Barack Obama’s GPA and College Records

So how did Barack Obama fare in college?

It’s unclear how well he did as an undergraduate, although he was not a distinguished student. Obama refuses to release his transcript from his undergraduate years.  According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Obama was not well-known among classmates after he transferred to Columbia University from Occidental College in the early 1980s.  The article quotes a former roommate who states that Obama’s performance improved after he stopped taking drugs (which Obama has admitted to openly).  Since Obama did not graduate with honors, that means his GPA was between a 2.0 and a 3.3 — although, since he was admitted to Harvard Law School, it’s hard to imagine his GPA was much lower than a 3.3.

Obama graduated from Columbia in 1983 with a degree in political science. He specialized in international relations.

Law school was another story for Obama.  He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School (the second highest honor available) in 1991.  He also was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, a very prestigious honor.

Read more about Barack Obama’s educational background, or read about the educational records of John McCain, Joe Biden, and Sarah Palin.

Common Misspellings: Barak Obama, Barac Obama, Barack Obamma

78 Responses to “Barack Obama’s GPA and College Records”

  1. 5 Successful People Who Weren’t Straight-A Students – Semi Cum-Laude says:

    […] had about a 3.3 GPA in high school, and also attended Occidental College and transferred to Harvard with the same 3.3. Despite being a B-student, Obama was able to go from no honors in school to full honor in the […]

  2. Wisdomandtruth says:

    The main issue here is not what grades he received, but his lack of transparency about the grades. It flies in the face of all his promises of transparency, which we know have not been honored during his Presidency.

  3. Chris Porto says:

    Whoa there is some very very wrong information here. Just because he didn’t graduate with honors does not mean his GPA max was 3.3. In order to graduate with honors you actually have to take separate classes. You take entirely different classes. You could have a 4.0 at most institutions and still not graduate with honors. You have to declare you want honors years before graduation, and take different course work.

    Also one person up there made a big mistake, he didn’t transfer he graduated from columbia then went to law school. It’s called graduate school because you have already graduated from another college and have a degree.

  4. Titainiumman says:

    The reason Obama doesn’t want his school transcripts released,is because they will show that he qualified and recieved foreign student loans

  5. President Obama's Third Annual Back-to-School Speech | Edu in Review Blog says:

    […] DC, is one of the top public high schools in the nation, and has a perfect matriculation rate. Barack Obama‘s message today was focused on what students can do to not only prepare themselves for the […]

  6. Zuzu says:

    Came across this old post and thought it worth correcting the bad info even at this late date.

    Thirty seconds on Google would have told you why Obama did not graduate from Columbia’s School of General Studies with honors. A student was required to complete over half the units necessary for graduation at the School of General Studies:

    Which means that few transfer students – like Obama – would qualify for Columbia honors no matter their GPA.

  7. Johnny says:

    You guys are being really immature. You can’t base his competence or anyone’s competence for office solely on gpa. I think he’s doing the best he can right now for the US but unfortunately most Americans seem to expect things to be fixed in no time. What America is going through now is the product of many years of poor policies implemented in the country and the ignorance of previous governments in handling some shocking debt amounted. This is an extremely difficult situation to come out of and I doubt a person with a 4.0 could figure it all out easily. Also the president doesn’t have absolute power in which he can do anything. He has advisors and other staff who also play a big role in the governing of the country. The Iraq war should NEVER have taken place, costing billions of dollars not to mention the thousands of soldiers families who need to be supported now. I say America needs to lose its obssession with showing its power throughout the world and focus internally on its PEOPLE. In other words, the problems of the US come from within, and if this never fixed, it could very well kiss its superpower title goodbye to China.

