When it comes to being a CEO of a Fortune 100 company, not all degrees were created equally. Fortuune 100 CEOs don’t always earn MBAs, and sometimes they don’t even complete a Bachelor’s degree.
But outliers withstanding, these 13 schools hold the prestigious honor of having graduated the most Fortune 100 CEOs. Ninety-seven total CEOs were surveyed for the study, conducted by U.S. News.
- Harvard University —7 Undergraduate + 14 Graduate = 21 total degrees
- Cornell University —3 Undergraduate + 4 Graduate = 7 total degrees
- University of Pennsylvania —1 Undergraduate + 5 Graduate = 6 total degrees
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology —1 Undergraduate + 3 Graduate = 4 total degrees
- Northwestern University —1 Undergraduate + 3 Graduate = 4 total degrees
- Stanford University —2 Undergraduate + 2 Graduate = 4 total degrees
- Yale University —3 Undergraduate + 1 Graduate = 4 total degrees
- Columbia University —0 Undergraduate + 3 Graduate = 3 total degrees
- Princeton University —3 Undergraduate + 0 Graduate = 3 total degrees
- Southern Methodist University —0 Undergraduate + 3 Graduate = 3 total degrees
- University of Kansas —2 Undergraduate + 1 Graduate = 3 total degrees
- University of Notre Dame —2 Undergraduate + 1 Graduate = 3 total degrees
- University of Utah —1 Undergraduate + 2 Graduate = 3 total degrees
Notice any patterns? The Ivy League dominates the Fortune 100 CEO list, particularly Harvard University with 21 total degrees—three times that of its next closest contender. Of course, not all the schools on the list have graduate programs (like Princeton) or business schools. MBAs are fairly popular among CEOs, but so are law degrees.
Degrees are helpful, but not always necessary for CEOs—particularly if they founded the company. Several of our previously profiled business leaders call some of the above schools’ alma maters their own. Check out their full profiles to learn more!
- IBM’s Ginni Rometty graduated from Northwestern University
- KKR’s Henry Kravis received his MBA from Columbia University
- PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi attended Yale School of Management
- Amazon’s Jeff Bezos went to Princeton University
- Stella & Dot’s Jessica Herrin and Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer both attended Stanford University
- Goldman Sachs’s Lloyd Blankfein and Google/Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg both graduated from Harvard University
- HP’s Meg Whitman graduated from both Princeton and Harvard
- Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia Business School.