Elon Musk is one of the most famous entrepreneurs and innovators of our time. As the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, he is pushing the boundaries of sustainable transportation and space exploration. But how did he get his start? Many people wonder – did Elon Musk drop out of high school?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: No, Elon Musk did not drop out of high school. He graduated from Pretoria Boys High School in South Africa before moving to Canada at age 17.

In this comprehensive article, we will look at Elon Musk’s educational background in detail. We will cover where he went to school, what he studied, and whether he completed high school or dropped out.

We will also examine how his school experiences shaped his path to becoming a revolutionary businessman and engineer. Whether you are an admirer of Musk looking to learn more about his origins, or simply curious about the background of this iconic inventor, this article will provide a deep dive into his pre-college education.

Elon Musk’s Childhood and Early Education in South Africa

Elon Musk, the renowned entrepreneur and visionary behind companies like Tesla and SpaceX, had an interesting childhood and educational journey. Born in Pretoria, South Africa on June 28, 1971, Musk showed signs of brilliance from a young age.

Attended Pretoria Boys High School

Musk attended Pretoria Boys High School, one of the most prestigious schools in South Africa. Known for its rigorous academic curriculum and emphasis on discipline, the school played a significant role in shaping Musk’s early education.

Performed Well Academically

During his time at Pretoria Boys High School, Musk demonstrated exceptional academic performance. He was known for his intelligence and curiosity, often standing out among his peers. His teachers recognized his potential and encouraged him to pursue his interests further.

In addition to excelling in his studies, Musk also participated in various extracurricular activities. He was part of the school’s debate team and showed a knack for public speaking and persuasive argumentation.

Developed Interest in Computing and Technology

It was during his time at Pretoria Boys High School that Musk developed a keen interest in computing and technology. He taught himself computer programming and soon became fascinated by the possibilities it offered. This early passion laid the foundation for his future endeavors in the tech industry.

Musk’s journey from a high school student in South Africa to a global tech icon is an inspiring story of determination and innovation. Despite dropping out of Stanford University to pursue entrepreneurial ventures, he has become one of the most influential figures in the world of technology and innovation.

If you’re interested in learning more about Elon Musk’s early life and education, you can visit the official website of Pretoria Boys High School at https://www.pbhs.co.za/.

Did Elon Musk Drop Out of High School?

Elon Musk, the renowned entrepreneur and visionary behind companies like Tesla and SpaceX, is often hailed as a genius and innovator. With his impressive track record, many people wonder about his educational background and whether he dropped out of high school.

Let’s delve into the facts and dispel any misconceptions.

Graduated in 1989

Contrary to popular belief, Elon Musk did not drop out of high school. In fact, he completed his high school education and graduated in 1989 from Pretoria Boys High School in South Africa. Musk demonstrated his brilliance even at a young age, showing his exceptional aptitude for mathematics and science.

No Evidence of Dropping Out

There is no evidence to support the claim that Elon Musk dropped out of high school. In fact, Musk went on to pursue higher education after completing his high school studies. He attended the University of Pretoria for a brief period before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania in the United States.

Received Awards Upon Graduation

Upon graduating from high school, Elon Musk received several awards and accolades for his academic achievements. He was recognized with the Pretoria Boys High School’s highest honor, the Victor Ludorum, for his outstanding performance in both academics and sports.

This recognition further showcases Musk’s dedication and commitment to his studies.

Elon Musk’s Educational Path After High School

Moved to Canada at Age 17

After completing high school in South Africa, Elon Musk made a bold decision to move to Canada at the age of 17. He wanted to pursue his dreams and explore new opportunities in the field of technology and innovation.

This move marked the beginning of his remarkable journey towards becoming one of the most influential entrepreneurs of our time.

Briefly Attended Queen’s University in Ontario

Upon arriving in Canada, Musk briefly attended Queen’s University in Ontario. However, he quickly realized that the traditional education system was not aligned with his ambitious goals. Musk had a burning desire to revolutionize industries and make a significant impact on the world, which led him to seek alternative paths that would allow him to explore his entrepreneurial spirit.

