What College Did Albert Einstein Attend?

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Albert Einstein attended college at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School, later renamed the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in 1911, following official designation 2 years earlier as a university. Despite ultimately proving tremendously intelligent, Einstein showed little promise as a serious student. Einstein applied for the university without a high school diploma, and received acceptance on the basis of his math and physics skills.

Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879 in Germany. He spent his childhood in Germany, along with his mother, salesman father and younger sister, Maria. Einstein showed few hints of extraordinary intellect early on, and even struggled in school. He recalls developing a fascination with the mechanics of compasses at age 5, and delved into geometry at age 12. At one point, Einstein adopted devout religious beliefs, which he abandoned after realizing the limitations his faith placed on his scientific studies. Einstein began his academic career at the Luitpold Gymnasium, but disliked the style of education taught there. Einstein showed little motivation and enthusiasm for learning, and eventually left for a boarding school. Einstein dropped out of school before earning a high school diploma. He applied for the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School, which accepted Einstein’s application on the basis of his outstanding math and physics scores on the entrance exam. Einstein failed other subjects, including biology, French and chemistry. He entered the college on the basis that he first go back to receive a high school diploma, which he did.