Glossary of Terms
Academic Credential – confirmation of an achievement, competence, or qualification earned by a student at an academic institution, usually in the form of a certificate, degree, or diploma. WES verifies the authenticity of all academic credentials.
Academic Transcript – An official document that lists all subjects taken and grades earned for each year of study. Also known as a mark sheet or “statement of marks.”
Accredited College/University – An academic institution that has been recognized for having achieved certain standards of excellence by a local, regional, or national accrediting agency.
Apostille – An internationally recognized certification that ensures public documents issued in one country will be recognized as valid in another country; specific to countries that are in compliance with the provisions of the Hague Convention (1961).
Associate Degree – An undergraduate degree that typically requires two years of full-time study.
Bachelor’s Degree – The first university degree usually awarded upon completion of approximately four years of full-time study.
Credential – An academic achievement or qualification, such as a diploma or degree certificate.
Credential Evaluation – An objective assessment of your academic records that provides a U.S. or Canadian equivalency for certificates, degrees, and diplomas awarded, as well as credits and grades earned.
Diploma – A document issued by an academic institution that testifies to the successful completion of a particular course of study.
Doctorate (Ph.D.) – Highest academic degree, awarded on the basis of graduate-level course work, examinations, research and dissertation.
First Professional Degree –The first professional degree in a given field (such as Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Dentistry) is usually awarded on completion of professional study. This title alone may not be sufficient to allow the bearer to practice in the United States, as additional licensing requirements must be met.
Grade Point Average (GPA) – The weighted mathematical average of the quality of academic work, as indicated by grades given for all individual courses.
Graduate Level/Studies – Study or program undertaken after the bachelor’s degree, usually in preparation for a master’s degree or a Ph.D. (doctorate).
High School – Secondary school. Typically grades 9-12.
High School Diploma – Awarded on completion of secondary study.
iGPA Calculator – A free tool from WES that enables foreign-educated individuals to receive an immediate U.S. grade point average calculated on a 4.0 grading scale.
Lower-Division Courses (L) – Foundation courses intended to introduce the scope and methods of a given field of study. These courses generally constitute the general education component of undergraduate study and often include the introductory courses in the major field.
Major – An area of academic concentration or specialization.
Master’s Degree – A post-baccalaureate degree in a specified field, awarded on the basis of coursework (usually 1-2 years of study) and often a written thesis or project.
Official Document – An official educational document: a document issued on official institutional letterhead and bears the signature and seal of the registrar or other official authorized to issue academic documents.
Post-Secondary – An institution or program of study that requires the completion of secondary study prior to admission; usually called, “undergraduate.”
Professional Study – Study and training to become a practitioner of a specific profession, such as medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, optometry, etc.
Regionally Accredited Institution – An academically recognized institution in the U.S.
Secondary Education – The high school from which you received a certificate, degree, or diploma.
Semester Credit – Time-based quantitative measure assigned to courses or course-equivalent learning. The average annual credit load carried by an undergraduate student in the U.S. is 30-34 semester credits.
Undergraduate – Study or program completed in connection with first degree or bachelor’s degree.
Upper-Division Courses (U) – Specialized undergraduate courses, usually within the major field, which require advanced study and/or application of theory and methods, intended to develop advanced skills.
Verification – Authentication of documents issued by an academic institution, examination board, or legal entity that is authorized to issue official documents.
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