Transferred to the University of Pennsylvania

Musk’s quest for knowledge and innovation eventually led him to transfer to the University of Pennsylvania. It was at this prestigious institution where he truly began to flourish. Musk pursued a degree in physics and economics, two disciplines that would lay the foundation for his future endeavors.

During his time at the University of Pennsylvania, Musk immersed himself in various projects and extracurricular activities, honing his skills and expanding his network.

Earned Two Bachelor’s Degrees

Elon Musk’s dedication and passion for learning resulted in him earning not just one, but two bachelor’s degrees. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the Wharton School.

This dual degree not only showcased Musk’s versatility and intellectual prowess but also set the stage for his future success in founding and leading multiple groundbreaking companies.

Elon Musk’s educational journey after high school was marked by his relentless pursuit of knowledge, his willingness to take risks, and his unyielding determination to make a difference in the world. It is important to note that education goes beyond formal degrees, and Musk’s ability to think outside the box and challenge the status quo has been instrumental in his incredible achievements.

How High School Shaped Elon Musk’s Future Success

Contrary to popular belief, Elon Musk did not drop out of high school. In fact, his high school experience played a significant role in shaping his future success. Musk attended Pretoria Boys High School in South Africa, where he developed a strong interest in reading and learning.

Developed Strong Interest in Reading and Learning

During his high school years, Musk immersed himself in a wide range of books, covering various subjects such as science, technology, and philosophy. This voracious appetite for knowledge laid the foundation for his future endeavors.

Musk’s love for reading and learning helped him develop a unique perspective and a deep understanding of complex concepts.

According to Musk, one of his favorite books during his high school days was “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams. This science fiction novel not only entertained him but also fueled his imagination and curiosity, instilling in him a sense of wonder about the possibilities of the universe.

Excelled in Math, Physics, Computer Programming

Musk’s high school education also provided him with a solid academic background. He excelled in subjects like math, physics, and computer programming, demonstrating his exceptional problem-solving skills from an early age.

His proficiency in math and physics allowed him to grasp complex scientific principles and apply them in practical ways. Musk’s aptitude for computer programming enabled him to develop a strong foundation in coding, which would prove invaluable in his future endeavors in the tech industry.

Built Foundations in Engineering and Technology

While in high school, Musk also participated in various engineering and technology-related activities. He was an active member of the school’s science club and participated in engineering competitions.

These experiences allowed him to gain hands-on experience and develop practical skills in building and creating.

Musk’s involvement in these extracurricular activities laid the groundwork for his future ventures in engineering and technology. It provided him with the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world problems, fostering his innovative thinking and problem-solving abilities.

Demonstrated Ambitious, Driven Personality

Even in high school, Musk exhibited a remarkable level of ambition and drive. He was known for his relentless pursuit of his goals and his unwavering determination to succeed. Musk’s high school years were marked by his involvement in various entrepreneurial ventures, which showcased his entrepreneurial spirit and his ability to think outside the box.

His experiences during this time taught him valuable lessons about resilience, perseverance, and the importance of taking risks. Musk’s high school years served as a training ground for his future endeavors, preparing him for the challenges he would face as an entrepreneur and visionary.


In summary, contrary to some misconceptions, Elon Musk did not drop out of high school. He completed his secondary education at Pretoria Boys High School in South Africa before moving to North America at 17.

His academic success and technology interests in high school paved the way for his extraordinary career. While Musk did not spend long in college before devoting himself to entrepreneurship full-time, he did earn two bachelor’s degrees.

The driven, gifted student who thrived on self-learning emerged in Elon Musk’s school days. His educational foundation enabled him to strive for innovation and achievement in business and technology. While an exceptional case, Musk’s trajectory demonstrates the value of striving for excellence early on.

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