List of Presidents of the United States by education

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Most Presidents of the United States received a college education, even most of the earliest. Of the first seven Presidents, five were college graduates. College degrees have set the Presidents apart from the general population, and Presidents have held such a degree even when this was quite rare and, indeed, unnecessary for practicing most occupations, including law. Of the forty-three men to have been the President, twenty-four of them graduated from a private undergraduate college, nine graduated from a public undergraduate college, and eleven held no degree. Every President since 1953 has had a bachelor's degree.

List by institutions[edit]


Some Presidents attended more than one institution. George Washington never attended college, but he did receive his surveyor's certificate from The College of William & Mary in Virginia. Only three Presidents attended foreign colleges at the undergraduate level: John F. Kennedy at the London School of Economics and John Quincy Adams at Leiden University (with both transferring to Harvard College), and Bill Clinton who was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. Three Presidents have attended the United States Service academies: Ulysses S. Grant and Dwight D. Eisenhower graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, while Jimmy Carter graduated the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. No Presidents have graduated from the much newer U.S. Air Force Academy. Eisenhower also graduated from the Command and General Staff College, Army Industrial College and Army War College. These were not degree granting institutions when Eisenhower attended, but were part of his professional education as a career soldier.

Allegheny College
Amherst College
Bowdoin College
The College of William & Mary
Columbia University
Davidson College
Dickinson College
Eureka College
Georgetown University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia Southwestern State University
Hampden-Sydney College
Harvard University
Hiram College
Kenyon College
London School of Economics
Miami University (Ohio)
Occidental College
Ohio Central College
Princeton University
Southwest Texas State Teachers College
Spalding's Commercial College (Kansas City, Missouri)
Stanford University
Leiden University
University of Michigan
University of North Carolina
Union College
United States Military Academy
United States Army Command and General Staff College
United States Army Industrial College
United States Army War College
United States Naval Academy
Whittier College
Williams College
Yale University

Law school[edit]

Albany Law School
Columbia Law School
Duke University School of Law
Georgetown University Law Center
Harvard Law School
Northampton Law School
State and National Law School
University of Cincinnati College of Law
University of Kansas City School of Law
University of Virginia School of Law
Yale Law School

Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, and Calvin Coolidge became lawyers after independent study, but they never attended law school. William McKinley attended two quarters at the Albany Law School; he went on to become a law clerk and was later admitted to the Ohio bar to practice law.

Business school[edit]

Harvard Business School
Stanford Graduate School of Business

Medical school[edit]

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine


Johns Hopkins University

Did not graduate from college[edit]

List by presidents[edit]

George WashingtonNone (surveyor's certificate from The College of William and Mary)
John AdamsHarvard University
Thomas JeffersonThe College of William and Mary
James MadisonPrinceton University
James MonroeThe College of William and Mary
John Quincy AdamsLeiden University (transferred to Harvard University)
Harvard University
Andrew JacksonNone
Martin Van BurenNone
William Henry HarrisonHampden-Sydney College (withdrew)
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (withdrew)
John TylerThe College of William and Mary
James K. PolkUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Zachary TaylorNone
Millard FillmoreNone
Franklin PierceBowdoin College
Northampton Law School
James BuchananDickinson College
Abraham LincolnNone
Andrew JohnsonNone
Ulysses S. GrantUnited States Military Academy
Rutherford B. HayesKenyon College
Harvard Law School
James GarfieldHiram College (transferred to Williams College)
Williams College
Chester A. ArthurUnion College
State and National Law School (did not graduate)
Grover ClevelandNone
Benjamin HarrisonMiami University
William McKinleyAllegheny College (withdrew)
Albany Law School (did not graduate)
Theodore RooseveltHarvard University
Columbia Law School (withdrew) (Awarded J.D. in 2008, class of 1882)[2]
William Howard TaftYale University
University of Cincinnati College of Law
Woodrow WilsonDavidson College (transferred to Princeton University)
Princeton University
University of Virginia School of Law (withdrew)
Johns Hopkins University (Ph.D.)
Warren G. HardingOhio Central College
Calvin CoolidgeAmherst College
Herbert HooverStanford University
Franklin D. RooseveltHarvard University
Columbia Law School (withdrew) (Awarded J.D. in 2008, class of 1907)[3]
Harry S. TrumanSpalding's Commercial College (withdrew)
University of Kansas City School of Law (withdrew)
Dwight D. EisenhowerU.S. Military Academy (West Point)
United States Army Command and General Staff College
United States Army Industrial College
United States Army War College
John F. KennedyLondon School of Economics (General Course Program)
Princeton University (transferred to Harvard University)
Harvard University
Lyndon B. JohnsonSouthwest Texas State College
Georgetown University Law Center (withdrew)
Richard NixonWhittier College
Duke University School of Law
Gerald FordUniversity of Michigan
Yale Law School
Jimmy CarterGeorgia Southwestern College (transferred to the Georgia Institute of Technology)
Georgia Institute of Technology (transferred to the United States Naval Academy)
U.S. Naval Academy
Ronald ReaganEureka College
George H. W. BushYale University
Bill ClintonGeorgetown University
University of Oxford (Rhodes Scholar)
Yale Law School
George W. BushYale University
Harvard Business School
Barack ObamaOccidental College (transferred to Columbia University)
Columbia University
Harvard Law School

