Time and time again, the story of young actors and actresses dropping out of school to go and wait tables in Hollywood until they are discovered is heard over and over again. For this reason, the public is often surprised to hear that their favorite celebrities have college or universities degrees. They are even more shocked when their favorite musicians or actors have masters degrees. Even rarer than that is when celebrities have PhDs. PhDs are the highest level of education that can be received in a field of study. A PhD requires intense study on the topic followed by original research and the composition of a dissertation. The PhD candidate must devote himself wholeheartedly to their study and with unfailing concentration. This type of work often takes many years to complete. Yet it is achieved by a few celebrities. The stereotypical image of a PhD candidate is often that of a nerd and certainly not that of a celebrity. This is maybe why universities with celebrity alumni often solicit the help of their former students for advertising their schools. A famous example is James Franco’s ads for UCLA stating that “Even A listers can get As”. Education and fame do not often go hand in hand but it is very inspiring to see celebrities return to school and praise education. After all, it takes a certain level of skill and intelligence to make it in Hollywood. Here is a list of 7 celebrities who have and are working towards completing their PhDs.
7 Bill Cosby- PhD in Education
One of the most recognisable faces on television is also the recipient of a PhD. Bill Cosby graduated in 1976 with a doctorate in education. Cosby is an American actor, author, television producer, musician and activist. After the Bill Cosby Show left the air, Cosby started his graduate studies at the University of Massachusetts. Because of his previous experiences, he applied for a special program for students who have not completed their undergraduate degrees but who have made a special impact on society through their careers. As part of his studies, he wrote a dissertation on one of his shows entitled An Integration of the Visual Media Via Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids Into the Elementary School Curriculum as a Teaching Aid and Vehicle to Achieve Increased Learning. Since then, he has received honorary degrees from more than a dozen colleges and universities, including nine doctoral degrees!
6 Mayim Bialik-PhD in Neuroscience
5 James Franco- Working Towards a PhD in English
4 Ken Jeong- Medical Doctor
3 Shaquille O’Neal- PhD in Education
2 Miuccia Prada- PhD in Political Science
1 Brian May-PhD in Astrophysics
Brian May is famous for being the lead guitarist and songwriter for the successful rock band Queen. His musical talents earned him the title of ‘Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire’ in 2005 for his services to the music industry and his charity work. May graduated from Imperial College with a BSc Honours degree with majors in mathematics and physics. He then continued to study at Imperial College for his PhD program from where he graduated in 2008 at the Royal Albert Hall. His thesis which took over 30 years to research and was entitled “A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud”. He continues to write papers and dissertations on new developments in his field. On June 18, 2008 an asteroid was named “52665 Brianmay” after him. Until last year, he held the role of Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University. To this day, he continues to perform. Most recently May and his Queen band mates joined Adam Lambert in performing at the iHeart Radio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. He has been noted as looking the most like scientist Isaac Newton but Brian May is probably the coolest astrophysicist ever!