How does a PDF transcript work?

Certified PDFs have been digitally signed. When opened, they’ll display a digital signature along with a blue ribbon that verifies that the document is authentic.

Our certified PDF transcripts are delivered electronically over a secure network to the email address of the recipient you specify when you order. We’ll send the recipient instructions on how to access the transcript. The recipient should check his or her junk mail folder if this email does not arrive.

How long can I access my PDF transcript?

You’ll be notified via email when your transcript access information has been sent and again when the recipient has downloaded the PDF. The recipient will have 45 days to download your PDF transcript before it expires.

Indiana University will not certify the authenticity of any PDF transcript that has been replicated or forwarded to anyone other than the original recipient. If you need to send your official transcript to more than one person, you must order multiple copies.

Before you order a PDF transcript, you should:

  • Make sure that the recipient will accept an electronic transcript.
  • Verify the email address where the PDF transcript will be sent.

Watch a demo explaining PDF transcripts.


Check out the solutions to some of the most common problems recipients have with certified PDFs.

  • Why is the email blank?

    This is caused by a security setting in your mail application. The application is displaying a large, blank box instead of the image. Scroll down to the email text or download the pictures.

  • Why does the PDF have blank pages?

    You must use Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat to view the secure document.

    Download Adobe software

  • Why am I getting an error message when I open the PDF?

    Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat needs to connect to a rights management server. You should be prompted to allow access.

    If your computer is behind a firewall to protect you from potentially unsafe content, your computer may not be able to connect to the server. Try opening the PDF from a different network, such as your home network.

  • Why is the quality of the PDF so bad when I print it?

    For best results, print the document to a color printer. The PDF transcript is the same as an official paper transcript and should not be altered in any way, including the color(s).

    If you do not have a color printer and the graphics are not printing, make sure you print using the grayscale option rather than black and white.

What's on your transcript?

  • How do core classes work?

    Once you’ve completed the Indiana Statewide Transfer General Education Core (STGEC), you’ll see “Indiana STGEC—IU; Milestone Status: Completed” on your transcript. This means you’ve met the general education requirements that apply to all universities in Indiana. If you transfer to another in-state university, you won’t be required to take more general education classes.

    Learn more about Indiana STGEC

  • How will transfer credit appear on my transcript?

    Courses you’ve transferred from other institutions are listed under “Transfer Credit.” Transfer hours with a grade of T aren’t included in your cumulative GPA; however, the hours are included in the “Hrs Earned” field.

    Course numbers, titles, and assigned credit hours reflect IU equivalents of the courses you transferred. If a course suitable for credit doesn’t have an equivalent IU course, you’ll see “–UN” (undistributed credit) and the course subject and number of an equivalent course level. For example, “HIST–UN 200” would be a sophomore level history course.

  • How will test and special credit appear on my transcript?

    If you receive credit for a placement test, examination, or successful completion of a higher level course, it may appear as “Special Credit.”

Miscellaneous questions

  • Can I charge an official transcript to my IU bursar account?

    If you are a currently enrolled student, transcript charges can be applied to your bursar account.  Applied charges can only be for transcripts (both paper and PDF).  If you choose Federal Express delivery, you will not have the option to pay with bursar billing.

  • How do I pay for my transcript with a credit card?

    Transcript payment can be made by check, money order, credit or debit card.  If you choose to pay with credit or debit card, you will need to select the PayPal Check out option.  You do not need to have a PayPal account, you can check out by simply providing your card information.

  • I have a form to be sent with my transcript. What should I do?

    If you have forms or documents that must be attached to your transcript, you should choose the “Order By Fax/Mail/Email Signature” option.

  • I was a high school student when I took my class(es) for IU credit. How will I order my transcript?

    Courses taken for Indiana University credit while in high school will appear on your IU transcript.  You should use the “Order By Fax/Mail/Email Signature” option.

  • I’ve been locked out the online system for former students. Now what should I do?

    You are given two attempts to answer security questions relating to your IU record.  After two failed attempts, this ordering option is unavailable for 30 days.  If you are cannot order through the online system, you will need to place your order using our fax/mail/email system. This is a two-step process but you will still be able to request either an electronic PDF copy or a paper transcript.

  • If I choose to have a paper transcript mailed, how long will it take to arrive?

    Per guidelines provided by USPS, please allow 10 business days for mail to be delivered within the US.  International mailings can take up to four weeks for delivery.  If you are facing a deadline or want mail tracking information, you should choose the Federal Express delivery option.

  • What if I have a hold on my account?

    You won’t be able to get an official transcript if there’s a hold on your account. Before you order, be sure all financial obligations to the university are clear/current. This includes your account with the Bursar, Student Loan Administration, or the Dean of Students/Greek Housing.  If we encounter any financial holds, your request will be cancelled. 

    If you no longer have access to view your records in One.iu.edu and are unsure if you have a hold, you may contact Transcripts at 812-855-4500 or email transcripts@iu.edu.