Other academic associations[edit]

School president[edit]

Thomas JeffersonUniversity of Virginia1st Rector1819–1826
James MadisonUniversity of Virginia2nd Rector1826–1836
James A. GarfieldHiram CollegePresident1857–1860
Millard FillmoreUniversity of BuffaloChancellor1846–1874
Woodrow WilsonPrinceton UniversityPresident1902–1910
Dwight D. EisenhowerColumbia UniversityPresident1948–1953

School trustee[edit]

George WashingtonCollege of William and MaryChancellor1788–1799
George WashingtonWashington CollegeAllowed use of his name, Benefactor, Board of Governors1782-1799
George WashingtonWashington and Lee UniversityBenefactor, no official position[4]1796
Thomas JeffersonUniversity of VirginiaBoard of Visitors1819–1826
James MadisonUniversity of VirginiaBoard of Visitors1819–1836
James MonroeUniversity of VirginiaBoard of Visitors1826–1831
Millard FillmoreUniversity at BuffaloChancellor1846–1874
James BuchananFranklin & Marshall CollegePresident, Board of Trustees1853–1865
John TylerCollege of William and MaryChancellor1859–1862
Benjamin HarrisonPurdue UniversityBoard of Trustees1895–1901
Grover ClevelandPrinceton UniversityBoard of Trustees1901–1908
Ronald ReaganEureka CollegeBoard of Trustees1947–1953, 1967–1973, 1974-1980.
Rutherford B. HayesThe Ohio State UniversityBoard of Trustees1881–1893
Franklin D. RooseveltVassar CollegeBoard of Trustees1923-1945
Jimmy CarterMercer UniversityBoard of Trustees2012– present

Faculty member[edit]

James A. GarfieldHiram CollegeProfessor of Latin, Greek, Mathematics, History, Philosophy, Rhetoric and English literature1857-1861[5]
William Howard TaftUniversity of Cincinnati College of LawDean1896-1900[6]
William Howard TaftYale Law SchoolKent Professor of Law1913-1921
William Howard TaftYale UniversityMember of the Yale Corporation1901-1913
William Howard TaftBoston University School of LawLecturer on Legal Ethics[7]1918-1921
Woodrow WilsonBryn Mawr CollegeProfessor of Politics and History1885-1888[8]
Woodrow WilsonWesleyan UniversityProfessor of Politics1888-1890[8]
Woodrow WilsonPrinceton UniversityProfessor of Jurisprudence and Political Economy, President1902–1910
Harry S. TrumanYale UniversityChubb Fellow Visiting Lecturer1958[9]
Harry S. TrumanCanisius CollegeVisiting Lecturer1962[10]
Dwight D. EisenhowerColumbia UniversityPresident1948-1952
Richard NixonWhittier CollegeAdjunct lecturer, taught undergraduate legal studies class1937-1942
Jimmy CarterEmory UniversityUniversity Distinguished Professor1982–Present
George H. W. BushRice UniversityPart-Time Professor of Administrative Science1978
Bill ClintonUniversity of ArkansasProfessor of Law1973–1977
Barack ObamaUniversity of Chicago Law SchoolSenior Lecturer [11]1992–2004


  1. ^
  2. ^ New York Sun, Presidents Roosevelt Honored With Posthumous Columbia Degrees, September 26, 2008
  3. ^ Columbia Law School, Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt to Receive Posthumous Law Degrees from Columbia Law School, September 25, 2008
  4. ^
  5. ^ Joseph Nathan Kane, Facts About the Presidents (New York: Simon & Schuster [Pocket Books], 1968 [5th printing]), 194.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "BU School of Law Timeline". Boston University. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Biography of Wilson on Princeton Web.
  9. ^ Robert H. Ferrell, Farewell to the Chief: Former Presidents in American Public Life, 1991, page 52
  10. ^ U.S. Government Printing Office, Congressional Record, Volume 108, Part 4, 1962, page 5168
  11. ^ Media Inquiries, University of Chicago Law School