Alumnae often need to have their diplomas and/or transcripts authenticated in order to apply for jobs, schooling, and so on outside of the United States. The Office of the Secretary of State of Massachusetts is the only office that is authorized to issue an Apostille or certification for a notarized document going to a foreign country for Mount Holyoke College graduates. In lieu of needing the physical diploma, the Office of the Registrar will prepare a letter verifying the information on the diploma and/or transcript and have it notarized. This is where Office of the Registrar's service ends; you then follow the process outlined by the Secretary of State summarized below.
Per the Secretary of State's website, you must submit the notarized letter(s) along with the other outlined requirements to the Secretary of State either in person at one of their offices or by mail. They will Apostille* our letter (rather than attaching the Apostille stamp to the original document), certifying the signature of the Notary. You will then present that apostilled letter plus the original diploma or photocopy of the diploma to whichever foreign embassy or consulate required it. *Or similarly certify if the destination country does not participate in the Hague Convention Apostille agreement.
In order to begin this process, please either write us a letter or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Your full name while you attended
- Your year of graduation
- Your complete address, telephone number, and email address
- The address where the letter will be sent
Every effort will be made to get your letter written and notarized within 5 business days, but please be mindful that turnaround time is based on the availability of both the Registrar and the Notary. Busiest times of the year that may require longer processing time include fall and spring registration, exams, Commencement, and the December holidays. You can expedite the process by mailing or emailing a prepaid UPS shipping label. We do not use FedEx or DHL.
For further questions regarding the Apostille or certification process, it may be easier to reach the Springfield branch of the Secretary of State (413-784-1376) than the Boston branch. Be sure to specify the country to which you will be presenting the Apostille or certification, as that can affect the type of Apostille or certification the Secretary of the Commonwealth produces for you.