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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Where the Fortune 500 CEOs Went to College

U.S News Old LogoU.S. News & World Report, Where the Fortune 500 CEOs Went to School:

The 500 executives collectively earned about 465 college degrees, which means about 35 executives didn't graduate from college. Both Ralph Lauren and Sheldon Adelson (Las Vegas Sands Corp.) are among the CEOs who dropped out of college. But the Fortune 500 executives who completed both college and graduate school collectively earned about 200 MBAs and about 140 other graduate degrees.

Harvard topped the list of Fortune 500 CEO degree granters with 65 total degrees. The next closest school was Stanford, which doled out 27 undergraduate and graduate degrees. Pennsylvania awarded a total of 24 degrees to Fortune 500 CEOs, while the executives on the Fortune list earned 18 degrees from Columbia.

Harvard, Penn, and Stanford also count the most Fortune 500 MBAs among their ranks (40, 13, and 10, respectively), with the business schools at Chicago (7), Northwestern (6), and Indiana (6) trailing behind. MIT didn't award any MBAs to Fortune 500 CEOs, but it was third on the list of institutions that awarded the most other graduate degrees to the executives, after Harvard and Columbia.

InstitutionTotal degrees Undergraduate degrees MBAs Other graduate degrees US News undergraduate rank US News business school rank
Harvard 65 11 40 14 1 1
Stanford 27 11 10 6 5 1
Pennsylvania 24 7 13 4 5 3
Columbia 18 3 4 11 4 8
Michigan 14 6 5 3 28 13
Notre Dame 14 10 1 3 19 25
Virginia 14 4 4 6 25 13
Cornell 13 8 3 2 15 16
Dartmouth 12 9 3 0 11 9
Indiana 11 5 6 0 75 23
Northwestern 11 2 6 3 12 4
Rutgers 11 5 3 3 68 63
MIT 10 3 0 7 5 4

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Comments

"The 500 executives collectively earned about 465 college degrees, which means about 35 executives didn't graduate from college."

But, if at least one executive got 2 degrees -- undergraduate and masters -- then that means that there are more than 35 executives who did not graduate from college at all. And, nearly everyone with a masters or other graduate degree will necessarily have had an undergraduate degree, so to get a better estimate of the # of executives without a college degree, you need to subtract the total # of masters and other graduate degrees from 465, and then subtract that from 500.

Posted by: Andy Patterson | May 15, 2012 2:46:39 PM

Until fairly recently (mid-90s?), MIT awarded the SM to graduates of the Sloan School of Management program.
They switched over to awarding an MBA after a lot of pressure to provide a more standardized label - the MBA.
Likely any CEO of sufficient tenure to head up a F500 firm (Zuckert aside) dates to the era before the MBA.

Posted by: CT_Woods | May 15, 2012 3:12:54 PM

It seems like a "good 'ol boys" club" with executive graduates looking after their own. The same trend appears in Obama's appointments of Yale Law School graduates: YLS Alums Filling Key Positions in Obama Administration. Apparently, "diversity" doesn't count if you have to consider school connections.

Posted by: Woody | May 16, 2012 9:49:09 AM

I wish they did it just by undergrad degrees too. I was going to write, "Where are Yale and Princeton?", but actually they could still be in the top 4 in number of undergraduate degrees and not make the cutoff for being listed.

Posted by: Eric Rasmusen | May 16, 2012 7:20:39 PM

How many of the "graduate" degrees were law degrees?

Posted by: Publius Novus | May 17, 2012 7:34:56 AM

Thanks for linking my piece! And in response to @Andy Patterson, the 465 number is the number of undergraduate degrees. There wasn't more than one or two who had multiple undergraduate degrees, if memory serves...

Posted by: Menachem Wecker | May 22, 2012 5:34:16 AM