Leadership & Governance

College Professors Who Have Served in Congress

June 11, 2014

More than 300 college professors have served in Congress since 1774, according to an analysis of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. This list, which is not exhaustive, consists of those whose official bios included the word "professor," "faculty," or "lecturer." Of those, 54 percent have been Democrats and 40 percent have been Republicans. The rest have been from other parties (including Independents and members of defunct parties, such as Whig and Federalist) or switched parties at least once during their terms.

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Note: This list includes anyone who served as a college instructor at any level—including adjuncts, lecturers, and visiting professors—before they became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives or Senate. The list excludes those who taught at the college level only after beginning their terms in Congress, since their teaching roles often reflect colleges' interest in their professional experience as legislators rather than any professional experience as scholars. This list notes the fields in which professors taught and the colleges where they worked, when available; it does not note administrative positions at colleges.

Source: Analysis by The Chronicle of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

Justin Myers and Avi Wolfman-Arent contributed to this chart.