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TV Stars You Didn't Know Went To Ivy League Schools

While TV stars are known for their acting skills, many of them have some other hidden talents. For instance, some actors are seriously smart! Ivy League Schools such as Harvard, Yale, or Princeton are notoriously hard to get into and often require a demonstrated standard of academic excellence to be admitted.

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Those who do get in are then given an even more rigorous course load at their school of choice. Interestingly enough, a good chunk of TV stars were able to attend one of these prestigious institutions. Here's a list of some of the television stars you might not have known went to an Ivy League School.

10 John Krasinski - Brown

John Krasinski made his mark on the TV world after starring in the wildly successful sitcom The Office as one of the main characters, Jim Halpert. Before his career took off, however, he thrived at Brown University. The smart guy taught English in Costa Rica for a while before attending college. He then studied theater and graduated with honors in 2001.

While juggling his schoolwork at Brown, he interned on the show Late Night With Conan O'Brien. He was even able to appear in some sketches, no doubt helping to prepare for his future in comedy!

9 Mindy Kaling - Dartmouth

Another Office alum, Mindy Kaling portrayed Kelly Kapoor on the sitcom before going on to star in her own show, The Mindy Project. Mindy wasn't just an actor on these shows, she was also one of the main writers. Mindy certainly had the credentials, seeing as she earned a degree in playwriting from Dartmouth College.

She graduated in 2001 and even returned to her alma mater in 2018 to deliver a humorous and heartwarming commencement address to the graduates of that year. Mindy has gone on to write two bestselling books as well as score roles in major films.

8 David Duchovny - Princeton and Yale

That's right, Princeton and Yale! The X-Files star received his undergraduate degree in English Literature from Princeton University. He also played basketball for the prestigious school. When David was cast as FBI agent Fox Mulder, he was working toward his M.A. in English Literature from Yale. He has since obtained the degree and has started up course work at Yale to receive his Ph.D.

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Fun fact: the title of his doctoral thesis is Magic and Technology in Contemporary Fiction and Poetry. He has also written three books and even portrayed a novelist on the show Californication.

7 Rashida Jones - Harvard

Those Office actors seem to be a smart bunch! Before her stint on the sitcom and playing Ann Perkins on the show Parks and Recreation, Rashida Jones studied at Harvard.  She graduated with a degree in religion and philosophy in 1997 but was also active with performing and writing opportunities on campus.

She was part of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the Harvard Radcliffe Dramatic Club, the Signet Society, the Black Student Association, and served as musical director for the acapella group "The Opportunes." She also performed in multiple school plays.

6 Aisha Tyler - Dartmouth

Funny gal Aisha Tyler may be a natural performer now, but before her career took off she had considered performing as just a fun hobby! The Whose Line is it Anyway? host graduated from Dartmouth in 1992 with a degree in Environmental Policy.

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She was a member of the co-ed fraternity "The Tabard" and co-founded an all-female acapella group called the Dartmouth Rockapella's, where the goal was to spread social awareness through song. After graduation, Aisha finally stared purusing an acting career and moved to Los Angeles in 1996.

5 Ellie Kemper - Princeton

We swear this is the last Office actor on the list! Ellie Kemper, who most recently starred in her own Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, is a Princeton alum. She graduated with a degree in English in 2002. Although she initially played for the school's field hockey team, she eventually dropped the sport in order to have more time to pursue performance-related activities on campus.

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She was not only a part of Princeton's improv comedy troupe, but she was also a member of a musical comedy group called The Princeton Triangle Club.

4 Tracee Ellis Ross - Brown

While Tracee Ellis Ross may be known as the comedic genius who has starred on shows like Girlfriends and Black-ish, she was also pretty serious about her studies! Tracee attended prestigious schools all of her life, attending The Dalton School in Manhattan, Riverdale Country Day School in the Bronx, and the Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland.

She went on to study theater at Brown University and starred in lots of school plays before graduating in 1994. In 2015, Brown awarded the actress with an honorary doctorate. Tracee tweeted that she was "humbled and thrilled" to receive the degree.

3 Julie Bowen - Brown

Though Julie Bowen is hilarious starring as Claire Dunphy on the hit sitcom Modern Family, she also has hobbies and interests that have nothing to do with performing. In fact, she graduated from Brown University in 1991 with a degree in Italian Renaissance studies! She even spent her entire junior year in Florence, Italy.

Although that country was her main interest at the time, performing was still a part of her life all throughout college. She starred in the school's productions of Guys and Dolls, Stage Door, and Lemon Sky. She also studied at the Actor's Institute to hone her skills.

2 Angela Bassett - Yale

Angela Basset is a phenomenal actress, so it's no surprise that she has a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of Drama. For her undergraduate degree, which she also received from Yale, she majored in African American studies and graduated in 1980. She was determined to be an actress, however, and pursued her Masters despite her father warning her not to "waste her Yale education on theatre."

Seeing how successful she is now, it's clear her education was not wasted! In 2018, Yale awarded Angela with an honorary doctorate degree.

1 Connie Britton - Dartmouth

You may think you know Connie Britton from Nashville and Friday Night Lights, but there are a lot of layers to the gal! For instance, did you know she majored in Asian studies (with a Chinese concentration) at Dartmouth? In fact, Connie even studied abroad in Beijing for a time. Even wackier? Her roommate in Beijing was U.S. Senator Kristin Gillibrand!

Connie couldn't forget how much she loved doing school plays in high school, however, and after graduating from Dartmouth in 1989, she moved to New York City to pursue her acting dreams.

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