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Evaluation of Foreign Education

For certain Federal positions (e.g. Civil Service, Expanded Professional Associates Program) applicants may need to submit proof of education (such as copies of transcript(s) and diploma(s)) as a part of the application. Proof of education requirements will vary from one program/position to another, and it is important that the applicant reads carefully which document(s) is/are required in the application package (e.g. High School diploma or GED certificate, or Bachelor’s degree, or Master’s degree). Submitted document(s) need to be legible copies of U.S. college/university transcript(s) that include degree(s) (if any) awarded and course work completed, and if requested, a copy of the diploma.

Foreign education transcripts will not be accepted. Foreign education (that is education acquired outside of any State of the U.S., the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, or any territory or possession of the U.S.) must be evaluated by a credential evaluation service in order to be given credit towards qualification. To be acceptable, the foreign credential evaluation must include/describe:

  • The type of education received;
  • The level of education in relation to the U.S. education system, and state that its comparability recommendations follow the general guidelines of the U.S. National Council for the Evaluation of Foreign Educational Credentials;
  • The content of the educational program earned abroad, and the standard obtained (including a full listing and evaluation of courses);
  • The status of the awarding foreign school's recognition and legitimacy in its home country's education system; and
  • Any other information of interest such as what the evaluation service did to obtain this information, the qualifications of the evaluator, and any indications as to other problems such as forgery.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and U.S. Department of Education provide guidelines on how the U.S. Government evaluates an applicant’s foreign education. Family members will find this information on OPM’s website (see Foreign Education section) and on the U.S. Department of Education, International Affairs Office’s website.

Applicants can request an evaluation from a member organization of one of the two national associations of credential evaluation services:

  1. National Association of Credential Evaluation Services  (NACES) is an association of 19 credential evaluation services with admission standards and an enforced code of good practice.
  2. Association of International Credentials Evaluators  (AICE) is an association of 10 credential evaluation services with a board of advisors and an enforced code of ethics.

Credential evaluations are not free, and applicants are responsible for the cost of the selected service. The cost and the time-frame to perform the service will vary according to the complexity of the case and the amount of documentation provided. The entire credentialing process may take weeks to months. Prior to submitting any documents to a credential evaluation service, applicants may also need to obtain English translations of any non-English documents. They should inquire with the selected member organization, which may offer translation services or may provide guidance on how to proceed. Applicants should also be aware that the length of validity of the requested report may vary from one member organization to another.

Applicants to federal positions then submit copies of their foreign education credential evaluations in lieu of transcripts in their application package.

Created February 1, 2024, Updated February 6, 2024