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This Ivy League School Has Produced the Most Powerful Businesswomen

Young women hoping to one day land a spot on Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women list might consider starting that journey in Cambridge, Mass.

Of the 51 women on the 2016 list, nearly 20% graduated from Harvard University—three as undergrads and seven as graduate students. Two, Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg and CVS/Pharmacy president Helena Foulkes, actually attended the Ivy for both degrees.

That being said, only seven went to an Ivy League school as an undergraduate. Among those who earned their undergraduate degrees in the U.S. (six earned their diplomas abroad), 27 went to a private university and 15 attended a public one.

One of our honorees, Crystal Hanlon, president of the Northern Division for Home Depot (No. 41), made it to the list despite never completing her degree at the University of Houston.

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The majority of the Most Powerful Women are no strangers to the classroom—well over half received a graduate degree of some sort, and one, Mondelez CEO Irene Rosenfeld, even boasts a doctorate.


(The data includes 47 of the 51 women on the list. Ross CEO Barbara Rentler did not release her educational history; Crystal Hanlon did not complete her degree; and our fun No. 51, Beyoncé, did not attend college)

MBAs are by far the most popular secondary-degree among the Most Powerful Women—65% hold one. Others boast graduate degrees in topics like engineering and economics, and three women graduated with a JD.


Here’s the full list of where this year’s Most Powerful Women studied:

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. Marillyn Hewson, Chairman, CEO and President of Lockheed Martin
Undergrad: University of Alabama

Graduate: University of Alabama, Columbia Business School (MBA)

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

5. Abigail Johnson, CEO and President of Fidelity Investments
Undergrad: Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Graduate: Harvard Business School (MBA)

6. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook
Undergrad: Harvard University

Graduate: Harvard Business School (MBA)

7. Meg Whitman, CEO, Chairman, and President of HP
Undergrad: Princeton University

Graduate: Harvard Business School (MBA)

8. Phebe Novakovic, Chairman and CEO General Dynamics
Undergrad: Smith College

Graduate: University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business (MBA)

9. Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO of Mondelez
Undergrad: Cornell University

Graduate: Cornell University (MS and Ph.D)

10. Safra Catz, Co-CEO of Oracle
Undergrad: University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School

Graduate: University of Pennsylvania (JD)

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

12. Helena Foulkes, President of CVS/pharmacy and EVP of CVS Health
Undergrad: Harvard University

Graduate: Harvard Business School (MBA)

13. 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)

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

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

16. Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube at Google
Undergrad: Harvard University

Graduate: University of California, Santa Cruz, UCLA Anderson School of Management (MBA)

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

18. Tricia Griffith, CEO and President of Progressive

Undergrad: Illinois State University

Graduate: University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business, Advanced Management Program

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

20. Ann-Marie Campbell, President of the Southern Division for Home Depot

Undergrad: Georgia State University

Graduate: Georgia State University (MBA)

21. Susan Cameron, CEO and President of Reynolds American
Undergrad: University of Florida

Graduate: Bellarmine University (MBA)

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

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

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

25. Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO of Xerox
Undergrad: Polytechnic Institute of New York

Graduate: Columbia University

26. Karen Lynch, President of Aetna

Undergrad: Boston College

Graduate: Boston University (MBA)

27. Sandra Peterson, Group Worldwide Chairman for Johnson & Johnson

Undergrad: Cornell University

Graduate: Princeton University

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

29. Margaret Keane, CEO and President of Synchrony Financial
Undergrad: St. Johns University

Graduate: St. Johns University (MBA)

30. Mary Erodes, CEO, Asset Management of J.P. Morgan Chase
Undergrad: Georgetown University

Graduate: Harvard Business School (MBA)

31. Amy Hood, EVP and CEO of Microsoft

Undergrad: Duke University

Graduate: Harvard University

32. Vicki Hollub, CEO and President, Occidental Petroleum

Undergrad: University of Alabama

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

34. Barbara Rentler, CEO of Ross Stores
Not provided

35. Kathleen Murphy, President of Personal Investing for Fidelity Investments
Undergrad: Fairfield University

Graduate: University of Connecticut School of Law (JD)

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

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

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

Graduate: University of South Africa

39. Julie Sweet, Group CEO of North America Accenture

Undergrad: Claremont Mckenna College

Graduate: Columbia University (JD)

40. Marni Walden, EVP/President, Product Innovation and New Businesses for Verizon Communications

Undergrad: California State University at Chico State

41. Crystal Hanlon, President of Northern Division for Home Depot
Undergrad: University of Houston-Downtown (attended, but did not receive a degree.)

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

43. Mary Mack, Senior EVP and Head of Community Banking at Wells Fargo

Undergrad: Davidson College

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

Undergrad: University of California, Davis

45. Jennifer Taubert, Company Group Chairman of Johnson & Johnson

Undergrad: University of California, Santa Barbara

Graduate: University of California, Los Angeles (MBA)

46. Jane Fraser, CEO of Citigroup Latin America
Undergrad: Cambridge University

Graduate: Harvard Business School (MBA)

47. Debra Crew, President and Chief Commerical Officer for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco at Reynolds American

Undergrad: University of Denver

Graduate: University of Chicago (MBA)

48. Beth Comstock, Vice Chair for General Electric

Undergrad: College of William and Mary

49. Bonnie Hammer, Chair, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group at Comcast

Undergrad: Boston University

Graduate: Boston University

50. Anne Finucane, Vice Chairman of Bank of America

Undergrad: University of New Hampshire

51. Beyonce, Queen Bee

Undergrad: Did not attend college