What Was Michael Jordan's College GPA? Here's What We Know

The world might argue about everything from pineapple on pizza to whether or not cereal or milk should come first, but there's one truth nearly everyone can agree on: Michael Jordan is the greatest of all time. The basketball GOAT stands in a league of his own, racking up more accolades in his 15 NBA seasons than most players can dream of. But while MJ was dunking his way on the court, was he also acing his way through school? Spoiler alert — he did not have straight A's.

Jordan's NBA career was relatively short compared to today's greats like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, both of whom played for two decades or more. Yet, in those 15 seasons, the retired athlete managed to outshine pretty much everyone else. Rookie of the Year Award, five MVP titles, six championships, 14 All-Star selections — the list goes on. Even his rivals couldn't help but bow down to him, with Larry Bird famously quipping that he was "God disguised as Michael Jordan."

When it came to academics, though, let's just say Jordan wasn't exactly a valedictorian. Sure, his athletic prowess earned him a scholarship in college, but it's not like he was breezing through his chemistry exams. His passion for basketball overshadowed his academic commitments, leading to his early exit from college (he did eventually go back to get that degree, so props to him for that). While it's widely reported that he had a near-genius 4.5 GPA, some accounts say he barely scraped by with a 2.5.

Michael Jordan was a mediocre student

Michael Jordan might be a superstar on the court, but as a student? Not so much. In high school, he was so fixated on honing his basketball skills that he often ditched classes to hit the gym, often practicing solo. By ninth grade, his antics caught up with him, resulting in a suspension. "I asked him what his goal was. He said it was college," his father, James Raymond Jordan, told The Washington Post in an interview. "I just looked at him and said, 'Well, the way you're going, it's not going to happen. No way.'"

That reality check was what Jordan needed to make a change. His mother, Deloris Jordan, wasn't having any of his nonsense either. She made sure he got his act together, with Jordan telling GQ, "My mother takes me to her job and has me sit in the car, that hot car, all day doing my homework. If there is a most likely to succeed, I was the least." Thanks to his parents' tough love, he became a B+ student in high school. And while there are conflicting reports, during his undergraduate years, he maintained a modest 2.5 GPA, according to the 1984 write-up by The Post. And despite the skeptics, he went on to become the greatest player ever — and that's according to the NBA itself.

"Everybody in Wilmington expected me to go to North Carolina, sit on the bench for four years, then go back to Wilmington and work at the local gas station," he recalled. But we all know how that turned out.

He reportedly went back to college to finish his degree

Michael Jordan didn't get to see college through the first time because he dropped out to chase his NBA dreams, much to his mother's dismay. She wanted him to go back and finish his degree, and — surprise, surprise — he actually did. He returned to North Carolina in 1986 and finally got his geography degree in the summer of that year. Funnily, when asked what he would do with a degree so far removed from professional basketball, he told GQ just one thing, "Travel."

But here's the kicker: he didn't just pick geography on a whim. He took up the course because, get this — he wanted to be a weatherman. In 2015, he revealed to a group of students at a basketball camp that he had a hidden desire to be able to tell people in advance if it was going to rain or shine. "I went to college. I got my degree in coastal geography. Everybody wants to know: What's coastal geography? Well, it's an introduction to meteorology. I always wanted to be the weatherman," he shared, according to The Washington Post. "Don't laugh. It's funny, but that's what I really wanted to do. So if I wasn't playing basketball or baseball, I was gonna tell you what the weather's going to be like tomorrow."