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Where did Donald Trump go to college?

And did he really graduate first in his class? Does he have an MBA?
was donald trump in the military
Photo: Getty Images

Donald Trump's college-related educational history surfaced as a point of controversy during the presidential campaign. The 12-year-old Trump was sent to military school in upstate New York after proving to be too unruly for Manhattan's private institutions. Despite that training, he didn't go on to serve in the military, obtaining five deferments from Vietnam — one for his infamous "bone spurs," and four for college. But that still leaves the question, where did Donald Trump go to college?

So, where did Donald Trump go to college?

Where did Donald Trump go to college? Well, he actually attended two universities.

Instead of going into the military, Trump followed his father, Fred, into real estate upon his graduation from high school in 1964. He enrolled at Fordham University in the Bronx. But the path — and the school — weren't his first choices. Trump originally wanted to be a movie producer, Newsweek reported. But after being rejected from the University of Southern California, he enrolled at Fordham. Why? "That's where he got in," said Trump's sister, Maryanne, in the book "The Trumps: Three Generations of Builders and a Presidential Candidate.” There, Trump played squash but otherwise left no mark at the school, the president of the Fordham Alumni Association said in 2017.

where did donald trump go to college

After two years there, “I decided that as long as I had to be in college, I might as well test myself against the best,” Trump said in his 1987 book "The Art of the Deal.” He transferred to the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, largely due to his interview with an admissions officer who was a high-school classmate of his older brother Fred.

What degree does Donald Trump have?

Trump would earn a degree in economics in 1968. He later claimed to have earned an MBA at Wharton and graduated first in his class, boasts which appeared in the first profile written about his real-estate endeavors in the New York Times in 1976. Both claims are untrue. The 1968 graduation program does not list him as graduation with any kind of honors. His degree was undergraduate, not an MBA. And the Boston Globe reported he was an unremarkable student: "His former classmates said he seemed a student who spoke up a lot but rarely shined in class, who barely participated in campus activities, shunned fraternity parties."

But somewhere along the way, Trump developed the ability to spin his own myth, which would carry him to the presidency half a century after graduation.