15 Celebrities With Degrees That May Change Some Perspectives

Jordan Claes
The Rock in the Iron Paradise
instagram | @therock

We tend to view celebrities as being one-dimensional beings. But just because they happened to find fame in front of a camera, doesn't mean that they didn't at one time aspire for something more.

Below is a list of 15 celebrities with professional degrees. Needless to say, their educational accolades are bound to shift and change some perspectives held by the vast majority of fans.

Shaquille O'Neal has a Ph.D. in Education.

Shaq lying down
instagram | @shaq

Nearly 17 years after Shaq left college early to become eligible for the NBA Draft, he returned to school to complete his Ph.D. in Education. That's right, Big Diesel is a doctor — as well as an NBA Champion, a Finals MVP, and an All-Star.

Rebel Wilson has a Law degree.

Rebel Wilson on football field
instagram | @rebelwilson

Rebel obtained her Bachelor of Law degree from UNSW Sydney. She was given the opportunity to put it to good use when she fought the MPAA in order to obtain a PG-13 rating for her film, The Hustle.

Carrie Underwood graduated magnum cum laude from Northeastern University.

Carrie Underwood at predators game
Giphy | NHL

Carrie was a mere three credits shy from graduating from Northeastern when she withdrew to participate on Season 4 of American Idol. She obtained her degree a year later in the field of Mass Communications, with an emphasis in Journalism.

Queen guitarist, Brian May, has a Pd.D. in Astrophysics.

“When I was about to finish my thesis, it was just the beginnings of Queen and I had to make that choice," May told Time. "And my choice was made on the assumption that I wasn’t very good at physics and I might be quite good at music.”

Eva Longoria has a Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology.

Eva Longoria in sweats
instagram | @evalongoria

Not only does the former Desperate Housewives star have a degree in Kinesiology, but she also obtained a Master's degree in Chicano Studies from her alma mater, Texas A&M University.

Rashida Jones has a degree in Comparative Religion.

Rashida Jones saying "Hell yes."
Giphy |

Rashida didn't go to any old University, she actually attended Harvard! While there, Rashida became involved with a wide array of campus activities — including the drama club as well as the school's acapella group.

Wladimir Klitschko has a Ph.D. in Sports Science.

klitschko boxing
instagram | @klitschko

At one point in time, former Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko was considered to be one of the baddest and most dangerous men on the planet. He is the first and only boxing world champion to obtain a Ph.D.

Rowan Atkinson studied Electrical Engineering at Oxford.

Mr. bean raising eyebrows
Giphy | Working Title

Rowan Atkinson is better known to the world as the beloved silent comic, Mr. Bean. Before his big break, Rowan began studying electrical engineering at the University of Newcastle. Afterward, he began a Master's program at Oxford.

Mayim Bialik has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience

Mayim Bialik selfie
instagram | @missmayim

"I studied neuroscience as my undergraduate degree," Mayim told USA TODAY. "I did a minor in Hebrew and Jewish studies, which kept my GPA up and therefore my morale because science was still really hard for me. I was a late bloomer."

Lisa Kudrow has a degree in Biology from Vassar College.

Lisa Kudrow hands on hips
instagram | @lisakudrow

Don't let the zany character of Phoebe Buffay fool you, Lisa Kudrow is one smart cookie in real life. Before discovering her love for acting, Lisa had dreams of becoming a medical researcher — just like her father.

James Franco has a Master's Degree in Fine Arts as well as a Ph.D. in English.

James Franco making funny face
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James Franco is a true Renaissance Man. He's widely regarded as one of the most intellectual men in Hollywood, boasting a plethora of academic accolades. All in all, James has a total of seven different degrees.

Ken Jeong is an MD.

Ken Jeong eating cashews
instagram | @kenjeong

During an interview with NPR, Keb said "During the day, I was a doctor. At night, you know, I was a comic. And it was really just to let off some steam. It just became my golf, you know, in many ways. Most doctors have golf as a hobby. Mine was doing comedy."

