Newsletters

Get Well+Being delivered to your inbox every Monday Morning.

Dr. Newt Gingrich for President?
If he were elected, the former Speaker would be the first White House occupant in more than a century to hold a PhD. We take a look at the advanced degrees of presidents in history. By Ali Eaves
Comments () | Published January 27, 2012

Newt Gingrich’s presidential bid could deliver the Oval Office its first PhD in a century. Gingrich got a doctorate at Tulane; his dissertation was on Belgian education policy in the Congo. A PhD is rare in the White House—only Woodrow Wilson had one. While the three most recent Presidents boast graduate degrees, post-college education is uncommon. Here’s a guide.

 

President Degree Alma Mater Fun Fact

Barack Obama

JD

Harvard, 1991

Notable Academic Achievement: First black president of the Harvard Law Review.

Are the "birthers" right after all? In the 1990 Revue—the law-review editors' end-of-year parody publication—Obama's mock bio reads: "I was born in Oslo, Norway, the son of a Volvo factory worker and part-time ice fisherman. . . . My mother was a backup singer for Abba."

George W. Bush

MBA

Harvard, 1975

Bush applied to go to law school at the University of Texas but was rejected.

Bill Clinton

JD

Yale, 1973

Met future wife Hillary Rodham in a Yale library.

Gerald Ford

LLB(forerunner of JD)

Yale, 1941

Worked as assistant football and boxing coach while earning his law degree.

Richard Nixon

LLB

Duke, 1937

Notable Academic Achievement: Graduated third in his class and was president of the Duke Bar Association.

Nixon is the last President to receive a graduate degree from a university other than Harvard or Yale.

Woodrow Wilson

PhD

Johns Hopkins,1886

Notable Academic Achievement: Dissertation was "Congressional Government: A Study in American Politics."

Also attended the University of Virginia School of Law but never received a degree.

William Howard Taft

LLB

University of Cincinnati, 1880

Taft became dean of the university's law school in 1896.

Rutherford B. Hayes

LLB

Harvard, 1845

One of Hayes's professors was Supreme Court justice Joseph Story.


This appears in the February 2012 issue of The Washingtonian.

Categories:

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Subscribe to Washingtonian

Discuss this story

Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question. The Washingtonian reserves the right to remove or edit content once posted.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Posted at 03:39 PM/ET, 01/27/2012 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs