This year’s list of Most Powerful Women spans industries as diverse as finance, retail, and entertainment. The women have produced Academy Award-winning movies, scaled social media startups into a global enterprises, and shepherded classic American brands through historic technological change.

Those are impressive resumes—and many may assume that these women have an unattainable educational pedigree to match. But, don’t look just to the Ivy Leagues. Only three women have undergraduate degrees from Harvard University, and nine total graduated from an Ivy League.

Most went to private and public colleges like Kettering University (No. 1 Mary Barra), Ball State University (No. 16 Angela Ahrendts), and Tufts University (No. 5 Ellen Kullman). One woman on the list has achieved major success without any secondary degree (No. 51 Taylor Swift), and six women obtained their undergrad degrees beyond U.S. shores.


(The data includes 50 of the 51 women on the list. Ross CEO Barbara Rentler didn’t release her educational history.)

The majority of the Most Powerful Women—57%—also hold graduate degrees. Most women’s post-secondary degrees are MBAs, though seven have masters degrees in topics like engineering, economics and law. Seven women hold multiple graduate degrees, and one, No. 9 Irene Rosenfeld, boasts a doctorate.


Here’s the full list of where this year’s Most Powerful Women went to college.

1. Mary Barra, CEO of GM
Undergrad: Kettering University
Graduate: Stanford Graduate School of Business (MBA)

2. Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo
Undergrad: Madras Christian College in India
Graduate: Indian Institute of Management, Yale University

3. Ginni Rometty, CEO, Chairman, and President of IBM
Undergrad: Northwestern University

4. Marillyn Hewson, Chairman, CEO and President of Lockheed Martin
Undergrad: University of Alabama
Graduate: University of Alabama, Columbia Business School (MBA)

5. Ellen Kullman, Chairman and CEO of DuPont
Undergrad: Tufts University
Graduate: Northwestern University (MBA)

6. Abigail Johnson, CEO and President of Fidelity Investments
Undergrad: Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Graduate: Harvard Business School (MBA)

7. Meg Whitman, CEO, Chairman, and President of HP
Undergrad: Princeton University
Graduate: Harvard Business School (MBA)

8. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook
Undergrad: Harvard University
Graduate: Harvard Business School (MBA)

9. Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO of Mondelez
Undergrad: Cornell University
Graduate: Cornell University (MS and Ph.D)

10. Phebe Novakovic, Chairman and CEO General Dynamics
Undergrad: Smith College
Graduate: University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business (MBA)

11. Carol Meyrowitz, Chairman and CEO of TJX Companies
Undergrad: Rider University

12. Safra Catz, Co-CEO of Oracle
Undergrad: University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School
Graduate: University of Pennsylvania (JD)

13. Lynn Good, CEO and President of Duke Energy
Undergrad: Miami University, Ohio

14. Helena Foulkes, President of CVS/pharmacy and EVP of CVS Health
Undergrad: Harvard University
Graduate: Harvard Business School (MBA)

15. Rosalind Brewer, CEO and President of Sam’s Club at Walmart
Undergrad: Spelman College

16. Angela Ahrendts, SVP of Retail and Online Stores for Apple
Undergrad: Ball State University

17. Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO of Xerox
Undergrad: Polytechnic Institute of New York
Graduate: Columbia University

18. Marissa Mayer, CEO and President of Yahoo
Undergrad: Stanford University
Graduate: Stanford University

19. Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube at Google
Undergrad: Harvard University
Graduate: University of California, Santa Cruz, UCLA Anderson School of Management (MBA)

20. Pam Nicholson, CEO and President of Enterprise Holdings
Undergrad: University of Missouri

21. Cathy Engelbert, CEO of Deloitte LLP
Undergrad: Lehigh University

22. Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan
Undergrad: West Virginia University

23. Debra Reed, Chairman and CEO of Sempra Energy
Undergrad: University of Southern California

24. Denise Morrison, CEO and President of Campbell Soup
Undergrad: Boston College

25. Susan Cameron, CEO and President of Reynolds American
Undergrad: University of Florida
Graduate: Bellarmine University (MBA)

26. Ruth Porat, CFO and SVP of Google and Alphabet
Undergrad: Stanford University
Graduate: London School of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business (MBA)

27. Carrie Tolstedt, Senior EVP of Community Banking for Wells Fargo
Undergrad: University of Nebraska

28. Sandra Peterson, Group Worldwide Chairman for Johnson & Johnson
Undergrad: Cornell University
Graduate: Princeton University

29. Mary Erodes, CEO, Asset Management of J.P. Morgan Chase
Undergrad: Georgetown University
Graduate: Harvard Business School (MBA)

30. Judith McKenna, COO and EVP of Walmart U.S.
Undergrad: Hull University in the UK

31. Marianne Lake, CFO of J.P. Morgan Chase
Undergrad: Reading University in the UK

32. Kathleen Murphy, President of Personal Investing for Fidelity Investments
Undergrad: Fairfield University
Graduate: University of Connecticut School of Law (JD)

33. Margaret Keane, CEO and President of Synchrony Financial
Undergrad: St. Johns University
Graduate: St. Johns University (MBA)

34. Barbara Rentler, CEO of Ross Stores
Not provided.

35. Bridget Van Kralingen, SVP, Global Business Services for IBM
Undergrad: University of Witwatersrand in South Africa
Graduate: University of South Africa

36. Carolyn Tastad, Group President of North America for P&G
Undergrad: University of Saskatchewan in Canada

37. Ann-Marie Campbell, President of the Southern Division for Home Depot
Undergrad: Georgia State University
Graduate: Georgia State University (MBA)

38. Michelle Gloeckler, EVP of Consumables and Health & Wellness and U.S. Manufacturing Lead for Walmart
Undergrad: University of Michigan

39. Shari Ballard, President of U.S. Retail and Chief Human Resources Officer for Best Buy
Undergrad: University of Michigan, Flint

40. Crystal Hanlon, President of Northern Division for Home Depot
Undergrad: University of Houston-Downtown

41. Jane Fraser, CEO of Citigroup Latin America
Undergrad: Cambridge University
Graduate: Harvard Business School (MBA)

42. Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm
Undergrad: San Diego State University

43. Diane Bryant, Senior Vice President and General Manager for the Data Center Group at Intel

Undergrad: University of California, Davis

44. Lynne Doughtie, Chairman and CEO of KPMG
Undergrad: Virginia Tech

45. Ilene Gordon, Chairman, CEO and President of Ingredion
Undergrad: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Graduate: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management (MBA)

46. Debra Crew, President and Chief Commerical Officer for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco at Reynolds American
Undergrad: University of Denver
Graduate: University of Chicago (MBA)

47. Kim Lubel, CEO, Chairman, and President of CST Brands
Undergrad: Miami University, Ohio
Graduate: Baylor University, University of Texas Law School (JD)

48. Beth Mooney, CEO and Chairman of Key Corp
Undergrad: University of Texas
Graduate: Southern Methodist University (MBA)

49. Sheri S. McCoy, CEO of Avon Products
Undergrad: University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
Graduate: Princeton University, Rutgers University (MBA)

50. Beth Comstock, Vice Chair for General Electric
Undergrad: College of William and Mary

51. Taylor Swift, Singer and music and technology industry disrupter
Hasn’t attended college.

To see the full Most Powerful Women list, visit

Correction: Rosalind Brewer is a graduate of Wharton School of Business’ Advanced Management Program. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Brewer received an MBA from Wharton School of Business.