Natalie Portman has a B.A. in Psychology.

Natalie POrtman in 'Black Swan'
Giphy | foxhorror

Not long before Natalie Portman became a household name, thanks largely to her role in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, she was living in a Harvard dormitory, studying psychology. At that point, Natalie could've done anything but chose to focus on her education.

David Duchovny graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English Literature from Princeton University.

After David completed his studies at Princeton, he then moved on to Yale to begin his Ph.D. but never completed his thesis. The former X-Files star is also a published author, several times over.

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson earned his degree in Criminology at the University of Miami.

The Rock lifting weights
instagram | @therock

The Rock is probably the last person you'd want sitting across the table from you in an interrogation room. But before he became known as "The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment," he dreamed of working for the CIA.

Yara Shahidi began to study interdisciplinary sociology back in 2018.

Yara Shahidi
instagram | @yarashahidi

And guess what? She's doing that at Harvard, which is one of the most prestigious schools in the entire world.

She is definitely going to conquer the world by storm.

Emma Watson pulled a Hermione and graduated in English literature back in 2014.

Watson attended Brown University, but it was difficult for her to go unnoticed.

"I wanted to pretend I wasn't as famous as I was. I was trying to seek out normality, but I kind of have to accept who I am, the position I'm in and what happened."

John Legend graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999

John Legend posing with his family
instagram | @johnlegend

He earned his bachelor’s degree in English with a focus on African American literature.

He even received an honorary degree, and delivered a heartwarming commencement address at the university.

Lionel Richie got an economics degree.

Lionel Richie
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He graduated from Tuskegee University in 1974. He was welcomed into the Alpha Nu Lambda Alumni chapter and a member of the band fraternity Kappa Kappa Psi!

Lupita Nyong’o has a bachelor's degree in film and African studies.

She studied and graduated from Hampshire College in 2007 before attending and graduating from the Yale School of Drama with a master's in acting in 2012.

Cole Sprouse earned a degree in archeology.

He graduated from New York University in 2015. Who knows, maybe he'll become the next Indiana Jones. It would certainly suit him!

Meghan Markle has a bachelor's in theater and international studies.

Meghan Markle
Giphy | BBC

Which if you ask me, is pretty spot-on for the actress and Duccess of Sussex. She graduated from Northwestern University in 2003. And the rest is history!

Taraji P. Henson has a drama degree.

She graduated from Howard University in 1995. Judging from her amazing acting skills, I think we can all agree that this was time well spent. We absolutely love watching her on screen.

Adam Sandler has a bachelor's in acting.

Adam Sandler
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Adam Sandler graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in 1988, and it's clear that it worked out for him. He's one of the most famous actors in the world thanks for his contribution to the world of comedy.

2 Chainz has a bachelor's in psychology

You may not believe it, but it's true! 2 Chainz graduated from Alabama University and even had a two-year career on the school's basketball team.

Wanda Sykes graduated in 1986 with a degree in marketing.

Wanda Sykes dancing
Giphy | Bounce

Wanda Sykes attended Hampton University. While she could have gone into the world of marketing, I have to admit that I'm very, very happy that she chose a life of comedy instead. She is too funny not to act.

Spike Lee graduated with a bachelor's in mass communications

Spike Lee and Steven Spielberg
instagram | @officialspikelee

He graduated Morehouse College in 1979, then went on to attend New York University's Tisch School of the Arts where he earned an MFA in film production. Needless to say, it worked out for the best.

Bradley Cooper has a bachelor's in English

Bradley Cooper
Giphy |

He graduated from Georgetown University in 1997. However, unlike his job on The Hangover, instead of pursuing the path of teaching, he chose to become an actor. I don't think anyone is sorry about that!

Sigourney Weaver has a bachelor's in literature

Sigourney Weaver
Giphy | Ghostbusters

She graduated from Stanford in 1971 and then went on to attend Yale University (another one of the best schools in the world) where she got a master's degree in acting.