Discovering Dian Fossey’s Educational Pathway: Where Did Dian Fossey Go to College?

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Where Did Dian Fossey Go to College

Dian Fossey, a world-renowned primatologist, was widely celebrated for her extensive study and conservation efforts of the mountain gorilla species in Rwanda. However, before she became a prominent figure in the field of primatology, she was a student, keen on understanding and exploring the complexities of the world. So, where did Dian Fossey go to college?

Dian Fossey’s College Journey

Dian Fossey pursued her higher education at San Jose State College (now San Jose State University), located in California. Fossey enrolled in the university in 1950, with a keen interest in pursuing a career in occupational therapy.

Fossey’s Impact on the Field of Occupational Therapy

Throughout her college years, Fossey passionately studied Occupational Therapy and graduated in 1954. Following her graduation, Fossey worked in various hospitals across the U.S. She used the knowledge she gained in college to positively influence the lives of many patients.

Transition to Primatology

While Fossey had initially focused her studies on occupational therapy, her life took a significant turn following a trip to Africa in 1963. It was there that she first encountered the mountain gorillas that would become the focus of her life’s work. Her interest piqued, Fossey decided to change her career path and delve into the world of primatology.

 Fossey’s Legacy

Dian Fossey’s educational journey, starting from her college days at San Jose State College, helped to mold her into the influential figure she became. Her initial studies in occupational therapy provided a foundation of discipline and determination that later served her well in her groundbreaking primate research.


Q: Where did Dian Fossey go to college?

A: Dian Fossey attended San Jose State College, now known as San Jose State University, located in California.

Q: What did Dian Fossey study in college?

A: Dian Fossey studied Occupational Therapy during her college years at San Jose State College.

Q: Did Dian Fossey’s college education influence her work in primatology?

A: While her initial studies were not directly related to primatology, the discipline and determination she developed during her college years played a significant role in her later research work with gorillas.

Q: Did Dian Fossey have any career before becoming a primatologist?

A: Yes, after graduating from college, Dian Fossey worked as an occupational therapist in several hospitals across the U.S.

Q: When did Dian Fossey start her work with gorillas?

A: Dian Fossey started her work with gorillas after a trip to Africa in 1963 sparked her interest in primatology.

Q: How did Dian Fossey contribute to gorilla conservation?

A: Dian Fossey played a significant role in the conservation of mountain gorillas through her extensive research and advocacy. She established the Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda and passionately campaigned against poaching.

Q: Where can I learn more about Dian Fossey’s work?

A: For more information about Dian Fossey’s work, you can visit the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International website.

Q: Is Dian Fossey’s college, San Jose State College, still operating?

A: Yes, San Jose State College is now known as San Jose State University and continues to be a prominent institution of higher education.

Q: How did Dian Fossey’s career transition from occupational therapy to primatology?

A: Fossey’s career transitioned into primatology following her trip to Africa in 1963, where she became fascinated with mountain gorillas.

Q: What is Dian Fossey most known for?

A: Dian Fossey is best known for her extensive research and conservation efforts towards the mountain gorilla species in Rwanda.