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

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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,

  6. 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!

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