Carrie Underwood had already become a household name by the time she graduated college on May 6, 2006.

Underwood had already been crowned American Idol's Season 4 champion when she graduated from Northeastern State University magna cum laude, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communications with an emphasis in journalism.

Underwood was only three credits shy of her college degree when she pulled out of school to pursue a new career path on the reality singing competition. She became Idol's first country winner on May 25, 2005, and in recognition of all of her practical experience on television, NSU decided to give Underwood the last three credits she needed to earn her degree.

“I’ve obviously done enough with television,” she told People magazine. “There was my internship right there!”

Underwood had already launched her first major concert tour when she returned to Oklahoma for her graduation ceremony, but she didn't want to do any interviews on the big day so she wouldn't detract from the occasion for the other graduates.

Underwood had ambitions to be a TV news anchor, but she was diverted from that dream when her debut album, Some Hearts, became a huge hit in 2006, scoring No. 1 hits with "Jesus, Take the Wheel," "Don't Forget to Remember Me," "Wasted" and "Before He Cheats." She has gone on to build one of the biggest careers in contemporary country music, as well as establish a happy family life.

PICTURES: See Inside Carrie Underwood's Beautiful Post-'American Idol' Home

Carrie Underwood invested her money wisely after winning American Idol in 2005. One of her first big purchases was a 3,099-square-foot home in the well-to-do Nashville suburb of Franklin, Tenn. Underwood paid $384,000 for a luxurious 3-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom stone and stucco home in a private gated community.

The house features a library, a vaulted ceiling and lovely amenities throughout, but while it's very nice, it's certainly not the kind of home you'd picture for a budding country superstar. Underwood wound up being a huge success right out of the gate with her debut album, Some Hearts, and she sold the home in Franklin for $372,500 in 2007, when she purchased the Brentwood mansion that she would later share with her husband, Mike Fisher.

Gallery Credit: Sterling Whitaker

See Inside Carrie Underwood's Nashville Mansion

Carrie Underwood and husband Mike Fisher sold their 7,000-square-foot Brentwood, Tenn., home for $1,410,000 in March of 2019, and pictures reveal a spectacular mansion worthy of one of country music's biggest stars.

Gallery Credit: Sterling Whitaker

PICTURES: Look Inside Carrie Underwood + Mike Fisher's Spectacular Ottawa Mansion

Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher built a spectacular rural estate in Ottawa when they first married, and pictures show a property that is luxurious, but also rustic.

Gallery Credit: Sterling Whitaker

Top 50 Carrie Underwood Songs — Her Greatest Hits and Best Album Cuts

Carrie Underwood's best songs and biggest hits, ranked by fans, Taste of Country staff and industry experts, with additional consideration given to commercial success and live performances. These are Carrie Underwood's Top 50 songs!

36 Photos of Carrie Underwood Young

Carrie Underwood is undeniably one of the most popular musicians on the planet, with a quick rise to stardom after winning American Idol in 2005. Eight Grammys and countless ACM and CMA Awards later, Underwood is still releasing music and touring. Let's take a look at Carrie Underwood when she was young, before we met her and when we first got to know this star.

Gallery Credit: Evan Paul