Elijah Muhammad, age 13, graduated earlier this month like many other of his peers. However, instead of finishing his middle school career with others his age, Muhammad earned a college degree from Oklahoma City Community College in computer science and cybersecurity. And, he did with a 3.8-grade point average!
Not only did he earn his associate degree and become the youngest graduate in history at Oklahoma City Community College, but Muhammad also completed the 2-year degree in only 9 months. According to The Oklahoman, Muhammad took 37 credit hours in one semester as part of his fast track to graduation.
“We did not initially intend for him to take that many hours,” his father, Elijah Muhammad, told The Oklahoman. “What happened was he kept knocking the classes out, and he was like ‘Dad, I’m bored and I’m done.'”
And that’s not all. The 13-year-old has also earned three college mastery diplomas and a variety of computer science certifications (including an IBM Cybersecurity Analyst certification and Google IT certification), and he’s already working towards his bachelor’s degree at Oklahoma State University in cybersecurity and forensics.
And to make this occasion even more special, he got to share the graduation stage with his 19-year-old brother, also named Elijah.
But, how does someone this young get involved in coursework and a career normally pursued by much older students?
“My dad has a homeschool program called Pro One Collegiate Academy, and it basically accelerates your learning into things that you’re interested in,” he told “Good Morning America.” “So, since I was interested in cybersecurity, it accelerated me in that and I was able to go to college early.”
Going after high academic achievement is a family thing, though. The youngest Elijah followed in the footsteps of his older sister Shania, age 15, who has earned two associate degrees from two different schools and just this month completed her bachelor of arts degree from Langston University. (Graduating with her associate degree at age 14, she was the previous youngest degree-earner at Oklahoma City Community College.)
But, it’s not all work and no play for the youngest scholar in the Muhammad family.
“As many accomplishments as I have, I still go swimming, go outside, play basketball and still have fun and stuff,” he told KOCO.