28 Members of Congress Have No College Degree

Sunday, December 27, 2009
Mark Begich (D-Alaska), the only senator with out a college degree

To become a U.S. senator a person must be at least 30 years old, an American citizen for nine years and a resident of the state they want to represent. House members must be at least 25 years old, a U.S. citizen for seven years and a resident of their state. But in neither case do they have to be a college graduate, which is a good thing for 5% of all members of Congress.

Currently, there are 27 representatives and one senator who do not have a college degree. Some of those identified by the Scripps Howard News Service as serving without a degree are Representatives Solomon Ortiz (D-TX), Steve King (R-IA) and Doc Hastings (R-WA). The lone senator is Mark Begich of Alaska.
Thirty years ago, the number of non-college-graduates in Congress was much higher. In the 96th Congress (1979-1981), there were 48 representatives and seven senators without degrees. Currently, a majority of senators—57 of 100—have law degrees.
Ten U.S. presidents did not graduate from college, most notably George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The most recent non-graduate was Harry S. Truman.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
5 Percent in Congress Lack College Degree (by Justin Anthony Monarez, Scripps Howard News Service)
Membership of the 111th Congress: A Profile (by Mildred Amer and Jennifer E. Manning, Congressional Research Service) (pdf)


Kevin 4 years ago
The US naval academy is a school of notable regard. It is not an ivy league school.
David 4 years ago
Anthony, nice try, but the USNA is NOT in the Ivy League. The Ivies are: Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University.
Anthony 4 years ago
John McCain, Naval Academy, an Ivy League School.
Joe 6 years ago
John McCain has a degree?
bobby 10 years ago
name to congressmen who have had no college education because they all act like they are uneducated!
Johnny Yuma 10 years ago
It's just as well... we all know what BS stands for, and MS stands for More of the Same, an PHD just means Piled Higher and Deeper. So no degree, could be a good thing.

Leave a comment