    A Canadian,

  8. the shootings helped obama. - Page 9 - VolNation says:

    […] Barack Obama's GPA – College Records | Edu in Review Blog Unfortunately, I could find nothing concrete as to what he scored on the LSAT; but I find it hard to argue that he didn't belong at Harvard Law School (at least intellectually), given that he graduated magna cum laude. […]

  9. Michael Boyd says:

    Harvard University is a PRIVATE institution, not a land-grant institution. Harvard can admit whomever they want to admit. Whether the person has a 4.0 or a 1.0, Harvard can admit anyone that they want to admit. We may question Harvard’s motives, choices, or purposes. Harvard has an endowment of many BILLIONS. Harvard can admit someone who has never seen the inside of a classroom. Yes, Harvard has accepted so-called federal funds, which, limit their PRIVATIZATION somewhat in terms of legal issues. But, in order to confront Harvard regarding their practices, you will have to be able to get them into a court. Good luck!

  10. Nana says:

    Anyone else wonder how someone can get into Harvard with between a 2.2 and 3.3 average????? I mean, I thought Harvard only takes the best of the best. Even 3.3 is hardly the best. This doesn’t make sense.

  11. Eric Fukrepublicans says:

    woops meant to say ignorant and dumb

  12. Eric Fukrepublicans says:

    Obama is a good president. conservatives are naive and dumb.

    nuff said.

  13. Liam says:

    S. Palin is from a middle class family & yet she released all or most of her personal info & this included her grades….We need good person to be the US President..not someone screw around in college, use drugs, smoke weeds, low GPA. Not to mention on other subjects..etc

  14. james says:

    You all are worried about grades and college educations. Education comes to us all everyday in many forms from our lifes experiences. Education is not just from a classroom. Please get off the kick that only a 4.0 GPA college student can lead us in government and into a better future. We are diverse in so many ways that we need to be present the same way in washington. I myself would like to see more candiates that are from middle class family’s with a touch on reality. Why are we all voting in millionairs again and again?

  15. Hank says:

    “People can’t expect him to fix something that was already broken when he came into office.”
    –How stupid is it to say something like that?? obama spent the whole campaign promising to “fix” the failed policies of George Bush.
    The obama apologists are grasping are the most ridiculous things to say when there’s really nothing positive to say.

  16. White Supremacist Runs for School Board Seat Unchallenged | Dan Schruender Runs for Rialto School Board Seat | Edu in Review Blog says:

    […] like one that implies that white women and girls are in danger of being murdered in “Obama’s America,” are even more disturbing in light of the fact that the Rialto School Board is 75 […]

  17. Larissa Shanon says:

    I am proud of President Obama. There is nothing wrong with him being on the View. People can’t expect him to fix something that was already broken when he came into office.

  18. Freado says:

    I can’t believe your knockin, knockin on my door.
    been so long, been so long.Time has a way of showin,
    showin we are strong, been so long been so long

  19. greg says:

    hmmmm, you state about Palin:

    Americans seem to be more put off by evasiveness than they are by poor grades, so she may as well just release her transcripts.

    yet have nothing critical to say about Ohbummer. Bias.

  20. 491 says:

    You would think anyone who runs for any office would be required to release any and all records. How can a country trust someone who hides his past ? This confirms the man has something to hide and is not to be trusted.

  21. Ann Coulter the love of my life! - Page 3 - Volconvo Debate Forums says:

    […] […]

  22. John Covington says:

    I just went on line and easily got the transcripts for George W. Bush, John Kerry and Albert Gore.
    Why can I not do the same for Barak Obama? Transparency? RIGHT!

  23. Obama’s Contempt For Britain « SoCon Or Bust says:

    […] you cannot view his “long-form” birth certificate, Punahou (Hawaii) school records, Occidental College records, Columbia University records, his Columbia thesis, Harvard Law School records, his medical […]

  24. dominvs says:

    If you all really hold academia to that high of a standard to dictate whether or not a president is qualified to be president, you’re just as stupid as all the people who voted for Obama.

    I had a 2.0 in high school, 3.1 in a community college, and was still accepted to Harvard. Why? 140 IQ, and a suitcase full of unmarked bills.
    Am I eligible for president? By your standards yes, but I’m smarter than that. Money runs our country, not elections.


  25. sissy says:

    where is Obamas K thur 12 records why can’t anyone find them If anyone out there has them please tell me them or help me find them PLEASE HELP

  26. Northeast Republican says:

    the guy’s a hypocritical liar. How does one gain acceptance to Harvard Law with a cum GPA less than 3.3? By checking the black box, that’s how. He was unqualified to be admitted to Harvard Law, got on the Law Review there based upon the racial pluz factors in place at the time at HLS (and still in place) and is a fraud.

