Markwayne Mullin Is The Only Current Senator Without This Educational Achievement

Long before Markwayne Mullin became a U.S. senator, he was attending Missouri Valley College, in Marshall, Missouri, on a wrestling scholarship. According to the Sequoyah County Times, when his father became sick and the family business — Mullin Plumbing — began to falter, he made a hard decision. He left school in 1996 and returned to Westville, Oklahoma to help his family.

His wife, Christie, also left college to help out with the business, according to Mullin's Senate biography. They took a small company with six workers and in the next two decades turned it into a successful business, with more than 100 employees, per The Morris News. And while Mullin went back to school and earned an associate degree, when he became a senator in January 2023, he was the only one of the 100 members without at least a bachelor's degree, according to the Pew Research Center. Beyond that, 78 senators have at least one graduate degree.

He has a Construction Technology degree

More than a decade after leaving college to save his family's business, the Sequoyah County Times says Markwayne Mullin returned to school, attending the Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology. He earned an Associate Degree in Applied Science in Construction Technology, graduating in 2010. According to the OSU Institute of Technology website, the two-year degree "prepares students to join the workforce in the growing construction industry" through the "planning, designing, and delivery of construction projects."

Two years later, Mullin, a Republican, became the U.S. representative for Oklahoma's Second Congressional District, where he served for 10 years, according to the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. While there, he was not the only one without a bachelor's degree. In the House of Representatives, there is a larger percentage of members without a bachelor's degree — which is the highest degree attainable as an undergraduate — compared to the Senate. Per the Pew Research Center, 7% of Republicans and 5% of Democrats in the House don't have one.

He's more in line with the public

The senators and representatives in Congress have a higher level of education than Americans in general, according to the Pew Research Center. Based on 2021 figures, more than half — nearly 52% — of all Americans 25 and older have neither an associate's nor a bachelor's degree, per U.S. Census data. Senator Markwayne Mullin is in the 10.5% of Americans who attained an associate degree as their highest education level. When looking at the universities members of Congress graduated from, U.S. senators skew heavily to such Ivy League institutions as Harvard (13%), Yale (9%), and Georgetown (7%). 

Mullin may not have earned a bachelor's degree, but that hasn't stopped him from being a successful businessman. Besides Mullin Plumbing, he owns Mullin Environmental, which is a trucking company, a cattle ranch, and a steakhouse, among other ventures, according to his Senate biography. He's worth between $31.6 and $75.6 million, according to The New Republic.