The Life of an Official Transcript (and / or The Life of Official Test Scores, Letters of Recommendation, etc.)

Did you request for your undergraduate transcript(s) to be sent to us?  Did you do it yesterday?  Is it still not showing up on your online application?  OMG – something went wrong!  Kidding.  There is nothing to worry about.  I’m here to explain to you the life of an official transcript.  This is going to be like Schoolhouse Rock’s “I’m Just a Bill,” only no song included and it is in written format.  Side note: this timeline is also applicable to official test scores, letters of recommendation and other application materials.

Day 1: When you submit the transcript request to your undergraduate school, it will likely take them at minimum three to five business days to process the request on their end.

Day 3-5: Once the transcript has been mailed, it will take another three to five business days for it to arrive onto campus.  Also noteworthy, mail is often delivered to the incorrect office on campus.  Why?  No clue.  But it happens.  So, let’s add in one more business day just for good measure.

mail 1Exhibit A: Yesterday’s mail included a few transcripts and test scores, but alas, they were delivered to the wrong office.

Day 6-10: After the transcript has arrived into the correct hands, it is not immediately reflected into an applicant’s online application.  The transcript must be processed.  This adds another two or three days to the process.

Day 8-13: Finally, the transcript is processed and is reflected in your online application!  Yay!

Business days vs. weekends.  Business days mean Monday through Friday.  Mail is not delivered on Sundays, nor is the University open on weekends.  So, when you’re doing your day-calculations to see when your transcript will show up in your online application, don’t count weekends.

Also, Vacation.  Everyone loves vacation, even the University of Denver.  In fact, we love it so much that we give our students a five week break from Thanksgiving through the New Year!  This means that when we return from vacation at the start of January, there is always a large pile of transcripts (and other fun application materials) awaiting to be sorted and processed.  Same thing goes for undergraduate institutions.  They also love vacation, and they also probably have a large stack of transcript requests awaiting to be processed after break.

mail 2Exhibit B: This is mail from Tuesday morning.  Just Tuesday morning.  There’s also mail that arrives in the afternoon, let alone all the mail that arrived over winter break.  Ooofta.

So, when you are planning to apply for graduate school make sure you allot enough time for transcript requests (and test scores, letters of recommendation, etc.) to be completed.  Remember to take the holidays into account.  If you requested your transcript to be sent any time after December 15th, chances are that your transcript will not be sent to us until the start of the New Year.  We know that applying to graduate school is a lengthy, stressful and at times terrifying process, but please be patient – your transcript will arrive!

Oh, also… If your transcript/test scores/recommendations, etc. are on their way or still being processed at the time of the application deadline, your application WILL NOT be penalized. Our admissions committee will review your application file as soon as it is complete. And just so you can sleep well at night- our office will send you a confirmation email once all your materials are received and your application is completed.

Questions?  Comments?  Concerns?  Contact the Korbel admissions office at


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