    At the very least release your college grades and admit you were an affirmative action case. If not, it’s a tacit admission that he’s ashamed of his status as such, while at the same time lauding the merits of affirmative action.

    Moreover, he’s just as “white” as he is “black” but he’s “black” when it suits him, like when he was applying to school.

  27. The GTL™ Sunday Guest Column -- “A Conservative Resurrection” By Christopher L. Doster | THE GUN TOTING LIBERAL™ says:

    […] don’t even work. Not that it’s their fault, as work is as hard to find these days, as are the college transcripts (EDU In Review) for our 44th President… “An astonishing 43.4 percent of Americans now pay […]

  28. Yankee228 says:

    During the Bush administration we were not permitted to voice (protest) our outrage without being dutifully labeled as ‘unpatriotic – against the troops’. And now – God forbid you don’t buy into the mania of Obama – generated by the media – you are a racist!

    Having worked in the inner city (homeless director – soup kitchen – AIDS outreach) – I for one was very suspect during the campaign. I noted that the media took no interest in checking out the various claims – accomplishments etc of our new President.

    Strange – like another person observed – here you have the highest office in the land and no background check? My nephew applying for a job at a propane company waited three weeks for a background check. Having worked for years with mostly minority folks the thing that hit me was how hard Barack was trying to be ‘black’ enough, i.e. ‘single mom, food stamps, organizing, mom’s insurance travails, etc.

    I took the time ( a vote is important) to research all these ‘claims’. I won’t go into it here, but enough said –everything in this campaign was greatly embellished or just plain made up. For ex: Barack stated that it broke his heart ( Harvard law graduate) watching his mother ( yes – she had best insurance) a PhD, long work history in Indonesia/Pakistan — labor over insurance papers (Sloan Kettering).

    The fact is – Barack did not watch his mother worry over anything. He was not present – nor did he visit his dying mother in the year of her illness. She arrived at Sloan Kettering in ’94 – died in ’95. After it was found that the cancer was too far gone – she returned to Hawaii with her, VP of Hawaiian bank mother and daughter ( Barack’s sister by Indonesian step father, an oil executive, who adopted him).

    Barack could not (his own admission late in campaign) find the time to visit. He was busy organizing the million man march – running for office (state senator) and doing his book tour. No he was not raised by a single mom (crede with blacks). He was a very fortunate young boy.

    His mother pursuing her own career was fortunate to have parents who basically raised Barack. Stanley (his mother) divorced Barack Sr. when young Barry (his name at the time) was approx 1 1/2 yr. She was remarried, (65) on her way to Indonesia by the time Barry was five – thus, no, Barack did not ‘come out of Selma’.

    He had a young grandfather (50s). Pictures show him doing all kinds of activities with the youngster. From five, until he was in college he had a wealthy step father. He returned to the states at approx age 9 – was enrolled in a very ‘racially’ mixed top private school. Hawaii has never had the race problems (few blacks at this time) that the states have endured. Food stamps (more crede with blacks?).

    This family with the grandmother the VP of Hawaiian Bank – mother Phd (employed with USAID/Ford Foundation – consultant to Indonesian – Pakistan banks) would have a hard time convincing any welfare office that they were hungry! Been there done that. My mother (dad laid off) had to prove we were down to our last scrap – owned nothing of value – etc.

    I recall standing there in that welfare office – watching my working mom’s humiliation, promising myself that by God, when I grew up —I would never treat people in such a demeaning manner. I kept my promise and became the BEST social worker you’ll ever meet.

    You will not find any record of Barack attending Columbia COLLEGE ( approx 3,400 students) not University. NONE. It appears that he took external courses (while at Occidental) from Columbia. One news station sought out the 400 graduates – nobody had any recollection of Barack.

    The President doesn’t remember his classmates? While it is consistently stated that Barack is magna cum laude –there are ZERO records of any of this geniuses grades (why not – if he’s such a prodigy?). This comes out of the fact, that those named as editors/ president of law review, were always those in top 1-10% of their class.

