System Procedure 3.29.1 College and University Transcripts

System Procedures
Chapter 3 - Educational Policies

Access a PDF copy of this procedure

for Board Policy 3.29

Part 1. Purpose
To establish the uniform format for official transcripts at Minnesota State college and universities.

Part 2. Definitions

Consortium course
A course identified in a consortium agreement where a student can receive financial aid at a college or university for coursework taken at another college or university that is applicable to the student’s specific degree program of study at the student’s home college or university.

Common market course
A course taken at one or more of the universities where a student earns resident credit(s) to be applied toward an academic program at the student’s home university.

Exchange course
A course offered through an exchange program involving a college or university and a non-system college and university.

Part 3. Accessing and Requesting Transcripts
Students can log into eServices to print an unofficial transcript. Colleges and universities may provide unofficial transcripts by other methods.

Students can request official transcripts through the campus registrar or a third-party vendor.

Part 4. Official Transcript Format and Content
Official college and university transcripts must use an 8.5"x11" layout in landscape orientation and the course grade reporting format specified by the student information system. Official transcripts must incorporate one or more security measures to prevent alteration or unauthorized copying.

Subpart A. Front side 
The front side of the transcript must be a record of a student's academic progress at a college or university and contain the following information in the format specified by the student information system standards:

  • courses attempted,
  • credits and grades earned,
  • grade point average (GPA), and
  • any degrees, diplomas, or certificates attained.

Additional information on the front side of the transcript must be entered as required by this procedure.

Subpart A. Back side 
The back side of the transcript must include elements of information determined to be essential for evaluation purposes as recommended by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). The format must be landscape orientation using three-columns. Elements of information and the order in which they must appear are:

  • college or university name, address, telephone numbers, URL, FICE code;
  • history, name changes, mergers;
  • accreditation;
  • academic calendar and terms;
  • grading system, GPA calculation method, policy information on recording all courses attempted, policy information on withdrawals, transfers, incompletes, repeated courses, academic forgiveness;
  • course numbering system;
  • transcript symbols; honors designations and criteria;
  • any necessary miscellaneous information, ADA statement, authenticity statement, and FERPA statement.

College or university name and contact information must appear at the top of the transcript across all three columns, and may include college or university logo. Institutional history must appear at the top of the first column and the last element must always be at the bottom of the third column. The date of the most recent revision must be placed last at the bottom of a column in bold.

Part 5. Transcript Symbols
The following set of symbols must be used on transcripts to note certain types of courses and other course and credit related information.

Subpart A. Academic forgiveness
The terms Academic Forgiveness, Fresh Start, and Academic Renewal, are used in college and university policies to describe previous credits and grades a student attempted that are not counted in the calculation of the student's cumulative credits attempted, cumulative credits earned, and GPA. The courses, however, remain on the transcript. The bracket symbols [ ] must be placed around all courses a college or university includes in a student's Academic Forgiveness.

Subpart B. Repeated courses
Courses that are repeated and not counted in a GPA calculation must be denoted by being placed in parentheses ( ). Repeated courses that are counted in GPA and/or satisfactory academic progress must be denoted by slash marks //.

Subpart C. Developmental courses
Developmental courses that are not counted toward an award must have the course designation preceded by a "greater than" symbol, as in "> Math 0099 Intermediate Algebra."

Subpart D. Consortium and exchange courses
Consortium (or dual enrollment) and exchange courses must be denoted by a caret symbol ^. The name of the college or university where the course was taken must appear immediately below the course. Dual enrollment in this context does not refer to Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) enrollments.

Subpart E. Symbol explanation required
An explanation for each symbol used on a transcript must appear on the back side of the transcript.

Part 6. Notation of Credit for Prior Learning
Colleges and universities award credit for prior learning per Board Policy 3.35 Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) and the associated CPL system procedures and operating instructions. Notation of CPL must occur in the following manner:

  1. Credit awarded for prior learning through external assessments must be designated as a transfer credit on the official student transcript. The source of the credit award must be designated and the course equivalency, when applicable, must be designated on the student degree audit.
  2. Credit awarded for military courses and military occupations must be designated as transfer credit on the official student transcript. The source of the credit award must be designated and the course equivalency, when applicable, must be designated on the student degree audit.
  3. Credit awarded for prior learning through internal college/university assessments must be designated as a course within the term awarded on the official student transcript. The source of the credit award must be designated as Credit for Prior Learning in the student information system but must not be displayed on the official student transcript.
  4. Credit awarded for prior learning through a transfer agreement may be noted either in the term when it was earned or in the transfer section. If placed in the term section, the type of special credit must be noted in parentheses ( ) immediately below the course.
  5. Career Technical Education (CTE) credit earned through an articulated college credit agreement will be placed on a student’s transcript as transfer credit after the student presents the required documentation of earned credits and is accepted into a program of study at the institution identified in the agreement.

