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 indeed, as well as unnecessary, for practicing most occupations, including law. Of the forty-three individuals 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, this is in part because of the increasing importance of higher education in the United States.
List by institutions
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 from 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.
Several Presidents who were lawyers did not attend law school, but became lawyers after independent study. Some had attended college before beginning their legal studies, and several studied law without first having attended college. Presidents who were lawyers but did not attend law school include: John Adams; Thomas Jefferson; James Madison; James Monroe; John Quincy Adams; Andrew Jackson; Martin Van Buren; John Tyler; James K. Polk; Millard Fillmore; James Buchanan; Abraham Lincoln; James A. Garfield; Grover Cleveland; Benjamin Harrison; and Calvin Coolidge.
Presidents who were admitted to the bar after a combination of law school and independent study include; Franklin Pierce; Chester A. Arthur; William McKinley; and Woodrow Wilson.
Did not graduate from college
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Other academic associations
School trustee or governor
- ↑ http://www.mountvernon.org/visit/plan/index.cfm/pid/808/
- ↑ New York Sun, Presidents Roosevelt Honored With Posthumous Columbia Degrees, September 26, 2008
- ↑ Columbia Law School, Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt to Receive Posthumous Law Degrees from Columbia Law School, September 25, 2008
- ↑ http://www.wlu.edu/x52673.xml
- ↑ Joseph Nathan Kane, Facts About the Presidents (New York: Simon & Schuster [Pocket Books], 1968 [5th printing]), 194.
- ↑ UC.edu
- ↑ "BU School of Law Timeline". Boston University. Retrieved 16 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Biography of Wilson on Princeton Web.
- ↑ Robert H. Ferrell, Farewell to the Chief: Former Presidents in American Public Life, 1991, page 52
- ↑ U.S. Government Printing Office, Congressional Record, Volume 108, Part 4, 1962, page 5168
- ↑ Media Inquiries, University of Chicago Law School