Instagram | @missmayim

10+ Celebrities Fans May Be Interested To Learn Have PhDs

Anyone can be a celebrity these days.

There are those that the public doesn't think are worth their time, whether for being too young, or perhaps in their eyes, dumb.

However, there are the celebrities who are very smart, and have the PhDs to prove it.

Ken Jeong

Universal Pictures

He's mostly known as "that funny dude from the Hangover movies" or "that funny dude from Community."

But to those who know he went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Medicine, he's known as Doctor.

Rachel Maddow

Instagram | @maddowshow

There is nobody we'd want more to have a PhD than someone giving us the news.

Luckily, this MSNBC correspondent has a Doctor of Philosophy in politics from the University of Oxford.

Brian May

Instagram | @brianmayforreal

The legendary guitarist took almost 35 years to complete his PhD in astrophysics at the Imperial College in London.

Not because he was bad at school, but because most of his life was dominated by Queen.

Angela Merkel

She's had quite a career.

Not only is she now Chancellor of Germany, but in her youth, she got a doctorate degree for her research in quantum chemistry. She is smart af.

Mayim Bialik

Instagram | @missmayim

Oh yes, that's right,
Amy Farrah Fowler has a PhD.

It's in neuroscience, and interestingly enough she was the only one in the regular cast of Big Bang Theory who had a PhD.

Wladimir Klitschko

Instagram | @klitschko

He is a boxer from the Ukraine who is probably best known (besides, of course, for boxing) for dating Hayden Panettiere.

He also has a doctorate in sports science from Kiev University.

Miuccia Prada

Instagram | @whatmiuccia

She is the granddaughter of one Mario Prada, who you probably recognize by his last name. She has taken up the family name and now uses it as a doctor.

She has a PhD in political science from the University of Milan.

Robert Vaughn

Warner Bros.

He appeared in a whole lot of movies throughout his career.

But one thing you may not know about the actor is that he had a PhD in communications from the University of Southern California.

Peter Weller

Orion Pictures

He's probably best known as being Robocop in the original two Robocop movies.

But before he became everyone's favorite robot police officer he was getting a PhD studying the Italian Renaissance at UCLA.

Frank Ryan

Literally six months after he led the Cleveland Browns to a Championship in 1964, he completed a PhD in mathematics from Rice University.

Bet Browns fans wish they had him around today!

Brian Cox

He is now famous for doing all sorts of sciencey stuff on BBC, so it should come to no surprise that this guy has a PhD.

He has a Doctor of Philosophy in high-energy particle physics earned from the University of Manchester.

Martin Luther King Jr.

One of the greatest men in American history was also a doctor (which is why they always called him "Dr. King").

He had a doctorate in systematic theology from Boston University in Massachusetts.

James Franco

Instagram | @officialjamesfrancoo

Now this one comes as a surprise!

He was actually working on a PhD in English at Yale University a couple of years ago, which means soon we'll have to call him Dr. Franco.

Shaquille O’Neal

Instagram | @shaq

That's right! None other than Shaq has a PhD.

He actually got his doctorate in leadership and education after his basketball career in order to fulfill a promise he made to his mom.

Milo Aukerman

The name Milo Aukerman may not ring any bells, at least not right away, but without him and his band, Descendents, there wouldn't be a Blink-182. No Goldfinger, or any SOCAL punk scene to speak of at all for that matter.

Milo has a PhD in molecular biology, of all things.

Dan Grimaldi


Dan is probably best remembered for his time spent on The Sopranos. But long before he ever broke into acting, he had already received his doctorate in Data Processing from NYU.

He also has a handful of other advanced degrees to go along with it.

Greg Gaffin

Talk about a trip down memory lane! Greg Gaffin is a punk rock legend, known as the frontman and lead singer for the band Bad Religion.

Greg did his PhD in Zoology, and has even taught courses on Natural Sciences!

Dan Snaith

Whether you know him as Manitoba, Caribou, or Daphni, one thing is for certain: Dan Snaith is one of the most intellectually gifted musicians across any medium or genre.

In between recordings and extensive touring, Dan managed to pick up a PhD in Mathematics.

Richie Hawtin

The name Richie Hawtin may not carry the same brand name recognition in North America, but internationally Richie is regaled as a god of EDM.

He also has an honorary doctorate from the University of Huddersfield for his musical contributions.

Dexter Holland

I bet that if you dug up a copy of The Offspring's Americana album that I'd still be able to sing it, word-for-word.

Lead singer Dexter Holland is an incredibly accomplished academic, having recently completed his PhD in HIV Research.

Waka Flocka Flame

Mental health and personal wellbeing have always been at the forefront of Waka Flocka Flame's agenda.

The hip hop icon has worked tirelessly over the years, donating his time and money, in order to help aid suicide prevention. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate for his efforts.

Kanye West

Isn't it ironic that Kanye's breakthrough album was called College Dropout and now here he stands as the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate?!

It probably won't surprise anyone to learn that Yeezy received his degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sterling Morrison

Sterling Morrison was a founding member of The Velvet Underground. They were an American rock band formed in the 1960s that helped launch the career of guitarist Lou Reed.

Morrison was a student of history and completed a PhD in Medieval Literature.


Before Diddy became one of the foundational pillars of the hip hop community, he was a business student.

Years later, he returned to Howard University not only to give the commencement address but to receive his Honorary Doctorate in the Humanities.

Robert Leonard

Robert Leonard is a former member of the rock/doo-wop group Sha Na Na. Among his many academic accolades, Robert is also noted for performing at Woodstock alongside legendary acts like Jimi Hendrix, The Who, and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

These days, Robert works in forensics with a PhD in Linguistics.

Missy Elliott

That's Doctor Elliott to you! Missy made history by being the first hip hop artist to ever receive an Honorary Doctorate from Berklee College of Music.

The prestigious school described Missy as a groundbreaking artist and a true pioneer of the industry.

Chuck D

If we were to make a shortlist of the most influential hip hop groups of all time, you better believe that Public Enemy would rank high atop the list.

Founding member Chuck D was given his Honorary Doctorate at the Adelphi Commencement.

David Macklovitch

It's been more than a decade and I still can't manage to get Chromeo's "Night By Night" out of my head!

Lead singer and guitarist David Macklovitch is bilingual and completed his PhD in French Literature at Columbia.

Chance the Rapper

I really don't care what anyone has to say to the contrary, Chance's The Big Day album was the best release of 2019 — bar none.

Chance is well-known for giving back to his community and was awarded a doctorate from Dillard University for his efforts.

Justin Timberlake

As ironic as it may seem, Justin received his doctorate degree on the same day and at the same time as Missy Elliott. I wonder if that's ever happened before?

Justin gave a rousing speech at the commencement ceremony and challenged the graduates to meet him in the studio.