    This all changed during Barack’s time…in fact it caused a pretty big blow out (professors). There were 90 editors chosen –no longer on merit, or grades but for ‘other reasons’. Thus NO writings of Barack are available anywhere.

    If you repeat a lie long enough – people (lazy), just take it as gospel. Saul Alinksy was one of those who wrote a glowing letter of endorsement for Barack Obama. Why all this secrecy? After the 2004 convention – Obama caught the brass ring!

    They bought a $1.9 million mansion reduced $300,000 due to influence/help of Rezko ( wheeler dealer real estate – Chicago businessman). Michele thanks to Valerie Jarrett got a job at Chicago Univeristy Hospital, $316,000 plus Michele had was on the board of a food company, paid $51,000.

    The hospital job was – developing a program to ‘outsource’ Medicaid – poor folks to charity hospitals /clinics to save Chicago Diversity’s bottom line. Valerie also got Michele her job at Mayor Daley’s office ( Valerie top aide – Chicago insider). Valerie named by Judicatory Watch as one of our nation’s top slum landlords (owns thousands of decaying Chicago tenements) is now the President’s TOP adviser (office next to his).

    One of State Senator Obama’s first legislative moves was the privatizing of public housing and securing millions in federal – state monies for the likes of Jarrett- Rezko – Butler. This housing was finally investigated by federal inspectors –ruled uninhabitable.

    They never put any of the government monies they secured into maintenance. Nope, nobody went to jail. Barack has three speech writers – he doesn’t labor over any of these teleprompter presentations. His main writer is 26 years old.

    His writers and Axelrod his media man came up with this Hopey Changey hook! Michele has told people she left a lucrative law practice to serve the public. Not exactly —her job at the University Hospital belies this (Obama after Michele’s raise got the hospital a mill earmark). Michele (real confusing like all their paperwork).

    Michele has not held an attorney’s license since 1993 – when under Rules 771-776 (professional responsibility – professional conduct) the ARDC an agency of the Illinois Supreme Court – put Michele on inactive status. Records merely show – ‘not authorized to practice law’.

    Like everything, this is all in the shadows —and very suspect. Nobody goes through years of schooling to throw something like this (education) to the winds. Recall that back in 93 there wasn’t a hint of Barack becoming a state senator let alone President.

    It wasn’t like they, as a young couple starting out in this competitive world, had a secure future? It’s only my opinion – but I don’t think there was anything like fraud here —but that Michele simply didn’t pass the bar exam. After all John Kennedy Jr. with all his (tutors) help failed it 3 or 4 times.

    Just a thought –but no, she didn’t leave a lucrative law practice for public life. It appears that our current occupants of the White House are a creation – a packaged political product. Everyone did their part – from the adulation of the press, debates that weren’t debates, no investigation of any claims or background.

    We only know what Barack and Michele have told us. As for ‘Dreams of My Father’ lauded (Time) as the gosh-darn- best- most- wonderful political (age 33) auto biography ever written (no written works available before this wondrous book) literary detectives (probably a coincidence) have found that Dreams and books of Bill Ayers (author -educator) use the same metaphors – same names of characters and even same misspelling of a certain person.

    Bill and Barack served on two boards together (Barack the director of one). One of them for over ten years. This board came about due to a grant that Ayers wrote for education. Barack also wrote an endorsement for one of (on fly leaf) of Ayers books. But – in the end it really doesn’t matter.

    People, once they are programmed, into (people need leaders) the belief that a man has risen out of the ashes to deliver them – bring them HOPE and Change, the mess anger will be attacked for shattering their illusions. Happens every time. And yikes no – I never thought the McCain (all a sham) Palin team was any better —Money’s the name of the game now / the people are inconsequential as we can see by this fraud of a health (not) reform bill. Really a bonzanza of the insurance – drug companies.

    The bill? All done up in the White House (last summer). Most of it has already been PASSED in the Stimulus Bill –which the MEDIA to this day hasn’t reported on!!! Google Health Reform passed in Stimulus Bill/ so much for transparency.

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