Celebrities with degrees: Where do the stars go to college?

Explore the universities celebrities attended and learn more about their educational background.

When you think of celebrities, you often associate them with fame, fortune, and a life dedicated to their craft. However, not all celebrities have taken the traditional path. Many of them have pursued higher education, studying a wide range of subjects that may surprise you. In this article, we will explore the top 23 celebrities who have earned college degrees and discover the fascinating fields they studied.

Universities Celebrities Attended

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1. Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik, known for her role as Amy Farrah Fowler on the hit TV show "Big Bang Theory," is more than just an actress. She holds a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Bialik's research focused on obsessive-compulsive disorder among individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome, a rare genetic condition. Her dedication to both acting and academia showcases her intellectual prowess.

2. Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler is a household name in the world of comedy and entertainment. But before making audiences laugh, he pursued his passion for performing arts at New York University. Sandler earned a Master's in Fine Arts, honing his skills and paving the way for his successful career. Today, he not only acts but also owns his own production company, Happy Madison Productions.

3. Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria, best known for her role as Gabrielle Solis on "Desperate Housewives," has a background that extends beyond acting. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Longoria's educational journey in the study of body movement mechanics showcases her dedication to both physical fitness and the arts.

4. John Legend

John Legend's soulful voice has captivated audiences worldwide. But before he rose to stardom, he pursued higher education at the University of Pennsylvania. Legend graduated with a Bachelor's degree in English. His love for literature and language shines through in his heartfelt lyrics, earning him numerous accolades in the music industry.

5. Julia Stiles

Julia Stiles made a name for herself in Hollywood with her roles in films like "10 Things I Hate About You" and "Save the Last Dance." But her dedication to education led her to Ivy League school Columbia University, where she earned a Bachelor's degree in English. Stiles' passion for storytelling and literature is evident in her choice of study.

6. Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman is not only a talented actress but also an intellectual powerhouse. Despite her early success in the entertainment industry, Portman prioritized education and attended Harvard University. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, showcasing her commitment to expanding her knowledge beyond the silver screen. Portman's decision to pursue higher education while at the peak of her acting career highlights her dedication to personal growth.

7. Rashida Jones

Rashida Jones, known for her roles in "Parks and Recreation" and "The Office," has an impressive academic background. She attended Harvard University with the intention of becoming a lawyer. However, her perspective shifted during the O.J. Simpson trial, prompting her to pursue a different path. Jones graduated with a degree in Comparative Religion and went on to achieve success in the entertainment industry.

8. Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell is renowned for his comedic performances in movies like "Anchorman" and "Step Brothers." However, his education is lesser-known. Ferrell graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Sports Information. Although the program is no longer offered, Ferrell's experience in the field contributes to his comedic repertoire, showcasing his versatility as an entertainer.

9. Danica McKellar

Danica McKellar, beloved for her role as Winnie Cooper on the TV show "The Wonder Years," is not only an actress but also an accomplished mathematician. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), with a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics. McKellar has even authored several books aimed at inspiring young girls to pursue STEM fields.

10. Rebel Wilson

Rebel Wilson is known for her comedic roles in films like "Pitch Perfect" and "Bridesmaids." However, she initially pursued a different career path. Wilson earned a degree in Law from the University of New South Wales in Australia. Despite her success in the entertainment industry, Wilson's educational background showcases her dedication to intellectual pursuits.

11. Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields achieved fame as a model and actress from a young age. However, she also prioritized education and attended Princeton University. Shields graduated with a degree in Romance Languages, demonstrating her commitment to both her craft and intellectual development.

12. Dolph Lundgren

Dolph Lundgren is known for his action-packed roles in films like "Rocky IV" and "Universal Soldier." However, before his acting career took off, Lundgren pursued higher education. He earned a Master's degree in Chemical Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. Lundgren's academic achievements highlight his dedication to intellectual pursuits alongside his successful acting career.

13. Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett is a highly acclaimed actress known for her powerful performances in films like "What's Love Got to Do with It" and "Black Panther." She studied at the Yale School of Drama, earning a Master's degree in Fine Arts. Bassett's educational background showcases her commitment to honing her craft and becoming a versatile performer.

14. David Duchovny

David Duchovny became a household name for his role as Fox Mulder in the iconic TV series "The X-Files." But his academic pursuits go beyond the paranormal. Duchovny earned a Bachelor's degree in English Literature from Princeton University and later pursued a PhD in English Literature at Yale University. His educational background adds depth to his acting career and showcases his intellectual interests.

15. Lisa Kudrow

Lisa Kudrow's portrayal of Phoebe Buffay on the hit TV show "Friends" is beloved by millions. However, Kudrow's education is equally impressive. She graduated from Vassar College with a Bachelor's degree in Biology. Kudrow's academic background adds a layer of complexity to her comedic performances and exemplifies her multifaceted talents.

16. Emma Watson

Known for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series, Emma Watson is also a dedicated scholar. She split her time between film projects and education from 2011 to 2014, eventually graduating from Brown University with a bachelor's degree in English Literature. Her commitment to learning, just like her character Hermione, is truly inspiring.

17. David Spade

Comedy actor David Spade, famous for his roles in movies and TV shows like "Joe Dirt" and "Just Shoot Me," is an alumnus of Arizona State University. He graduated with a business degree, which may have contributed to his success in navigating the entertainment industry.

18. Bradley Cooper

Hollywood heartthrob Bradley Cooper, known for his roles in films like "Silver Linings Playbook" and "American Sniper," is a Georgetown University graduate. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, which could explain his knack for choosing scripts with depth and substance.

19. Gabrielle Union

Actress Gabrielle Union, renowned for her roles in "Bring It On" and "Being Mary Jane," studied sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her educational background might have influenced her ability to portray a wide range of characters with authenticity and depth.

20. James Franco

Known for his roles in "Spider-Man" and "127 Hours," James Franco is a lifelong learner. He attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for his undergraduate degree in English. He later studied filmmaking at New York University and fiction writing at Brooklyn College and Columbia University. His extensive education might be the secret behind his versatility as an actor.

21. Rowan Atkinson

Famous for his iconic roles as Mr. Bean and Blackadder, Rowan Atkinson studied electrical engineering at Newcastle University and then pursued a Master's degree in the same field at The Queen's College, Oxford. This scientific background provides an interesting contrast to his comedic genius.

22. Ken Jeong

Before he was making people laugh in "The Hangover" and "Community," Ken Jeong was studying at Duke University, where he completed his undergraduate studies. He then obtained his medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His unique journey from doctor to comedian sets him apart in Hollywood.

23. Gerard Butler

Known for his roles in "300" and "P.S. I Love You," Gerard Butler is a graduate of the University of Glasgow, where he studied law. However, his passion for acting led him to Hollywood, where he enjoyed a successful career. His education might have contributed to his ability to take on diverse roles with ease.


These 23 celebrities prove that education and pursuing higher learning can complement a successful career in the entertainment industry. From PhDs to Ivy League degrees, these individuals showcase their intellectual prowess alongside their artistic talents. Their educational backgrounds not only contribute to their personal growth but also add depth to their performances, making them truly remarkable individuals in both the academic and entertainment worlds.

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