We require all supporting materials (transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, etc.) to be submitted officially.
What on earth does this mean?
It means they must arrive in an envelope sealed and signed (often with a stamp) by the issuing institution.
Personal copies, even if they are your original documentation, are considered unofficial.
Materials sent as email attachments are also considered unofficial and in some cases, are not even opened.
What happens if you submit materials that are unofficial?
Your application will not be sent for review until it’s complete. Several of our departments will not consider your application complete unless all materials are official.
Do we ever accept electronic documents?
Some universities use secure electronic delivery systems to submit transcripts. This is perfectly acceptable. You may provide them with the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We receive most test scores using a similar secure process initiated by the testing agency.
We actually prefer your recommendation providers submit electronically. They do this by following the instructions sent them when you enter their name and email in your online application. If they would rather submit offline, it’s fine. You can indicate that preference in your application and we’ll wait for your paper recommendation. It just has to be official!
In case you’re still not sure about this official thing, below are some examples.
[edited September 24, 2013 to update email address]