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Michelle Obama's PhD in law may be fake news but for fans 'she’s still the most intelligent First Lady ever!'

A spokeswoman for Obama told The Associated Press that she has not earned any new degrees since leaving the White House after FB posts falsely claimed she had
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

A number of posts have gone viral recently on social media with the fake claim that former first lady Michelle Obama had earned her Ph.D. degree since leaving the White House in 2017. “CONGRATULATIONS to Doctor Michelle Obama!!! Since her husband has been out of office, and her children out of the house, Mrs. Obama decided to complete her PHD in law. The most educated 1st lady ever, is a Black Queen! RESPECT,” a user posted on Facebook on June 27. “Former First Lady Michelle Obama. Since her husband has been out of office, and her children out of the house, Mrs. Obama decided to complete her PHD in law. The most educated 1st lady in the history of this nation. Congratulations Dr. Michelle Obama!!!” another user posted to The Barack H. Obama Fan Club Facebook group on June 22.

However, there were users who pointed out that there was no truth to the claim circulating on the internet. “This isn’t true. She actually got an honorary doctorate from Jackson State University after delivering their commencement speech. But she’s still the most intelligent First Lady ever!” commented one user. 

First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama participates in a panel discussion at Glamour Hosts "A Brighter Future: A Global Conversation on Girls' Education" with First Lady Michelle Obama at The Newseum on October 11, 2016 in Washington, DC.

While it is unclear as to what led the Facebook users to believe that the mother-of-two had earned a doctorate degree, A spokeswoman for Obama confirmed in an email to The Associated Press that she has not earned any new degrees since leaving the White House. 

Michelle earned two undergraduate degrees, in sociology and African-American studies, at Princeton University after passing out from Chicago Public Schools. She has revealed in multiple interviews, as well as her 2018 autobiography, 'Becoming,' that her high school counselor once told her that she was not “Princeton material” caused her to self-doubt, which ultimately motivated her to pursue further education. She attended Harvard Law School and earned her Juris doctor degree in 1988 after graduating from Princeton in 1985. 

After that joined the Sidley & Austin law firm in Chicago, where she met her husband, Barack Obama. After her husband was elected president, Michelle received multiple honorary degrees from universities where she gave commencement speeches. Several of them were honorary doctorates, including the ones from Oregon State University in 2012, Bowie State University in 2013 and Jackson State University in 2016.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle close the Obama Foundation Summit together on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology on October 29, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Getty Images)

Since exiting the White House, Barack and Michelle Obama have been busy negotiating a package deal for their respective autobiographies. Random House eventually won the bidding war with an overwhelming $65 million offer. Soon after that, she was busy writing her memoir which quickly became a bestseller. After that, she went on a book tour, promoting the fruit of her hard work, which became the subject of the Netflix documentary, 'Becoming.' She is also working with her husband for a big creative enterprise, which is a multimillion-dollar 2018 contract with Netflix to produce documentaries and scripted features. 

In her most recent interview with Harper's Bazaar magazine on June 22, 2020, Michelle told Shondra Rimes how she is working to make voting safe and accessible amid the election year COVID-19 outbreak.

"Nobody should have to choose between their health and making their voice heard. We all deserve safe ways to register and vote, which is why my nonpartisan," she said. "When We All Vote initiative is working overtime to ramp up efforts to expand access to vote by mail, early in-person voting, and online voter registration. People shouldn't have to endanger themselves or their families to participate in our democracy, especially when the public health risks can be so easily avoided and an election can still run smoothly and fairly. And as we've seen for years, options like voting by mail and early in-person voting help make voting easier for Americans of all walks of life."