesis in English in any physics department at German universities). Even Germans write there thesis in English. In our department there are also many non-German speaking postdocs. So even the common language is usually English as soon as anybody is around who doesn't speak English. So don't get distracted from this first item about Language Skills in this official statement of the university.
  6. Mar 23, 2016 #5
    Everyone applying to programs to Germany needs to get their educational transcripts "certified" or "attested" by their local German embassy and then send it in for application.

    Enrollment is different and needs insurance, payment of semester fees, etc.

    German universities (public authority) can also carry out such "attestations" or "certifications" but since some students aren't in Germany they need to go to their local embassy. There you submit copies and originals and they things to it that can make those copies as "certified" or "attested". So, if you have already applied and are just in the process of enrolment, then you can get this done easily in Germany. Application is different from enrolment! dont confuse them. Enrollment is basically cementing your place as a student after a succesful application, you need a valid health insurance among other things for that.

    They will not take original documents like a diploma and warn students against mailing original documents.
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