Where Did JK Rowling Go To College

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Where Did JK Rowling Go To College? Born on July 31, 1965, Joanne Rowling CH OBE FRSL, also known by her pen name J. K. Rowling, is a British author and philanthropist. The seven-volume fantasy series Harry Potter, which ran from 1997 to 2007, was written by her. Over 600 million copies of the series have been sold, it has been translated into 84 languages, and it has inspired a global media franchise that includes video games and movies. Her first adult book was The Casual Vacancy (2012). Under the pen name Robert Galbraith, she writes the crime fiction series Cormoran Strike.

Early Life

Joanne Rowling was born on 31st July 1965 at Yate General Hospital near Bristol, and grew up in Gloucestershire in England and Chepstow, Gwent, in south-east Wales. Her mother, Anne, worked as a science technician in the Wyedean Comprehensive Chemistry department, where Jo attended school, and her father, Peter, was an aircraft engineer at the Bristol Rolls Royce factory.

When Jo was a teenager, Anne received a multiple sclerosis diagnosis. She passed away in 1990, just before the Harry Potter books were released. Jo has a younger sister named Di as well. Growing up, the young Jo was surrounded by books. “I was a bookworm,”. She wanted to be a writer from an early age. When she was six years old, she wrote “Rabbit,” a tale about a rabbit. Her first book, about seven cursed diamonds and their owners, was written when she was just eleven years old. She later described herself during this period as “the epitome of a bookish child – short and squat, thick National Health glasses, living in a world of complete daydreams”

Where Did JK Rowling Go To College

Early Education

  • Attended St Michael’s Primary School in Winterbourne, Gloucestershire, England
  • Received her secondary education at Wyedean School and College, a coeducational independent boarding school in Chepstow, Wales.
  • Excelled in English and French, demonstrating early signs of her literary talent.

College Education

  • She attended college at the University of Exeter from 1983 to 1986
  • Majored in French and minored in Classics.
  • Immersed herself in literature, studying works from various cultures and eras.
  • Her studies in Classics proved particularly influential, providing a foundation for the Latin-based spells and incantations that would later appear in the Harry Potter series.
  • Accumulated a £50 fine for overdue library books, a testament to her voracious reading habits.


J.K. Rowling’s career path is a testament to her dedication, resilience, and immense talent. From her early days as a struggling single mother to becoming one of the most successful authors of all time, her journey is an inspiration to aspiring writers and artists worldwide.

Early Career

  • After graduating from the University of Exeter with a degree in French and Classics, Rowling worked as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International.
  • During this period, she conceived the idea for the Harry Potter series while on a train journey in 1990.
  • Despite facing rejections from multiple publishers, she persevered and finally landed a publishing deal for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 1996.

The Harry Potter Phenomenon:

  • The publication of the first Harry Potter book in 1997 marked the beginning of a literary phenomenon.
  • The series went on to become a global bestseller, selling over 500 million copies and being translated into 80 languages.
  • Rowling penned six sequels, each capturing the hearts of millions of readers worldwide.
  • The series spawned a successful film franchise, further solidifying its cultural impact.

Beyond Harry Potter

  • While Harry Potter remains her most well-known work, Rowling has ventured into other genres.
  • She wrote The Casual Vacancy, a bestselling adult novel exploring social issues in contemporary Britain.
  • Under the pen name Robert Galbraith, she authored the Cormoran Strike crime fiction series.
  • She also penned Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a prequel to the Harry Potter series, which was later adapted into a successful film franchise.

Philanthropic Endeavors

  • Rowling’s success extends beyond the literary world.
  • She is a passionate philanthropist dedicated to various causes, particularly children’s welfare and social justice.
  • She founded Lumos, an international children’s charity fighting for every child’s right to a family.
  • She has also generously donated to various other philanthropic organizations and initiatives.

Awards and Recognition

J.K. Rowling’s remarkable career has garnered numerous awards and accolades, solidifying her status as a literary icon and a global phenomenon. Here’s a glimpse into some of the most prestigious honors she has received:

Literary Awards:

  • Carnegie Medal: Awarded for best children’s book published in the UK. Received twice, for “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (1997) and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (1999).
  • Nestlé Smarties Book Prize: Awarded to popular children’s books chosen by children themselves. Received for “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (1997).

British Book Awards: Recognized excellence in the UK book industry. Received multiple awards, including:

  • Author of the Year (1998 and 1999)
  • Children’s Book of the Year (2000 for “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” and 2006 for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”)
  • Book of the Decade (2007 for the Harry Potter series)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award (2008)
  • Hugo Award: Awarded for best science fiction or fantasy works. Received for “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (2001).
  • WH Smith’s Fiction Award: Awarded to the bestselling book in the UK. Received for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (2006).
  • International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award: Awarded to the best novel written in English. Shortlisted for “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (2002).
  • Blue Peter Gold Badge: Awarded to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to children’s lives. Received in 2007.
  • British Book Awards Crime and Thriller Award: Received for “Troubled Blood” (2021) under the pen name Robert Galbraith.

Other Honors

  • Order of the British Empire (OBE): Awarded for services to children’s literature in 2000.
  • Legion d’Honneur: Awarded by the French government for outstanding contributions to French culture. Received in 2009.
  • Hans Christian Andersen Award: Considered the highest international recognition for children’s writers. Received in 2010.
  • Prince of Asturias Award for Literature: Awarded for outstanding contributions to the field of literature. Received in 2003.
  • Honorary Degrees: Received from prestigious universities, such as the University of Exeter, University of Edinburgh, Harvard University, and more.

Additional Recognition

  • Listed as the wealthiest author in the world by Forbes magazine on several occasions.
  • Included in Time magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
  • Awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


J.K. Rowling’s time at the University of Exeter, where she majored in French and minored in Classics, played a crucial role in shaping her into the literary icon she is today. Her immersion in literature from various cultures and eras broadened her perspective and fueled her creativity. The knowledge gained in Classics, particularly Latin, proved invaluable in crafting the unique spells and incantations that became a hallmark of the Harry Potter series.

Therefore, while the specific location of her college may seem like a trivial detail, the University of Exeter offered J.K. Rowling a transformative environment that nurtured her talent and laid the foundation for her phenomenal literary achievements. Her journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring writers everywhere, demonstrating the power of education and passion in shaping a successful and impactful career.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.  Where did JK Rowling go to college?

 JK Rowling attended the University of Exeter in England.

2. What years did she attend?

 She attended the University of Exeter from 1983 to 1986.

3. What did she study?

 Rowling majored in French and minored in Classics.

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