Arnold Schwarzenegger found success as a bodybuilder, actor and politician, but was getting a degree ever on the cards for the action hero and former Governor of California?
Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger has a degree. After moving to the US, he attended Santa Monica College and University of Wisconsin–Superior, where he got his bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing.
Not much is known about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s early education, but he’s been described as an average student who managed to stand out thanks to his “cheerful, good-humored, and exuberant” character. Focusing on school was probably hard for the young Arnie, since he had an extremely strict upbringing, and had to perform countless household chores before focusing on his school work.
Schwarzenegger was interested in sports from an early age, and discovered his love for bodybuilding while weight training to improve his soccer skills. He also developed love for psychology at the age of 15, because he wanted to learn more about the power of mind over body.
After his high school graduation, Schwarzenegger joined the army, because it was mandatory for the Austrian males to do so at the time. His love for bodybuilding was stronger, and he kept training and won several major competitions before moving to the US in 1968, where he eventually received his college degree.
Getting His Bachelor’s Degree
Schwarzenegger was scoring one Mr. Olympia title after another during the early ‘70s, but still felt something was missing in his life. He wanted to improve his English, and decided to give Santa Monica College a shot, even though he feared he wouldn’t be able to keep up with other students.
“I started by taking English as a second language, because I knew if I wanted to make it in America, I needed to speak English well. I was scared when I first drove up to Santa Monica College – scared I wouldn’t fit in, scared that I would look like an idiot,” said the action superstar during his commencement speech at Santa Monica College in 2005.
Schwarzenegger was only planning to study English at the time, but the consular convinced him to take math and business classes, as well. He continued his education at the University of Wisconsin–Superior, where he specialized in fitness marketing and business administration.
His busy schedule made it difficult to attend lessons on a regular basis, but Arnie received some credits for his “life experience” as a fitness expert, and flew in from Los Angeles to take his exams and meet with professors when needed. It took him less than a year to get his degree, and he ended up graduating in 1979.
Trump University Degree
Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin–Superior isn’t the only one that Arnold Schwarzenegger has under his belt. During his virtual commencement speech to the class of 2020, the actor revealed that he has an honorary doctorate from Trump University, and mocked it by saying “this is nothing”.
Schwarzenegger tried to make a point that the students will remember the struggles they went through and the obstacles they overcame to get their degree, more than the actual piece of paper. Many people still saw it as a subtle jab at Trump, because it’s not a coincidence that he chose to showcase this degree in particular.
Schwarzenegger and Trump had an ongoing feud ever since the Terminator actor publicly said he wouldn’t vote for his The Apprentice predecessor in the 2016 presidential election. They haven’t stopped throwing punches at each other ever since.
Trump University, however, was a laughing stock long before Arnie made fun of it in his commencement speech. It opened its doors in 2005 and shut down only five years later. Many experts described it as a scam, and Trump eventually had to cash out $25 million to settle lawsuits he was facing while running this institution.