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How North American Universities Evaluate Your Chinese Degree

Thursday | December 21, 2017 | by WES Advisor

Chinese international students

During the 2016-2017 school year, Chinese students accounted for over 30 percent of the international student populations in both the U.S. and Canada. In fact, China is the top source of international students for universities across North America.

If you hope to study in North America, you will be happy to learn that the Chinese higher education system is similar to those in the U.S. and Canada.

However, there are some important considerations you should take into account.

Below, the Quality Assurance Director at WES explains how Chinese credentials are evaluated.

How does WES evaluate a Chinese associate’s degree?

For U.S. evaluations, WES considers a Chinese associate’s degree as the equivalent of a U.S. associate’s degree. With a course-by-course evaluation, the education level is categorized as “undergraduate,” and all courses taken as well as credits earned are categorized as “lower” level.

For Canadian evaluations, the Chinese associate’s degree is equivalent to a two- or three-year Canadian diploma. It depends on the length of the Chinese associate’s degree, whether it was two or three years’ long. With a course-by-course evaluation, the education level is categorized as “post-secondary.”

Can Chinese students get an evaluation in their third or fourth year of college, before earning a degree?

Yes. In fact, approximately 85 percent of WES Chinese applicants have not graduated and are still completing their studies. WES equates however many years of undergraduate or professional studies you have completed accordingly. This way, admissions offices can make their decision based on an applicant’s credential evaluation report.

Note: Upon completing your program of study and earning your degree, you can return to WES for a second credential evaluation if necessary.

Does WES evaluate incomplete studies at the graduate level?

Although WES also evaluates incomplete and in-progress graduate-level studies, it does not offer remarks in these instances.

How does WES evaluate Chinese self-study programs?

It is important to note that WES does evaluate Chinese self-study programs. If you earn a Zhuanke graduation certificate in a self-study program, WES will equate the certificate to an associate’s degree in the U.S. However, this will be the equivalent of a diploma in Canada. If you earn a bachelor’s degree in a self-study program, WES will equate it to a bachelor’s degree in the U.S. or Canada. For a course-by-course evaluation, WES requires examination results instead of an academic transcript issued by the self-study examination committee.

What should Chinese international students know before they apply for a WES evaluation?

Students should provide complete academic transcripts listing all the courses taken, as well as all grades and credits earned.

If you took a gap year or completed a semester at a different university during your academic career, then you must ask the university registrar for a letter or statement documenting that semester or year. However, if you studied abroad and have transferred credits, your home university transcript needs to list course titles, credits, and grades, as well as the name of the institution or university where the exchange study took place. But if this information is not on your home university transcript, you will need to request that the exchange institution or university send the transcript directly to WES.

WES cannot provide an accurate evaluation if anything is missing because U.S. and Canadian admission offices require this information. In order to avoid unnecessary delays, we encourage students to gather their documents and begin the evaluation process well in advance of school application deadlines.

How to Apply to WES

Carefully review and follow the required documents for China.

Then, check out our free tools to preview your results:

  • WES Degree Equivalency ToolThis tool includes most degrees awarded by recognized degree-granting institutions; however, not all degrees and institutions may be available.
  • WES GPA CalculatorThis tool provides a U.S. GPA calculated on a 4.0 scale.

WES Advisor is an initiative of World Education Services, a non-profit organization with over 45 years of experience in international education. We provide advice and resources for international students and skilled immigrants to help them make informed decisions about education, employment, immigration, and integration opportunities in the U.S. and Canada.