Everything there is to know about Foreign Degrees’ Evaluation in the USA!


You have worked hard to get your degree in your home country and have an opportunity to accept the job of your dreams or to further your studies in the United States. But before any of this happens, you need to demonstrate that your studies and experience are on par with American education. What you will need is called a foreign degrees evaluation. What is it and are there resources to direct you on where to get an international degree evaluated in the USA?




What is a Foreign Degrees’ Evaluation?


A foreign credentials evaluation is a comprehensive, course-by-course analysis. The content of each foreign course is looked at and compared to credits that can be earned in the U.S. The foreign degrees evaluation also analyzes the grades you earned and compares them to what you would be assigned for similar course work in the United States.




Who Can Evaluate Foreign Degrees?


Foreign degree evaluation in the USA must be done by a credentialed service. Several associations have credentialed members who can undertake the evaluations. Before paying money for this service, you should understand if your prospective employer or school will accept an evaluation from any service or if you must choose a specific one.


For example, the U.S. State Department will only accept foreign credentials evaluation from one of the 19 members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Members of NACES undergo a rigorous admissions process to ensure they meet its high standards and that they will honor the enforced code of conduct.


The other agency that is acceptable to the State Department is the Association of International Credentials Conductors (AICE) which has 10 credential evaluation members who are overseen by a board of advisors. AICE’s mission is to ensure a standard of excellence through its code of ethics and the stringent admissions process.


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Why Is It Important To Have A Foreign Degree Equivalency In The USA?


The United States is a country that offers many attractive options for people from other countries. Whether it’s for work, school, or immigration, many of these opportunities will require that you get a foreign credentials evaluation. Let’s take a look at why foreign degree equivalencies are important.





Colleges and universities across the U.S are places for higher education and exciting research. During the 2019-2020 school year, students came from 200 countries and over 1 million foreign-born students were studying in the U.S. This represented 4.6% of the total U.S. student population.


Some schools will ask for your foreign transcripts and undertake the equivalency evaluation themselves, but other institutions will require you to get a    foreign degree evaluation in the USA from an accredited agency. Be sure to check in with the school’s admissions department for the specific requirements.





The Human Resources department of your potential employer will be able to guide you on what they expect for work and degree equivalencies. Like colleges, some companies will do the evaluations in-house, but for other employers like the government, you will be directed on where to get your international degree evaluated in the USA.



Practice as a Licensed Professional


Many professions in the United States are overseen by various government bodies including State licensing boards. The expectations about education and qualifications are determined by these boards, and workers in these careers have invested significant time, money, and energy into obtaining licenses.


Rules around foreign degree equivalency in the USA will vary from State to State. Some licensing boards will take on the evaluations themselves, while others will refer you to an evaluation service – either a general credentialed one or one that is specific to your profession. It’s up to you to make these inquiries.




How Much Does a Foreign Degrees’ Evaluation Cost?


A foreign degree evaluation in the USA is not free and it does take some time, so prior planning and organization are helpful. Generally, the cost for a foreign degree evaluation will be roughly around $200. The evaluating agency will require that your foreign transcripts and supporting documents be in English, so be sure to factor in translation costs.


The time that is required for the evaluation is approximately 7 business days but each agency will have its own timeline. It is possible to pay extra for an expedited process. The extra cost associated with an evaluation is delivery to your potential employer or school.


Foreign credentials evaluation for government jobs, like within the State Department, for example, tend to be quite detailed and lengthy. In this case, you can expect the process to be from a couple of weeks to several months.



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Earning A Degree in the U.S.


American-born students who are planning on either enrolling in an undergrad degree in college or pursuing graduate-level studies submit transcripts to show that they are ready and able to handle college-level courses. Foreign students also need to submit documents that prove they have the foundation skills that will help them succeed in higher education.


The University of the People is an example of a school that requires education equivalencies. The courses are 100% online which gives students juggling other responsibilities like work and families, the flexibility needed to study. UoPeople has removed the traditional barriers to college with tuition-free programs and high acceptance rates. Our institution only requires English language proficiency and a high school transcript or equivalent to enroll and start learning today.




The Bottom Line


Working or studying in the United States is exciting and can help provide experiences to foreign-born people who might not otherwise have the same opportunities in their home countries. The application journey for work or school involves several different steps and being knowledgeable and prepared goes a long way.


It’s important to have all your documents and supporting paperwork together. Do a little homework ahead of time, expecting that you will need to source out where to get your international degree evaluated in the USA. The foreign degrees evaluation process is made much smoother when you have laid the groundwork and done the research!


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