Part 7. Suspensions and Expulsions

Subpart A. Academic suspension
A two-line notation must be placed on the transcript when a student is suspended for academic reasons, with the first line stating “Academic Suspension" and the second line reading "Eligible for Readmission 'Term, Year.'" The notation must not be removed when a student is reinstated; however, the second line must be revised to read "Reinstated by Petition 'Term, Year'", or "Reinstated 'Term, Year'" when reinstatement does not require a petition. The academic suspension notation in its entirety must be removed when a student completes the certificate, degree, or diploma being pursued at the time of the suspension.

Subpart B. Disciplinary suspension or expulsion
Suspensions or expulsions for disciplinary reasons must be noted on the transcript with a two-line message. For a suspension, the first line must read "Disciplinary Suspension" and the second line "Eligible for Reinstatement 'Term, Year.'" An expulsion must be noted by a first line reading "Disciplinary Expulsion" and the second line reading "Not Eligible for Reinstatement." The disciplinary suspension notation must be removed from the transcript following the date when the student becomes eligible for reinstatement, while the disciplinary expulsion notation is permanent.

Part 8. Standardization of Term-Year
Course terms must be designated with the name of the term fully spelled out as Fall, Summer or Spring, and a four-digit year as in "Spring 2024."

Part 9. Other Notations

Subpart A. Nondigitized Transcripts
Credits earned at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities prior to the digitization of records may have been entered into the Integrated Statewide Record System (ISRS) as cumulative totals, without course detail. If the credits cannot be documented, the college or university may provide additional supporting documentation of these credits if available and reasonable.

Subpart B. Minnesota Transfer Curriculum
When a student has completed the entire Minnesota Transfer Curriculum a notation of transfer curriculum completion must appear in the top left quadrant on the front side of the transcript.

Subpart C. Previous degrees earned, institutions attended, and accreditation of institutions attended
Notation of previous institutions attended must appear on the transcript only when transfer credit is being accepted from those institutions or when a previous degree earned is applicable to the student's program. The accreditation status of those institutions must not appear on the transcript.

Subpart D. Dean's list/president's list
Colleges and universities are not required to award academic term honors, such as Dean’s List or President’s List. However, if awarded, achievement of academic term honors must be noted at the end of the term in which the honor was earned. Criteria for the academic honor must be listed on the back side of the transcript in the “Miscellaneous” area.

Subpart E. Membership in honor societies
Colleges and universities may make notations on student transcripts for student memberships in national scholastic honor societies. Memberships in specialized or departmental honor societies must not be noted. The designation must appear at the end of the transcript and specify the name of the honor society and the term-year of induction.

Subpart F. Graduation honors
Colleges and universities are not required to award graduation honors. If awarded, achievement of academic honors at graduation must be listed in the upper left quadrant of the transcript with the awards earned information. Criteria for graduation honors must be listed on the back side of the transcript in the Miscellaneous area.

Subpart G. Service learning
Notation of service learning hours must appear at the end of the transcript only when service learning is required for a student's certificate, diploma, or degree.

Subpart H. Licenses earned
Notation of licenses earned or passage of professional board examinations must not appear on the transcript, but a record of these achievements may be maintained in the student information system.

Related Documents:

System Procedure History:

Date of Adoption: 02/03/05
Date of Implementation: 07/01/05
Date of Last Review: 2/07/2024

Date & Subject of Amendments:

02/07/24 – Full review, updated the language to align more with digital transcripts, added new Part 3. Accessing and Requesting Transcripts to reflect current practices in the system, reorganized the text in Parts 1 and 4, replaced "ignored" with "not counted" in Part 5, replaced introduction paragraph in Part 6, replaced "articulation agreement" with "transfer agreement" in Part 6d, replaced "articulation agreement" with "articulated college credit agreement" in Part 6e, and clarified Part 9, Subp. A. regarding nondigitized transcripts.

12/06/19 – Added the definitions to Part 2 for consortium course, common market course, and exchange course; added credit for prior learning information to Part 5, and made technical edits and grammatical changes throughout the procedure.

4/21/2010 – Reviewed, no changes

No additional HISTORY.