What College Graduated The Most US Presidents?

One of the popular ways universities advertise themselves to the public and prospective students as prestigious institutions are by pointing to successful individuals in the society who are alumnae. Schools in the Ivy League understand and fully utilize this selling point. A university with a history of graduating individuals who become internationally famous businessmen and women, known book authors, and political figures is sure to get the attention of potential students interested in rising to become recognized individuals in society. Let us discuss, What College Graduated The Most US Presidents?

What College Graduated The Most US Presidents?

Politically inclined students, including those who aspire for the seat of the president of the United States, are likely to be very interested in knowing which institution has the bragging right of producing the highest number of US presidents.

Among all the colleges with US presidents’ alumnae, Harvard University tops the list as having graduated the highest number of US presidents. The school has graduated five individuals who became US presidents. These individuals include; John Quincy Adams, John F. Kennedy, Theodore Roosevelt, John Adams, and Franklin Roosevelt.

5 Schools with the Highest Number of US Presidents

Attending a school that is the Alma-matter of the president of the United States instills a sense of pride and prestige. 

For politically inclined students desirous of making it to the White House as the president, it goes beyond the feeling. 

For this class of students, knowing the college with the history of graduating most US presidents is necessary for identifying and walking the paths taken by these successful individuals.

1. Harvard University. 

Founded in 1636, Harvard University, a part of the Ivy League schools, is the first and oldest institution in the US. 

With a history preceding the office of the US president created in the 70s, combined with the institution’s culture of excellence and leadership, it is no surprise that out of all universities in the United States today, Harvard has produced the most US presidents.

The prestigious university was attended by:

  • John Quincy Adams – US president from 1825 – 1829
  • John F. Kennedy – US president from 1961 – 1963 
  • Theodore Roosevelt – US president from 1901 – 1909
  • John Adams – US president from 1797 – 1801
  • Franklin Roosevelt – US president from 1933 – 1945

In addition to these five presidents, individuals like Barrack Obama, the US president from 2009 – 2017, and Rutherford Hayes, the US president from 1877 – 1881, attended the Harvard Law School. 

Also, George W. Bush, the US president from 2001 – 2009, attended Harvard Business School.

2. College of William and Mary

Although not part of the Ivy League, being a public school, the College of William and Mary has been tagged a public Ivy League as it is one of the best public universities in the US. 

The college has graduated three individuals who became presidents. 

They include:

  • James Monroe – US president from 1817 – 1825
  • Thomas Jefferson – US president from 1801 – 1809
  • John Tyler – US President from 1841 – 1845 

3. Yale University

Next is Yale University, another member of the Ivy League. Like The College of William and Mary, this institution also has a history of producing three US presidents.

One fact that stands out for us here is that all three presidents that attended this Ivy were also members of the Skull and Bones society, an undergraduate secret society at Yale University, available to only the elite few. 

Here are the presidents that went to Yale University:

  • William H. Taft – US president from 1909 – 1913
  • George H.W. Bush – US president from 1989 – 1993
  • George W. Bush – US president from 2001 – 2009 

Asides from these three, Bill Clinton, US president from 1993 – 2001, and Gerald Ford, US president from 1974 – 1977, also attained a Master’s degree from Yale Law School. 

4. United States Military Academy

With a mission to graduate Cadets that are leaders of character committed to the values of duty and honor, prepared for a career of service to the Nation as military officers, it is no surprise that the institution has produced two military officers who became US presidents. 

They are:

  • Ulysses S. grant – US president from 1869 – 1877
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower – US president from 1953 – 1961

5. Princeton University

Princeton University is another Ivy League school with a record of producing US presidents. The institution has produced two presidents.

  • James Madison – US president from 1809 – 1817
  • Woodrow Wilson – US president from 1913 – 1921

Apart from these institutions listed above, other universities like Columbia University, Georgetown University, Dickinson College, and Stanford University are on the list of schools that have graduated individuals who became the president of the United States at one time or another.

US Presidents That Never Went to the University

Despite the number of US presidents with college degrees, including those with Ph.D. from prestigious institutions, it may surprise you that some never attained a college degree but rose to become great presidents in the history of the United States. 

They include:

1. George Washington – US president from 1789 – 1797

2. Abraham Lincoln – US president from 1861 – 1865

3. Andrew Jackson – US president from 1829 – 1837

4. Grover Cleveland – US president from 1885 – 1889 and 1893 – 1897

5. Harry S. Truman – US President from 1945 – 1953


With the office of the president of the United States being one of the most prestigious in the world, it is no surprise that the public expects individuals who occupy the presidential seat to have a certain degree of formal education. 

The last US president without a college degree was Harry S. Truman, 1945 – 1953. 

Subsequent presidents after him have had at least a college degree, indicating the rising importance of higher education in society today. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is the most educated US president?

Woodrow Wilson. He was the 28th president of the US and attained a Ph.D. in 1886 from John Hopkins University.

2. Who is the best US president?

Abraham Lincoln.