By Kaitlin Ramby
World Education Services
Many Indian students have questions on how their education will be reviewed by American universities. After our popular How U.S. Universities Evaluate Your 3-Year Indian Bachelor’s Degree post on where to find resources and which schools are currently accepting three-year Indian degrees, we created this post to answer commonly asked questions from our readers.
From credential evaluation requirements to school accreditation, read answers to the commonly asked questions about Indian degrees below:
What is a credential evaluation and who needs it?
A credential evaluation is a process that converts academic and professional credentials earned in one country to their equivalency in another. It allows institutions and employers to understand foreign education and fairly judge an individual for education or employment.
Those who require a credential evaluation can include anyone who earned all or part of their education outside the U.S. A credential evaluation gives validity to your international education and is something that can be used in multiple areas of your life, such as school and job applications, professional licensing, volunteer positions, immigration, and more.
Which Indian schools are accredited?
For this question, it depends on the universities you apply to; each institution has different standards for admission. Contact the schools you are interested in to find out if there are specific admission requirements for Indian degree holders.
Many universities in the U.S. require a credential evaluation of your Indian degree. Here’s how World Education Services (WES) looks at Indian degrees:
● Each application is reviewed individually. WES refers to official ministries in India such as University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), and other government entities as sources for accreditation. Because each application reflects a unique educational background, there are often exceptions and/or additional factors to consider in an individual's’ application during the evaluation process.
● Some degrees are considered equivalent to a four-year bachelor’s degree. Selected three-year Indian bachelor’s degrees may be considered equivalent to a four-year bachelor’s degree as long as they have been earned in Division I and the awarding institution is currently accredited by India’s National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with a letter grade of “A” or better.
Note: If you are earning a degree in India and have plans to study in the U.S., be sure to research U.S. education standards when choosing which Indian institution to attend. This will make it easier to manage your educational credentials when they are transferred.
What documents do I need for a credential evaluation?
As an Indian degree holder, it is very important to carefully read the document requirements listed on the WES website. Depending on your level of education and which institution(s) you earned your degree from, you may need the following documents:
● University education: Your final degree certificate (for example, bachelor's degree, master’s degree, postgraduate diploma, doctorate, etc.)
● State boards for technical education: Final or provisional diploma certificate and statement of marks
● State boards for general nursing and midwifery: Certificate of general nursing and midwifery, annual statement of marks, and academic transcript
● Professional education (Institute of Chartered Accountants, Institute of Cost and Work Accountants, Institution of Engineers, Institute of Company Secretaries): Certificate of membership and statement of marks/official transcript
Carefully reading WES’ document requirements and following the instructions on how to submit your documents will help the credential evaluation process to go smoothly and help you get results back in a timely manner. Also, remember to always include your WES reference number in all documentation and in any correspondence with WES.
Note: WES requires mark sheets to come from the university that awarded your degree and not the college you attended.
What are some pathway programs?
In many instances, Indian degree holders will discover that their education is only equivalent to three years of undergraduate study in the U.S. Do not let this worry you because Indian degree holders can bridge the gap in their education by taking advantage of:
● Community colleges: Enrolling in a community college is one of the best ways for students without enough credentials earn their degree and have access to higher education. Community college can also provide a way for internationally educated students to ease into familiarizing themselves with a different education system.
● Universities: There are universities that provide their own pathway programs for international students, such as International Year One. Research the universities you are interested in to see which ones provide pathway programs for international students.
● Training programs: For those who require specific skills to succeed in their new country, there are many training programs that help those with an international education get the skills and/or licensing they need, for example, Cooper Union’s Training Program for Immigrant Engineers.
To get your Indian education the recognition it deserves, it is important to do your research and assess what the expectations are from universities and employers. Apply for a credential evaluation today if you wish to know how your credentials translate to the U.S. education system.
Think ahead about your educational and professional goals. You should begin the application process as early as possible to give yourself enough time to see if you need additional credentials before arriving in the U.S.
If you want to estimate what your degree may be equal to in the U.S., try using our free tools:
Are you an Indian degree holder who came to the U.S. for your education? Share your insights by signing up for our Student Ambassador Program today!
Kaitlin Ramby is the digital content producer for WES Advisor.