We’ve all looked up to the rich and famous at some point in our lives as our role models, or as our idols. We wonder how they got to be where they are, and how extremely lucky these celebrities are, to live the high life. Now, most celebrities in this day and age, never even attended college, but still make the big bucks; an example being Amy Adams, who recently won a Golden Globe for her role in American Hustle.
However, there are a handful of celebrities that actually took the time and the hard work to get the degree of their choosing, to chase after the life they wanted. Some of their degrees are a little “off the wagon” of the direction it took them to later in life (but really, who actually uses their field of study in their work life anymore?). One of the most recent college grads was Emma Watson, who graduated from Brown University with a degree in English Literature; pretty awesome, right?
Now let’s take a look at some celebrities you never would have known attended school, and exactly where they got their degrees.
10. Natalie Portman, Harvard University – Psychology
The beautiful Natalie Portman (who just starred in the sequel of Thor) actually graduated from Harvard University, back in 2003. She graduated with an A.B. in Psychology. Portman told the New York Post “I don’t care if college ruins my career; I’d rather be smart than a movie star.” Looks like this pretty lady got two in one.
9. Carrie Underwood Northeastern, State University – Mass Communications
The extremely talented Carrie Underwood, who got her fame from the TV reality show, American Idol back in 2005, received a BA in Mass Communications from Northeastern State University. The reality show that helped kick off her stardom, even helped her check off a credit from her to-do list: it was used as an internship! Underwood was even a sorority girl, being a Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority.
8. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, University of Miami – General Studies
The Rock, also known as now as Dwayne Johnson, attended the University of Miami on a full ride scholarship to play Division 1 collegiate football (like we didn’t know from his physic). Johnson graduated from Miami in 1995, with a Bachelor of General Studies degree in Criminology and Physiology, and actually met his wife at the University of Miami, where she also graduated in 1992.
7. Eva Longoria, Texas A&M University – Kinesiology
Eva Longoria was a go-getter during her younger years through high school and college; she was born in Corpus Christi Texas, where she worked at a Wendy’s throughout high school. She later joined Texas A&M University-Kingsville, where she received her Bachelor of Science in kinesiology. She later went to get her Masters at the California State University, Northridge in 2013, where she got her degree in Chicano Studies, where her thesis was “The Value of Latinas in STEM Careers”, we’ve got a smart cookie on our hands.
6. James Franco, UCLA – English
James Franco didn’t always think he would make it in the Hollywood world. He had always wanted to be a marine zoologist, and signed up for UCLA courses as an English Major. However, he dropped out after his first year (against his parent’s wishes) to try and reach that acting status; of course, we all know how well he did in that department. It wasn’t until 2006, that Franco decided to re-enroll at UCLA in 2006 as an English Major with a Creative Writing concentration. He received his degree in 2008, and later went to grad school at Columbia University, to attend their MFA Writing Program.
5. Kourtney Kardashian, University of Arizona – Theatre Arts
Although you wouldn’t think that a beautiful Kardashian would have the smarts to make it through school, this ultimate diva did. Kourtney attended the University of Arizona, and graduated in May of 2002, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts, and a Minor in Spanish. She was also a sorority member of Alpha Phi.
4. Matthew McConaughey, University of Texas at Austin – Radio-Television-Film
After being voted “most handsome” at his high school in Longview, Texas, Matthew McConaughey went on to the University of Texas at Austin, where he joined the Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity, and made tons of friends. He also lived for a year as an exchange student in New South Wales, Australia, before graduating from Texas, with a Bachelor’s degree in Radio-Television-Film in 1993.
3. Michael Jordan, University of North Carolina – Geography
The incredibly famous Michael Jordan, attended the University of North Carolina back in 1984, and played basketball for them for three years, before leaving for the NBA draft. However, Michael returned to North Carolina, to finish his degree in Geography (who would have thought?) in 1986.
2. Tina Fey, University of Virginia – Drama
The hilariously talented Tina Fey, had attended the University of Virginia, determined to be a famous actress by the end of her college career. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in drama; where she also studied playwriting and acting as her emphasis, in 1992. Fey was also invited to come back in 2013, to give the inaugural address, to try and pump up the newly graduates, and give the Arts department more credit than they normally get.
1. Will Ferrell, University of Southern California – Sports Information
Another surprise celebrity that joined the college group was Will Ferrell. Ferrell enrolled at the University of Southern California, where he joined the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, and went to study Sports Broadcasting (could you imagine Will Ferrell keeping you updated with the latest sports games?). He graduated in 1990 with his Bachelor’s degree in Sports Information (after, of course, streaking through campus for his fraternity multiple times), but knew he didn’t like his choice in his profession. After wrecking a van by being a hotel valet on his first day, and coming up hundreds of dollars short as a Wells Fargo teller (just from being error prone), he decided to move to L.A. and become an actor.
It’s always great to look back and see where the people we idolize and wish we could be, grew up and experienced. There are handfuls of other actors that attended school and earned their Bachelor’s degrees, and decided to pursue the famous life. Looking at their educational biographies, it’s nice to know that we aren’t the only ones that made a couple of mistakes here or there, or took the hard path to get to where you want to be in life. These celebrities are awesome, and they have a degree (and a high profile career), to prove it.